Tuesday, July 16, 2013
10 tips for next time you're in the surgical waiting room
So, I'm getting pretty good at this waiting room thing. Hopefully this is the last time - at least for this family member. Course, I just figured out how to get here from ICU, the North Parking Lot entrance, and the ER, so it seems a shame to let all that go to waste. Maybe I'll come back here occasionally just to visit.
No, I won't. You know why? Because I don't think people get it in places like this. Disclaimer: I understand that if your loved one is in the hospital for something dire, or unexpected, or serious, you get somewhat of a pass. Somewhat. But otherwise, I'm going to throw some tips out here just to make our little time in this big room filled with people who don't know each other more pleasurable for all:
1. This is not your living room. This is a surgical waiting room. Don't move in like you own the joint - you don't. This room and all its amenities is here as a courtesy - a favor, if you will, to you as the loved one of a patient. Don't commandeer one end of the room with your blankets, pillows, fast food bags and electronic devices.
2. You are not the only family in the room. You are sharing space with people from all walks of life and all socioeconomic backgrounds. So as you sit in your little social circle, know that when you're talking about that thing that happened to you on the toilet or or how you got pregnant, WE CAN HEAR YOU.
3. Put your cell phone on vibrate, especially if you are getting multiple texts. And if the phone has of those annoying ringtones and you look at it and don't immediately answer it, you risk me coming over, ripping it out of your hand and smashing it into itty bitty pieces. Wait. Here's an idea. TAKE OFF THE ANNOYING RINGTONE. Nobody wants to hear Verizon's version of "Down With the Sickness" at full volume. At any time, really.
4. If you do talk on your cell phone, try to keep your voice down. If you can't, take it outside. And don't jump all over me for this, but if you don't speak the language, it makes it much more annoying to listen to you. This is nothing against your culture - it's just that I don't understand you and that makes you annoying.
5. If you are going to bring doughnuts, bring enough for everyone.
6. Just kidding. But I thought it was interesting that a guy just walked in with a dozen glazed donuts and passed them around to his family. No napkins. Remind me not to sit there when they leave.
7. Pick up your trash. Seriously. This isn't Chili's. Leaving your shit for others to clean up is not part of the package.
8. I understand that in some cases you rushed to be here. In other cases, you know you're in for a long wait so you want to be comfortable. But honestly? Wal-Mart has better dressed patrons.
9. If your child is crying, that's OK. We get it. If your child is WAILING FOR 20 MINUTES, it is in the child's best interest as well as yours to take that child elsewhere. Also, don't get mad at your kid because he or she is getting fussy while sitting in the stroller doing nothing for hours on end. Bring them a snack, a toy, or play a game with them. Don't just yell at them for throwing a tantrum and interrupting your conversation. I will go ballistic on you.
10. Keep it down. You're not sucking down beers on your back patio slab. And watch your fucking language.
I understand that my tolerance level may be lower than most, but I really am appalled at how some of these people act in here and the disrespect and disregard they have for others around them. I keep waiting for someone to lose it and just start ripping some of these people a new one. Then I realize - that person is most likely going to be me.