Friday, July 26, 2013

An Ounce of Prevention

Yesterday on a day off, of sorts, I caught up on medical errands to include blood tests. I usually take advantage of their appointment system and go on Saturday mornings but I was at the oral surgeon, literally a two minute walk away and decided to scratch another errand off the to-do list. 

Except....there are more folks in the waiting room on a weekday mid-morning than early on a Saturday morning. Not a big deal, I signed in behind/below someone, "S" (working to preserve confidentiality here, bucko) who noted she had an appointment at 0730. The time we both signed in was 0736. Hmmm.

There were five folks waiting when I sat down "S" and four others. Two were called in and attended to while from across the room I could hear heavy sighs, and slight throat clearing and watched as she shifted in her chair, all signs, as is the case for most of us, that "I'm Pissed at how this is working out and am about to erupt."

Which she did in short order when the technician came to the front and called out a name other than hers. She explained loudly, as she advanced to the front desk that she had an appointment and wanted to be seen right now. 

The technician, and there were only two of them who could draw blood and one of them was obviously no longer doing that, explained to "S" that she wasn't on the list of appointments (it was now nearly eight and there was an eight o'clock appointment and he was already here!). That was when "S" showed the Tech her iPhone with the confirmation e-mail so now whatcha gonna do, eh?

Well, yes but no explained the tekkie. Yes, you had a seven thirty appointment (made on line because computers , unlike the humans who design and build them, never make mistakes) but it's not here but at another location, in another town, "Cambridge" (don't bother looking, we don't have one in Connecticut but there is one just outside of Boston). Not the kind of thing a very important person like "S" who has to get to work wanted to hear. 

She repeated three times, growing louder in each iteration that it is very important she get this blood work done now so she'd like to speak to a manager. And then learned that she already was. 

She then wanted someone she could call (right now but you had probably already guessed that), and meanwhile the meter is running both metaphorically and metaphysically as now there's only one technician drawing blood and servicing patients.

"S" is NOT happy and when she finally does get inside to get her blood drawn, jumping ahead of an elderly woman with a claw cane, it's all I can do to hope they don't use a 64 gauge needle to draw her blood and a 55 gallon drum to put it in. All of us in the waiting room could hear a loud, but muffled voice (we couldn't understand what was being said but it didn't sound like 'Happy Birthday' if you follow my drift) that went for at least three minutes and maybe more but then, quite loudER, "Ouch!"

And I realized with a smile "S" had just experienced a teachable moment; in this case learning the foolishness of antagonizing someone with a long, hollow spike who's attempting to insert it into your vein. It's far worse than wrestling with a pig since you both get dirty but the pig enjoys it. 

And then I thought about how lucky the good people of Wherever It Was She Was Supposed To Go had been in missing her entirely. Hope their luck holds and ours improves.
-bill kenny

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