Last Friday, I went to see a Podiatrist about a pain in my left foot. I was driving in PJ one day when I saw the sign and I decided I would go. So, as you can imagine, I did not have an appoinment. To some people, walking-in to an establishment without an appointment is sacrilegeous. AnalBob was one such guy.
I got there at 3pm and I politely enquired to see the doctor. "We can see you without an appointment," AnalBob told me matter-of-factly. "We have a lot of patients!" he said as he gestured to the one lonely patient in the waiting room.
"Can you pencil me in for the earliest available slot?" I asked. "4:15pm" said AnalBob, "But you have to be here by four!"
I had a problem now. I didn't have time to get back to the office, do some work and return. And I couldn't very well stay at the clinic till 4:00pm. I was practically stuck in limbo! I could go to the nearest shopping mall and kill time but it just felt wrong. So I decided to risk it and rush back to the office.
At 4:00pm I was still on the road. It was raining and a jam had started. The phone rings. It was AnalBob! Good Lord, this guy was relentless in his pursuit for punctuality! I assured him that I would get there by 4:15pm in time for the doctor. I stepped on the gas like a man possessed. I drove like a bat out of hell. I was like a man possessed by the bat out of hell!
However, as fate would have it, I was stuck behind Driving Miss Daisy. He hogged the road at his leisurely pace as though he was weaving in and out between the raindrops. Meanwhile, images of an angry AnalBob plays in my mind.
I get there at 4:17pm. Two minutes late. AnalBob was busy. Great! I tell the clerk I had an appointment. Sha takes my file and walks towards the back to the doctor. Then suddenly AnalBob puts everything down and stops her dead in her tracks. "No, no, no! We cannot let James in first!" he said, making sure I heard. "These people need to learn to be on time."
Oh boy! I knew where this was headed. AnalBob was gonna punish me. I pretended not to hear his remark. I switched on the charm and smiled at him.
30 minutes later, he was still punishing me. I was boiling inside but I refused to be sucked into his trap. He was probably expecting me to confront him about having to wait so long. And if I did, he'd probably start lecturing me on punctuality. So I gritted my teeth. And I smiled. And every so often, our boy would glance at me to see if I was gonna react. But nope. I was a picture of calmness.
Finally, after 45 minutes, he finally gave in. I saw the doctor without incident.
Today, I had my follow-up appointment. It was at 9:15am. Mae accompanied me. She laughed her head off as I struggled to make it there on time. "OoOoOooh, you're gonna get it this time," she taunted.
I got there at 9:12am. And AnalBob was happy. He had taught me punctuality.
Hmph! I want so much to slap him silly!