So you think that because you’re a pregnant woman going to a pregnancy department full of other pregnant women that the employees of that department will possess a minimum level of sensitivity and professionalism. Well you are wrong !
Generally the world is kind to you during those few months where your belly precedes you; people give up their seat on the bus, let you use their staff-only toilets, and step in to help if you’re carrying too much. The husband knows not to take it personally when you burst into tears because you ran out of milk and even your mother knows better than to come between you and that chocolate chip double fudge brownie.
Yes you are pregnant and the whole world smiles at you. Well, everyone that is, except for the hospital's Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. When you waddle up to their front desk you are greeted by a halfwit who thrusts a sign-in sheet at you, without so much as taking her eyes off her computer screen. Then you sit and wait. And you wait.
The place wasn’t even all that crowded when I arrived at 9am on a Monday morning. After sitting for nearly one hour, I asked the receptionist how much longer would it be? She said she didn’t know. I responded that I don’t mind how long I have to wait, but please just let me know for how long. Again, without so much as a glance in my direction, she said she couldn’t do that. I asked if perhaps she could find out, she said she couldn’t do that either.
So I informed her that I was leaving, she looked me up and down and said, "well that’s your choice". As I got up to leave, she turned to the whiteboard above her desk and wrote Dr W delayed one hour. I swung around, burst into uncontrollable sobbing, and asked why she couldn’t have told me that in the first place. She just stared back meanly, and I walked out.
As I stood sobbing in the hall, trying to understand this unwarranted spite, my husband, bless his heart, used his calm and un-hormonal charms to try to persuade the receptionist to give us an idea of what was going on. Fortunately it was at that moment that a nurse walked in and gave him an exact estimate of 15 minutes more to wait. When I returned to the waiting room the receptionist never once looked me in the eye and she certainly didn’t apologize.
Delays are unavoidable, but even the San Francisco Muni tells you how long you have to wait for the notoriously late N-train. Most people don’t mind waiting, so long as they are told for how long. Allowing someone to wait with no endpoint is cruel, and a Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology is certainly not the place to employ the sadistic and mean-spirited.