Odd logistics and waiting room etiquette

My dental clinic has a long hallway leading from the reception area, with dentist offices on both sides and little waiting area islands.  Way way down at the far end, you find the oral surgeon.  The one who pulls teeth among other things.  Away from the other offices, with a separate receptionist.   Except for the office just across the hall – the children’s dentist.  With a joint waiting area.  Adult and kiddie chairs interspersed throughout.

When I arrived today after work for my appointment, I headed for the receptionist in the very crowded little waiting area.  One woman saw me coming, grabbed the chair by the receptionist, pulled it around to her and plopped her son into it.  Hm.  OK.  Whatever.

I checked in with the receptionist (while standing), then found the one remaining adult chair.  Pulled out the knitting.  (Lazy Red River)  Ignored the two teenagers making out next to me.

The area has some kiddie furniture with a few toys.  A very solid wooden table, with heavy drawers for the toys.  Several of the little cherubs were finding great delight in slamming the drawers as hard as they could and laughing hysterically.  No response whatsoever from parents.  Another woman and I started wagering on how long it would take for someone to get their fingers smashed by this fun.  One of the moms overheard, shot us a very nasty glance, and pulled her two boys away from the drawer game.  Hey, you’re welcome, lady.

One sturdy little fellow, who wasn’t more than about 2, was happy trotting down the hall and disappearing around the corner.  He would show up a few minutes later.  His older sister, who wasn’t more than 4, did keep an eye out, watching him, checking when he didn’t come back right away, taking the pamphlets he was shredding away from him.  I watched him for a while, and I could not tell you who his parents were.  Not one adult seemed to be paying any attention to him (them) at all.

I knit away at my scarf and wondered about people and parenting.  I also pondered the popular knitting phrase I Knit So I Don’t Kill Someone.

Then there was the fellow who got very concerned that the dentist was running late.  At 6:30, when someone else went in to the dentist, he began complaining loudly to the receptionist that his appointment was supposed to be at 6:15, how long would it be??  I smiled and told him it would be a while, as the person who just went in had an appointment for 5:30.  And that I was next, originally scheduled for 5:45.  He looked right through me, then turned away and demanded that the receptionist go in to the dentist and ask specifically when he would be called.   She told him  that they were running late, and suggested he sit and relax.   His response was rather less than polite.

I gripped my knitting needles firmly and concentrated on K1, P1.

I guess people are not at their best in a dentist’s waiting room.


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