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Thread: Waiting Rooms/Areas

  1. #1
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Waiting Rooms/Areas

    As if the act of waiting were itself not bad enough, many businesses and institutions feel compelled to subject their clientele to waiting rooms. I have no doubt that whomever devised the idea of waiting rooms is getting dust blown into his/her eyes for all eternity in the fifth circle of Hell. Okay, maybe I exaggerate - the fifth circle is actually reserved for folks that do those two-people-yelling-over-each-other ‘SATURDAY SATURDAY SATURDAY!!!! MONSTER TRUCK BONANZA…” commercials. But no matter how you slice it the words ‘enjoyable’ and ‘waiting room’ are seldom uttered in the same sentence (Dang, that movie was almost as enjoyable as the State DMV’s waiting area).

    Seems that if you’ve got a captive group you’d want to keep them as content as possible, particularly if you’re about to drop some bad news on them (e.g “I’m sorry, but we’re going to have to operate”, or “while we were changing your tires we couldn’t help but notice that your transmission fell on the ground”). Reason would suggest a doctor’s office might want to have reading material interesting enough to divert one from thoughts of impending body cavity probes and insurance billing screw-ups, but instead we find most doctor’s offices filled with Funny Sounding Diseases Quarterly, or a 1989 Zenith tuned into Wheel of Fortune with the sound off.

    Who tends to have the worst waiting rooms in your opinion? If you were designing the perfect waiting room what would it be like? What periodicals are located in your office's waiting area? Any waiting room tales you care to share?


  2. #2
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    Usually waiting rooms try to pander to both genders so they have Ladies Home Journal, Fishin' & Huntin' and nothing of general interest in between.

    My least favorite is the local Sams Club Tire Service where they have 4 plastic seats with auto-mags and you listen to the blaring sounds of them changing tires.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Duke Of Dystopia's avatar
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    The prices doctors and dentists charge, there should be FREE TAP BEER!

    Even if its CRAPY, FREE TAP BEER!

    and the PLAYBOY Chanel on at LEAST a 52 inch 1080p HD flat panel LCD TV!
    I can't deliver UTOPIA, but I can create a HELL for you to LIVE in :)DoD:(

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    ... Reason would suggest a doctor’s office might want to have reading material interesting enough to divert one from thoughts of impending body cavity probes and insurance billing screw-ups, but instead we find most doctor’s offices filled with Funny Sounding Diseases Quarterly, or a 1989 Zenith tuned into Wheel of Fortune with the sound off.
    Maister, when's the last time you visited a doctor's office?? I've been pleasantly surprised lately by the number of waiting rooms with good magazines -- OK, maybe not Architectural Digest or Planning , but at least something that you're likely to find at a newsstand (e.g., Newsweek, People). Sometimes I don't even mind waiting.

    At the dealership where my husband works, the waiting room for folks getting their cars serviced has free Wi-Fi, hot coffee, daily newspapers, and all sorts of mass-market magazines.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    I agree with MP. My doctor waiting room looks like a living room I'd like to have including some rather expensive coffee table books. I've been known to arrive early in order to spend a little more time there.

  6. #6
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Seabishop View post
    My least favorite is the local Sams Club Tire Service where they have 4 plastic seats with auto-mags and you listen to the blaring sounds of them changing tires.
    Tire stores are the worst when it comes to magazines. I've never seen a tire dealer that had anything beyond sleep-inducing trade publications and parts catalogs.



    Charlie Creighton. Now there was a great man. A legend in his own time. Tire dealer historians will be studying him for decades.

    Anyhow, dentist's offices suck. Usually it's just magazines catering to women, of both the celebrity gossip and homemaker variety, and classics like Highlights for Children. You know it's really bad when they still have copies of Highlights from the era when every cover was the same. Some have a flat-screen television showing the Dental Health Channel or something like that. Sigh. There's also the obligatory collection of toys in one corner, almost always including oversized Lego knockoffs.

    At one agency where I worked, the waiting room was filled with old trade publications; back issues of Governing, Civil Engineering, JAPA and the like. I tried bringing in old copies of Car & Driver, computer magazines, and other publications that might lend a bit of variety. The PD trashed them because he thought off-topic publications looked unprofessional.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  7. #7
    Cyburbian ursus's avatar
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    my big problem with waiting rooms is that I'm always self-conscious to have selected something like Better Homes and Gardens from the coffee tables instead of Popular Mechanics. I can't help it, I had a lot of sisters.
    "...I would never try to tick Hink off. He kinda intimidates me. He's quite butch, you know." - Maister

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    My son's pediatrician in central FL had 2 waiting rooms: one for sick kids, and one for well-check patients. Which should have worked. Unfortunately, too many parents showed up with one kid for a well-check while their other 2 or 3 were bawling and blowing contaminated snot all over.

    Our dentist has a nice waiting room. Comfy seats. Good magazines. Even stuff women will read. But boating and outdoorsy stuff for the guys. I don't mind spending an hour there while the kid has his teeth cleaned. Plus the receptionist is funny and we always chat.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    I went to my doctor for my annual physical during the height of the great swine flu pandemic. After seeing people around me with breathing masks or worse, coughing continuously, I decided that I really didn't ever want to read magazines there again. Never bothered me before that.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  10. #10
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Jeebus. Your threadstarting is getting out of control. I think we need an intervention.
    Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.

  11. #11
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    Jeebus. Your threadstarting is getting out of control. I think we need an intervention.
    For God's sake don't respond! You're only going to encourage me!

  12. #12
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    Jeebus. Your threadstarting is getting out of control. I think we need an intervention.
    Maybe a threadstarting intervention thread with a poll?
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  13. #13
    After Mrs. G broke her ankle and needed surgery to have screws installed last summer, I had to wait in the surgical waiting area. It is located on the main hallway from the lobby into the bowels of the hospital and there was constant traffic through the hallway. There was no privacy whatsoever.

    It was a routine surgical procedure, so I wasn't too distraught, but had it been life-threatening, I think that would be a terrible place to sit and await the outcome of surgery.

  14. #14
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Zoning Goddess View post
    Our dentist has a nice waiting room. Comfy seats. Good magazines. Even stuff women will read. But boating and outdoorsy stuff for the guys.
    I almost forgot: anyone else ever been to a doctor's office where there's nothing but upscale lifestyle magazines? You know; golf and sailing magazines, Conde Nast Traveler, The Robb Report, Architectural Digest, and so on? Granted, I wouldn't expect to see XXL and Vibe in the waiting room, but still, the sight of Coastal Life or Links is almost as if the doctor is bragging to their patients.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  15. #15
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Most of the time I'm waiting is for either a haircut, doctor, dentist, or car repair.

    The haircut place has a bunch of chairs near the door, but it really isn't separate from the rest of the place. They usually have either women-oriented magazines or Newsweek/Economist/Time, etc. types. I go for those types usually.

    The doctor's office waiting area is alright. It's definitely its own room, with a nice see-through fish tank, and magazines below. Plenty of chairs lining all the walls. However, the decor looks like it hasn't been updated in 20 or 30 years. I usually don't read the magazines there, but if I do, it's National Geographic, Time, or something similar.

    The dentist office is pretty much like what Dan described, except they do show actual TV programming. Usually one of the major broadcast networks, HGTV, or the Food Network is on. In addition to Highlights and the women mags, they also have Chicago magazine, so I'll usually read that.

    The car repair places suck, especially if they take a really long time to fix your car. I didn't realize how long tire replacement and/or rotation would take, and Motor Trend only lasts so long, before you start to re-read articles and memorize things you'd rather not. The oil change place has absolutely nothing except for, occassionally, a local home sales magazine, which can also get old after awhile. Usually they're pretty quick though.

    I hate waiting in restaurants. The seating in the waiting areas are generally horribly inadequate and claustrophobic. If it's any longer than 15-20 minutes, we'll usually go someplace else.
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
    -Steven Tyler

  16. #16
    I think a major problem with most doctor's waiting rooms is that they are just that, waiting rooms. Waiting in a little room by yourself or with other people who are waiting to see a doctor or dentist is inherently stressful and anxiety-inducing. The best waiting rooms in my opinion are those where the space is not completely segregated from the rest of the office, where you can see a little of what's going on in the back room to reduce the anticipatory stress.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian stroskey's avatar
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    Why do all waiting rooms have that slightly textured off-white wallpaper? You know exactly what I mean. Why not wood paneling or architectural detail? When I see this I just get even more sick.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally posted by stroskey View post
    Why do all waiting rooms have that slightly textured off-white wallpaper? You know exactly what I mean. Why not wood paneling or architectural detail? When I see this I just get even more sick.
    Easy to clean, and the off-white/beige color warms the room a little.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    I almost forgot: anyone else ever been to a doctor's office where there's nothing but upscale lifestyle magazines? You know; golf and sailing magazines, Conde Nast Traveler, The Robb Report, Architectural Digest, and so on? Granted, I wouldn't expect to see XXL and Vibe in the waiting room, but still, the sight of Coastal Life or Links is almost as if the doctor is bragging to their patients.
    What do you expect, ATV Digest? Larry the Cable Guy Report? Doctors and dentists are not poor people! But they still stock People and large print Reader's Digest, at least here in FL. I don't know what XXL and Vibe are, being in a little city in the south; is that something dirty only northern city planners know about?

    Personally, I think most of the mags (since all the address labels are ripped off) come from both the doc and his employees, so it tends to vary wildly from office to office. So if the office manager is into cross-stitch, well, there you go...

  20. #20
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Zoning Goddess View post
    I don't know what XXL and Vibe are, being in a little city in the south; is that something dirty only northern city planners know about?
    They're hip-hop/gangsta rap magazines with a national circulation.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  21. #21
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Waiting Rooms

    Pre-Post Edit: This Bear always figures out a way to answer simple questions with long, usually boring and so out-of-date stories that he could compete with Maister for "needs intervention now" status. That said.....

    Katie's Office
    Katie is the Insurance Coordinator at her dental office. Their waiting room includes a giant in-the-wall aquarium (with tropical fishies the kids just love), pics of all the kids lining a wall ("No Cavity Club"), a pinball machine, a small kid's fort, adult magazines (separated from the kids) such as Wine Country (or something like that) and National Geographic. The big glass case across from the reception counter is filled with Star Wars items, including one of the actual Yoda dummies used in the filming.

    Toyota Dealer
    Toledo has a couple Toyota dealers. The waiting room at the dealer in Maumee is part of a new addition. It is very large and open, very comfortable chairs and couches to await your fate on, coffee, donuts, pretzels, mints. At the price of major repairs it is akin to getting your last meal before the execution.

    Oncology Center
    Years ago when I was going through radiation treatments the waiting room for that daily process was painted in very soft colors and was filled with soft and comfy chairs. Very easy to slide into a deep sleep before the high voltage attack.

    University of Michigan
    The waiting room at the University of Michigan's Health Center Cancer Center is hard to take. Every time I was there the large room had many children, most in sad states of health (IV tubes, no hair, etc.). Everybody should spend an hour in that room......you appreciate what you have and how long you had to get what you have.....

    BEAR
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  22. #22
    Cyburbian Rygor's avatar
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    I have to agree that repair shops, tire dealers, oil change places, etc. are the worst when it comes to waiting rooms and reading materials. I'm a car guy and the tire magazines, parts catalogs, and trade pubs still bore the life out of me.

    Luckily I almost never have to wait more than 1 minute when I go to the dentist.

    My doctor is in a brand new clinic building so the waiting areas are actually quite nice. I don't mind waiting there too much.
    "When life gives you lemons, just say 'No thanks'." - Henry Rollins

  23. #23
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    They're hip-hop/gangsta rap magazines with a national circulation.
    Well, there you go... Like I would know about those at my age? Oh, that sounds bad. I'm really not as old as I sound...

  24. #24
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by stroskey View post
    Why do all waiting rooms have that slightly textured off-white wallpaper? You know exactly what I mean. Why not wood paneling or architectural detail? When I see this I just get even more sick.
    Today I had to get a blood test, so it was off to the local Quest Diagnostics. The waiting area looked almost exactly like that, complete with the CRT television that wasn't turned on. The only thing that the photo lacks are the clientele, which resembles that of a strip plaza buffet in Florida at 4:00 in the afternoon. Reading material was limited to copies of the town's weekly free newspaper, which happens to have an awesome police blotter.

    My ex once mentioned how there are actually best practices for waiting areas for counseling and mental health offices; colors, level of lighting, furniture and its arrangement, music, art, plants, and so on.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  25. #25
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    Today I had to get a blood test, so it was off to the local Quest Diagnostics. The waiting area looked almost exactly like that, complete with the CRT television that wasn't turned on. The only thing that the photo lacks are the clientele, which resembles that of a strip plaza buffet in Florida at 4:00 in the afternoon. Reading material was limited to copies of the town's weekly free newspaper, which happens to have an awesome police blotter.
    Awesome police blotter. Good for a few chuckles.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

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