How to make waiting around more fun

December 16, 2010

Remember that TV commercial for ketchup that implied that anticipation (or waiting) was somehow exciting? Ooooo, just look at that ketchup ever-so-slowly making its way from the bottle to my burger. Soooo exciting!

I’ve had the unfortunate opportunity recently to spend quite a bit of time waiting around, specifically in waiting rooms, and I can testify from personal experience that waiting is neither fun nor exciting. It’s maddening, mind numbing, frustrating, stressful, and thoroughly boring. Though the Powers That Be made an attempt to make each of these areas as comfortable and hospitable as possible, there are a few additions and changes that I think should be universally incorporated.

Waiting around in waiting rooms can be so much less boring with a few minor additions.

Here is my list of what I would like to see in a waiting room:

  • Treadmills to work off excess energy, stress, frustration, etc.
  • Individual TVs like the ones in the seatback in front of you on large planes. Not everyone wants to find out if the father of Cassandra’s baby is her current boyfriend, her former boyfriend, the man she lives with, or the guy she met and fell madly in love with on a wild night out with her girlfriends.
  • Recliners and lounge chairs—there’s a limit to how many hours your butt can be comfortable in those upright, minimally-padded chairs.
  • An electronic progress chart that shows the status of your wait:
  1. You’re up next!
  2. Better have a cup of coffee; it’s going to be a little while.
  3. You have time to run out and take care of a few errands.
  4. That trip you’ve been planning around the world? Go ahead and start now. By the time you get back we should be ready for you.
  • Magazines from the current decade.
  • Complimentary snacks of all kinds. Hungry people can be mean. What better way to keep the swarming masses at bay than with something sweet, salty, crunchy, cool, or chocolaty? I vote for homemade cookies and a frozen yogurt bar. Maybe a few carrots and dip for good measure.

A snack bar is the perfect addition to any waiting room.

Who knows? With the right accoutrements, perhaps people will start lining up to sit around and wait.

What’s in your ultimate waiting room?

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