Sunday, 30 July 2017

Stuff and Things about... The Doctors' Waiting Room

Stepping through the fancy automatic doors the first thing you'll be overwhelmed by is the blast of hot air which typhoons down from a big metal fan above the door which looks a lot like a 1960s storage heater.  This blast is only discernible in a 5cm-wide area just inside the door.  The next thing to overwhelm you is the smell of what you assume is either medicine or disinfectant but turns out to be the lunch that all the receptionists have decided to eat at the same time, leaving the desk completely unmanned for an hour. 

Nobody will ever know the purpose of the 'air curtain'
Once reception is manned again you will then have to try and attract the attention of a receptionist.  This is more difficult than you think. A polite cough won't cut it.  Clicking your fingers in their face is frowned on as is accidentally knocking over a nearby pot plant or their cup of tea.  An air horn usually does the trick however, causing them to twitch mildly and eventually look up at you.  Once you’ve given the receptionist all of your personal details, darkest secrets and literally, a blood sample, you will be asked to take a seat to await your name being called over the tannoy.  This can take from 5 minutes to 5 years so it’s a good idea to try and find something to read.  Luckily there is a collection of dog-eared home interiors catalogues, celebrity gossip magazines from 1998 called ‘Now!’ and ‘More!’ which should really be called ‘Then!’ and ‘Less!’.  The magazines are so old and well-thumbed that there is a possibility you’ll catch a new medical complaint off them by the time you’re called for your appointment. 

Everything from 'Horse and Trout' to 'Knitting Weekly'

There's a plethora of medical advice posters around the walls too, unless you’re in one of those modern surgeries which have gone to the bother of installing a 40 inch plasma TV on the wall and instead of streaming Sky Sports or showing a recent blockbuster film, they show stills of people getting their blood taken and warnings about ingrowing toenails. 

If you're bored you could always investigate the toys in the corner which have been put there to stop the toddlers tearing around the room, screaming and wiping the contents of their noses on your trousers.  The toys however are more disturbing than the posters explaining what the animals that live in your eyelashes look like.  There'll be a haunted stuffed panda with one eye and something which you assume is a large plastic bee with a blown-up human face and an expression that suggests it's last encounter with a child didn't end well.
It’s a good idea to try and find a chair at least two chairs away from anyone else, just in case you catch everything everyone else has got which means you’ll have to come back the next day for that complaint, whilst catching everything everyone in the room has got ad infinitum.  The chairs in doctors' waiting rooms have been scientifically designed to ensure you cannot find a comfortable way of sitting on them.  (Whatever the opposite of ergonomics is) This is designed to make it easier to spot the people who have come in to get their haemorrhoids looked at. 
It is not socially acceptable to ask the other people in the waiting room what they’re ‘in’ for.  It is acceptable however to wait for each person to be called in turn and to try and guess what their complaint is by the way they walk.  One fun game to play is trying to cough more dramatically than the last person who coughed to try and convince everyone else in the room that you are the most ill person there today.

When your name is finally called, everyone in the room will now know that you are called Spaldie McFloof.  If you don’t want people to know that's your name however, you could try waiting a few moments and then getting up slowly, so as not to alert anyone, then wander off in the direction of the toilet - taking a sharp turn towards the GP's office once out of sight.  This will be negated immediately by someone emerging from a nearby corridor who will yell ‘Spaldie McFloof’ several times before you have to agree that’s you, which is far worse than just getting up the first time your name was called.

This just screams comfort and security, doesn't it?

No comments:

Post a Comment