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Friday, May 22, 2015

Losing Two Out of Three


A guest at the Hollywood Heights with an upset stomach requested my services. I had barely hung up when an Englishman at the Shangri-La wanted a doctor for a respiratory infection. These hotels were not convenient – the Hollywood Heights is ten miles east, the Shangri-La in Santa Monica five miles west. But two visits make for an excellent day, so I drove off in a good mood.

As I approached Hollywood, the phone rang. My heart sank when I learned the caller was the Sheraton in Pasadena, twenty miles away – thirty from Santa Monica.   
 
Having visits pile up, especially those with long drives, oppresses me, so this was one I’d prefer to skip.

This guest’s husband, who was driving to the hotel from the airport, was suffering a cough and sore throat and wanted a doctor when he arrived. Launching my no-visit effort, I explained that viral infections cause the overwhelming majority of these illnesses, so a doctor can do little except relieve symptoms. I suggested discussing this with her husband when he arrived, and I left my phone number. She agreed. With that weight off my shoulders, I continued on to the Hollywood Heights.

After finishing, I reversed my course and headed for Santa Monica. As I neared the hotel my phone rang. “A friend of mine found a bottle of amoxicillin,” said the Shangri-La guest. “I think I’ll give it a try and save you the trip.”

Having lost that visit, I immediately called the Pasadena Sheraton. The husband had arrived, and they had decided to wait.

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