Friday, July 5, 2013

Long Time No See

"Hey, Doctor! It’s been a while.”

I love it when parking valets recognize me. That was the good news. The ‘it’s been a while’ was not so good. This was my first visit of 2013 to Le Parc, an upscale West Hollywood hotel. It was once a regular, delivering 20 to 40 calls per year since its first in 1993.

Hotel doctoring is viciously competitive, and another doctor had worked his magic a few years ago, reducing calls to nearly zero. Hope springs eternal; hotels occasionally realize their mistake and return to the fold. Maybe this was a sign.

The guest had injured her thigh five days earlier. X-rays in an emergency room were negative, but since yesterday her pain had worsened. I didn’t find anything abnormal except for a huge black-and-blue mark. This may have been normal healing, but she needed another X-ray.

“Doctor O! How’s business!” The desk clerk also recognized me. When I ask why a hotel has stopped calling, employees always respond that no one has been sick, so I’ve stopped asking. But I couldn’t resist. The desk clerk assured me that no one had been sick.

“Long time, no see,” said a parking valet, not the same one who greeted my arrival. When I responded that hotel doctoring is a dog-eat-dog business, he laughed.

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