I Was Going to Write a Post Here in the Doctor’s Waiting Room
Posted on January 2, 2014 Posted by John Scalzi 54 Comments
But they have the Kelly and Micha show on the TV in the waiting room and it is sucking my will to live. How people watch this show on a regular basis is beyond me. Anyway, I’ll update when I am back home. Pray my brain survives until then.
In case you’re wondering, I’m at the doctor’s because I brought my mother-in-law in for an appointment. I’m fine. She’s fine. We’re all fine.
I hope you’re just there for a checkup and that it goes well. Also that your brain gets better soon.
Ah. You posted while I was typing. Glad to hear it’s not an emergency and still wishing the best for your brain.
Having a working brain while watching talk shows is like filling your gas tank while smoking: not recommended ;-).
I took allergy shots for a while in the late 90s. The office always had the morning talk shows on (Geraldo, Ricki Lake, etc.)I usually had a decent wait before the nurse would get to me, and after the shots you have to wait for half an hour to ensure you have no reaction. I had no idea that those shows were every bit as messed up as the parodies of them I had seen…..
It could be worse. Any time I hit the cafeteria too late to avoid Maury Povich, I pay with a day-long loss of about 20 IQ points per five minutes of exposure.
Right there with you, man. Had to endure an hour of “The View” while getting my car serviced the other day and nearly went on a three-state killing spree. Chose to pierce my eardrums with my car keys instead.
I feel like this when I’m at the barbers and they have The Jeremy Kyle Show on.
I once told a nurse that my high blood pressure was due to an hour’s worth of exposure to the nonsense they had on the TV in the waiting room. I feel you.
I’m in waiting rooms a lot (cancer treatment, it goes on and on). I am always so GRATEFUL of the ones which eschew TVs altogether, or at most use them for a slideshow telling you about the services available in the facility (without sound thank you).
I mean, you’re sick. Why in the world do you need to be inundated with negativity and news and gossip?? If only my TV-B-Gone wasn’t dead. :)
Been there, done that. If it were up to me, I either wouldn’t have a waiting room TV at all, or if I did, it’d have educational programming of some sort on. In years past, I would’ve said “You know, like the Discovery Channel,” but alas, that’s not so true anymore. :-(
And they all have TV in the waiting rooms. Are they hoping we’ll commit suicide and speed up the schedule?
I had a long wait at the ophthalmologist’s a few years ago and was force-fed Judge Judy and Maury Povich. You want to despair for the continuation of Western civilization? Right there.
Luckily the doctors/dentists waiting rooms I’ve been in here in my area of the UK haven’t succumbed to this idiocy. Last place I worked the cafeteria had the BBC News channel on their TV.
Yup. Took my mom to the doctor’s last summer, and got stuck watching Judge Judy. How can people be so stupid and then go on TV to share their stupidity with the whole world? Had a strange urge to do something really stupid and then take someone to court….
I keep a pair of earplugs in my purse, they are very useful in a wide variety of situations including the horrible big big big screen TV playing The View with local tv commercials at the car repair place.
The TVs are bad, but my worst waiting room experience was the time a guy read a magazine article about Michele Bachmann out loud and with obvious admiration.
All these comments about tvs in doctors’ waiting rooms…I never imagined. I’m pretty sure I would very publicly boycott any doctor’s office that had a tv in the waiting room. It’s bad enough at the auto shop.
@TooManyJens – Oh God, I think that’s my girlfriend’s uncle.
Most Gracious Host:
Maybe you should take up knitting after all. It’s the only thing that helps me get through such trials.
This reminds me of leaving Boston with my three-year-old daughter (now four). There’s a nice kids playspace in the airport with airplane-themed stuff to climb on which she loves. Unfortunately the TV, tuned to Cartoon Network, was playing a cartoon which she found scary. The one other kid in the area was being nursed in a seat clearly chosen to not have a view of the TV, so I went over to turn it off.
I couldn’t. I found the controls for on/off, channel, and volume and they were all unresponsive. We ended up leaving the playspace.
My first thought was a Brain Pal install. . . .
Sounds like a good place for an aquarium. So much nicer too look at and so much better at calming the left side of the mind. Used to have an acquaintance who got paid to install them in Dentists’ offices.
I read some books from the late 1940s and early 1950s that predicted all the horrible things about TV’s impact on society that today’s curmudgeons predict for the Web and Social Networks. And remember what grumpy old men said 2,500 years ago about how a proliferation of books would mean that people would lose the ability to remember anything?
I used to be on an insurance plan under which The One Place On My Network was downtown, with a TV yapping away in the waiting room, and always tuned to the stupid stuff. I would rather be bored out of my mind with a show about quilting on PBS than watch brightly colored freaks parade across a stage while blabbering embarrassing details of their personal lives.
I have some problems with my new insurance plan, which assigns another practice as The One Place On My Network. But the stacks and stacks of magazines, and the little cubby full of quiet toys, and the art on the walls, and the high ceiling with a fan quietly snicking along, and NO FRICKING TV–that I don’t mind at all.
So far out of the mainstream. Try living in the rest of the world. 3 million viewers a day, give or take.
It’s a lot more than up to 50,000 readers a day. What would they think this blog was about? Cats?
I am fortunate to have no idea what show you are talking about. When TV went digital, we officially opted out, although we hadn’t watched for years, prior. Now, I only watch TV online, selected content, by referral, and I avoid public places with televisions. I’m a much happier person.
I’m sorry your MIL’s doctors office subjects their patrons to the evils of the boob toob. One of the things we love about our doctor’s office is that they have a piano and an acoustic guitar in the lobby. It’s not uncommon to come in for an appointment and find someone tickling the ivories or strumming a Beatles’ tune while they wait.
Unfortunately, TV infested waiting rooms are a growing plague. The ones with the sound off are at least easy to ignore. Don’t know who thinks this is a good idea; possibly the same person who thought painting medical facilities a mixture of gray, dark gray, and a shade of mauve that’s close to the color of dried blood. Sometimes they get wild and go for a dispirited sage green instead.
Hey, I’ve got t o think about something other than every bad answer that might come back from the visit.
@dpmaine: It’s OK for people to dislike something that other people like, yes? Even 3 million other people. Which, I would point out, is only 1% of the US population, so I wouldn’t really call that “mainstream” anyway.
lowest common denominator programming. :(
Maybe they can give you some heavy medication….
“”they have the Kelly and Micha show on the TV in the waiting room”” May Allah grant you martyrdom, and quickly!
The worst place I’ve seen it is in the American Red Cross blood donation center. Every time I go in it’s one incredibly stupid talk show or another incredibly stupid fake-court show. I’ve threatened to stop donating if they don’t turn the damn thing off. On the other hand, they could turn it to Fox News, so, perspective is important.
That’s what these are for. Btw, there’s now an Android app if you have a Samsung phone (requires the IR emitter, which my phone unfortunately lacks).
Too Many Jens, dpmaine is our local…well, look at his first comment on the Mandela thread, and don’t skip Scalzi’s reply immediately below it. You can make your own judgement about the efficacy or futility of engaging with him. Reading his further comments in that thread will also be instructive.
If you want my recommendation: DNE.
TooManyJens, I apologize for misspelling your chosen posting name.
Iirc there’s a Harlan Ellison story in which the protagonist is tortured by being lashed to a chair and being forced to hear a repeating recording of readings from Kahlil Gibran.
gs, I think that would just put me to sleep.
Happy me. I have no idea who Kelly and Micha are. But sympathy anyway. I actually did change eye doctors a bit ago because one showed nonstop Fox news with no way to escape.
BW, you obviously didn’t go to a lot of weddings in the 60s and 70s. If you had, you would understand the urge to shriek “I KNOW THEY’RE NOT MY FUCKING CHILDREN GODDAM IT!!!” and kill the reader to shut hir up and the bride and groom for programming it.
That said, this:
Maryann, my sympathies. You do NOT want to go to an eyedoctor who believes it’s appropriate to indoctrinate hir patients with lies.
Xopher, I did, actually. I even had my very own copy of The Prophet with many many “meaningful” passages underlined (almost the whole book, IIRC). I couldn’t read it now, but then I’m not 17 and bright-eyed and idealistic. I’m happy to make fun of The Prophet, but doesn’t make me want to tear my own head off or burn anything down. I’ve heard worse at weddings since then–usually vows that the couple wrote themselves.
BW, apologies. I’ve heard some pretty good couple-composed vows. In fact, in Wiccan weddings the couple usually decides what ritual bits will go in, guided by the officiating Priest/ess. Vetoes may appear in the form of “well, OK, but not with me officiating” and certain things are legally required, but mostly they decide.
My personal favorites include the couple who decided they should be challenged from each of the four directions; one of the challenges from the South (the direction of fire) was “Have you survived your first fight?” This was just a ritual bit for them, but it also served as a good example of the kind of thing you have to know before you decide to marry someone.
I’m fortunate (having officiated at several of these back when I had a coven), in that I love Pachelbel’s Canon in D and never get sick of hearing it. Otherwise I would be dead of cranial implosion.
Argh. A paragraph break should have gone in there. I’m apologizing to BW for assuming s/he didn’t know why Gibran was being brought up, and then addressing other points about couple-written vows. Not smarmily pseudo-apologizing, which is what that looks like now that I see it.
NOTE TO SELF: Always Preview.
Mintwitich, Where did you find a Doctor like that? I did not think they existed any more! Thomas
Xopher, I’ve heard some good couple-composed vows too, and if I were ever to get married, I would go for custom-written vows. I like the four directions challenges idea. I completely agree about surviving the first fight. Surviving traveling together is another good one.
Xopher: good advice. And no worries on the name.
When I’m on the rehab unit lately, they put this on the TV instead of Fox News (also lately). That’s something an improvement, IMO…
Waiting room survival kit – I-pod, earphones, paperback. Don’t leave home without it.
(Also works great for jury duty.)
My doctors, thank goodness, haven’t succumbed to the madness. On the other hand, I’m boycotting Sunoco gas stations now that they’ve installed TVs on their gas pumps. Good grief.
So glad that the inpatient rehab where I work doesn’t have TV in the gym. We (PT) have a CD player/ipod dock instead. Those poor folks in OT have the TV going all day.
Now if I could just convince my boss at my other job (outpatient clinic) to pick a better radio station…(alas, most of the patients seem to like it).
TV on the GAS PUMPS?? I thought having the speakers play ads was annoying. But at least the ones here have a mute button.
My dentist’s office has the evangelical-Christian radio station going. Wonder how much extra novocaine/nitrous that calls for.
To coin a phrase … lulz?
scottbpruden, LOL. I can think of less personally harmful ways to avoid the pain of TV but that would take your mind off said pain.
My last dentist’s waiting room had a nice fish tank, no TV. Much better than the crap on TV. But then you got in the chair and had a ceiling mounted TV to stare you right in the face. I rather enjoyed the dentist’s work over the TV, even the shots and drilling. At least that pain was fleeting and useful.
I remember when my mom was in the hospital, and something had gone wrong and the crash cart was there, and the TV that she was facing was showing THAT scene from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. I went outside and suggested to the desk nurse that under the circumstances they turn it off or change the channel.
That’s what daytime TV sounds like to me most of the time. If that’s what the mainstream likes, I am going to be a nerd forever.
*Gift certificates to Al’s Slow Food for anybody who gets the reference.
I am lucky, my dentist experimented with a TV in the waiting room last year. When I went in for my most recent cleaning however, it was gone. I was so happy :-)
My niece has voluntarily and of her own free will gone to see the Kelly & Michael show. This further convinces me that she’s actually an alien from “They Live”.