Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Waiting Room Game

Waiting rooms come in all shapes and sizes. Some have old magazines. Some have dirty toys for kids to play with. Some have TVs. Some always seem to be over crowded. Some have comfortable seating and others not so much. Some have medical brochures. Some are decorated in a soothing fashion. Some are quite plain and cold. They are ALL overly lit. You get the picture - heck, much like me, you've probably seen more than your fair share of waiting rooms too.

The thing is, no matter how much or how little thought has been put into patient comfort, the most annoying thing about a waiting room are the other people. I don't want to be stared at. I don't want to listen to kids screaming. I don't want to sit anywhere near someone who has a cold or flu. I don't want to listen to some rude person talking loudly on their cell phone. I don't want to smell cigarette smoke wafting off the hair and clothes of others. I don't want to worry about what the crazy person, who is talking to him/herself, will do next. And I certainly don't want to talk to ANYBODY.

I just want to be left alone. Is that too much to ask?

Here are some of the things I try to remember whenever I go to a doctor's office to encourage those around me to leave me alone:

1. Pretend to sleep
2. Pretend to read (I often can't concentrate in a waiting room enough to actually read)
3. Pretend to listen to music (this only works for short times as earphones become painful)
4. Look annoyed and unfriendly
5. Try to never look anyone in the eye

How do you feel about waiting rooms? Do you have any tricks to help you cope with them?


  1. I hate the waiting part if it is overly long, but I do flip through magazines or bring a book. I don't mind people talking to me. None of my doctors offices have kids in them....except my primary care, and I'm not there very often.

  2. I don't like them either. I bring a book to read although sometimes it is too loud to read. Then I just stare at the book. It just seems at every doctors office I wait a long time.


  3. Ugh! I feel like half my life is spent in waiting rooms! I usually flip through magazines and look at the pictures. Like you, I have a hard time concentrating to actually read.

  4. Knitting! It really is the perfect thing for waiting rooms. Does not require the focus of reading, but is eminently portable, not to mention comforting. I know I am not the only knitter who finds the activity calming, and when I am waiting--again, and inevitably for longer than I had hoped--it is wonderful.

    And if your response is, But I don't knit, why then, I can't recommend it highly enough. During bad migraine attacks I can't do it, but at other times it is remarkably calming.

  5. I bring a book, even if my head is too sore and the lighting is too bright to read. It's the same on the plane. I dislike flying, and talking with people really does not help, so I try to look completely focused on my book and people generally leave me alone.

    I did have to be assertive once in a waiting room. I had my sunglasses on, which might have been a clue for her that my eyes were sensitive to the awful light in the place, but she just jabbered on about nothing until I finally said, "The light here is really effecting my migraine, and I'm also sensitive to sound, so I need you to stop speaking to me."

    Note : I did NOT apologize for what I needed. I think that part is important. If people can't pick up on obvious clues - I just call it as I see it. If they don't like it.....tough.

    1. I love that you were able to do that - and without apologies! YOU ROCK!!