I’d scheduled six patients for my morning line, and the first three came on time. At 9:40, my fourth patient was ten minutes late. At 9:45, I started to wonder if he had forgotten about his appointment. At 9:50, he finally showed up.
This is a patient who has been on my caseload for a couple of years now and with whom I have a good rapport. We have shared some laughs. So when he walked into my office, I couldn’t help giving him a little grief and jokingly shook him down. “What happened, Mr. F? You’re twenty minutes late. I was worried we would have to shut down the yard for emergency count and start looking for you.”
Mr. F did a double take and looked at me in surprise. “What do you mean, Doc? My appointment was for 10:00.”
He handed me his appointment ducat, and sure enough, the time printed on the slip of paper was 10 AM.
“Whoops, my bad!” I said, handing back the ducat. “You’re ten minutes early!”
“Oh, don’t scare me like that,” he said, shaking his head. He settled into the seat across my desk. “These C.O.s already killing me softly.”