I have a lot of time available for observing as a significant amount of my observing lately has been done in waiting rooms.
Being sick is a full time job for some of us. Waiting is part of that job.
Now that I have qualified for Platinum Waiter status (obtained after waiting in over 100 different offices in less than 3 years, or waiting for over 250 hours in two years or less) I feel qualified to comment on some of my observations.
1) Being a waiter does not come naturally to anyone. Being a waiter with patience is not only unnatural it has never been observed on this planet.
2) Women prepare for waiting and bring things such as books or needlework to keep them busy. They have even been known to chat with other waiters while in waiting rooms.<
3) Men sleep. For them the sleeping begins within 2 minutes of entering any waiting room. (This happens whether they are the waiter or accompanying a waiter.)
4) There are no new magazines (dated within one year of your appointment) in any waiting room in the continental United States. Stop wasting your time looking. New magazines and waiting rooms are a non-existent combination.
5) Those waiting in waiting rooms will be happy to discuss all the details with you of whatever brought them to the waiting room, and they know every single detail. They will share these details whether you want to hear them or not.
6) Waiters will discuss, in detail, the horrendous, unbelievable attributes of every physician, hospital, emergency room, pharmacy, and procedure, they have dealt with in the past.
7) Only after listening to the litany of do-badders will they tell you which physicians are good, which prescription plan is the best, and how to save $ .32 on your next prescription refill. In case you missed it, they are experts in this area. According to them you would be wise to listen to what they have to say.
8) It doesn’t matter if your condition is similar to the condition of any other waiter in the room, there will always be at least one other waiter who has important advice they need to share with you. It may be in the form of a diagnosis, the best treatment available, or what horrors you have to look forward to. No advice ever rendered is pleasant or done in short order.
9) No waiter will sit next to an existing waiter until all other empty chairs have been taken. Sitting beside someone already waiting is a cardinal sin. And besides, you don’t know why they are here.
10) More medical advice is dispensed in waiting areas than in any physician’s office. (I challenge you to prove this statement wrong.)
11) People in waiting rooms are a notoriously unhappy bunch. Just try to make them laugh. You could remove your prosthetic leg, breast, or penis, and they wouldn’t even blink. I once saw someone completely disrobe in the waiting room. There was no reaction. In fact, I’m fairly certain the nude waiter didn’t garner a second glance.
12) Comfort is not a priority when planning the waiting room décor. Do not try to use number 2 as an argument here. Men can sleep anywhere.
13) At some point in time it was decided that all conversations in waiting rooms should be held in hushed tones. This rule has been passed down generation to generation and waiting room to waiting room. No one knows where this idea originated but no one is willing to break it.
14) Anyone with something to do while waiting will be seated next to someone who has nothing to do except discuss whatever has brought them to this waiting room and annoy the person who brought something to do while waiting.
15) Some of the best arguments that never happened have been witnessed in waiting rooms between waiters without patience, waiters who believe someone was taken in front of them, and those in the unenviable position of being in charge of the waiters. (Those in charge never argue, nor do they bitch slap the annoying waiters when they so justly deserve it.)
16) Those in charge of dealing with waiters should be placed in line for sainthood, or their membership in AA should be covered 100% by their employer or their health insurance.
From the life and mind of:
Wanda M. Argersinger
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