Patients arriving at my office expect to sit in the waiting room. They pick up a magazine or fire up their cell phone. It annoys me. Why don’t they look at the educational material on the walls? Why don’t they talk to other people? The old patients don’t know each other, but I know all of them and I know that many of them would become friends if they just talked to each other. Americans are some of the most unfriendly people in the world. Overworked, self-centered, distracted, impatient, isolated and lonely. And fat. There is a connection.
I took steps. I threw out the magazines in the office and put up a sign telling patients to turn off their cell phones because they interfere with equipment next door. A lie, but how else could I get them to do it? I put up a sign saying, "This is not the waiting room! This is the room for talking to each other and reading the stuff on the walls."
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