Monday, August 11, 2008

Of Olympic-sized Weights, Million-dollar Wait Reduction, and Missing Pictures

Life has been pretty decent lately.
Summer is in full swing. My work is winding down and shifting gears. I’ll be engrossed in a bit more book learning. And the Olympics are on :)

One of my friends from college said it best, “I’ve watched more TV in the past two days than in the past two YEARS!” Watching the Olympics can seem like full-time work. When I last checked the medal count, China was ahead in both number of gold (9) and total (14), but that will probably change as the track and field events start, or so my dad says. It struck me how China’s medals in weight-lifting are all gold.

But then again, it makes sense when I think back to how I was lifted up Emai Mountain in Sichuan when I used to weigh 150lbs for one of my trips to China. There were these tiny little southern Chinese men, scrambling up the greenery-plentiful mountain with a bamboo-stick chair, on which I sat, with the chair creaking all the way and my muscles tensed anticipating the moment when they might lose their footing climbing the steep incline carrying such a heavy load as me. So maybe Chinese people are built for carrying heavy loads. But maybe heavy also runs in my family, as bamboo chair carrying my dad actually broke and the porters carrying his dad said in the Sichuan dialect, “Woah, that’s a big load.”

So besides the Olympics, I had a doctor’s appointment today to certify that I am properly immunized for the major infectious diseases that I might catch from patients of my own. I had to wait a whole hour before seeing this doctor. I knew the wait issue was bad in the clinic where I worked this summer. But I really had no idea that this problem was so pervasive! I really hope that I won’t have to make anyone wait that long for their appointment. One thing I absolutely can’t stand is late. Punctuality, I think, is a matter of respect.

Surely, these people who are late can’t all be doing it on purpose. After all, they can’t leave until they finish with all their work, so maybe it’s the system that’s bad.

As I sat in the car on the way home from my appointment, I was thinking, maybe if someone came up with a way to decrease wait time or inform patients ahead of time about the wait such that they could plan around it, it might be a million dollar idea. And the concept of increased punctuality wouldn’t only apply a doctor’s office, but could extend to waiting for buses, restaurants, and anything else that doesn’t respect starting precisely at the time of appointment.

So give it some thought, will you? And with the collective brain power, we can work out a wait reduction.

Also today, I looked for pictures from my roof-top adventure to secure a new home for my basil plant. No such luck. I’m still a-searching and hopefully they’ll turn up so I can share them!

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