Let me start off by stating that I really hate the Bronx. It is the worst place to have to go for anything. I worked in one of the worst areas of the Bronx for two years. I fought my way in and fought my way out of Hunts Point every day. I’ve been rear ended, tail gated, yelled at, and some lady a few months ago, hit my car and took off in a fury of road rage. The end result of that was that I waited for TWO HOURS for the Bronx Police to show up to take a report only to find out that it doesn’t matter in a hit and run – there were no witnesses (no one in the Bronx would act as witness) so after paying the $500 deductible and getting $1,200 in car damages repaired, guess who’s insurance it shows up on? MINE. And guess who had to eat the deductible AND rental car fees? ME. On top of the driving shenanigans, you have ladies pushing their babies in strollers into the middle of the street at oncoming traffic on purpose so they can cross the street in front of you, you are constantly attempting to avoid huge pot holes while continually getting cut off at every intersection, you are never first, always last, everyone is pushing, yelling and fighting. Cars, trains, jack hammers, construction workers…the noise is unbearable. Did I mention that everyone is angry and should be shot and put out of their misery?? But, I digress. I hate the Bronx for many reasons.
Here’s the latest one:
I had to go to the Bronx on Wednesday to get a Hepatitis A shot and some Malaria medicine for my upcoming Honduras trip. My appointment was at 1:00PM so I made sure to arrive and park by 12:20PM. I walked into the building and the security guard ushered me into the waiting room and told me I would have to take a number. The waiting room was FULL. Babies, and grandmas and people who were limping and everyone was coughing and hacking up pieces of lungs. I kept praying to little baby Jesus to please let me get out of there without a new sickness. Coming out of E Coli, twice, my body can’t handle shit right now. I walk up to the counter and tell the woman that I have a 1:00PM appointment. Her response, “Take a number.”
She handed me number 6. So I asked her, “Um, so what number are you on?”
She looks over her shoulder and yells at the woman next to her, “Jacinda, what numbah you at?”
The woman, whom I am assuming is Jacinda, responds, “I don’t know. What number did I call last? I think I did number one.”
Seriously? You don’t know what number you are on? Are you even CALLING numbers?? So she yells out to the waiting room, “Numbah TWO! NUMERO DOS!” Oh God. This is going to take a while. I, being defeated by this insane system, bow my head and shuffle to a seat as far away from others as possible. In my waiting time, a woman comes in screaming at the counter ladies about waiting for too long (I hear ya, sister!) and a man comes in asking for papers that he apparently left without and he, in turn, is getting yelled at by a medical staff member. A boy keeps dropping his mom’s cell phone on the floor on purpose and she finally gets sick of it and smacks him on the head. A guy who asked to use the bathroom when I first arrived is still in the bathroom. An old lady is getting royally pissed about this. “NUMBAH THREE! NUMERO TRES!” Oh Jesus. It’s been 20 minutes already…
I walk up to the lady at the counter and say very politely, “I don’t mean to be pushy here, but I’ve not been here before. Is there anything I should be filling out and I have a 1PM appointment and just wanted to know when I might be able to get to that?”
Darlene, my counter lady, looks at me with wide eyes and says, “Oh, you ain’t nevah been here before? Oh, you got to fill out these papers, honey.” And she proceeds to take several minutes locating “new patient” papers. I asked her when I might be able to get to my appointment and she replied, “As soon as you are registered.” My response, “BUT you are only on NUMBER THREE and I’m number SIX!” She said not to worry. It should go quick. RIGHT. Meanwhile, the security guard is checking on home dude in the bathroom. What IS he doing in there??
No wonder people in the Bronx are pissed off and miserable. Look at the kind of health care they get. Seriously.
I finally got called to the back after a long process of registering and I asked the nurse when the doctor might see me. Turns out, the doctor wasn’t even there. No one told him he had an appointment. After 15 minutes of searching for my doctor, they had to call him in from a different location. I finally gave up and knew that the system had beat me. I waited until 2PM for him to finally arrive. I got my Hepatitis A shot, a prescription for Malaria, listened to my doctor’s recommendations about travel:
1. Have a plan if you get diarrhea.
2. You could get Typhoid vaccine but it’s only 70% effective and the likelihood of catching it is very slim.
3. Even if the water is safe, don’t drink it.
I high tailed it out of that clinic as fast as I could. Ran to my car, which, of course, had a ticket for being past my meter time. I then honked, skidded, and avoided collisions all the way out of the Bronx. I didn’t start breathing normally again until I was back in my apartment with my pajamas on. What an exhausting and irritating day.
I HATE THE BRONX!