Men's Health

Why do waiting rooms suck so hard?

30th Mar, 06:05


In terms of places that evoke as much excitement as a fresh case of genital warts, few are quite as grim as a doctor’s waiting room.

Worse still; genital warts might be the very reason you find yourself within the dank confines of one such place.

Whatever the reason you might find yourself there, you’d be hard pressed to ever say it’s a pleasant experience. And though the reasons for this are ten a penny, we’ve boiled it down to the top five WORST things about sitting in a doctor’s waiting room. Here’s what we came up with.

1. Children

Little miracles though they may be, kids and waiting rooms do not a harmonious combination make.

Whether they’re there because of their own ailments or are just following a sick parent in-tow, they all turn into little shits the second they step into a doctor’s waiting room. Fact.

Combine that with their general disregard for personal hygiene (okay, it’s not entirely their fault) and the fact that you’d prefer a place that concerns itself with medicine to be more sterile than the snotfest that children create, and it’s a major contributing factor in terms of why doctors waiting rooms are such a crap time.

2. Shit Magazines

A long time ago, when the Samsung Galaxy was still far, far away, people were forced to read whatever was put in front of them while they waited to see their GP. Tattered copies of Tatler, old copies of New Idea, and a rogue copy of Vogue were all staples in the surgery waiting room.

Nowadays … well, they’re still there, and that’s the thing. With everybody glued to their phones anyway, you’d think that the stack of trashy magazines might have died off by now. Alas, every waiting room on planet earth is guaranteed to have at least three out-of-date Women’s Weeklys, five Take-5s, and twelve cover stories on Harry and Meghan spread across myriad tasteless publications. Science.

3. Pending Sense of Doom

You know the feeling. The likelihood of your headache being an undiscovered form of aggressive brain cancer seems more and more plausible the longer you sit there. Same as that rash: if you’re waiting for longer than half an hour it becomes clear that it is, in fact, a strain of flesh-eating bacteria that has ensconced itself in your dermis.

And heaven forbid you’re presenting with symptoms of an STI. Yikes

Too much time in a waiting room is too much time to think about why you’re there. Facing your inner self-diagnosis demon is never a good idea, especially when you’re sure that by the time they (finally) call your name it will all be too late and you’ll need to call mum and tell her the bad news about your ingrown toenail.

4. Old Person Smell

While many a hilarious unit might be quick to point out that the distinct aroma that elderly folks radiate is in fact death, scientists have found that it is likely an odour-causing compound called 2-nonenal, which is caused by the breakdown of skin cells, and increases in production vastly with age.

Now, as this is something that’ll happen to all of us if we’re lucky enough to make it beyond a certain age, we’re not here to judge. But if there’s one thing the elderly do a lot of, it’s visiting their doctors, which means lots of time in waiting rooms and … well, the result is that said waiting rooms don’t exactly smell like Chanel No. 5 now, do they?

5. Fear of Being Seen

“What are you in for?” is a question that should only be asked in prison (and even then, never answered).

Much like a strip club or a lingerie store, there are some places a guy just doesn’t want to have to make small talk with somebody they know, whether it’s a client they vaguely interacted with once three jobs ago, or their own father (or son).

A GP’s waiting room is, however, a communal place where germs and people come together in an awkward, uncomfortable, and too-brightly-lit setting.

Frankly, nobody wants that.

Visiting the doctor is often a necessary evil, and one which man has tried to avoid since doctors first became a thing.

While they may have retired the scary masks of the smallpox years, using leeches (actually, this is still a thing, but not at your local practice), and lobotomising en masse, they’re still not fun in any sense of the word.

And they’re always made all the more worse by the fact that they make you wait in one of the saddest rooms humankind could envisage.