Too Little Patience, Too Little Time
by Pirate Turner
He walked into the office to find complete chaos. Patients were everywhere, sitting in chairs, kneeling on the floor, leaning against the wall, pounding on the desk, filing out the door . . . They hung on every available crevice. The storm behind John Becker's angry gaze slowly grew and then exploded as he was nearly knocked into by the dangling feet of one hanging on the ceiling fan. "BOB, GET DOWN FROM THERE!" he bellowed. Whirling on his two inept employees, he demanded, "MARGARET, WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE?!"
"Now, John, honestly there's no need to use such ugly language -- "
"I'd be glad to, Becker, but I can't get down from up here! That's why I'm still here! Or do you think I just like hanging around your dull, boring office like a long, overgrown ornament?! And can't you do something about this place?! I mean, it just screams tacky, stiff, and, well, you!"
Becker glared at him, but Bob had been hanging upside down so long that all his blood had rushed to his head and with it had gone his sense. "Even the magazines are so far out of date that they go back to the '90s!"
"I don't know who you pissed off to the point they put you up there," Becker told Bob as he grabbed his legs and sent him on a whirl, "but I can't decide whether to cuss them out or thank them."
"Hey!" Bob protested. At Becker's hard glare, he lamented only a tad bit, "Well, you never thank any one."
He shrugged. "I could start. I could give him free doctoring for life."
Bob scoffed. "Like any one would want your doctoring!"
"Then what are you doing here?"
"I came by for my lunch date with Linda, and some jerk put me up here. He was mad because of your scheduling. She's been swinging with me, but Margaret pulled her down and now she's looking at some guy over there." He swung fists helplessly at the direction of the man Linda was busily chatting up and batting her eyelashes for.
Becker was about to yell at Linda when Bob's words hit him. "Wait a minute! My scheduling?!" At Bob's nod, Becker thundered out at the top of his lungs, making the windows shake and every one in the room, including the big biker who stood in the corner, glaring at Bob, cringe. "MARGARET!!!
Margaret finally stopped her tirade at Becker's language. Her mouth hung wide open for a full minute before she snapped back to her normal, bustling self. "Now, John, you didn't have to yell. I'm right here -- "
He whirled on her, and she would swear later that his fierce eyes felt as though they could have burned a hole straight through her. "MY SCHEDULING?! FIX IT!!! FIX IT ALL RIGHT NOW, STARTING WITH THIS!" He ripped Bob unceremoniously down from the fan and dumped him on top of Margaret. Margaret held him for a second, taken completely by surprise, and then let him fall to the floor, where, in her opinion, he belonged. Becker grabbed for his jacket and barely missed a wad of gum being shot from a teenager. "FIX IT ALL BY THE TIME I GET BACK FROM LUNCH OR I'LL FIRE YOU AND LINDA CAN RUN THE DAMN PLACE!"
"Linda?! Linda couldn't run a-a newspaper stand, let alone a doctor's office!"
"Really?" Linda called from where her chosen hunk of the moment had his muscular arm wrapped around her slender waist. She beamed at Becker, who only growled even more ferociously.
"I can't believe it either, but what choice do I have?! I told you to stop scheduling these damn people at three for every fifteen minutes! NO MORE or I'll have your job! " He began shoving his way through the throng of sick people pouring themselves into his office. "AND IT DAMN SURE BETTER BE FIXED BEFORE I GET BACK FROM HAVING MY LOUSY CUP OF COFFEE AT REGGIE'S!"
Margaret stood, still in shock, after Becker had disappeared. She blinked slowly and then promptly walked over Bob on her way to her desk and faithful clipboard. "Linda -- "
"Don't Linda me! I told you this would happen! It's your mess; you fix it!" She gave her a departing raspberry as she flounced out the door.
Margaret sighed wearily, then turned to face the throng of angry people with a nervous smile. She didn't know how she would fix it, but she would . . . even if she didn't see what was wrong with her scheduling method, any way. If Becker had only been faster, after all, none of this would have happened!
His voice bellowed again from seemingly nowhere and everywhere at once, making her jump five feet high. "AND UPDATE THE DAMN MAGAZINES!" She barely heard him as he muttered on his way back out the door, "No wonder I still thought Sarah Michelle Gellar was the 'it' girl."