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.