I’m all for TV as a distraction in the waiting room. It helps pass the time. It takes your mind off your troubles, and it entertains the young ones at the pediatrician’s office. It’s an indicator that the doctors and staff care about your experience. Customer service in the waiting room is often lacking, so when I see the television on the wall I say, “At least they’re giving me something other than year-old magazines to pass the time.”
It’s the sign that makes me cringe. Often the flat-screen comes accompanied by a handwritten sign that reads, “Do not change channel or volume.” It might as well say, “This is a torture device. Follow the rules, or we will turn on an obnoxious game show or a rerun of Jerry Springer!”
Usually, I carry a book with me to the doctor’s appointment, but sometimes I just can’t concentrate with all the noise of people signing in and those who can’t seem to find their “waiting room voice”. (Look for more on that in a soon-to-be posted Waiting Room Annoyance #232!) In those instances, I will tune in to what’s turned on, but I keep my fingers crossed that it’s something good.
News is good. I don’t have a chance to get the latest every day, and I like to stay up on my current events. CNN, MSNBC even a little Fox News is okay now and then.
“High-end” talk shows are good too. You know the type I mean–Oprah, The View, Dr. Phil on a good day. They’re entertaining, some-what educational, and they rarely have to bleep out profanity. I don’t have anything against an impromptu four-letter word, but there’s a problem when the censoring sounds like a test of the emergency broadcast system.
Game shows reside on both ends of my tolerance scale. Who Wants to Be a Millionaire is good, except when the person next to me thinks she’s one of the lifelines and yells out the answers to the questions. Let’s Make a Deal is a different story–too much shouting, too much dinging and too much desperation. Just think about how low you must be to wear a Bo Peep costume on national television!
Dinging, yelling, bleeping, fake laughing, fake crying, fake shouting…Make it stop already! I give up. I’ll be quiet patient. I won’t ask too many questions. I won’t complain about the long wait. Please turn the channel!
Here’s hoping you come out of your next appointment with your sanity!