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Friday, June 3, 2011

Crocs & Other Drugs

Some things are just so damn inappropriate.

Being in medical sales, I am in a doctor's office 10 times a day, 5 days a week.  I'm in a waiting room for the better part of many of my days.  I love hearing patients complain about how much they have to wait to see the doctor, and why it's the "damn drug rep's fault."  I take the blame, of course, since the 46 seconds I spend talking the top of a doctor's head as he or she furiously scribbles on a chart while not paying attention is obviously the deciding factor in why they have to wait so long.  These social butterflies also happen to be the ones to parade out with 6 months of the free samples.  I guess it's a love-hate relationship with these curmudgeons:  They hate me being there, but they love greedily snatching up every free sample they can get.  Apparently I'm the bad guy - and I'm OK with it.

Over the past four years, I've sat next to so many sick, coughing, sneezing people that my immune system rivals that of Superman himself.  I think if they were to take a sample of my blood, they could probably figure out a way to cure most tropical diseases.  Sometimes I'll sit in that waiting room for a few minutes, sometimes a few hours, sometimes I just sneak through the back door to see the docs I'm close with- but regardless how long I wait I see A LOT of sick people every day. I understand that sick people are miserable.  I vaguely remember being sick one time, long ago, before I was endowed with the medical immunity that comes with being a drug rep, and I'm pretty sure I was miserable too. 

But it's no excuse.

I'm not the most "politically correct" person out there.  I have my opinions, my quirks,  my idiosyncrasies just like everyone else.  I'm not perfect - not even close- and I'm rarely critical of other people for what they think, say or do.  For the most part, as long as you are not negatively affecting other people with the crap that you do, say or wear, then I don't really have a problem with you.

With one exception:  What you wear and do in the doctor’s office waiting room.

So I've decided to help out the people of the Tri-Parish area - especially the drug reps, nurses, and doctors - and provide the general public with a few waiting room Do's and Don'ts.  I present to you……

The Nine Commandments of Waiting Room Ettiquete:

The First Commandment:  The Tweety Bird Rule - "Thou Shalt not Wear Pajamas in Public"

First of all, let me say I love pajamas.  I have a few pairs myself.  I have a pair of worn, torn, borderline disgusting 2002 Nicholls State Softball sweatpants - I'm sure they will be topic of discussion with the future wife - that I refuse to give up.  I get it.  However, you won't see me wearing them in public, and neither should you.  There is a reason P.J.'s are meant for bedtime.  I know they are comfortable as can be.  I know you are sick and miserable.  I understand that many of you can't really fit in a pair of pants without elastic waistbands.  With that being said, keep one thing in mind:  YOU ARE A GROWN ASS PERSON WEARING PAJAMAS!

A doctor's office is a place of business (a sanitary place at that), not a slumber party.  From now on, if someone falls asleep in a waiting room with their Elmo PJs on, I promise to freeze their underwear and/or draw a penis on their face with a sharpie.  I am doing this for the good of the community.  It may be my platform to run for office in the future.  Be warned.

So in review, next time you are going to the doctor and feeling kinda crappy, take the time and make the effort to drag yourself to your closet, find a pair of your most comfortable jeans, and try to somehow survive the day.  The last thing the other patients, nurses, and doctors want to see if you prancing around in your white see-through Tweety Bird PJs your crazy Aunt Edna got you for Christmas during the Clinton administration. 

I tawt I taw a putty tat!

The Second Commandment:   The Wife-beater Rule - "Thou Shalt only wear Sleeveless Shirts in the Gym, on the Beach, or when Fishing.”

Sleeveless shirts, in general, are a staple in the South.  It's hot outside.  REALLY hot.  Luckily for all of you out there, I'm here to provide you with a little known secret:  Professional medical clinics are, in fact, Air-Conditioned!  That's right folks; the United States of America is not a 3rd-world country quite yet!  The clinic waiting room won't have you batting mosquitoes or baking in the red-hot bayou sun.  Chances are, you will be confined to a very comfortable 71 degrees.  Remember, you aren't going for a mid-afternoon jog or climbing aboard your 15 ft. Whaler to go catch redfish, you are getting a physical!  The one positive to this is that nothing makes you want to hit the gym more than a patient who is 40 lbs. overweight, sweating new stains into his (or her) Smedium wife-beater while waiting to have their cholesterol checked.  Who needs Tony Horton for motivation, right??

Rule #2 does not just cover the wife beater, but also his inbred cousins: the cut-off T-shirt, the tank top, and the muscle shirt.  Most of the others in the waiting room are miserable and sick, so I doubt seeing your protruding chest hair or back-boobs hanging out of that teeny tiny tank top is making them feel any better.  That's why you go to the doctor:  to get better.  So remember, in the interest of all involved, when heading to the doctor, less (fabric) IS NOT more.

The Third Commandment:  The Rex Ryan Rule - "Thou Shalt Cover thy Stinky, Smelly Feet"

One rule of thumb (or toe) that I have as a patient in a clinic is to cover up as much of myself as I can.  There are germs, viruses, diseases and other air-borne bacterium just inundating the place.  Covering up your feet is no exception.  This is not national lampoon's redneck beach vacation.  There is absolutely no reason NOT to wear real shoes.

Crocs are a pet peeve of mine.  I've never owned them.  Never liked them.  I think they are terribly ugly.  People swear to me that they are comfortable, but to me they make your feet sweat, stink, and stick to that weird rubbery material.  So when I get that smell wafting up to me in the waiting room, reeking of gym socks and tire rubber, I know right away that there is somebody sitting there with a camouflage or LSU emblazoned pair of foot condoms on.  It's not sanitary.  It's not cute.  It's not fair to me or the rest of the people there.  Because of this, I refuse to feel guilty for wishing amputation unto you.

The Fourth Commandment:  The Bunny Ear Rule“Thou Shalt not Wear Soft Soled Slippers Outside Your Home”

Fuzzy Slippers could, of course, also fall under the jurisdiction of Rules #1 or #3, but I decided they were worth their own legislation.  

Even though they cover up your feet, slippers, with no hard soles on them, literally make me gag thinking about how much dirt, filth and disease has just soaked into those soft, off-white (once white-white) pair of sponges on these peoples' feet.  Strutting around with a pair of petrie dishes with bunny ears on them on your feet is absolutely disgusting.  Those Kermit the Frog slippers may have been cute when you were 5, but you are now 55 and it’s not anymore.  I know you own a pair of tennis shoes, dress shoes, deck shoes - any kind of shoe that won't soak up the tuberculosis on the lab floor and carry it out into the rest of the world - so do everyone a favor and go with the laces next time out, chief.

The Fifth Commandment:  The ‘Raise Your Hand if You’re Sure’ Rule“Thou Shall Shower (with Soap) and Apply Deodorant Before Going to the Doctor.”

People sweat.  It’s an unfortunate necessity of life.  If you don’t sweat for whatever reason, you should probably go to the doctor.  And when you go to the doctor, you can sit right next to me.

I love to shower.  I take at least two a day.  It’s refreshing.  It’s cleansing.  It’s relaxing.  Apparently for some people, it also seems to be an inconvenience.  I understand you may be in hurry to get to the doctor, or that your water bill was high last month, or that you simply can’t stomach the smell of cucumber melon – but please take into account the fellow unfortunate souls that will be stuck in this 20 ft. x 20 ft. medical holding cell with you for the majority of your morning or afternoon.  Body odor is not attractive – Let’s just go out on a limb and say that Johnson & Johnson ain’t picking that one up very soon – so please do everyone a favor and jump in the shower and slap some Old Spice on before showing up.  Remember, it doesn’t count without soap!

Of course this is not just a practice that will benefit the other patients.  I’m sure the doctors and nurses that are checking that boil in your right armpit really appreciate that zestfully nasty shot of B.O. you’re spewing their way.  I have been temped in the past to grab a stinker, drag him/her into the street, and get the water hose, dish soap, and a bucket and start my own “Patient Wash."  Think Officer Farva in ‘Super Troopers.’ Unlike a car wash fund raiser - where owners of the cars make donations –this scenario would have the other patients and clinic staff making donations in appreciation.  The proceeds will then be put to work by purchasing personal hygiene products for the stinky, smelly patients in crocs.  Sounds like a winner to me!

Sorry about the delousing...

The Sixth Commandment:  The Pepe Le Pew Rule“Thou Shalt Not Overpower the Room with Perfumes, Body Sprays, or Colognes”

I appreciate the effort.  Really, I do.

Having just explained my disdain for body odor., I realized that there is something that smells exponentially worse: Body odor attempted to be covered up with excessive amounts of Perfume or Cologne.  It’s desperate.  And desperation makes for stinky cologne my friends.

There is no reason to cover every inch of one’s body with Beyonce’s new perfume.  You are wasting your money:  Money which could be used to pay the water bill or buy body wash for the shower you desperately need.  It must be very disappointing for the 19 year old roustabout with 30 dollars worth of Axe saturating his body when the cute nurse runs away with a bitter beer face instead of grabbing his crotch and straddling his lap.  Damn false advertising.  Unleashing the content of that little bottle in that little room is being very inconsiderate of the other patients.  When I get stuck sitting next to Zsa Zsa doused head to toe in Chanel #5, I find myself jealous of the asthmatic 8 year old in the corner whose lungs are closing up quicker than Circuit City.  Lucky kid.

The Seventh Commandment: The Barbie Rule“Thou Shalt Wear Appropriate Undergarments at All Times”

Ah Barbie.  She’s the All-American girl, even though she’s not anatomically correct.  Unfortunately for the rest of us, the offenders of this rule happen to be.

I’ve never worn a bra before.  No need.  I do understand their purpose, as do I the cruel effects gravity has on the female sex.  You don’t have to rub it in, ya know?

Your body is a mystery.  Let’s keep it that way.  I have no desire to see how your chesticles are reacting to the temperature of the room or seeing “how low they can go.” I’m here for business, not the limbo.  As for all you commandos out there, remember that white pants or tight tights will give me insight to what is in there.  That is not something I want to live the rest of my life knowing, so please, for my sanity, just make a trip to your local Wal Mart and pick up a couple cases of Hanes.  Here’s my credit card.  It’s on me.  The rest of you can thank me later.

The Eighth Commandment: The T.M.I. Rule“Thou Shalt not Discuss thy (or anyone else’s) Test Results, Diagnosis, or Disorders with the Person Next to You or via Cellular Phone” 


I’m sorry that your hemorrhoids are acting up.  It sucks that Uncle Charlie keeps crapping his pants after every meal.  It’s too bad that Valtrex prescription is going to cost you 30 dollar copay.  

But I don’t care.
HIPAA rules are in place to protect the privacy of every patient.  The government decided that it was worth federal legislation to make sure that nobody but the doctor and nurse knows that your herpes keeps flaring up.  Therefore, I feel it is un-American for someone to tell myself and every other Joe Blow in the waiting room about it too.  I don’t want to know.  I don’t need to know.  Have some mercy on us.  We all are in this room because we have our own problems – You don’t have to share yours with us by yelling at your BFF on speaker phone within earshot of the rest of us.  It’s hard to tune you out when I’m sitting 3 ft. away from you and you are talking so loud the people in the clinic next door are blushing.  

The Ninth Commandment:  The McDreamy Rule - "Thou Shalt not Wear Excessively Tight or Revealing Clothing in a Fruitless attempt to Seduce your Physician"

Let me preface this by informing you that nearly every family physician that I call on is married.  They usually go into primary care because the schedule is more conducive to having a family.  Therefore, the chance that the cougar in the skin tight halter top and spandex tights will convince her physician to leave his family and whisk her away to his little bungalow on the beach is about as slim as that hot pink thong protruding from her ass crack. 

I understand why you are trying to pick up this doctor.  I mean he's probably reasonably good looking, has a healthy bank account, nice big house, etc.  You know what else he has?  Three or four college degrees, which means he's probably smart enough not to risk losing half his shit messing around with some cougar on the prowl!  It's pretty pathetic when you see that middle aged divorce' propping up her girls in that tube top in order to get the good doctor's attention.  He wants to stop the spread of disease, not contract one!  Please, do us all a big favor and up that size a notch or two. 

If the 9th commandment speaks to you, just email me.  I know a great guy in a wife beater and a pair of Camo Crocs that you should meet.  I think you two would make a great couple!

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