Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Time matters, dear doctor

Indians are a typical breed wellknown for the poor sense of punctuality. It's often said that if you're late, it shows you are important. Earlier, film stars came under this category but it seems now doctors too have joined the gang.

Today, I happened to visit one of the leading hospitals in Kolkata. Not that I was keen to visit but rather forced to. Thanks to the wisdom tooth that has been disturbing me for long. As advised by my neighbour, I had called up the doctor's personal secretary on Monday. He gave me a time. 12.30 pm sharp on Wednesday. I thought I was lucky because I won't have to waste a casual leave. I was at the hospital right on time. The doctor, much to my dismay, was missing. His assistant greeted us with a smile. He asked us to fill up the registration form and complete the formalities before the doc arrives. I followed what he said. Shelled out Rs 150 for registration. All these took me another 15 minutes.

I was back to the chamber. Another paitent was also waiting and stared blankly at me. It was 1 pm by then. I was still waiting. I looked around the AC room. Posters of distorted faces of patients being cured after surgery dotted the walls. Indeed, the doctor is an expert, I murmered. It was 1.30. But the doctor was nowhere and I became a bit restless. I called up the doctor's secretary and he said the doctor will be a bit late. At 1. 45 pm, when I had already made up my mind to leave, the surgeon walked in with his secretary. Disgusted I was, but stayed back and stepped inside his room.

The doctor was late but looked absolutely normal. He looked at me and enquired about my problems. I blurted out all. He asked me to sit on a huge chair where he wanted to ckeck my tooth properly. And as started detecting, I couldnt resist myself to pour out my grouse. That he was late and he should have been a bit more responsible. He was polite and had his excuses ready. His job, he said, is different and if a patient's condition is serious, he can't leave and come. "But why then give a time at the first place?," I asked. He said, it rarely occurs like this. He is always punctual unless he gets stuck with a serious case.

I really didn't know what to say next. But, I was sure, he knows patients will anyway wait for him...time is on his side

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