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Monday, December 28, 2015

A Hotel Doctor's Christmas


A travel insurer reported a sick child at the Anaheim Holiday Inn, near Disneyland forty miles away. Freeway traffic was tolerable, but when I arrived and knocked no one answered. 

I walked around the lobby. With my suit, beard, and black bag, I look like a doctor in an old Hollywood movie, but no one responded. A waitress in the hotel restaurant asked at everyone’s table, but no one admitted calling a doctor. I drove away in a good mood. When hotel guests call and then disappear, I’m out of luck, but travel insurers pay for no-show visits.

I was a mile from home when the insurer called. The mother was on the line, claiming she had been waiting in the lobby. I was stiff from two hours of driving, tired, and hungry, but if I were sick, I’d consider that a poor excuse for a doctor to refuse to see me. So I drove back to Anaheim. To my everlasting credit, I was entirely pleasant to the mother, waving off her excuses. The child had a cold.

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