I spend far to much time in hospital waiting rooms, people watching helps to pass the time, keeps me sane. Somewhere between booking in and hearing your name being called these are the types of people you might see…
#1 Worriers. There are always worriers, those that are scared of the unknown or the different future that they may face after their appointment. The people that just don’t like the smell of hospitals but necessity has brought them to this point and it makes them sit uneasy in their chair. The fear of tests, needles, procedures, news.
#2 Hypochondriacs. They are different from the worriers because they have already decided that their fate is a hundred times worse than any news they may receive. If they have a headache then it’s a tumor, a head cold is always the flu, a little wind is an appendicitis.
#3 Miseries. There is always someone that has left their manners at home. You notice the reception staff roll their eyes. They have seen these people a thousand times before but still hope to be spoken to with a little more civility. They moan about the waiting time, temperature, seating… anything really, in a tone that is either short or whiny. These people are probably worried, anxious, scared and may have good reason for their shortness… or they may just view their life as a cup half empty. It’s sometimes hard to tell.
#4 Introverts. The person on their own nestled quietly in the corner rarely looking up from their book. Or if they are with a partner or friend they never talk much above a whisper, as if they will invade your space with their voices. They know what’s going on, the dramas, they are alert like a wolf of the prowl. They often smile, make eye contact (but never with an extrovert) and choose not to openly engage.
#5 Extroverts. You have all encountered these people, they talk loudly, joking with the nursing staff always with an air of sarcasm. By the time they are called (and the whole waiting room is praying for that to happen), everyone knows why they are there, who they are seeing and what their take is on the whole situation. They’ve had every procedure, test or condition (or know someone who has). The introverts will never make eye contact with an extrovert, because that all it takes to draw you in and have you silently praying for your name to be called.
#6 Kind souls. These people who smile, make eye contact and often strike up conversation with a person close by, just to pass the time. They never ask to many questions or have a controversial opinion but put everyone around them at their ease. Their sympathy is never taken as pity. They have a good aura and will always look on the bright side of everything.
#7 Frequent flyers. These people usually have a long term or chronic illness that brings them back time and time again and they are often seen by multiple doctors in multiple different hospitals. They know the drill, they come equip in comfy clothes, a file of notes and questions prepared so that they gain the most from their appointment. They know if the dept is warm or a little on the chilly side as they have sat in clinic so many times before. They can often navigate the hospital better than the porters and have a knowledge base about their condition/s that astounds junior doctors.
#8 Partners. The well loved partner or friend often dragged along for the ride or there to hold a hand, either out of duty or obligation. Most would rather be somewhere else; work, walking the dog, the pub! But they love you so they chose to accompany you even though they may not like hospitals themselves or want to hear first hand what the doctors has to say.
Which type are you? Are you more than one? Have I missed a type out? Let me know in the comments.