The definition above, from http://www.dictionary.com, sums up nicely the concept of an appointment. If only the medical profession could get a grip on this. Yesterday I dropped by a local medical imaging place to see about making an appointment for my mother. At 89 and with mobility issues just showing up and taking her chances on getting in quickly is not an option. I could have phoned, but as I was passing right by I thought I’d throw a little human touch into my quest.
Upon entering the place I immediately noticed two things. The first was a large waiting room full of people hacking, wheezing, and sneezing all over each other (if they were not sick when they went for their x-ray, they sure as hell will be when they leave). The second thing that caught my eye was one of those ticket dispensers like they have in pastry shops and delicatessens. I applied some simple logic and concluded that those folks waiting were there without an appointment, and had taken a ticket and awaited their number.
As I looked at the dispenser I saw three different kinds of tickets: 1) for those with an appointment, 2) for those without an appointment, and, 3) for those wanting to make an appointment. This had me more than just a bit confused. If you have an appointment, why would you need a ticket? The idea behind making an appointment is to eradicate the need to wait. Make a reservation at a popular restaurant and you stroll right past the line. Make an appointment for an x-ray and you still have to wait. something is wrong with this system.
But it gets even more idiotic The third option is to take a ticket so you can wait until called, then make an appointment, then when you arrive for the arranged appointment you will sit and wait again as per option one. While making an effort to avoid waiting, option three would have you wait twice; once to make the appointment and again when you arrive for the appointment.
If nothing else I am a punctual person, never tardy. When I make an appointment or reservation I am always early out of respect for the other party. Why does the medical profession seem to think appointments only work one-way? When I agree to an appointment and I have to wait, I always feel my time is being stolen.