Seidemann: Never too late to teach an old general new tricks


After months of urging by my wife, I finally made an appointment with an ENT to have my hearing checked. My wife figured that since I wasn’t listening to her I must not have been hearing her in the first place. (I tried to explain it’s a common ailment among men.)
My appointment was for 8:00 a.m. and true to my style, I arrived at 7:55. I grabbed a magazine and a seat in the waiting room and quickly became cognizant of the generational divide that existed in the room. There was “them” and then there was me, 20 years younger than anyone else in the room.
8:00 rapidly became 8:30, which even more rapidly became 8:45, before the clock ticked to nine. After an hour of waiting, I thought I had the right to approach Miss Congeniality behind the reception desk. Apparently, I was wrong. Before I could even say a word, she gave me the universal sign for “go away,” and I sheepishly retreated to my seat, greatly humbled. By 9:30 I no longer cared what the receptionist thought of me and I approached the desk once again. Before she could shoo me away, I said, “Excuse me, I’ve been waiting for an hour and a half, any idea when the doctor will be seeing me?”
“What’s your name?” The receptionist bellowed.
She scanned the roll and said she called my name three times.
“Didn’t you hear me?” She asked.
I know I shouldn’t have but I looked her in the eye and said, “Ma’am I’m not here because my feet ain’t working well.”
The receptionist sent me to my seat and I waited as everyone who came in after me that morning saw the doctor before I did. One person remained in the waiting room with me, a middle-aged woman who was at the office for a job interview. As I have to have a return visit in six months, I can only hope that she was applying for a position as the receptionist.

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