Off to the races

We are going green on Friday, meaning many places that haven’t been open will start to do business.

I have made some appointments. They range in time from next week (no, that’s not my much needed haircut which is a month out) to end of September for my skin cancer check (soonest I could get). More time is allowed between appointments and less people at a time so right now appointments for anything are worth as much as gold. (I have this image of people selling haircut appointments in back alleys for twice the price. Maybe they are doing the actual haircut in a back alley. Or trades — a bunionectomy for a haircut…).

I am now an expert on stupid telephone queues. The businesses were not ready for the deluge of calls. First I had to listen to a covid-19 notice for every business. Every. Single. One! Yada, yada, yada. That goes on for five minutes. Dr. Fauci has shorter updates! Then there is the typical menu. They never put the appointment option first (and they always say they have changed the menu so you better listen carefully). When I get into the appropriate queue, I wait. And wait. And wait. They play super loud music that I don’t like. Sometimes I will have dedicated fifteen minutes of my life to this call only to be told that the queue is too long and I need to call back later when they will retell me all about covid-19.

There is no such thing as “normal.” Maybe there never will be a normal again.

73 thoughts on “Off to the races

  1. We went sort of green a couple of weeks ago. I did get up the nerve to make a hair appointment, which still means waiting for one month. One of the phrases that have recently stayed with me is “new normal.” Yet, I agree with you, Kate. The normal we once knew is long gone.

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  2. These recordings and phone prompts are so frustrating! And when I finally reach a human, I am finding, in general, they are not empathetic. Maybe customer service reps are answering from home and would rather not be bothered. Pre-COVID, I thought customer service could never get any worse. Never say never.

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  3. There is no normal. I’m not a flexible person, I like routine… I better learn to bounce. Things change every day. No appointments for me till the end of August except for a hair cut the end of this month. I’m making sure we have TP and we are wearing masks. We have an idiot for a governor. One really good thing to be happy about… we have AC!

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    • I like routine too. It’s soothing. I’m grateful that we will be able to add a few more this coming week although we will still be cautious. We have big plans to go to our pizza place tomorrow which will be the first day it’s opened. My needs are modest. Good pizza, good weather and no TV news.

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        • It’s the little things. If I could do some of my walking at the mall, I’d be happy. I’ve been walking outside but we’ve had a few days that were so hot I had to be out to walk by 7. The mall I walk at is not a busy one and the stores aren’t open when the walkers go. There aren’t all that many walkers either as they are dying off. I must be the youngest with most in the 80s.

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  4. We are mostly out and about here, though there is talk about pulling back from being open a bit, as our cases are definitely going up. I have managed to get a couple appointments in here and there, but not everything I need. My hair desperately needs to be cut, and I need an eye exam. Fortunately my annual stuff is later on in the year, so I’m hoping things will be a bit more settled down by then.

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  5. I listened to the 10:00 p.m. news … breaking news to announce that the Court of Appeals will not allow the gyms to open tomorrow and overturned the ruling of the lower court. The Governor won as cases/deaths are ramping up here and other states and gyms do not promote social distancing. The world has gone a little mad – people escaped and were off to the races as you said after we moved to our current phase. This morning I Googled to find an easy fix for my handyman’s car oil stains left in my driveway after being here a half day yesterday. I came upon a recommendation to use good ol’ Pine-Sol to get rid of the stain. On the Pine-Sol website there was a huge disclaimer telling you not to drink or use their product in injections to thwart COVID-19. SMH

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    • My last “real” one was last fall. I was scheduled on the day everything shut down. My new appointment is in the third week in July. I had cut my own hair (and it didn’t look bad!) so I need it to grow so she can style it. If I go too often, they cut my hair too short. Almost all hairstylists do that to me. Must be something about my hair that they think it will look better shorter but the truth is that’s when all the cowlicks come out.

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  6. It almost takes an act of Congress to get an dr. appointment these days. I am not looking forward to the actual process of getting into the office.
    Like you we are not going to vets where you cannot go in with them. Fretting as Molly is due her yearly exam and we will be running out of heart worm meds next month. I keep hoping they will open the clinic up ( with masks) or come to the car for exams like some places are doing. So not fun and tired of what would have been thought absurd last year only to have it become routine now.
    I am boycotting the “new normal” term and “take care” which is beginning to sound insipid
    Run wild and free…just around the pond will do for now! HaHA

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  7. No, the next thing we will hear is that there has been nation-wide protests and Merriam-Webster has removed the word ‘normal’ from its listings. 🙂 I had an eye test yesterday which was postponed from early April. I was given all the Covid instructions including call on the phone from the parking lot at the time of your appointment. I called 7 times only to get the Covid recording. I finally walked up and rang the new doorbell which caused a person to come ask who I was, etc. but tell me to wait there. When another person came to get me, then my temperature was taken and hand sanitizer was squirted. They have a waiting room that would easily hold 50 people, but they are now taking one person at a time. It seems like folks are out of range on the left and right but we’re having trouble finding some safe neutral ground. I’ve had one haircut, and it was really like visiting another planet.

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    • For my primary car doc I had to call from the car. When they told me that (when I made the appointment) I asked about the queues, etc. She said they were being attentive to answering the phone and they did. The specialist vet made me wait for 1 hour in a freaking hot car because they couldn’t get their act together. Blocking off every other chair would seem to be enough. That’s how it was when I went for my blood test. There were only 4 chairs and they weren’t next to each other. I was ok but sadly when I left the 4 were full and 2 were standing. They take walk-ins though so I know how that happens. I made an appointment. There does need to be a center place.

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    • I’m only doing what I have to. My haircut is out a month and most appointments are in Sept-Oct. I fear if I don’t make the appointment now, I won’t get anything reasonable. I did get my eye checked because they “thought” they saw something (which they didn’t explain farther) at my last one in December so I thought it prudent to get it checked. Also, by another doc. All good there. I certainly won’t be bar hopping anytime soon. Oh wait! I wasn’t bar hopping before this happened! 🙂

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  8. You are right about the phone lines. The vet and the See’s Candy store kept bragging about their curbside pick up. But then you had to wait on hold for 15 minutes with everyone else outside, or the number was busy, or they gave out the wrong number.

    Super frustrating.

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  9. After spending my entire career in which being on the telephone was a necessity, I have now come to abhor using the phone at all!! I’m grateful for all of the businesses who allow me to conduct my business with them on line, and that includes the place that does my blood lab work, even scheduling an appointment with the Red Cross for a blood donation! Usually, when I have to use the telephone to make contact, I try to wait until I have at least three reasons, then plan on an entire morning making those calls. My nail tech and I make contact via text messages but my hair stylist is very old school, so that requires a phone call… ugh. As for going green, we get the same ‘privilege’ at the end of this week, but I am not rushing out to go and be places. I have a mild susceptibility to germs, and I will continue to wear my mask in large public places even when it’s no longer required. Everything seems to be pointing to another increase of cases as people start crowding into places – and there are many predictions that a second wave is highly probable. I have no need or desire to be a part of the problem!

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  10. Yeah, there’s a backlog in setting appointments much like all the backorders on certain grocery items that are in short or non-existent supply. As for those COVID phone messages, sometimes you can skip them by hitting zero but that’s not particularly helpful when you need specific info and have to listen through a lengthy message. I listened to one that was so long, I forgot why I called.

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      • He had an eye appointment this morning ~ wear a mask, no one other than patients in the waiting room, and pay by credit card only.

        He’s not back yet, so maybe he’s still sitting in the parking lot? :mrgreen:

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        • For my regular doc, I had to wait in the parking lot but they didn’t overbook so it wasn’t long. For my eye apt, I walked in without needing to call from the parking lot first. Was taken right in. I think it’s easier that they are not overbooking even if it takes longer to get in.

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  11. So far I haven’t had trouble getting appointments scheduled, but even before corona it seemed it took forever to get into a specialist. Fortunately I had my annual colonoscopy right before everything shut down. That’s my most important doctors appointment.

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    • My doc did my annual checkup during and it went ok. Other than masks, we were in person. Some of the other routine check-ups are harder although I did get an eye appointment relatively quickly. Most of my routines like dentist were done in January so I am good until July and that’s already booked. One thing I learned is to book the next appointment when you are at one.

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  12. Yes that which we considered to be normal, ain’t no more. Nor will it ever be again. I have a few appointments like you do, spaced out across the rest of the summer and fall. Things to live for, I guess.

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    • The one that was most annoying was the dermatologist. He put me on a two year rotation and now it will be three years. I tend to grow barnacles which need to be removed! Original appointment was early May and you can’t do a skin check by internet. Well, maybe you can but it wouldn’t be pretty! Not sure I know what normal is. The local mall is opening but not early for walkers. There aren’t more than 10 walkers at a time so it would be far safer than shopping. Whatev!

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    • Things to live for….or just get over before the second wave of Covid hits! I’m annoyed that my mother’s eye appointment with the eye specialist was cancelled for next week and rescheduled for fall sometime….very vague they were…..she hasn’t seen him in over a year……grrrr…..now I’m waiting for her hearing test to be cancelled again….and my echocardiogrm which has already been rescheduled twice…..I am not a happy camper today. Meanwhile we have zero cases in hospital for the first time since March and less than ten in the community. I’m worried it will be much much worse come fall, so why don’t they just get the appointments over with now, when the risk is less in some areas????

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      • I agree. I’m thinking the same thing about how much worse this may be in the fall. I’d like to see the docs while we’re in the lull before the storm. Making that happen, however, seems impossible.

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        • Me three. I tried to get everything in during the summer but that didn’t happen. Fingers crossed. My latest apt is October so if we have hump through to there, I’ll be ok. My next round of annuals won’t start until next May. Hopefully that’s after the vaccine.

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  13. Last week I was force to listen to that “dreaded rap music “while on hold for something. When I questioned the rap, the call person said they were trying to change things up!

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  14. It took a month for me to get a groomer appointment for Gracie, but that was okay. Her need is far less than some other kinds of dogs. But I will be glad to get her groomed in a couple weeks!! Hopefully things will level out in a bit.

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  15. I have a real problem with businesses whose telephone intro includes “Your call is important to us etc. etc.” when clearly it isn’t!

    I also have an issue with a penalty for being late for an appointment, when I cannot expect any compensation when the other party is late. I debated this with my family doctor … and his argument that “patients are unpredictable”, I countered with “so is the traffic”. His response “but you can allow for the traffic .. leave a little earlier”, I countered with “Just as you can allow for unpredictable patients. Don’t book appointments so close together.” We parted as friends, but he was right on time at my next appointment! 🙂

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    • I had a particularly testy office visit with a specialist a year ago. The first time I showed up I was told that I was on the wrong day. I had my appointment card that clearly showed that was not true. However, their records had a different day and I had to come back. I noticed the waiting room was jammed and asked if it was always like that. The receptionist said that people bring in a lot of people (didn’t believe that one!). I went back on the “right” day. Waited 20 minutes, then was taken to an exam room. I was there 45 minutes when I grabbed my coat ready to leave as the doctor opened the door. As it turned out, I didn’t follow through with him. I didn’t like what I had experienced and had no intention of having to return there again. More time spent that I will never get back.

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      • At least we do have that ultimate option here (and there). When I lived in UK, professionals in the medical field (doctors and dentists) were allocated to you, and it was an exercise in frustration with the “red-tape” involved when a change was needed.

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  16. I’ve had to adjust my mindset and expectations so many times during this pandemic, I feel I’m becoming a pro at this. Obviously this was much needed. 🙂

    And waiting – I am a pro “waiter” now. It’s drawn attention to how spoiled I was by the world of instant everything and how much I took certain everyday things for granted. Time to get my impatience checked, anyways. 😉

    Deb

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    • This is so true. Waiting 6 weeks for a haircut was partly my idea as I cut it myself about 2 or 3 weeks ago so I want her to have sufficient hair to style. I was most amazed at my dermatologist’s booking. Unless you are an emergency, there’s nothing sooner than 6 to 9 months out. It never was a “quick” appointment but never that long either.

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