So, I’m about 45 minutes past the time of my appointment with the local Lincroft doctor and am sitting in a sweltering office alongside a woman who is sneezing her head off, a baby that’s crying and an old man with his arm in a sling who keeps staring at me.
The magazines on the badly dented table look to be about 10 years old, the music is Muzak and the carpet doesn’t look as if it’s been cleaned since the Nixon Administration.
Finally there’s some movement from the back office and a man emerges, carrying a bunch of rolled up papers. He opens the door to leave, then turns and shouts back at the doctor, "Hey, doc, I’ll have those blueprints for you by Friday at the latest."
Then it occurs to me that the "doc" has been meeting with an architect for the past 45 minutes to plan his office refurbishment (much needed, to be sure). All the while, the angry old man, the whimpering baby, the severely congested woman and a blogger just sit and sit.
And yet, no one says anything. The old guy catches my eye and shrugs his shoulders with one of those, "What are you going to do?" looks. And, it occurs to me that doctors can get away with this shabby treatment because we’ve been somehow programmed to allow it.
Name me any other professional who could get away with this kind of treatment? If we left clients waiting in our reception room while we met with planners and architects, well, suffice it to say we wouldn’t have any clients (or any office to remodel).
Just once I’d like to keep a doctor waiting for 45 minutes with no explanation. None whatsoever. "Sorry to keep you waiting, doc," I’d finally say as I strolled out to reception. "So, what’s bothering you today?"
Oh well, I can dream. Hey, hold on, the old guy just got called in. Things may be looking up.