Thursday, September 29, 2011

Patience no more.

I am done, fed up, cooked to seething.

Six times in the last twelve months I have had doctors or dentists keep me waiting. Not the usual, ten or fifteen minutes. Even though keeping anyone waiting should never, ever be the norm. With health care providers it is. It never used to be like this.
I am talking twenty, thirty or the occasional seventy-five minutes!

The boys dentist kept us waiting 30 minutes the last two visits, I only gently complained. Before it got out of hand at the third appointment, 10 minutes I chimed in. Only to be apologized to, led into the back rooms and left to wait another fifteen.

My dentist, left me waiting 20 minutes. On my way out I received a coupon for a loaf of free bread from the nice bakery in town. Note. If your health care provider has free bread cards on hand, you are probably in for a wait at least once. It's hard not to tell some one where they can put their loaves. But my teeth were shiny and I was out the door, so I say "oh thank you" and bend over.

Two months ago I was left to wait in the small exam room of a doctor I had seen previously.
At thirty minutes I stepped out and asked when the doctor would be in. Oh, just a few more minutes, I was told.
At 45 minutes, I grabbed my coat and purse and headed down the hall. Oh, it will be just a few more minutes, please have a seat, can I get you anything, "Yes, I said my lost time". Ha ha.
Sixty minutes, I am again, walking out the door. This time a new person stops me, apologizing, he hands me a five dollar coffee card. Wow, awesome! Thanks, now I have something to drink with my bread.
Seventy five minutes, my coat is on, purse in hand. Doctor walks in. Apologizes and let's me know I am his last patient since it's now his lunch time and I can have him for however long I need. REALLY! How about you keep your crappy coffee card and give me back the last 75 minutes of my life!

What I need is a doctor that cares about their patients and not just their MB car payments and spousal support for trophy wife number three.

Today, I walked out.
A doctor whom I had seen three previous times before let me down.
At twenty five minutes past my appointment time I asked the nice girls at the counter when I might get in. Just one minute, we'll check. One is now scanning the computer, they give each other the look. One goes down the hall I won't get to see today. She comes over to me. I am really sorry she says, Dr. K is in with a patient and there is another patient in front of you. What the hell! So, I calmly ask "so about how long do you think"? Probably, maybe, another fifty minutes, she says. Are you F'n kidding me I yell into my own brain. Well I say, I can't wait that long, I have to go.
Then I am let in on a little tid bit. This yahoo, has the receptionists overbook him on purpose. I am quietly told that out of all the doctors, he demands to see the most patients.

Well, Sir, as I am out of patience and you are now one less patient.

Friday, September 23, 2011

All we wanted was dinner!

After a wonderfully chaotic evening of watching the boys run in the Cross Country Jamboree last night, we continued a tradition with Grandpa and Grandma and went out to dinner.

6:45pm We arrive at the new place in town,the E.R.Ale House, it was busy, but not full. Jamboree night in Eagle River is usually a pretty busy time. People that normally would be giving their kids baths at this time, have all grouped together in the interest of watching their little ones run through the trees and into a gauntlet of cheering family members. All of whom are hungry and do not want to go home and make dinner. Someone should let the owner of the new joint in on this little tid-bit of information. It's a good night to be full staffed.

Within five minutes our party of six is seated and we are ready to order our pre-dinner drinks, and I get carded ordering my wine. Awesome! I was carded, very cool. But our waitress Heidi burst my youthful bubble by saying "sorry, I have to card everyone". Now going up and down the two flights of stairs,running behind the building, digging in the car for my wallet, while parked next to the dumpster was not going to be nearly as much fun as when i thought I looked card-able.

My seventy-year old father in law refused to order a beer because the thought of being carded offended him and he thought it was dumb carding an old codger such as himself. My mother in law whipped out her ID, a beer is a beer and the woman was thirsty. Besides, Heidi, was just doing her job. Big mouth and all.

Breadsticks ordered for the boys, meals ordered, now we wait, shouting to be heard, but okay, the food shouldn't be long. It's simple stuff, nothing fancy. Drinks arrive, wrong wine for me, but still okay. I drink it. I a too am thirsty.

Waiting, waiting. "Miss, can you please bring another wine and we could use our waters filled. Will the breadsticks be long? These boys need food", I say. Heidi, dear Heidi. The glazed over look, the I don't know, look, the oh crap, I think we are screwed look. I have seen this look on servers before. It's never good.

Other tables, have been served. The table of four that came in after us, is happily consuming dinner. Even their baby is happy. My boys are hungry and are fueled only on the root beer given in cups too tall. My mother in law is holding on to Jack's glass. Smart woman, root beer in the lap is never fun and he is a tad squirmy. Other tables with children have the short cups with lids and straws. Not ours. We have Heidi for a server, Dear Heidi.

Wine arrives, wrong again. Oh well. I am now on a tour of Italy and Australia.

7:45pm, a full hour after we have arrived, the breadsticks show up. Yeah! Sustenance is a good thing. Dear Heidi, she had an hour to bring out napkins and appetizer plates. Glazed over look again. "Could we please have some napkins and a few plates"? I say. So back she comes, with dinner plates and napkins. Okay, no biggie, dinner plates will hold breadsticks just fine.

8:20pm Yippee! Food arrives. But wait, the large dinner plates are still on the table! What should Dear Heidi do? Remove them? NO! She moves my dirty appetizer plate back in front of me and plops down my thai pasta plate! "Oh there, that works" she says. I now have two dinner plates in front of me, stacked on top of each other. What the hell? She then did the same to everyone else. This was hilarious and shocking and holy crap did that just happen, funny. We now have something else to shout about at the table.

8:50pm We are done. It is time to go home and get these exhausted boys to bed. Both boys have their heads on the table. But where is our Dear Heidi? Waiting, waiting. "Excuse me sir" I say to a nice young employee, "We need our check and haven't see our waitress in half an hour". Is she tall and blonde he asks? Yes, she is. He rolls his eyes, "Heidi" he says "I'll see what I can do". Waiting, oh look, here comes Dear Heidi with the check. Plop goes the vinyl book on the table and off she goes. "Wait, can we please have two to-go boxes"? Glazed over look, "okay".

The boys are now up and trying to climb up on a windowsill. Jack has thrown a paper airplane that Daddy made to occupy him. Lucky, that nice lady dining ten feet away from us caught it with her face. Apologies given, down the stairs boys, we have to go, NOW.

10:00am Next morning. I am back at the E.R.Ale House inquiring about a missing jar of highly coveted homemade strawberry jam. This was given to John by his Mom. It is possibly the best jam in the world. In our haste to apologize for the plane in the face incident and get the hell out last night, John forgot his jam. I speak with the manager.
Oh the jam! he says. Yes, we didn't know where it came from, Heidi thought it was part of her tip.

She took it home.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

It was a Fair Day.

At the suggestion of my husband we arrived at the fair 20 minutes early prior to opening. This is a very good thing and will be done in the future. Upon entering the gates of hell, NO, I mean fun fun fun for all land, Jack immediately gave me his best I want cotton candy face. Cotton candy comes after all the ride tickets are gone. All eighty tickets, costing $80 dollars. They called these the "super saver" package. I have a few choice names for it also. But they are more carney worker words and not fair going Mom words.
On to the rides.
Jack wanted to ride in the carousel carriage.

Brodie was enchanted with the black stallion. Pure joy.
Now on to the kids roller coaster. Not sure why it costs 4 tickets each, but oh well, the boys had fun. I don't know the people in the car behind Jack and Brodie, but the look on the little girl's face is priceless. Poor thing is not happy.

Brodie was all thumbs up on the copter, it had a horn. Horns are cool.

This will probably be the last copter year for Jack. He kept yelling at the operator "go faster, go faster". Apparently his didn't have a horn to occupy his 60 seconds of fun.

With the Gravitron, Tilt a Wheel, fun slides and numerous other rides under their belts, we headed to buy cotton candy and then off to the Kid Zone. A big thank you to friends that loaned me some money. I didn't know you could only pay cash for ride tickets. I was down to ten bucks and didn't know the pass code for the Visa card. Ooops, rookie mistake for me!

Since we got their early this place wasn't jammed packed. So the boys got to use the robotic cars and topple hockey pucks and then on to the Leggo table. They each built a robotic Leggo machine(no help from me) and stood in the middle of the walk way to show off their mad Leggo skills. Daddy, they did good!

So after seeing the kookaburras, kangaroos, and emu. In the, oh crap this building smells like crap area. I had to con Jack to walk through the doors it was so bad. Not sure how those Aussies down under can live like that.
We headed to the Pirates for Hire show. This gave the boys a stable place to finish off their cotton candy and continue rotting out their pearly whites.
In the presence of skeletons, cotton candy is now pirate booty.
And mustaches.
I swear this child was not coerced to stand with the pirates. He went up on his on free will and then stood there as if he were invisible or scared stiff.
Until he go to hold a real metal sword and fight of Capt. Hook.

Jack being, well our Jack. I was afraid he would try and give ole Hook a run through. But he listened very intently and had a lot of fun.
Kudos to the men and women of Pirates for Hire. They put on a good show and were great with the kids afterwards. I wish they were local and I could hire them for a party.

So, it's off to the stinky fat pigs, bunny, cow, reindeer, giant scary turkey barn.

And GIANT pumpkins!
Then off for fair food and snacks and working our way out to the gates to release me from this, fun fun day. This is a good thing. The wind is now gusting and blowing dust and after five hours my knee and feet are starting to hurt. But, it didn't rain. Thank the heavens above, not a drop!

I was wrong. We are not done yet. With the gates in sight Brodie spots puppies! Not just any puppies. Puppies owned by Iditarod champion Martin Buser.

Martin Buser saving Brodie from the frisky pup.
Thirty minutes later and I have now realized the highlight of fair day was sitting in a 10x10 foot pen playing with Martin Buser's sled dog puppies. I am thinking next time I should just pay Martin a few hundred bucks to come over to the house with his pups and entertain my boys. It would be cheaper than going to the fair and my feet wouldn't hurt. I may even throw in some corn dogs and popcorn for effect.