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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A Bilingual Doctor at Midnight


A guest wanted a doctor who spoke French.

“I don’t speak French, and it’s midnight,” I pointed out. “You won’t find a bilingual doctor to make a housecall at this hour.”

The operator promised to inform the guest and call back. Waiting for people to call back is one of my least favorite activities especially if I have been aroused from sleep. Fifteen minutes passed before the phone rang. The operator apologized for the delay, explaining that the guest wasn’t answering, and she didn’t want to keep me up. When she reached him, she would suggest a housecall for the following morning.

I agreed, adding that I could arrive around ten. The hotel was in Norwalk, thirty miles away, and I prefer to avoid the rush hour.

I went back to bed. Half an hour later the phone rang. It was the operator announcing that the housecall was on for 10 a.m.

Freeway traffic was in the category of “could have been worse,” but I arrived on time. No one answered my knock. According to the desk clerk, the guest was part of a tour group that had checked out earlier.

There is no lesson here. It’s part of a hotel doctor’s life.

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