Thursday, June 09, 2005

Working the system

I had an appointment for blood tests today at 11:30 a.m.

It was inconvenient. It fell in the middle of a workday. My co-workers had to be out of the office for meetings around the same time. We'd have to close the office. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

So I got up this morning and I worked the system. 'Cause I know how it works.

I showed up at the 'specimen clinic' (lovely, eh?) at 8:45 a.m. and took a number. The 8:30 rush was just over and the lunchtime rush hadn't started. The big electronic counter was at 197. I had number 199.

"One ninety-eight!"

"One ninety-nine!"

I sat in the chair in front of the processor. "I, uh, I know I have an appointment this morning," I fluttered. "I lost the letter." (This was a lie.) "I know it's this morning. I think it's at 9:30." (This was a Lie.)

"Oh, that's okay, love," said the nice lady. "It was at 11:30 actually."

"Oh," I said. "I'm sorry. Two hours off."

"Oh, that's not bad at all," she said.

"Not bad at all for me," I said. (That wasn't a lie.)

"No problem, we can take you right in," she said. And I was done and in my office by 9:15.

Half of me feels dead guilty about it. Half of me feels like you have to use what you've learned to navigate the system.

All of me feels like I don't know what to think about having this knowledge. Or having used it to my personal benefit.

ronnie

3 Comments:

Blogger Brent McKee said...

I'm with the half that says work the system if the system can be worked. What I don't like are the people who say "The system inconveniences me so let's throw the system out" as in the guy in the Supreme Court decision yesterday.

2:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find your ambivalence charming. You didn't take someone else's place or, as I understand the story, even cause the system any undue delays. If the receptionist had told you to go away and come back in two hours, you would have. Instead, a slot was available and you were there to fill it. By showing up in the gap between two rush periods, you probably even did the lab a favor.

Or perhaps that's what you can tell yourself as you lie awake at night, haunted by your ethical failings.

BrianFies

2:21 PM  
Blogger Kid Sis said...

Love that bro of mine.

Ignore him. Takes practice. :)

I think it's ingenious. Good for you! Of course, I have no ethics to be challenged.

1:11 AM  

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