Thursday, June 11, 2009

Blood Test Betty: Too Fastin': Too Furiousin'

Normally, Betty's got a fairly strict feeding schedule with regular meals and ample allowances to eat snacks pretty much whenever she wants.

However, this morning I am fasting for a blood test that will not take place for another two hours and am finding it hard not to think about food, glorious food, as my stomach sends messages to my brain to send down some shredded wheat and peanut butter pronto! The messages have been coming for about an hour now. I believe there may be exasperated tiny beings down there right now sending resorting to semaphore messages.

My original plan to have this test around 7:30 am or so, thereby putting me off my schedule just a bit but nothing I could not recover from. Silly me, I went to the lab itself to make the appointment. It's one of these really stark, white boxes of a building where people wait in hard plastic chairs, their paperwork in hand, staring at the blue carpeting, all thinking of the needles and praying for one of the the steady, sober, well-adjusted, non-demented phlebotomists.

Tip from Betty to Diagnostic Center: Let's work on that welcoming, warm environment! With just some simple chair arrangements and creative artwork, it's easy and fun to put your guests at ease.

When you take five steps into the office, there is a stop sign of sorts that informs you that you MUST wait behind the line--a sad, sticky line of red tape on the floor--until you are called forth to the stark white alter. The sign also commands that you have your doctor's paperwork and insurance card ready. The words "doctor's orders" and "insurance card" have been furiously highlighted in different colors several times by someone with an attitude and access to a variety of office supplies.

Normally, once you are granted permission to step forward, a young, sadly-maniacally-robotically-organized woman will take your paperwork, tell you what number you will be called by and then send you back to one of the hard chairs to wait until, once again, you are shown favor by one of the white-suited people and you are granted permission to come back, have another hard seat a get your warm blood taken out of your arm with a giant needle.

Well, since Happy Me was already in the neighborhood, I just dropped on by to make an appointment for my upcoming blood test. I waited behind the line, orders and insurance card in my hands and then stepped up, smiling, "I'd like to make an appointment." At that time, the robot worker recited Line #5 from her repertoire,"We don't make appointments in this office. Call this number or go online." She slapped a pre-printed sticky note with the phone number on my doctor's orders.

Like a good, well-behaved drone, I thanked the Mistress of Routine for her non-help and stepped aside. Thinking a phone call might be a bit more personable than going online, I called only to get an automated service--a SUPER-automated service with a woman's voice that had many, many different ways of "No" to me. She kept apologizing to me, "I'm sorry. I don't have that time." "I'm sorry. I don't understand that request." "I'm sorry. I did not get that." It began to sound like a guy I dated in college who was done with the relationship, but did not have the nerve nor interest to tell me. Finally, (it did not take me as long as it did in college) I got the message: she was not really sorry. I should take whatever appointment I could. She was done with the relationship.

So here I am, waiting for my appointment, granted to me at 9:30 by the disinterested Phone Woman. I am not trying hard not to think about pancakes or cereal, or peanut butter or toast, or orange juice or bananas.

However, my stomach keeps sending me messages via hunger pangs. Finally, I try the Phone Woman's apologetic techniques, I transmit back, "I'm sorry. I did not get that." "I'm sorry. I don't understand that request."

My stomach's not buying it though; it does not turn away, hang up, nor give up. I feel the semaphore flags waving madly. "Send Food. Send Food Send Food."



Anonymous said...

I hope you gorged yourself afterwards just to flout it to the phone voice!

Brian said...

Once when I was equally fed up with an automated phone drone, at the end of the call it asked if there was anything else it could help me with, to which I barked, "**** off!" The drone replied, to my amazement, "I'll connect you to that extension." I didn't have the nerve to see where I was being connected.

Bossy Betty said...

Oh! I think you should have stayed on the line. I am sure they would have had another automated voice just for people like you.

Bossy Betty said...

PG--After waiting all that time to eat, I couldn't decide how to break my fast! I wanted it to be special. I finally decided on peanuts-a good fatty, crunchy treat.