I get my annual mammogram in late June or early July, so I called the radiology folks at the medical center to make an appointment. Naturally, I did not get a human being, although my call was very important to them. But I listened carefully, as their options had changed, and dutifully did all that the voice of the little dolly said. That was Monday.
By Thursday I hadn't received a call, so before I took myself to breakfast and then to work, I went in person to the medical center.
Registration person: May I help you?
Me: Yes. I need to make an appointment for a mammogram.
Registration person: You need an appointment?
Me: Yes. For a mammogram.
Registration person: You need an appointment for a mammogram?
Me: Yes. A mammogram. An appointment.
Registration person: Ohhhhh! An appointment! Go down there a little ways. Sort of around the corner. There's a little room by the pharmacy. You know where the pharmacy is? It's down there a little ways. Sort of around the corner. Go in the little room by the pharmacy.
So I went down there a little ways, sort of around the corner, to the little room by the pharmacy. The dolly-in-charge was on the phone with a patient and motioned me to have a seat. No! Not that chair! The other one. I parked it.
She returned to her call. She was very thorough, asking the patient whether he had had any surgeries, had any implants such as metal stents, joints, or shrapnel [!!], and what medications he was on. "How do you spell the name of that drug?" Lengthy pause. "Well, if I don't get it right, I'll just write something else." [!!!!!]
I waited for a long time inhaling the fumes from her perfume marinade and listening to her interrogation of the patient. Eventually another dolly came in, uttered no greeting, made no eye contact, and disappeared behind a second partition. I could hear her tapping on the keyboard in her cubicle. After a while she peered around the corner and asked, "Have you been helped?"
"Not yet," I said.
"Do you need to make an appointment?" she asked.
I thought, "Unless I miss my guess, the sign reading 'Registration' outside the door indicates that anyone in this room would indeed need to make an appointment. However, that is not the case with me. I just enjoy sitting in hospital waiting rooms to catch up on my Good Housekeepings from 2004. Continue with your tapping, my good woman." But I said yes, and presented her with my insurance card and doctor's orders, which documents she was obviously familiar with, much to my surprise.
I was out of there and at my regular table at Ruby's only 30 minutes from when I started.
10 months ago