Pet Peeves: Doctor Waiting Rooms & Unisex Bathrooms

Maybe it’s the heat wave that brings out the complaints.  I don’t rant too often; here are a few of my favorite pet peeves:

Doctor Waiting Rooms

I got off the elevator and saw two posters: Waiting Room A, Waiting Room B. Finding the name I was looking for, I entered A.  This group of about 30 orthopedists have an entire floor of offices. A friend had referred me to this practice; it was time to figure out what was wrong with my cranky right knee.

Room A, packed with patients. The television, large & loud, dominated the room. Though a few magazines were scattered on tables, most people watched the soccer game on TV, slept, or fiddled with their smart phones.  Whenever the entrance door opened and the nurse appeared to call another name, people sat up a bit taller, hoping.

Blocking out the television, I read the magazines, including Men’s Health. Then I opened my novel, Karen Russell’s Swamplandia* one of the non-Pulitzer winners.  Before I could read a sentence, a guy sitting near me began playing a game on his phone that manifested itself with ear piercing beeps every few seconds. He woke the sleepers, annoyed the soccer fans, and broke any concentration I had.  Fortunately, the doctor this man was seeing was called into an emergency; he and his phone left and I returned to my book.


Later that day, I met my husband and daughter at a restaurant in New York City.   Here’s what I hate about restaurants:

Unisex bathrooms. Really, these are ok at home, not in public.

A long recitation of the day’s specials. I forget the first by the time the waiter reaches the last. What’s so hard about writing them on a chalkboard?

No water, no menus when I sit down. I’m there to order and eat, not sit and wait.

*Swamplandia: I managed to finish it while waiting for the md, and waiting for the x-rays. I liked the first half and then it didn’t grab me. But I’d already gone through all the magazines. Lesson learned: bring more than one book.

Ortho report: Possible meniscus tear. Going for MRI next week.  Ugh. No running or biking for a while. I’m sure I’ll write and complain about it.

I’d love to hear your pet peeves!

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19 Responses to Pet Peeves: Doctor Waiting Rooms & Unisex Bathrooms

  1. I waited 40 minutes in the waiting room today, and then 25 minutes in the paper gown before the doctor arrived…I always have my KIndle (or iPhone with Kindle app) with me – thank the Lord – or I would have been very cross indeed.


    • 2 1/2 hours!!! And I didn’t even see the md- just the physician’s assistant. That plus that it’s about 30 minutes away put me in a state. After the MRI I’m switching to an ortho in my town, my local hospital.


  2. Patti Winker says:

    I share your pet peeves. And I have another, of course. After dinner when we’re ready to go, the wait person seems to disappear. It happens so often, my Hubby and I started wondering if it was on purpose for some reason… maybe we’ll sit there so long we’ll finally order dessert??? I put my purse on the table, we stack the plates, drink every last drop of water, and still… we wait. Odd.

    About the doctor’s office, I found recently in a stack of magazines a 1977 Ladies Home Journal. THAT was a kick! I read the recipes and realized there was NO mention of olive oil being used. Nor was there any ‘low fat mayonnaise’ or ‘fat free cottage cheese’ or anything. Gluten free? Nope. So, I was entertained. But that’s rare. Usually I’m like you; distressed, distracted, and disturbed. Between the TV, cell phones, and games, I want to scream. Especially when I remember how much I’m PAYING for the privilege of being there. grrrr…..

    Thanks for sharing. Oh, and yeah, when I go to a restaurant, I pay for the privilege of NOT having the toilet seat up. So, unisex bathrooms? no no.


  3. Patti Winker says:

    Oh geez… and I meant to say ‘poor you’ about your knee. I hope it heals fast and heals well! I know how disappointing (and maddening) it is to be told to stay off your bike and rest your knee. My knee is still not good. Very irritating. I hope you have good news from your MRI. Keep us posted.


  4. Northern Narratives says:

    I also hope that your knee gets better very soon. My pet peeve is when I buy a newspaper and the checkout person stands there and starts reading the newspaper I want to buy.


  5. God. Where do I begin.
    i can say that unisex bathrooms actually don’t bother me – with my lack of a bladder and need to go all the time – I’m thrilled that I don’t have to waiton line for the women’s room. A toilet is a toilet, I say!
    * Waiting for any period of time beyond two minutes puts me in a state of complete apoplecy. Yesterday sent me over the edge and then some I waited in way too much traffic to drive the 3 miles to the metro station, I waited and hovered for a parking spot on the 5th floor of the parking garage (who EVEr parks way up there?) Then at the fuchaktah metro – which is forever in a state of construction – distruction, really as I never actually see construction occuring; I had to wait 15 minutes for a train because they were ‘single tracking’ it that day. Of course they were, it was 10:30 in out Nations capital – don’t people have to get palces? Patience is a virtue for other people – So NOT MY thing.
    *When people cannot carry on a conversation as well as their work – my cleaning man STOPS what he’s doing to talk to me. No keep cleaning! Or really? Stop talking. Lady at the deli counter – same thing. Cannot for the life of her slice that damn Boars head Maple Roast while telling me the inane story of her latest lottery ticket purchase. Finally, my colleague – sure, tell me about your latest jaunt with your drinking buddies – but file at the same time, would ya?
    * The cat doesn’t speak English. He cries incessantly – I have no idea what he wants
    *Children. A harrowing thought coming from an elementary school teacher but here me out. I love my students, i love my dughter and her friends. It’s uncontained, uncontrolled children. At the pool, at the museums, in the library, at the mall, at the movies; in all public places where I go to find peace anf quiet or to at least hear myself think but can’t because they run rampant both of foot and mouth. Stop running. Stop yelling. Who the hell is in charge of them? No one? So I take it upon myself to be. The teachers/counselors were none too happy when at the Museum Of The American Indian yesterday, I reprimanded the lot of them to stop acting like primates or I would call security or at the very least put them in time out until they were 16.
    * My husband doesn’t hang up the bath mat after showering but I let it go because he does SO much else.
    I’m sure I could go on, but all these pet (petty) peeves probably make me sound like a miserable old hag with nothing to be thankful for
    I’m thankful for……..


  6. Lisa Taylor says:

    Hehe my pet peeve is all the parents who think the library (where I work) is a free day care service. >.<

    That aside, I've decided to pass on the Inspiring Blogger Award to you. It's a badge you can put in your side bar, and nominate others if you'd like. Here's my acceptance post so you have an idea of what it is.

    Keep doing what you do!


  7. Sorry about your injury. Hope it’s not too serious..


  8. I know what you mean. I work in the E.D. and see the same anxiety, waiting, fear, annoying noises each time but nothing beats it when it’s you who becomes the patient. I had my physicals last year and I had to remove everything. Everything! Then comes the actual physicals. Okay, I blocked it already in my memory. Thanks for sharing this post. I think one of the best way to cope is sprinkle it with bits of humor. And it does help to take courage to tell unruly kids, “Sssh please!” Thanks.


  9. Hope your feeling better. I wish you a fast recovery.


  10. I like uni-sex bathrooms, but I’m weird.


  11. Huffygirl says:

    My pet peeve – when the construction sign says “left lane closed ahead” I, and many other drivers dutifully move to the right lane. Then, when we get close to the actual lane closure, we must stop and wait and wait and wait for all the folks who buzzed ahead in the left lane, then nose in in front of everyone in the right lane. I contend that if everyone moved left when they saw the sign, there would be no slow down. But there’s too many people who insist on cutting in front, to ever find out if that would ever work. Really! Who do they think they are that they think they should move ahead of everyone else?


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