by Trish Walraven
To my last patient that wouldn’t get off the phone,
Hey, thanks for checking in at the front desk ten minutes late for your appointment. I needed that slowdown in my schedule so that I could stand here at the door and watch your world come dramatically crashing down around your shoulders. Yes, that’s what you made it seem like would happen if you didn’t get to finish that cell phone conversation.
The “I see you” hand signal and nodding of your head told me that your legs were ready to walk my way but that your brain still belonged to that employee yapping in your ear. She couldn’t figure out how to click on some stupid program? Please, I wanted you to fire her right then and for you to get your backside into my chair.
You teased me with an apology. I relaxed, thinking that the time crunch was relieved, draped a napkin over your shirt, put the chair in prone position, but then it was shattered by your obnoxious Justin Bieber ringtone yelling at me BABY BABY BABY NOOOOOOOO! I couldn’t believe that you had the nerve to put that phone right up to your ear and say “What.” You didn’t see me roll my eyes way back into the sockets and into the next operatory as I waited for you to finish moving your mouth so that I could get you to open wide.
Was I gentle to you today? Yes. Did I want to be mean with my dental equipment? I won’t tell you. Did you even see the signs posted all over this office that are written in big bold letters “NO CELL PHONES PLEASE”? Even when I pointed at one of them and glared at you in the nicest way possible, you STILL thought it would be okay to hold your phone up in the air and do a little texting. WHILE I WAS WORKING IN YOUR MOUTH.
Well that’s it. The signs are coming down because it’s always embarrassing when a courteous person will go out of their way to shut down their violating phone. Oxygen explosion? Equipment danger? Whatever. I’m not getting interrupted by the people who read signs. I’m getting interrupted by you, the rude person who probably also doesn’t stop talking on the phone in checkout lines.
So I won’t punish everyone with my threatening signs that just end up making me look intolerant. Next time, it’ll be all on you. If you’re on your phone, instead of wasting our time together, you will be asked to reschedule your appointment because you are just too occupied for the dental care that we are prepared to offer you.
Hello? The world is calling. It wants your attention back.
So why is hearing only one side of a phone conversation so annoying? Here’s what scientists have to say about that. And if you’re clueless, pretend to take this quiz to find out if you are also guilty of abusing your cell phone.