I was going to title this post simply “Whining,” but lovely Firefox and it’s memory told me that I’ve already titled a post “Whining.” This isn’t actually a sequel to that post, though it does share some common themes.
Part the First
First, I’d like to talk about traffic. No, not site traffic. Actual car traffic, and how it affects my public-transportation-enhanced-commute.
So, if you’re in or near Boston, I’m sure you know about the panel that fell in the tunnels recently. Freaks me out. Probably freaks you out. Probably, though, you won’t really be able to change your use of it, if you do use it, or your use of any other tunnels in the system for that matter. The tunnels are here, and they’re here to stay.
It’s a severe tragedy, what happened to that poor lady, but that’s not really what I’m hear to whine about. See, like good citizens, Boston’s commuters have been taking more public transportation to get in and out of Boston. Fabulous! Or so you’d think, if that system could actually handle it.
The first and most obvious problem is parking at Oak Grove. Usually, I can get a pretty good spot if I show up to the station at 7:10-7:15. Today, I got there at 7:15 and got space number 30. This part of the parking “lot” is actually a side street with numbered parallel parking. You memorize your number, walk about a quarter mile to a box, jam $3.50 in the box, and walk another good distance past the good parking lot to the station. Parking space number 30 is about 18 spaces from the end – the last space is 13 (spaces 1-12 are in a tiny little side lot that I occasionally park in if it is available).
That kinda sucks – parking so far away even when I’m running so totally on time. (Sucks more when your foot hurts like someone blew up a bomb under the heel, but that’s a story for part two of this bitch-fest.) Also, this sucks because it doesn’t give a lot of faith to the wanna-be T-riders who find themselves out of luck at 7:20 or 7:30 or (God forbid) 8:00. I bet the T could up ridership by making it easier to take the T, what do you think?
Other fun things that have happened include my all-time favorite: jam-packed orange line cars. I’m a wee bit claustrophobic. Okay, screw that, I really hate hate hate being crammed into a small space with lots of other people. Two days ago, it was so bad that there wasn’t a single direction where I could look and not see another human right there, right in my face. In fact, it was so packed I couldn’t turn to another direction anyway.
Oddly enough, though, yesterday’s afternoon ride was practically empty. Probably there was a train right in front of ours the whole way that was full to the brim. Glad I didn’t make it to the station any earlier.
Really, though, I’d rather take the orange line than the commuter rail any day. It comes every 4-8 minutes. The commuter rail comes every 4-8 hours (or so it seems).
Part the Second
Now onto that earlier mention of my foot. Something is wrong with my right heel. It hurts. It hurts a lot. And the pain has been getting progressively worse. So, I did what anyone with a pretty good PPO health plan would do. I looked up a podiatrist and tried to call for an appointment. Here’s how that went:
Call phone number A (MGH podiatry department): Next appointment is more than 2 months away. Try phone number B, they might have something sooner.
Call phone number B (MGH orthopedic ankle and foot specialist): Message says office opens at 8. It is 8:30. Get punted to the answering service. Answering service guy tells me they’re not open until 9. Say I’ll call back at 9.
Call phone number B (MGH orthopedic ankle and foot specialist): Get punted to answering service again. Have chat with same guy who tells me he can take a message and they’ll call me to make an appointment. He also tells me that I will need an MG ID number. I don’t have that. He tries to punt me to registration. Some other random receptionist tells us both that I have to call directly to phone number C.
Call phone number C (MGH registration): Hold please. Wait 20 minutes. I was about to give up, someone finally answered. Tell her everything there is to know about me. She could now totally steal my identity. Hope and pray she really is the MGH registration department. She gives me my official branding number.
Receive call from phone number B (MGH orthopedic ankle and foot specialist): Next appointment in a month. Schedule said appointment just in case nothing else can be done. Whimper silently that your foot really fucking hurts and you want to see someone now now now now now.
Return to Blue Cross website to look for a different doctor.
Call phone number D (Other podiatrist in Boston): “I’m sorry, our next appointment isn’t until next Tuesday, the 25th.” She’s sorry? That’s awesome! I’ll take it! She doesn’t ask for my entire life history, just my insurance name, and tells me to come early to do paperwork. So old school. So soothing. So relieving (though it does not relieve any actual pain).
Call phone number B (MGH orthopedic ankle and foot specialist): Get punted to answering service again. Tell answering service guy I’d like to leave a message to cancel my just made appointment for the 15th. He asks if I’d like to be called back to reschedule. I tell him no, I’ve found someone who’ll see me this millennium.
Only downside to new doctor at phone number D – they’ve recently moved offices. They came up on the Blue Cross website as being only 4 blocks from where I work, but now they’re about 7 or 8. I’ll just make sure to wear my work-out sneakers (like I am today).
Thank you for listening (read: reading). I always feel better when I can get my whining out of me.