Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Back in the Game

A large eagle glided silently over my path as I crossed the bridge, spanning the Arkansas River near Jenks, Oklahoma. It was going to be a good day.

On the third day of August 2017, I rolled out of bed with a different agenda in mind. I had unfinished business. The email I’d received the previous day was sent as a reminder, but I had not forgotten. I was, in fact, looking forward to it.

I backed the BMW from the garage and set a course for Woodward, Oklahoma, not the office as usual. The decision was neither spontaneous nor poorly thought out, though somewhere west of Enid I began to question the integrity of the satellite feeding information to my phone. I halfway expected the face of Rod Serling to appear in my rearview mirror. A signpost just ahead came into view.

Thankfully, the signpost made no mention of the Twilight Zone but indicated instead that Woodward was eighteen miles away. A few months earlier, the Woodward Library System had contacted me and asked me to be a part of their Summer Adult reading program. I am happy that I accepted the request, and thankful that I was able to make the trip. I truly hope all of the wonderful people, who attended the event, enjoyed the experience as much as I did.

Okay, let’s try this again:

About a month ago, I was sitting in a hospital lab, waiting to get… well, you know, stabbed or jabbed in one way or the other. I’ve been doing way too much of that lately.  Thankfully it has been on an outpatient basis. Anyway, I’d showed up two days earlier, like the endocrinologist had instructed me to do, only to be sent home, after having fasted – that means skipping midnight snacks, breakfast, and coffee – to return a few days later. It seems the doctor had requested the test, but had not scheduled it.

Am I missing something here? If a doctor requests a test be done on a certain day, isn’t that technically the same as scheduling it? And I used to think the accounting profession was convoluted.

To cut to the chase, while I was sitting in the waiting room, a young lady dressed in hospital attire came into the room, dragged up a chair, and sat beside the other young lady, who was already behind the desk and also dressed for the occasion. The young lady, who had already been behind the desk, acknowledged the presence of the later arrival with a curt nod, but for a few minutes, neither of them spoke, neither to me nor to each other. Yeah I’m liking neither, nor today. To compound the puzzle, the second young lady did absolutely nothing constructive or otherwise that I could ascertain, but simply sat there, perhaps conducting mind over matter exercises. The silence was finally broken when the later arrival began to complain about her hours. 

From the conversation that I could not help but overhear, I determined that the second young lady was there as some sort of disciplinary action. I didn’t pick up on what she might have done to earn the detainment, but what cruel form of punishment would give you a twenty minute break from work while still being paid for it?

It gets worse. Her complaining amounted to protests for having had to take off an extra half hour for lunch due to her working  a half hour overtime. I’m no Einstein but, relatively speaking, a negative half hour coupled with a positive one equals zero. And I’d be willing to bet she was paid for the overtime. No wonder the cost of medical care is soaring at a rate nearing the speed of light.

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This article was written by Bob Avey, author of Twisted Perception, Beneath a Buried House, and Footprints of a Dancer.