Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Always Late

It’s another late post! Aren’t you glad?

I had to take Tanya to yet another eye appointment. She’s gearing up for Lasik surgery at the end of the week. Evidently they don’t like to go into these procedures “blindly” – if you will. No they’ve got to make sure that everything’s on the up and up.

When it comes to Tanya’s eyes, they want to leave no eyeball unturned. They care a great deal about Tanya’s eyes. I suppose that’s good, because other than worrying that they may randomly fall out someday, I don’t really worry too much about them. That’s not to say that I don’t avoid poking them with sharp sticks. Because I do. Avoid it.

Oh sure, they’re really concerned with her “eyebowls” as I like to call them whenever my West Virginia regionalism starts poking me in the ribs for some attention. One thing they seem to not give a rat’s anus about is my safe annoyance equilibrium.

See, we’ve gone to two of these examinations. Well, the first one wasn’t an examination, it was a sales pitch. We knew going in that we were getting the surgery (at the right price). But apart from sitting around littering carbon dioxide, we also had to make this appointment.

They were late. Our appointment to make more appointments was scheduled for 9:00am. Obviously a little early for the Lasik world. We beat them there by about ten minutes last time. We were annoyed. But this one took the cake.

Again, the appointment was for 9:00am. Shame on us for thinking things would be different. Things should have been. The Lasik “Spa” advertises their “normal” hours as 8am to whenever. I guess barring some great snooze alarm debacle.

Again, we were there a little early. I always like to be early. I can’t tell if it’s because I’m trying to be courteous or if I know that the other person will invariably be late and I really enjoy feeling superior and self righteous. I suspect that it’s a little of both.

We waited around for a half hour! The door was locked, there seemed to be no stirring. No one had gone in or out. So we waited.

I hate waiting. But it wasn’t the fact that they were completely obliterating my daily schedule that bothered me. They held something far more valuable to me than my precious time. Something way more pressing. They held the key to the bathroom.

The bathrooms are for patients only. The area of Wilshire that houses the Lasik Spa is a little sketchy. You can tell by the sleeping bags lining the street. They don’t want homeless people taking “ho baths” in the urinal or anything.

But this patient was quickly losing his patients. Annoyance escalates to rage remarkably fast when the painful urge to pee is thrown into the equation.

We were a little stupid about it. We didn’t bother to call. The last time we called when they were late, no one answered the phone. After all they were late! But finally after a half an hour of leg crossing, we picked up the phone.

Guess what…they were there! The whole time! Sitting in there with the door locked and the music turned off. And, I can only assume, giggling at us via closed circuit television.

As it turns out, the “receptionist” had a problem unlocking the door. She was probably sitting behind her desk cursing in Spanish at how irresponsible patients are nowadays.

You see, here’s the problem. Medical science can only do so much. Doctor’s might someday be able to keep your head alive in a jar or figure out how to keep you from stubbing your toe on the coffee table, but the entire health care industry will always be under the ominous control of graduates from Bryman College.

Paperwork. It’s all about paperwork. Tanya’s going onto surgery on Friday. It’s not without risk. And the only thing that may prevent her from leaving that office with Ape Eyes in her head could be some inept lady with a two-year AA degree who can’t figure out how to work a friggin key!

Fun Fact: I’m a little riled again today. It probably didn’t help that the entire time I sat in the waiting area I was reading a book about human cadavers.

Also, today the Lasik “Spa” was a little more Lasik and a little less Spa. There was no AM radio. But more importantly they didn’t turn on their “Dream Fountain.” I don’t know about you, but how can I call that place a spa when there’s no soft pink internally lighted bowl spilling fog onto the countertop?! I need my dream fountain!

The one thing they did have were seemingly random dimming lights. This is done on purpose. I don’t know what that purpose is. But it is done on purpose. Maybe it’s to make you feel like your sitting in a forest with the rustling leaves of trees intermittently changing the ambient light. Maybe it’s to distract you from your magazine reading in order to keep you disoriented while they give you the bill.

Or maybe they’ve got an office pool going about how many patients will tell them that there’s something wrong with their electricity.

If that’s the case, put me down for $5 on 38,000.

Hey, hey, the new TAM Cartoon is up! Yeah, yeah!

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