Saturday, September 7, 2013

Today's Visits

My phone rang as I walked into the gym. A guest at the Sunset Plaza wanted a doctor to “check out” her 9 year-old daughter who’d awoken with a fever and vomited once. This was a good call. Multiple vomits can be worrisome, but one is OK. I jumped at the chance to skip my morning exercise.

Sunset Plaza parking is indoors and free, a bonus on a hot day and on the Sunset Strip where street parking is impossible. The daughter was recovering, so I reassured the parents, a pleasure for everyone.

As I returned to my car, the phone rang again. This was a perfect time for a second call. Lunch was two hours away. Late morning traffic is the day’s thinnest. I could thrill the guest by announcing a speedy arrival.

The caller was a national housecall service. The patient was a Quantas flight attendant at the Hilton. While there is a Hilton at Los Angeles airport, this one was in Costa Mesa, 45 miles away. This was not so good, but there were compensations.

As I’ve written, in the old days airlines called me directly, and I billed them directly. No airline does that now. They call a national housecall service which, of course, calls me. I’m happy to work for the service because, being a better marketer, it’s acquired far more airlines, so I receive more calls. It also pays much more. This is possible because it charges airlines triple my former fee. You may wonder why airlines are willing to pay so much more, but I don’t. As someone who follows the news, I’ve long since stopped believing that stupid decisions by people who seem intelligent have a good explanation.  

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