I’m really not proud of those times in life when I lose it with workers in public places. It’s not pretty. And I don’t really think it serves a purpose to brag about the fact I got annoyed with someone and lost my temper.
But today was one of those moments straight out of Seinfeld. And sometimes, you gotta laugh.
My wonderful husband worked from home today, which allowed me to go to the lab for my one-hour glucose screening. I rushed around this morning giving the kids their home school assignments so I could leave them in his care while he attempted to work from home.
I got to the lab around 10:30 and was pleasantly surprised that only a few other people were sitting in the waiting room. In fact, I was No. 2 on the sign-in sheet to get my lab work done. Sweet.
After about 15 minutes, the lab technician called my name. Then she said, “Do you have an appointment?”
“Um, nooooo” I said.
I have been to this same lab three times already this year and I haven’t ever made an appointment. But I guess now patients have the option of making an appointment.
“Well, the person after you had an appointment, so I have to call him back first.”
Me: “OK. No problem.”
In the meantime, about five more people came in the lab. I sat and watched, as one by one, the lab tech called other people back, but kept skipping my name.
At this point, it was about 11:15. There was a big sign on the door that said the lab would close for lunch from 12-12:30. I assumed that they must have just inadvertently forgotten that I was still there.
I walked up to the window.
“Sorry. But I have to call all of the people who have an appointment before I call you,” she said.
I had noticed that the “appointments” didn’t seem to be for any specific time. The workers didn’t look on their computers or in any log book to locate the appointments. When people signed in, they simply checked a box to say whether or not they had an appointment.
“So, every person who comes in after me gets to go before me if they say they have an appointment?” I asked.
“Even if their appointment is after the time I came in, they still get to go before me just because they have an appointment?” I asked.
“Well, can I make an appointment?” I asked, realizing that 10 more people might come in before I made it to the top of the list.
“We don’t make appointments here. You have to call our 800 number.”
“So, you don’t even make appointments for the people who have the appointments?” I asked.
“Can I use your phone then to call the 800 number and make an appointment?” I said, suddenly feeling very much like Elaine Benes was inhabiting my body and taking over my ability to think straight.
At this point, the worker was speechless. The other people in the waiting room were all on the edge of their seats with this new development. Would she let me use her phone to call the 800 number so the customer service people in some other state could make an appointment for me in the office where I was standing?
She thought about this for a minute.
“OK. There’s only one more person in front of you with an appointment, so you will be next.”
“Well, the problem is that now it’s 11:20 and I am here for a one-hour glucose test,” I explained. “The sign says you are going to close for lunch from 12 to 12:30, so will I be able to start the test before the office closes?”
“I will give you the drink right before we leave at 12, and you will have to come back at 1 to finish the test,” she decided.
“OK,” I decided not to argue anymore.
The mad rush at the lab finally slowed down, and by 11:30 the workers had called everyone in the waiting room but me. I was the only one left. Now they had no choice but to call my name.
“Well, I guess we can give you the drink now, and you can come back at 12:30,” she said.
She took me back to the lab room and typed my name in the computer. At this point, I realized that I had just seriously annoyed the woman who was responsible for injecting a large needle in my arm.
Crud. I better apologize, I thought.
Fortunately, she didn’t have to draw the blood until the end of the hour. She gave me my bottle, and told me to drink it and come back in exactly one hour. We synchronized our watches to be sure I wasn’t a minute late.
So, basically, I just waited over an hour for this woman to give me the bottle of stuff to drink? I could have served my hour of waiting time while I was sitting out in the waiting room? Hello? Does anyone see the absurdity in this?
I really am not proud of the fact that I got so snippy with the lab worker. I know she was only doing her job. And I also stop to think, “what if that person walked into my church on Sunday, and I was the greeter at the front door?” Ohhhhh. That would not be pretty.
I made sure I was back at exactly 12:30 to get my blood drawn. And fortunately, she did not take out her frustration with me by giving me a few extra stabs with the needle.
Hopefully, I won’t fail my one-hour test because I will have to go back for the three-hour glucose screening. And you better believe, I will make an appointment first.