Dear Family Practice Clinic that values my business according to the sign on the wall,
I am writing to let you know I spent a little time in your waiting room today, and perhaps had a sour look on my face, which could probably have been attributed to many things --- but to clarify:
I was not upset about the fact that although your voice mail says your office opens at 8am, that no-one actually answered your phone until 8:17am. I know this to be true because I called every 30 seconds starting at 7:59am. Thank goodness for the redial button.
I was not upset about the fact that once your automated system *finally* picked up my call, it was another ten minutes before I got to talk to a real, live person.
I was not upset about the warning that the wait for a same-day-work-in appointment might be long. I worked for three years in a Family Practice clinic, and I understand what Monday mornings can be like. In fact, considering there was no blood, chest pain, or eye injury involved, I was pretty impressed that you were even willing to give us a same-day appointment at all.
No, really, I wasn’t upset about the first hour we sat in your waiting room because hey, you warned us.
I wasn’t upset about the fact that there were no restrooms attached to your waiting room. I found it odd, but I wasn’t upset about it.
I was perhaps a teensy bit upset about the second hour we sat in your waiting room, especially when I was told that our name had been called half an hour earlier, apparently when we were across the lobby in the bathroom, especially considering we TOLD the receptionist where we were going and she obviously forgot to tell the nurse so our file folder went back to the back of the line.
No, what upset me was the fact that for the entire two hours we were sitting in your waiting room, you left the television turned to a PBS documentary about the life cycle of the poisonous American mushroom, and told us it couldn’t be changed.
Do you really think my nine-year old daughter gives a rat’s ass about mushrooms? Don’t you think it might have been even remotely helpful to have put the television on Disney or Nickelodeon or for goodness’ sake, even the Today Show would have been more interesting. And for a large portion of that time we were the only people *in* the waiting room, so it's not like we would have offended any mushroom-lovers out there.
By the time we were finally put back in an exam room, I wasn’t sure if we should ask you to treat Kendrie’s cough, whatever illness she probably picked up after (no lie) ROLLING AROUND ON THE FLOOR OF YOUR WAITING ROOM IN SHEER BOREDOM, or the wound on the back of my head, from where I had been hitting it against the wall for the last half hour.
PS. For the record, I am normally pretty good about bringing along Gameboys or ipods or for goodness sake, even something as old fashioned as a !!BOOK!! for the kids to read in a waiting room. Two and a half years of pediatric chemo appointments taught me the value of being prepared. This day, however, I honestly didn't expect a same day appointment and was out running errands when the clinic asked if we could get there in 30 minutes (apparently, it was important that we rush there, in order to sit and wait for two hours) and so I dashed by the school and picked Kendrie up without having ANYTHING for her to do. I even offered to read her the "Humor in Uniform" jokes out of the waiting room copies of Readers Digest, I was that freaking desperate.