Here’s another guest photo from one of our regular contributors. I don’t have the story of why she was at the Mental Health Center, she is one of the mentally healthiest people I know. Maybe she was waiting for a friend. Notice how the fence outside the window is set up to keep people in. Hmmm.
Having other folks send me photos brings new perspectives to the Project that I truly appreciate. Thus far we have 6 outside contributors and are always looking for more. Please email me via the link with your shots of waiting, or if you have any philosophical commentary on waiting or any of the photos, please feel free to leave a comment. The Waiting Room Project belongs to all of us. Remember, “They also serve who only stand (or sit) and wait.”
We were here last year with our cat, Dudley. He developed a limp that wouldn’t go away. At first our regular vet, Dr. Dean thought it was tendonitis and treated him for it. It got better and then came back. At one point he could barely put any weight on his right front paw. After some expensive X-rays, Dr. D noticed an anomaly at the top of Dudley’s humerus, the upper arm bone. His preliminary diagnosis – bone cancer. It had turned the top of his bone where it meets the shoulder into a spongy looking mass with a chip of bone floating in the joint. He recommended us to the VCG for a more detailed opinion.
Sure enough, Dr. Pierro confirmed the diagnosis. The treatment? Amputation of the entire arm. Drastic, sure, but there wasn’t a choice. Expensive? You bet. We started a You Caring fundraiser for him, and sure were overwhelmed by the generosity and compassion of friends, family, and surprisingly total strangers who contributed to his surgery. (If you want to donate, just click the You Caring link. It’s still active.) It was traumatic for all of us, but Dudley pulled through, and amazingly, doesn’t seem the worse for it. He still leaps onto the roof of our house, jumps onto the 6-foot high wall, and roams the neighborhood just as before.
It was traumatic for all of us, but Dudley pulled through, and amazingly, doesn’t seem the worse for it. He still leaps onto the roof of our house, jumps onto the 6-foot high wall, and roams the neighborhood just as before. The one thing he can’t do is climb trees, or scoop his food out of his bowl with his paw as he used to do. But for a tri-pawd, he gets around pretty darn well.
The VCG is a wonderful place. All the folks who work there are caring and compassionate. The waiting room is spacious, clean, and modern. I don’t know what the person and her companion in the photo were waiting for but I’m sure they were well taken care of.
Tower Imaging is a service that provides a variety of imaging services: X-ray, CT scan, PET scan, MRI, etc. They have millions of dollars of machines under one roof, and doctors from across the city send their patients there for diagnostic testing. A few days after visiting the unknown doctor in the previous post, I waited in this room for a test of some kind. Probably an X-ray, but honestly, I don’t really know. The room is done up in blond wood and light carpet. This view is from the stairwell leading to the second floor. How they get those huge, heavy machines up to the second floor and why they don’t put them on the first floor baffles me. I guess they have their reasons.
Usually, the tests go smoothly with a minimum of waiting and inconvenience. The waiting room is never full, and they provide free Wi-fi along with the obligatory three-month-old Time, Newsweek, People, and Golfer’s Digest magazines. You have to bring your own newspaper.
This photo appeared on my friend W’s Facebook page a few weeks ago. He is an accomplished photographer as you can see from the dynamic composition and critical framing. Knowing my penchant for waiting room photos, he tagged me in the post. I think it is a great shot, and in fact, it gave me inspiration to begin photographing myself in the waiting room situations. Stay tuned for some of these selfeets, coming soon.
All these images are from the St. John’s Medical Center in Santa Monica. Most of them were taken during a visit there in January of 2015. As previously noted, hospitals are rife with waiting areas of all sizes and comfort levels, and varying degrees of aesthetic value. I think the top left is my favorite. It perfectly encapsulates the essence of what is it to wait.
Doesn’t this look like a lovely living room? All that’s missing is a fireplace and some floor lamps. Well, it’s a primary waiting room in a hospital. Look at all the reading material, the TV, the comfy couches and chairs. There is even free wi-fi. Yep, you’re going to be here a while.
We were there for a minor medical issue, and I had the chance to prowl around looking for waiting areas to photograph. We were there at night, so the usually bustling hospital had the lonely deserted air most do when the crowds of people leave. Hospitals have been some of the most productive places in this project because of the abundance of waiting spaces, large, medium, and small. As previously noted, there is a lot of waiting surrounding the medical profession. Too many sick people and not enough doctors.
These chairs are just inside the entrance of a medical building in Santa Monica. No doctor’s waiting room, no medical offices, just the hallway to the elevator lobby. Nothing really to wait for, and yet there they are. I guess if you are exhausted from the 6 step climb from the street and need to take a breather before venturing down the hallway, this is for you. Or if you need to catch the bus and don’t want to wait on the street these are more comfy than the hard metal bench. I dunno, but I liked the reflections and the motion blur of the door as it closes.
While most waiting areas are set up for adults, there are some which have made provision for children. Most notably in doctor’s offices or medical centers as children get sick too, or have to wait with their parents who may be there seeking medical advice. It has been many years since I was in a pediatrician’s waiting room, but I remember Jake’s doctor had an awesome one. Toys, books, things to climb on; they had put a lot of thought into furnishing it with stuff to keep kids occupied.
The bottom picture, however, is at the Pacific Division Station of the LAPD. It struck me significant in some way that there would be kid-sized chairs and tables and a Little Free Library specially for children in a police station. Obviously, enough children had come through there with parents to warrant this area by the door. You can see the ATM through the window should you need to get some quick cash to bail someone out – perhaps the parent of one of the kids who might sit in these chairs and read a book while mom or dad concluded whatever police business brought them there.
I was there inquiring about a handgun that had appeared on my back deck when we were on vacation one summer. J. our house-sitter phoned me in a bit of a panic to tell me she had found a chrome plated ‘Saturday night special’ just sitting on our deck the 4th of July.
Apparently, some miscreant had been passing by and had tossed it over the fence. It was unloaded, had no magazine, and I told her to call the police. They came and collected it and informed her that if no one had claimed it within 90 days, I could keep it.
After the requisite three months, I went to the police station to check it out, and the amount of paperwork I had to fill out was staggering. The gun, a cheap, unreliable thing, wasn’t worth it, so I just let the cops destroy it.
I have a couple of health issues that require regular blood tests every year or so. Nothing serious, just routine monitoring. I usually just have the blood drawn at the doctor who is requesting the test, but for some reason, I had to go to St. John’s for this particular test. I don’t exactly recall what it was, but I found myself in the well-lit waiting room and discovered this photo. Yes, that’s the tip of my finger sneaking in the top left corner; darn iPhone and its microscopic camera. Some might say it ruins what would otherwise be a splendid work of art, a commentary on the philosophical aspect of waiting. I could spend an hour trying to Photoshop it out, or just leave it as an organic part of the image, a bit of authenticity. More a commentary on my fat fingers. I’ve been taking pictures for more than 50 years and still can’t keep my damn fingers away from the lens. So much to remember.
My cousin T’s son E, started a home care business in Phoenix. When we were visiting them in July of 2014, he gave us a tour of his new offices. They hadn’t even moved in, and yet, they had the waiting room set up.