Yeah, but what does Sun Tzu think of giraffes?

I had a doctor’s appointment today. I feel like there’s some kind of strategy to getting to your appointment at the right time. I also acknowledge that when it comes to strategy I’m less Sun Tzu and more We Bought a Zoo (which sounds like a dipshit move to make if your objective is to not own a zoo. Cut me some slack here, I’m trying to shoehorn in a reference based solely off a poorly constructed rhyme). Whenever I book one of these appointments I do so during my work day. I figure that’s a legitimate excuse to not be at work and trying to sort one pre or post work is a total shit show. Similar to an animal cage in this hypothetical zoo I may have wound up with had I bought a zoo in a non-strategic fashion. Whatever time I make the appointment, nothing is gonna go smoothly. I’ve realised that. Do you think that stops me from trying? Hell no.

So why is there strategy? Because I want to minimise wait times, which does not happen. I’ve never had a clear run and it seems like the holy grail of booking appointments. I think I care more about waiting less than I do about whatever diagnosis I get. Whenever I get there 15 minutes early, I always seem to wait for around 30 minutes. If I’m there right on time then there’s still time to kill in the waiting room. Then just for fun they’ll deposit me in a room for another 15 minutes. I’ll wait there while the doctor diagnoses some other patients and I try to listen to them through the wall. Because I’m bored but I’ll also feel like a shithead if the doctor walks in and I’m on my phone. It’s not ideal, but at least it lets me snoop on the private affairs of others. Silver linings, eh?

So the other idea is to come in 15 minutes late, but we all know how that bastard Murphy would treat my indiscretion. The one time I tried to go for the asshole solution, I’d be the asshole. Then everyone would give me the hairy eyeball and there’d be someone who had a more severe ailment than I felt a weird lump in my jaw and while I thought it would be a swollen lymph node, the internet told me I had cancer staring back at me with their severed limb (like a haunch I’d use to feed a lion in this hypothetical zoo I’d buy if I was less strategic than Sun Tzu). Rightfully I’d feel like the asshole. Then I’d have to wait 20 minutes stewing in my assholery while others leered.

Of course there’s the assholery complicit in complaining about free health care. Yes, I have to wait, but there are reasons I wait. 1) There are the assholes doing exactly what I just outlined. Not everyone arrives on time. I’m sure there are a fair few late people and each one of them pushes the scheduling out of whack. Sun Tzu states that one of the enemy’s resources are worth twice your own. Clearly these tardy folk figure that the more I wait instead of them, the better they fare. I’m just stuck waiting thinking about buying a zoo. 2) Appointment times. Appointments at my local GP are 15 minutes. 15 minutes to outline not only your health worries, but get checked on them. 15 minutes isn’t a hell of a lot of time, not if you’re bringing up multiple issues. Think how many people are likely to come in with multiple ailments and think how many minutes a day that’d push people out. So the best strategy clearly is to come earlier in the morning, because the longer the day stretches, the further out appointments will be pushed.

Hey, maybe I am a legit strategist. Or maybe I’m still thinking of how many red pandas my hypothetical zoo would need. Is a throng a realistic number?

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