A friend of mine recently had to go to the emergency room after spraining her knee. It was a long process, and she had to wait well into the wee hours of the morning as more urgent cases were attended to.
My friend was fine waiting, as she had a book and a bottle of water. However, one group of women made the experience fairly unbearable. One of the women had seemingly injured her leg, and was wheeled over to the waiting room. Rather than sit in an area that could accommodate her chair, her friends moved her to a little nook. To get her chair past, they had to move another young man’s wheelchair out of the way, and he clearly winced in pain as they did so. The women were loud and seemed to be drinking. Every time a patient’s name was called, they pretended it was their friend. The woman must not have been that injured, as she eventually got out of the chair and walked outside so she could smoke a cigarette.
People in hospital waiting rooms tend to have frazzled nerves and would prefer to have some peace and quiet. Being a disruptive presence is rude and insensitive. The nurses laughed off the woman’s behavior, but my friend secretly wished one of them had politely asked the group to settle down for the sake of those around her.
Remember: Treat a waiting room with respect. You don’t know what others are going through. Keep the volume down, and don’t act like it’s a party.