Like most folks, I make appointments to my dentist, doctor, mechanic or whatever and show up on time. Then I wait. Then wait some more. In some cases, I understand why I have to wait. For example, if someone comes into the doctor’s office with a screwdriver stuck in his chest, then I don’t mind waiting a while for my yearly checkup. As another example, I understand that appointments later in the day might not be quite on time because of some appointments going a bit over. However, having to wait 30 or more minutes past my early morning appointment time really summons up my inner grumpy old man. I’m especially annoyed when I get up at 5:00 am so I can work out before a 9:30 appointment and then not get called in until after 10:00. Hell, I could have slept another 30 minutes or gotten in four more miles.
I am not quite sure why it is so difficult for an appointment to start on time, or at least close to the time. After all, these things are scheduled way in advance and it is not like people have no idea how long some normal procedure (like a dental checkup) is likely to take. Sure, emergencies might result in some schedule problems, but I have never actually seen one of those going down while I have been waiting. Maybe they just think we should wait because we are called “patients.” Or maybe the people who schedule appointments have eternal amnesia and can never remember how long things take or what is scheduled when.
I have, of course, been tempted to just show up 20 minutes “late” for an appointment. However, I am sure they are wise to this ploy-after all, they always have a sign in sheet and no doubt would make a point of calling out the name of anyone who had an appointment but had failed to show on time. Some places even have a penalty charge for missing an appointment or being late. Of course, I have yet to hear of a place that gives the patient a discount or even some candy when they are forced to wait and wait.
In the past, I have tried switching in the hopes of not having to wait. However, either my luck is bad or this is standard practice. So, I’ve gotten to be good at waiting. I learned long ago to always bring something to do and the advent of the Game Boy and then the iPod Touch made waiting less of an ordeal.
I suspect I really need to get really rich-that way I can make them wait for me.