Is It “Indifference” or Inefficiency?

Life in Slow Motions

Today is one of those days that everything could be delayed did.  I started my day with a visit to the OBGYN’s office.  As usual, I was somewhat concerned that I would be waiting endlessly like I did in my last visit a year or so ago.  I told myself that don’t be so negative and give the doctor’s office another try.  I did make my best effort.  I arrived 15 minutes early to keep up with my usual punctual reputation both professionally and personally.

As I vaguely recalled, the doctor’s office was run very inefficiently.  I really couldn’t put my fingers on why I always have experienced such a feeling.  Maybe it was because I didn’t feel they respected my time as I did theirs.  Twenty minutes past my scheduled time, I got a bit antsy.  My name was finally called by a lady, whom I know for a fact that she is not a nurse.

I proceeded to one of the rooms (you know what I am talking about, four-walls, no windows), I will be sitting literally butt-naked waiting for the grace of the doctor.  While the lady was measuring my blood pressure, I curiously asked if she was going to draw my blood per my request.

Here she went with a long-winded story about one nurse’s family situation and the other one wouldn’t come until 10.  The bottom line was that I could either wait for the nurse to show up hopefully at 10 or schedule another time to get blood work done.  I would have to fast again for another 12 hours or more.

To my amusement, she didn’t sound apologetic at all.  Does she wish that I would understand and tolerate the consistent mismanagement of the doctor’s office?  Or worse, is there a pervasive “indifference” permeated throughout that office that their patients are just numbers to them?dreamstime_compassion-1

My Observation Validated by Other Impatient Patients

As I was sitting there hopefully for the nurse to eventually show up, I could see the impatient looks on the few patients in the waiting room.  Better yet, one brave soul latched out on the office lady expressing her frustrations about the habitually indefinite waiting.  I applauded silently to the patient and felt her “pain”.

So my five-minute check-up turned out to be 1 hour 45 minutes. I thought to myself that maybe I could spend a day or two there just helping the doctor to straighten out the inefficiency.  But am I in the position to influence him in shifting the culture to that of care, respect and compassion?

Turn Indifference to Compassion

People often say that “indifference” is a worse feeling, worse than “hate” because when “hate” is expressed, it usually stems from “love” and “care”.  I certainly hope the doctor’s office will be different next year, surely for the better.

One Response to “Is It “Indifference” or Inefficiency?”
  1. Lorraine Says:

    Amen to indifference and inefficiency. Last year, after 2 hours, of waiting to see the doctor for my annual check up, I asked the receptionist to give me back my $15 co-pay and then left. I had watched the room empty twice and had been told I was second or next an hour earlier. Of course, I was only hurting me by not getting the check up. But, I too, felt that they had no respect for my time, nor appreicated me as a client. This year it was quite fast. But the norm is a long, frustrating wait. Let’s hire those effeciency experts. I’ll volunteer!

    After a similar but even worse experience (4 hours!), with my first visit to an optometirst two years ago, I elected to never go back and found a new, much more effecient one. Perhaps one just needs to shop around for the ‘best deal.’