I'm one of those people bursting with health, knock wood. When I go for my yearly exam with my regular doctor, he tells me how he wishes he had my numbers. So it isn't often I find myself sitting in a waiting room. But it's summer, and I needed something minor done that would take literally five minutes, so I made an appointment two weeks ago for 10 AM this morning. The doctor's secretary called me yesterday to remind me to be on time, so I assumed they were a model of efficiency and that I'd be home in no time. Turns out what I really needed was to have my head examined.
No fewer than 15 people were seated in the office when I entered, at 10 AM on a Thursday. I went to the window to sign in, and I noticed that almost everyone who had signed in before me had written down the exact same appointment time as me. I was the only one who took it literally and showed up on time, not an hour early. It took two hours and fifteen minutes to get in to see the doctor. No joke.
When I got in, the doc gave me some chit chat about Obama care, telling me I should never support it, because I had good insurance already and I'd never be able to actually see a doctor because the lines would be around the block. I started looking for Ashton Kutcher to see if I was being punk'd. But no. She was serious. If irony was a crime, she'd have gotten the death penalty.
She spoke to me for about three minutes about Obama care. I figured that if she spent that much time on each patient before me, I'd waited an additional 45 minutes while this doctor did her level best to scare the bejesus out of her patients. My actual treatment took less time than the spiel.
In the future, when people tell me that doctors are professionals but teachers are not, I'll relate this story to them. Imagine what would happen to a teacher who scheduled 150 parents for the same time slot on Parent Teacher Conference night and then babbled on about what an a-hole Joel Klein is? There'd be riots, I tell you.
Why we put up with this from doctors, I don't know. But I'm proud to be a professional. A teacher.