I know you will all relate to this situation, the waiting room of a doctor’s office. And I do mean WAITING room. I always attempt to make the first appointment of the day or the one right after lunch since I know patience is not one of my virtues. I recently had foot surgery and thought I scheduled my follow ups perfectly. I arrived at 2:02 for my 2pm and every seat was taken by someone in a foot cast. Yikes,” I hope both doctors were fielding the large crowd,” I thought.
I chatted with other patients, showed one woman my kindle, and planned the rest of the day with my husband. As the minutes crept along my good attitude started to wane. My husband could see my frustration and he gave me a knowing smile. I must share, I am married to an extremely easy going guy. Things just don’t get to him, a fact that totally gets to me!
After my hour wait I was finally called in and when asked how I was I merely shrugged in response. It only took a minute for my social nature to kick back in and start joking with the woman who was removing my bandages.
When back in the car I asked my husband why it didn’t bother him that 5 people had simultaneous appointments. I pressed on, “don’t you think it is disrespectful of people’s time to have to wait for an hour?” He explained, “it is not that it doesn’t bother me, but what are the options? We could leave – not going to happen. We could switch doctors but we are rather committed to this one right now. We could complain, but that would likely backfire.”
He was so right (a fact that I am sure he would love to see in print.) At the end of my appointment, I made the next one and asked for the first appointment. With a smile I explained that I was trying to find a time that I wouldn’t have to wait as long and that it had worked out so well last time. In an almost complimentary voice said, “I was surprised since I never had to wait that long before.” She then explained about today’s back up and slotted me for the first appointment the following week.
We all know the old saying is true, “you get more bees with honey…” I left the doctor’s office in a good mood and will feel more comfortable with the office staff on my next visit. My husband reminded me to think through the options and take a long term approach. Being responsive rather than reactive in a situation will always yield better relationships and results.