Let me first say, “Americans amaze me.” I’ve not been out of the country in several years. It’s entirely possible citizens of the real (outside the U.S. of A.) world might be breathing the same air that has caused RSOS1 here in the states. Which means they may similarly suffer. Let’s hope not.
What on earth prompts this near-rant? Glad you asked.
My appointment in the doctor’s office was for 1:45. My arrival was 1:30. I’d pre-registered, on-line, another laugh, but subject for a later musing, after sharp edges of dismay over what that says about the formerly honorable profession of Information Technology professional dulls. At the office, I signed-in, surrendered my insurance card for photocopies and, as directed, sat covid-19 spaced, to wait.
Thirty minutes later, sensing I was displeased with the time I’d wasted, one of the front office people summoned me and gave me some forms to fill out because I was a “new patient.” Which they knew shortly after I signed-in because they asked.
“Don’t worry,” she smiled brightly, “they’ll call you in before you finish filling them out.”
Nope. So I sat another fifteen minutes cooling my heels after I’d completed the forms. At last, the door to the secret place opened and a head (never leaving the secret place) announced, “Stanley.”
I stood and started to the door. Another gentleman also stood but stopped dead in his tracks when he saw me. I suspect he was confused as to whether or not he was Stanley. Apparently to him, I looked more Stanley-ish than he felt himself to be at that moment. The head appeared outside the secret room to hurry “Stanley” into the chamber and repeated, “Stanley?”
There were eight other patients (cf patience) in the secret room antechamber, and four “medical professionals in the front office, not counting the head. All frozen to see what would develop. I broke the spell.
Pointing to the standing gentleman, I said, “Are you Stanley?”
“He reflected briefly and stammered, caught in his sin, “Yes.”
I continued, pointing my forefinger into my own chest, “I’m Stanley.” Looking at the head, now barely outside the door, I continued, “Stanley must have a last name, would you care to share it with us?”
The head blinked. I was obviously not supposed to talk during the taking-in ceremony. She said, “Walker,” and could manage no more.
“I’m not Stanley Walker,” I declared. This greatly relieved the other gentleman. The other patients and the front office people roared. The head was not impressed but was busy taking Stanley Walker into the secret chamber.
I went back to my covid-19 seat. The front office staff went back to front-officing. The other patients went back to being patient, but I saw several snicker another few seconds.
I’ve not seen the billing, so I’m not sure how they intend to charge me for my outburst.
Interesting too, that those ‘new’ patient2 forms may have been intended as humor, though I suspect not. Forms asking all the information the surgeon, his staff, the insurance companies, the building janitor, and the Democratic Party must have to provide proper healthcare. My zipper size, the number of children my neighbor has, the average number of calories in my daily cigar, and the number of miles since the last oil change in the “vehicle” I most often drive.
Suspicion is that none of this is actually important or even reviewed. This offered as fact since anyone with an eighth-grade education reading the form for significant reportings would bridle at some of the questions.
“Have you ever or do you now have…” With such as emphysema, heart attack, angina, arthritis, IBS, athlete’s foot, myopia, and so on. Okay.
Then the tough ones: “ear, nose, and throat.” Fortunately, one of the display cases reflected well and I was able to determine I did still have at least a nose and ears. I was stymied though, on throat. I could see “neck” but that was no guarantee of a throat. I left that box unchecked.
Another: “endocrine system.” That threw me for a loss. I was reasonably certain I did have an endocrine system but had no way to make certain. I also left that one unchecked.
Yup. It was a fun afternoon.
1 RSOS Rampant Sudden Onset Stupidity
2 New patient. As an aside, my primary care physician missed me when I did not visit his office for over eight years. To reward me for staying healthy, he required me to assume “new patient” status, fill out a gazillion inane forms, and see a pretend doctor who was truly, as they say of doctors and lawyers, “practicing” his/her craft. When I show proper contrition, maybe I’ll no longer suffer the stigma of “new patient.”