On the Consequences of Being Late

I was late.

For the first time in over 20 years I was late.

I was late by 9 minutes for my dental appointment.  My fault, I’d written down 3.30 as opposed to 3.15.  I thought I was early.  I’m always early.

You’ll have to get another appointment the receptionist said.

Running through my head was the thought ”I’ve sat uncomplaining in this waiting room and only ever been taken on time 2 or 3 times in over 20 years, sometimes waiting 30 minutes  beyond my appointment time…and now I have to get another appointment!”

My wrath was building.

Assuming that my dentist is running on time (don’t mock – miracles do happen) then surely the person who had the appointment after mine has just been taken.  Logically, I could take their appointment with no detriment to whoever was next on the list.  I knew it wasn’t even worth discussing.  The face before me had “Rools is rools!” written all over it.

I focussed on a spot on the wall and chanted a calming mantra.

The receptionist then asked “The note on the appointment says REVIEW, what to you want to see the dentist about?”  I ran off a list of things that had happened since my examination sometime near the end of last year.

“You can only have the appointment for one thing.” she said.

My wrath began to bubble up once more.  Calm…

“Given the number of bits and pieces I think need looked at – it might be better to make the appointment for an examination.” I suggested.

She flicked through some notes.

“Can’t” she said, “it’s not long enough since your last examination.”


“You don’t do geocaching by any chance?”