Thursday, January 8, 2009

A trip to the health department

Today I went with my oldest son to the health department to help him get a health card. With said health card, he may actually have a job at Wendy's. Which will not be as awesome as if he had gotten a job and In -N-Out, but still in these hard economic times a job is a job. Beggars can't be choosers is my motto in life.

It brought back such fond memories of when I first took him as a newborn to the health department in Riverside CA. And by fond, I mean I was emotionally scarred for life. My husband was in graduate school and our insurance was not very good. So even though it was not my first choice, the price was right at the health department.

Here I was a first time mom, sitting in the waiting room, hoping that no one would breath on or even look at my precious child. And somehow I had not anticipated how devastating the whole immunization process would be. Again, where is the Valium vending machine for traumatized parents of children pained my the medical system? Huge untapped market, I tell you. The fact that drugs are illegal, is the only stumbling block to a potential multi million dollar business.

Oh well I am sure that multi million dollar businesses are highly over rated.

Anyway, mercifully I did not pass out after watching the nurse give my infant his shots. But it was necessary to do lots of deep breathing. And there may have been a paper bag. I can't remember.

By the time my other children came along, we had good insurance that provided for our shots at the pediatrician. So we were spared from trips to the scary parts of town, sitting for long periods in the waiting room, and exposure to interesting/different people some who may or not have been axe murders.

Hence, it has been about sixteen years since my presence at the heath department has been necessary. But today, my long absence was ended.

I went like a prisoner to the gallows, expecting to be there all day long. Subjected to hours of waiting. Because that's what bureaucracy like to do, suck your will to live.

Except for one little incident, I was pleasantly surprised. The one little incident involved me invading the kingdom of an elderly man in charge of dispensing the number to people.

He was talking with someone else. I saw the number dispenser on the wall. You know the red machine with a number sticking out from it. I figured that the sooner you get your number, the sooner you get to go home. So I was in a hurry to get a number. Wasn't there a Seinfeld episode, where Jerry missed out on buying a marbled rye, because the person with the number ahead of him bought the last one. I could be wrong. It's happened before.

So back to the story, I innocently stepped around the volunteer and took a number. I mean it is not rocket science. A number dispenser in a waiting room with a "now serving such and such a number" electronic sign on the wall. But apparently I had committed an unforgivable sin, at least from the way the volunteer reacted. I suppose he leads a sad sad life where he heats up a can of soup each night for dinner. Apparently handing out these numbers is the highlight of his day and he couldn't bear the thought of missing even one chance to pull the number. I wonder if he has ever seen those coupon dispensers at that grocery store. He could just pull those repeatedly if it brings such joy to his sad life.

He let me know in no uncertain terms that I was not to touch the number dispenser. What was I thinking? Was I crazy just going around pulling numbers? That was a job for a trained professional, such as him self. I apologized profusely. Truly I did not mean to rain on his parade, I just wanted to expedite any waiting going on.

So after we managed to procure a number the rest of the process went lickety split. Papers were signed. A scary picture was taken. More shots were given. And my son and I left after just a half an hour with a lovely health card.

Now hopefully all his employment dreams can come true.

11 comments:

Kristina P. said...

Hey, I grew up in Riverside! I lived there for 10 years, from when I was 2-12. We still have family there.

Nutty Hamster Chick said...

Wow Kristina, that is interesting. We lived there from 89-94. Then we moved to Upland for four years. Nice weather but air quality problems sometimes in the summer.

April said...

San Jose 1992-1993....and I had to take my boys to get their shots at the local Health Dept there. I think that there were a few cockroaches there getting their shots as well.

Sorry In-N-Out didn't work out...but a job is a job is a job!

MMMMM....chocolate bobka! Nothing like a great Seinfeld episode!

Smart Helm said...

You found something to write about! YA! And as always, make it so funny.

Congrats to "my oldest son" on his job oportunities in these economic times :-).

SEBishop said...

Imagine the government actually pays someone to HAND out the numbers from a machine. WHY is our country in trouble!?

SEBishop said...

Imagine the government actually pays someone to HAND out the numbers from a machine. WHY is our country in trouble!?

Allison Barnes said...

I had to take Ashley there to get her card too... fun times. Didn't he have to watch the movie and take the test? They hand you a test to take during the movie and then they don't even correct it!! Pretty scary. People could sleep through the movie and get a card!

Nutty Hamster Chick said...

April, that's right it was the chocolate bobka. Loved that episode. Did you know that or did you google it?

Stephanie, he had a vest that said volunteer, so I don't think he was paid.

Alison, he went back and watched the movie later that night, because it was to long to wait for the next one.

Melanie, big wave to you.

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

WOW glad you got out alive!!! I mean...ya never know with those places!

And WAY TO GO to your son...I LOVE the vanilla frosties at Wendy's!!! Can you send me some coupons? lol!

Oh and MAYBE it was OBG who was doing the numbers?

KIDDING!

LOVE YA!

April said...

I have noooooo idea what you are talking about!! Google...what is that???? hehehehehe! I'd die without google! You need to make it your best friend too!

Annie Valentine said...

You are brilliant! Yes. Vending machines for mothers. Let's see, valium, diapers, wipes, valium, valium, valium, valium...