Over the past 14 months, my life has been filled with many experiences I thought I would never have. Not surprisingly, those experiences have taken me to many places where I thought I'd never be, at least not for another 50 years. One of those places is the medical supply store. I used to go about once every 3 weeks, but I've since doubled my order and only have to stop by every 6 weeks or so. Still, it's an interesting experience that comes with a mix of emotions.
On the one hand, wow does that place make me feel young and skinny! I'm usually the youngest person in there by at least 20 years. And those that are 20 years older than me are usually there with an elderly relative helping to get oxygen tanks or walkers. The other option for the younger crowd is that they are there for welding safety supplies. Are all medical supply stores also welding and industrial safety supply stores? Well ours is, and let me tell you, it makes for an interesting dynamic. They try to keep the two clienteles separate, but the people watching is still topnotch.
I learned after my first couple visits that proper protocol is to call about a week before I need the supplies to make sure they're in-stock and have them placed in will call. This phone call is one of the few that I can actually make at work. They can look up my order by my name and birthdate, so I don't have to proclaim to the whole office what it is I need. However, I always get a chuckle out of asking them to place it in will call. Shouldn't will call be for something fun like concert or theater tickets? Not always, I guess. I can only imagine what my cubicle neighbors are thinking at work.
When I head out to pick them up, I used to get asked who the patient is, but not so much anymore. However, my biggest pet peeve is when I go to the will call counter and give them my name and they ask what the order is. Really? How many orders do you have for Erica Jensen? The customer service person usually asks as he's walking back into the warehouse, so I get to yell "two boxes of catheters" across the showroom floor for all the welders and old people to hear. Oh well, it doesn't get to me as much as it used to.
I used to run out to the medical supply store over my lunch hour, but I found it got me kind of down. So I've started going on the weekend when the Boyfriend can go with me and we make an event out of it, either going out to dinner or shopping while we're out. It's amazing what good company can do for the whole feel of a place. Everything always feels like it's going to be ok when he's there. Plus, we can laugh at the welding supplies, give the old people pointers, and walk that will call line like it's the red carpet. When we need our oxygen tanks in 50 years, we are going to be old pros.