Some months ago I had to attend at a lab clinic to get blood samples taken. Routine stuff that accompanied my yearly physical.
Doctor's requisition form in hand, having fasted for at least twelve hours, bleary eyed without having had morning coffee, I arrived at the clinic ten minutes prior to it opening at 7 a.m. I wanted to get it out of the way so I could get on with my day as quickly as possible. One other car sat parked in the clinic lot until someone opened the doors, then both of us turned off our cars (it was winter, we had to keep warm while we waited) and went inside.
I approached the desk and handed over my form. There are generally about seven to nine techs on hand at that clinic and around three clerical staff. The woman looked at my form and asked me how long I'd been fasting. I told her. She asked me if I had an appointment. That was new. I've been doing this very thing for years and appointments haven't ever been involved. It's such a quick process for them to get blood and produce a urine sample for them. Really, it takes maybe all of, what? Ten minutes? Maybe? However, it seems that this clinic now booked appointments.
No, I told the woman, I did not have an appointment. Well! She snarked at me, if I had an appointment, I could avoid the wait. I looked behind me. There was still only the original fellow who came in with me and me in the clinic. I looked back at her and said, okay, I'll keep that in mind.
Today was my friend's son's 23rd birthday. Because the young people in our office are friends with her son, and because circumstances were preventing an evening celebration, my friend picked up a cake on her way to work. The plan was that her son would come to the office, a bunch of us would go for lunch with him and then have cake.
My friend, Y, had already been up really early to pick up her husband from the airport, drop him off at home in time to pick up her youngest son to take him to school, and then swing by the store on the way to the office. Some people's lives are far too complicated.
Anyway, Y went to a local grocery store that has a very nice bakery. She selected a cake and asked the small fellow behind the bakery counter if he could write words on the cake. Oh no, he said, his handwriting is terrible. He couldn't write on the cake. Well, Y said, it doesn't necessarily have be you who does it, but can someone here please do it? Oh yes, the little fellow told her, I'll get the lady to write on the cake.
Y thanked him, handed over the cake, and wandered over to the breads section to look at things and wait for the cake to be ready. When it seemed to be taking a while, she looked back at the bakery counter and saw the small fellow doing something at a table in the back, and she didn't see anyone else with him. Y walked back to the counter and asked him if her cake would be ready soon. He replied, Oh, the lady's not in yet. To which Y said, And when were you planning on telling me that? And when will she be in? At 10? At 11?
She told the fellow to retrieve the cake and she wrote out on a piece of paper what she wanted written on the cake. The fellow insisted that his handwriting was bad. Y told him it didn't matter, he'd do fine, she had people waiting for her, she had to go. What she got from him was something that looked as if her twelve-year-old boy had written it, but she told the fellow it was beautiful and left.