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Don’t look!

I imagine a class as part of a required curriculum, for someone who wants to go into medicine or veterinarian medicine (or any type of profession that requires the customer waiting in a waiting room and later an exam room) entitled “How to Avoid Eye Contact 101”.

At the vet’s yesterday, waiting to pick up Jigsaw from getting her shots, I stood in the waiting room alone for 15 minutes. Assistants and veterinarians and random assorted people wearing uniform-like clothing continued to walk by, moving from the back to the exam rooms and even to the front desk. And not a single one of them managed to register the large hairy man wearing all black standing in the middle of the waiting room staring a hole in the front of their heads.

Is a lack of peripheral vision a prerequisite for entry into these fields? Are these the same people we see in action and horror movies who walk into a room and somehow miss the ninja/creature/vampire/monster that is clinging to the ceiling scant feet from the top of their heads?

When I was finally acknowledged, I was told that I needed to go wait in an exam room so that the veterinarian could bring Jigsaw in and explain a few things. I entered Room 3, which overlooked the hallway that was immediately adjacent to the back room. Yes, the back room, where I assume all of the employees sit around staring at animals locked in cages, smoking and playing poker. Instead of chips, though, they use customer interaction. Margie throws her cards down in disgust, pissed that Tracy managed to get four Kings. With a smirk, Tracy says, “Looks like you have to go bring Freckles to the customer in Room 1”. Margie snarls and stomps away.

I stood in Room 3 for no less than thirty minutes. As each employee walked by, I attempted to force eye contact of some kind.

At first, I just stood there, in the doorway. It was like I was part of the wall. A very uninteresting part that they couldn’t even bear to look at.

Then I stood in the doorway and rapped my fingernails against the door in a repetitive and highly noticeable way. Nothing. Not even a “Can I help you, sir?”

Then I took a step into the hallway so I was partially in the way of anyone attempting to walk to the back room. The fuckers actually managed to avoid me while staring down at their feet, never once trying to see why I could possibly be trying to get their attention.

(At this point, you might ask why I didn’t just say something to them? Because it’s all about the principle.)

After being treated as if I was invisible, I adopted a new technique. I stood in the doorway, made a horribly goofy face and grabbed my crotch. Surely someone would catch a glimpse out of the corner of her eye and stop? Not even a pause in each stockinged step.

Finally, after it had been twenty minutes, I hid in the room, and when I heard someone open the door to the back room, I would jump into the doorway loudly. The first time I was too late and only noticed the back of her head as she disappeared down the hall. The second time, though, I timed it perfectly. Right as Jessie or Wendy or Margie walked by, I jumped into the doorway, making a sound like a watermelon landing after a ten-story drop. She didn’t even flinch, nor did she look my way for even a second. I gave up. Obviously, her training in anti-peripheral audiovisual sensory deprivation was much more sophisticated than my rudimentary education in attention-gaining emotional antics.

“Hi, and welcome to How to Avoid Eye Contact 101, where I’ll be teaching you how to avoid the customer or patient completely no matter how much they might need your assistance. For your first lesson, I’m going to strip naked and have sex with a donkey right in front of the podium here. When I count to three, avert your eyes and no matter what sound occurs, don’t look!”

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22 Replies to “Don’t look!”

  1. Jess

    Akin to the meat counter employees who think that their only purpose in life is to shrink wrap that entire vat of ground sausage. Nope, nobody wants anything from the butcher. You guys exist only to shrink wrap things. FOREVER.

  2. just beth

    the reason that i have pledged my undying love to you? things like grabbing your package and leaping at people. you are fucking CLASSIC. you do what i would do if i had balls. or bigger balls. and a penis, i guess.




  3. faiqa

    I know EXACTLY what you’re talking about. I think it’s because we’re so awesome and they’re afraid that paying attention to us will make them feel even worse about how they weren’t blessed with our awesomeness. Also? I think that class is a prereq to “How to completely fuck up an insurance claim: Take years off of your Patient’s Life Expectancy with Little or No Effort.”

  4. Popping Bubbles

    Wow. You need a new vet, that’s just crap. My vet and her whole staff know me and my herd by name and greet us when we walk in the door…of course this is Supervet. her former partner, Dr. Asshat, and his staff couldn’t bother to remember me even though I had been bringing my herd there for years. Fuckers. :crazywife:

  5. SuvvyGirl

    I have attempted this aproach before with some of our clients that I know I really don’t want to talk to or deal with but I have too much of a conscience to manage it sucessfully. I hate it when I’m treated that way and feel guilty for trying to do it to someone else. But I think those of us with consciences are few and in between.

    Somewhere there is a mound of murdered Jiminy Crickets.

  6. Elizabeth Kaylene

    You have to be a veterinarian, lawyer, or surgeon to even afford those classes, which is why I’m just a web designer.

    I think it’s really hilarious that you jumped in front of them and everything and they still ignored you. At that point, I would have just dropped my pants, if I were you.

  7. rory

    You ain’t lyin’
    Happens to Miss Carol and me all the time with Cutter and Tug. I don’t think changing vets will make any difference. They all get the same training.
    I like the useless confrontational attempts though.

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