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The Happy Guy

No Respect In The Waiting Room
By David Leonhardt

"Hello. I'm here for my appointment with the dermatologist."
"Please be seated. I'll call you when Dr. Kristoph is ready."
"Well, I am five minutes early, so I guess I'll wait."

Fifteen minutes later...

"Excuse me. I had an appointment with Dr. Kristoph ten minutes ago. Is everything alright?
"Oh yes, very much. Please have a seat."
"OK, I'll just go scratch my itchy spot in the corner over there."

Fifteen minutes later...

"Sorry to bother you again, but I had an appointment at 2:00 with Dr. Kristoph. That was 25 minutes ago and I am still itching ... I mean, waiting. Is everything alright? Did he have to rush someone to the hospital for an emergency pimple-popping?"
"Not at all. The doctor is a very busy man. He is seeing his 1:30 appointment right now. You are next after Mrs. Weatherall..."
"Oh good. Because this itching is really getting to be..."
"...who is next after Mr. Barclay, who is right after Mrs. Cartright, after Madam Bisbee after little Michael over there. The doctor will see you soon after them if he has a moment."
"Oh, he'll see me all right. With all this scratching, I'll be as bright red as a neon sign in a deep, dark forest."

Fifteen minutes later...

"Pardon me. I don't mean to be impolite, but I had an appointment with Dr. Kristoff 40 minutes ago. If there was no emergency, why was I booked at 2:00 instead of 2:40?"
"Dr. Kristoff likes to keep his waiting room full. It's good for business, you know."
"How is a glowing red itchy person in his waiting room good for business? Are you planning to prop me up outside your window to advertise your outstanding patient care?"
"Please have a seat."

Fifteen minutes later...

"OK, it has now been an hour, and there are still patients ahead of me. I made an appointment to meet Dr. Kristoff, not decorate his waiting room in post-modern-human-agony-experimentalism. My time is valuable, you know."
"I'm sure it is. But the doctor always books people early in case they arrive a little late. Or in case they are not sick enough. Or in case..."
"They die in the waiting room?"
"...they just don't show up. The doctor is a very busy man who bills by the hour, you know. He really can't afford to accidentally have a hole in his schedule."
"Not that it's any of my business, but he doesn't get many second dates, does he?"

Fifteen minutes later...

"Hello. I'm here from the tax department. Did you know it's a federal offence to keep a tax officer waiting?
"Are you really from the tax department?"
"No, but would I get to see the doctor if I was?"
"I didn't think you were from the tax department. You look just like that pesky little man with the glowing red skin who seems to think his time is as valuable as his doctor's."
"Yeah, I guess that's me."

Fifteen minutes later...

"Hey you. You with the glow-in-the-dark skin. The doctor will see you now."
"Please, I am way too busy to bend my schedule on his account. I am writing up a bill for him."
"A bill?"
"For my consulting fees. Let me read it to you. 'Arrived on schedule at the time your staff arranged for your convenience. Was requested by your staff to remain in your waiting room for one-and-a-half-hours. At my hourly consulting rate of $500, that comes to $750, please.' I take cash."
"You can't bill a doctor. Just who do you think you are?"
"A plumber. And I don't keep my clients waiting."


David Leonhardt publishes The Happy Guy Humor Column
And A Daily Dose of Happiness

The Happy Guy




Like Shakespeare, David Leonhardt is a writer: He is author of Inspiration & Motivation To Go and Climb Your Stairway to Heaven: the 9 habits of maximum happiness , as well as The Get Happy Workbook. To write your website copy or newsletter, just email him.
This article is 2004-05 David Leonhardt, published with permission


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