Friday, February 18, 2011

Department of complaining

Either I'm getting really cranky, or there is something wrong with modern life, in the administrative sense, I mean.  None of this threatens health or happiness,  it only makes life dreary and frustrating and eats up your time.  At the end of your day, nothing has advanced, no problems have been solved.  You might as well have stayed in bed.

Today I had a routine appointment with my family doctor. This necessarily involves going to  St Francis Hospital and finding a parking space in their parking garage, which is not easy, and then finding your car when you leave, which is almost impossible to me.  St Francis Hospital was obviously built in episodes:  every day, they decided they needed a new department and tacked it on somewhere where space could be found.  So it consists of a series of hallways, doors, elevators, and confusing signs, all loosely connected, sometimes by a short staircase.  Sometimes not.  Nothing has any distinguishing features; everything is one enormous St Francis blob.  So you wander up and down the halls, first left, then right, until you find the office you are looking for.

The office this particular doctor shares with God knows how many others would be greatly improved if its decor emulated a Greyhound Bus Station.  It is an enormous, low-ceiling room containing cheap chairs and tables, ugly floor tiles and nothing else. Not a picture, not a poster, not a plant, real or phony, not a toy or magazine, though there were plenty of children present.  It was striking how empty of adornment it was, how little there was for the eye to feast on, or even to observe.  Have I mentioned that everything was beige? Or that the lighting was really poor?  Not that there was anything to look at, but still...All you could do was sit there hoping the low ceiling would not drop further and crush the inhabitants into a large brick of beigeness.

A television set with the sound turned off was broadcasting a video illustrating CPR.  I watched this for a while, then tried to eavesdrop on a pair of women dressed in Muslim drapery.  But they were practicing their Arabic, no doubt trying to perfect plans for the Wilmington intifada, so I could not understand them.

The doctor told me he could not send my prescription to Express Scripts because the hospital's new computer system could not communicate with the Express Scripts computer.  Go figure.

Having finally seen the doctor, I then went to my pharmacy, where the prescription he had electronically sent was nowhere to be found, and waited for 45 minutes looking at the shampoos and the 50 percent off Valentine candy, spent 10 minutes reading People Magazine about poor Chelsea Clinton's marital problems, and came home.

I don't know where the morning went, but I spent the rest of the day trying to return a defective DVD to  Since I did this from my computer, it was relatively easy.  Except I kept going around in circles, from one screen to another, and back to the first.  I bought a set of DVDs, and one of them was defective, but try telling thta to Amazon.  I've returned items to Amazon before, but this time I couldn't print a mailing label at all.  They also used to have a button saying "Contact us," but I guess too many people contacted them, so they eliminated it.  They seem to have disconnected their phone as well, if they ever had one.  Not that I like speaking to anyone's caller direction system. 

And now it is evening, the day is over, and Shabbat is coming.  24 hours off from frustration.


Carpe Jugulum said...

This is why i'm glad i live in Australia

miriam said...

Is Australia better? I wish I lived there.