« Number 2 Son is Number 1 | Main | Webcam Wonder »

-- 11 May, 2006 --

Hurry up and wait

Hurry up and wait
Originally uploaded by Robynls.

When I was at university I did a subject with the impressive title, Operations Research. In this course we learnt about the study of queueing theory. Queueing theory looks at algorithms that determine the requirements to maintain a queue at a given level. I can understand why banks and other places that deal with walk in customers would not wish to have queues of zero length but it would appear that hospitals, and other places that ask you to make an appointment, have not heard about this area of mathematics.

I often wonder if I am asking too much that an appointment made should be kept as close as possible to the time agreed. After all, if I were to make an appointment to visit a client or prospective employer, it would not be a good thing to arrive an hour late. This week, I have attended a GP's appointment where I waited for half an hour past the time agreed on and a hospital appointment for The Poet, pictured here, where we were called in a whole hour later than the time given. This last was especially annoying since they asked us to arrive half an hour before the time, so we sat in the waiting room for a very long time.

It is completely beyond my understanding why they can't do a simple little bit of arithemtic to figure out what time the average visit will take and then make the appointment times of that length. Instead the times are compressed into some impossible to maintain schedule that leaves clients grumpy.

At least I had the fore thought to take along my new Moleskine and a pencil to capture the moment. BTW we were not going to the Nuclear Medicine Department. It was just what I could see from the MRI waiting room.

Posted by robynls at May 11, 2006 8:00 PM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:


I try to take something to read but find the buzz of people talking rather hard to concentrate. I think they should buy more comfortable chairs since they make us wait.

Your rendering is pretty good btw.

Posted by: Bonnie at May 11, 2006 10:51 PM

I took my iPod with its load of audio books so I could block out the buzz, listen to a story and sketch all at the same time. I think that it is called multi-tasking :-)

Posted by: Robyn [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 11, 2006 11:20 PM

You are soooooo right! It is complete disregard for the patients' time, and causes agitation beyond what may already be there due to the problem for which the patient is seeing the doctor in the first place. Rule of thumb: bring something along that you would like to read (draw, listen to, etc.)...the wait will definitely be shorter. Go without these things and the magazines are sure to be of no interest and the wait will be interminable.

Posted by: Rita at May 12, 2006 12:27 AM

How true, how true. I've done my fair share of waiting in the last year. A family member's illness has meant waiting at the chemotherapy center, the hospital, the doctor's office and on and on. Such is life. Wonderful sketch.

Posted by: Marilyn at May 12, 2006 12:39 AM

I can relate to this hurry up and wait...A 10 a.m. appt, and I finally saw the Dr. at close to 11 a.m. for maybe 10 mins.!! My time IS worth something I think. Well, I must remember to take my old standby,a crossword puzzle magazine, next time! Love the Doc, hate the wait!! Nice drawing wondering why the arms are not crossed in apprehension or "this is the last place I want to be"!!

Posted by: Elaine at May 12, 2006 1:01 AM

I totally agree... doctors and others who make you wait should be shipped to the moon for a month each time they do it! We were due to have our septic tank pumped out yesterday between 8 and 11 a.m. It is the following day at 6:40 p.m., and the guy just got here 15 mins. ago, and is doing the job while i'm making dinner...

Posted by: Bex at May 12, 2006 9:37 AM

If we're late, we/insurance company is charged if we're late even if they say they can't see us because of being late; and yet, when they are late, we can't charge them for the time taken out of day. What is wrong with this picture?

Posted by: mz. em at May 16, 2006 7:31 AM

You'll have to excuse my humor here...but, couldn't doctors visits be more like Pizza Hut...30 minutes or less or your visit is on us...lol...wouldn't the insurance companies balk at that hehe
Sorry new to visiting here with you..hope you don't mind..found you in I Blogged This...btw nice drawing and good use of YOUR time, that could of potentially been wasted on staring at the same pictures on the wall for the upteenth time.:)

Posted by: Nancy at May 20, 2006 1:00 PM

Post a comment

Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)