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Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Waiting Room

I was at my Doctor's surgery today, which meant I had to spend 20 minutes in the waiting room. Now this is a great place for observing social convention, the unwritten rules by which we all live. I'll explain:

Upon entering the waiting room you will head for the first seat you see that has an empty chair either side of it. You NEVER sit down next to someone as this would mark you down as a weirdo. Only if every other seat in that God damn room is taken can you sit there without everyone else judging you. This is Rule 1.

Once the heat has died down, you are the new bloke in the room after all, you can start to casually glance around you, speculating on what conditions all the other fellow waiters are suffering from, but you must NEVER make eye contact! This is Rule 2.

You may sigh loudly, or tap your feet, or read the posters, but you must NEVER speak to anyone else in the room, even if you know them. You must do your time in silence. This is Rule 3.

There will be a woman with a child who cries a lot, and there will be an old person who has a cane or a stick of some description. There will be a strange mix of TV magazines and golf magazines, and at least 1 box of children's toys in a corner.
You will find yourself wondering if the carpet really is hard wearing, or that maybe you really should go for the 'Men's Health Check', or any other random thought that boredom induces in you.

You are now one of the group, and can scrutinise fresh waiters as they enter, daring them to take a seat next to someone.

Suddenly, the buzzer goes, the tannoy calls your name, and it's all over too soon. Until the next time.

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