Thursday, February 28, 2008

Entertainment In My Rearview Mirror

There must be a full moon, because I had some crazy people driving behind me on the highway today.

First was the GMC truck and Toyota coupe behind me playing chicken. They thought it was hilarious to cut each other off, weaving in and out of traffic. At one point, the Toyota cut off the truck, threw his fist up in the air and gave the truck the finger (actually, that was pretty funny...laughed out loud on that one).

Then there was the woman fighting on the phone. Good thing she was hands-free, because she needed both hands to talk. (um, which hand is driving???)

Last – and perhaps my favorite – was the guy shaving.
Yes, shaving. (it was with an electric razor, natch. I mean, if he had shaving cream and it Schick it would have just been weird).

Doesn't anyone pay attention to the road anymore?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I Prefer Strangers Touching Me

(Alternate Title: My Life Is A Seinfeld Episode)

My neck and back are achy. So I thought a massage was just what I needed.

My normal salon that I love – where I go for my nails and eyebrow waxes – also offers massages. The problem is, one of the massage therapists is a girl with whom I went to high school.

Now, I’ve only had 2 massages in my whole life. So I’m still a novice when it comes to stripping down and putting my face in that little hole in the table.

But what I do know, is that I don’t want someone who is a sort-of acquaintance touching me or seeing me half naked.

I’m pretty sure there is more than one masseuse working at the salon.

And I know the first name of the girl I know is Brenda (I don’t know her married last name).

And I’m also aware that the receptionist knows my voice.


So I have to play it cool.

So for my first attempt at calling for an appointment, I have a co-worker call for me.

Monday Night

I prep her for the call.

ME: “I’d like to go anytime on Saturday, I don’t care what time. The girl I DON’T want is named Brenda. I will take an appointment with anyone EXCEPT Brenda. And don’t be obvious about not taking an appointment if she’s the one working.”

CW: "Gotcha."

I dial the phone. My co-worker waits anxiously.

CW: “The answering machine picked up.”

ME: “Dammit. They must be closed. Just hang up.”

Tuesday Morning

How bad could this be? I could disguise my voice a little, be nonchalant and totally pull this off.

ME: “Hi. I was wondering if you had any massage therapists working on Saturday.”

RECEPTIONIST: “We sure do. We have two massage therapists that work here. And they are both named Brenda. The shorter of the two Brendas is working on Saturday.”

WHAT???

Are you kidding me? They are BOTH named Brenda? What are the frickin’ chances of that?

ME: “Um, how about a pedicure appointment?”

Real smooth.

The receptionist sets one up for me.

RECEPTIONIST: “Do you want an appointment for a massage, too? We have openings.”

ME: “Um…no…no thank you. I'm good. I think I just have time for the pedicure.”

Click.

Present Day And Time

Me, calling another salon near my home to set up a massage with a total stranger (fingers crossed!).

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Seriously. There's Something Wrong With Me.

And I’m not talking about this ridiculously annoying cough that I have recently acquired – which was NOT part of original illness repertoire, I might add. (I feel badly complaining, however, because I am developing quite a six-pack due to my all-night hacking.)

And I’m not talking about the fact that I’m STILL sick.

Or about this lingering feeling that I will never get better.

Or about the fact that I have ZERO energy and motivation.

Or even about the fact that I’ve been spotted spontaneously crying while driving due to complete frustration about this whole the-end-is-nowhere-in-sight situation.

I’m talking about how people are annoying me more now than ever.

(You didn't think this was possible, right?)

(I attribute it to the fact that I’m not feeling 100%).

Take yesterday, for example.

I left work early to go back to the doctor.

When my name is finally called (twenty minutes late), a physician’s assistant follows me into the room.

Physician's Assistant: “What brings you here today?”

ME: “Well, I was in here a few weeks ago–”

PA: “What were you in here for?”

ME: “Well, clogged ears, wheezing–”

PA: “Wheezing? In your chest? Are you still wheezing? How often? When?”

Okay. There’s no need to be exasperated and to cut me off. If anyone should be upset it’s me. I’m the one who was stuck in the waiting room for 20 minutes watching Judge Judy.

ME: “I'm still wheezing a little bit. But I’ve developed this cough that–”

PA: “How long have you been coughing?”

If this bitch cuts me off one more time I’m going to drag my tired, rundown ass off of this bed and belt her. As soon as I stop coughing.

ME: “For about a week. Plus nausea. And I still have clogged ears. And that overall ‘I feel crappy’ feeling.”

There. That wasn’t so hard, was it?

Miss Interruption then takes my blood pressure (I take pride in my super low numbers. Today it’s 100/70 – not bad, but a little high for me. Usually it’s really low, registering around the “barely breathing” mark), and tells me the doctor will be right in.

The doctor is very nice and completely changes all of my medications (thus, completely changing my outlook; Hey, maybe I will feel better soon!). She writes me a few prescriptions (one for a chest x-ray to rule out pneumonia) and I’m on my way.

I stop at the desk on the way out to give my co-pay to the secretary who is wearing scrubs for absolutely no reason at all. Why is that? Why do the girls who sit up front and answer the phones have to wear doctor's scrubs? Is it a requirement? Power trip? Laundry day?

Grouchy Admin: “$20.”

Not, “that’ll be $20” or “your co-pay is $20”. Just a demand for cash. Like a drug dealer.

Fine. I hand her my debit card.

She sighs loudly and goes over to the other side of reception to swipe my card. (It's apparently my fault that the credit card machine is in the reception area of the other set of doctors across the waiting room. Apologies, Mrs. Dr. Wanna-Be Doogie Howser.)

She returns after 10 minutes. Annoyed.


GA: “The machine’s not working, so I guess we’re just going to have to bill you or whatever. It says ERROR or something.”

Well, at least she didn’t blame my card.

ME: “Oh, okay.”

I start to pack up my belongings when the light bulb goes off.

ME: “Hey! Can I write you a check?” I had totally forgotten that I had my checkbook with me. “Can you take a personal check?”

GA: “A check? Yeah, sure, whatever. If you want to write one.” Totally dismissive.

Hey, maybe this place is rolling in the dough. But many moons ago when I worked for a doctor, the policy was “Co-pay Required At Time Of Service” (READ: no one leaves here without paying, even if you have to tackle them on the way out).

Next stop: CVS

The usual pharmacy tech is standing under the “Drop Off Here” sign.

I hand him my prescription. Give him the best smile I can offer at 57%.

Wanna-be Pharmacist: “When do you want to pick this up?”


Well, considering I’m sick NOW...

ME: “I’d like to wait.”

WP (rolling his eyes): “Okaaay, but it’s going to be about 20 minutes.”

He says 20, but what he really means is 40. Forty. Grueling. Minutes.

I decide to call my mom to pass the time. The music is blaring, making it very hard for me to hear her critique of my doctor’s visit.

About 17 people show up at once to the “Pick Up Here” area. The young girl with the indiscernible accent behind the counter is completely overwhelmed.

Young Clerk: “Are you waiting for a prescription? What is your last name?”

I tell her my name. She checks. My prescription is not there. She helps 2 more people in line.

Five minutes goes by.

YC: “What is your last name again?”

I tell her my name. She checks. My prescription is not there. She helps 3 more people in line.

Seriously, it’s TEN pills. How long could it take to count out 10 pills? (Answer: about 30 seconds. Having worked in an apothecary in high school, I know this for a fact.)

YC (laughing in embarrassment): “One more time – what was your last name?”

Same as it was the last two times you asked me.

By the time my medicine is ready, I won’t even be sick anymore.
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