Monday, August 29, 2005

Be Nice!

I dislike rude people. Whatever happened to manners? To good old fashioned customer service? Are parenting skills to blame? The modern age of technology and limited personal interactions? The "me first" greedy mentality that is a root evil in such things as war, the inability to merge on the freeway and people cutting in line?

I went to get a TB test this morning because work requires it. I arrived early to hopefully avoid a long wait. Some of my coworkers were there almost 2 hours. Have you ever had a TB test? It literally takes 30 seconds. You sit down, they clean your arm, they stick a needle in it, you leave with a small pink dot on your arm. You return 2 days later to have a nurse check the spot. Easy peasy, right? Sure. It's the bureaucracy that gets in the way. And the bad attitudes of the employees make the whole experience intolerable.

The Santa Cruz County health system needs a major overhaul. Who thinks up these asinine procedures? Upon arrival, I checked in at one cubicle by signing my name on a clipboard. I sat down and they promptly called my name so that I had to return to the same place I just was to talk to the lady who was too busy gossiping with her co-workers about her weekend to acknowledge me a minute ago. She gives me a clipboard with three forms and I fill them out quickly. The forms need reconfiguring and ask the same information multiple times. I don't get that. Why?

I return the clipboard to the cubicle lady and she says someone will call me when my information has been entered into the system. Uh oh, "the system". This could take awhile. I sit back down, grateful that I brought my book. There are shoeless homeless folks and loud talking, beer bellied men and old ladies with walkers and a rockabilly chick with really cute shoes. Hmm, why is she here?

Another lady in a different cubicle calls my name loudly. I approach but because I am short I can really only see the top of her face. She wears too much make up and has bad skin. She is chewing gum (which is really unattractive on most people but on her, it makes her even more so) and she disdainfully hands me a blue slip of paper telling me to go to the cashier. I asked tentatively and with a smile where the cashier might be. She responded with a snicker, "Have you ever been here before?" Um, yes, but that was last year. She half-heartedly points off in a direction and says to go "over there". Why is she being a beeyotch? I just asked a simple question!

People suck.

Anyhow, I find the cashier and come back with my stupid stamped blue slip. I hand it to gum chewing disgruntled lady and she doesn't even look at me but says a caustic "thanks". I return to my chair to wait. I don't dare ask any more questions. I wait for 30 minutes. It seems they are used to regulars around there and I am the abnormal one. As a general rule, I try to "kill with kindness" but sometimes my bitchy side gets the better of me. After being nice to assholes over and over again, sometimes I just want to tell someone off. But I try to be level-headed and calm and not take out my aggressions on the wrong people. It's all about choosing your battles. Being a hothead doesn't win you anything accept maybe a headache and some enemies.

A nurse-type lady calls my name and we head down a corridor to another waiting area. I get to fill out another form and wait again. A nurse arrives a few minutes later, takes my form and has me go into another room. She has a horrible purple ensemble on and long, stringy dyed black hair. Her white roots are showing at the scalp. Her toenails are painted metallic gold. They are unattractive feet in ugly taupe sandals. Taupe. Ewww. How do taupe sandals and gold nail polish go with purple pants and a stripped purple shirt? (They don't!) It smells like disinfectant and kitty urine in the testing room. There are stickers of pilgrims on a tray but when we are done, she doesn't offer me one. I don't really want a sticker but it'd be nice to be offered one. You know, for all my troubles. I am told to return Wednesday to get my results.

Great! I get to go back Wednesday!!

(That was sarcasm.)


Trée said...

Must be something in the water. I've run into some folks acting the same way. And they're guys!!! Still, I like calling them beotches--it's one of my favorite words. :-)

Good luck on Wednesday ;-)

Bex said...

that's too funny, i had to get a TB test today too (in NYC). these centers must be run by the biggest morons. how it took me 2 hours of waiting to get that little test done is beyond me.

Anonymous said...

Yep - i got poked by the same woman with the freaky two-toned hair, and while she was pleasant enough i was so irritated at the 1.45 hour wait that i don't think i was pleasant in return.


sue said...

If they streamlined everything the way it 'should' be, you'd put three people out of work... and God knows they wouldn't have the patience to wait in the unemployment line... ;)

Aimee said...

Rudeness makes me come unglued. I'm the nicest, most generous person when allowed to be the one to invite someone in front of me. You need to make a last minute righthand turn from the far left lane? Please, cut in front of me... I'll slow down and let you in. Why, just yesterday, I suggested a guy go ahead of me at the grocery store because he only had a couple items. I think I made his day.

But shove your ass in front of me, threaten my well being, act entitled and annoyed with me, and you'll unleash a fury few have seen and lived to tell about!

Why is it so frickin' hard to just be aware of those around you and be pleasant, or perhaps even thoughtful?! Jesus!

[ohhhh-kay... officially off of soap box and back to nicey-nice]

Sizzle said...

i ask myself that same thing aimee. wouldn't the world be a much more pleasant place if we were all more considerate? it certainly doesn't work when only some of us are. you can come back here and get on your soapbox any ol' day. :)

sue- you are totally right. but let them wait! punishment!! (cue evil laughter)