For 4 long years, I have lived in the middle of nowhere among frigid and hot temperatures. In an alien culture, far from mine. People here speak a different language. Yes, I speak English too, but sometimes I understand them and don't understand them at the same time. "Forward", is the most diplomatic term I can use to describe them and while hate is a strong term, there have been times when I have totally abhorred this country and its people.
As I sat here today in the health centre of the university, waiting for the doctor in what seemed like forever, I was once again filled with anger because of the delay. This was extended care. For a university of 42,000, where extended care roughly translates to urgent care (you're only sent there if the pain is too much) and whose endowment runs in billions of US dollars, there sure should be another doctor on call.
Initially, I wasn't even permitted water, I was denied that in a very blunt tone, almost as if the nurse believed she had absolute authority on me. She then told me that I would get one bottle of water because they had a limited stock. From my perspective, you can't and shouldn't ration something as simple as water. It's a basic human right, a necessity. Right after I asked her for the first one, drank it in a jiffy and got the blunt reply, I was about to blast her to bits. Except, she trotted away in a hurry. in no time she got me another bottle. "You seemed thirsty, so I got you another one." I was spellbound. In the 4 years here, I had never met anyone so understanding at the health centre, they were almost always blunt. I thanked her and waited for the doctor in patience.
Soon a tall, black female with salt and pepper hair walked in, wearing a white lab coat and grey Chelsea boots. She asked for my symptoms. I patiently enumerated all of them. In a matter of seconds, she had a diagnosis. "It's Flu", she said. I was spellbound. She was the first doctor who did not say things like "I can't say for sure" or "It seems to me " or anything else. I felt right at home. It was almost as if a private doctor back home had diagnosed me. She seemed to be fully aware and confident about what she was saying. I can tell you that only comes about of experience, not out of being a different person or any other arbitrary reason.
I have had several Americans tell me, America is transitioning into a service economy, but what is service if the customer isn't priority really? Tech? surely. Healthcare and Customer Service for me were services whose score was running negative, not zero, negative, in my eyes, here in America.
However, this doctor was nice, so I was quick to fill up with praises on how I liked her service, she asked me, what I liked the best and I gladly supplied. She felt with a smile all the way up to her cheeks and glinting eyes. On my way about, the nurse seemed happy I was done early because I had mentioned I have a class to attend. Quite contrary to the women at the check-in desk, the front desk woman in extended care asked me how the service was, apologized for the delay and wished me luck. Easily some of the kindest people I had met.
Maybe I had judged them too early, perhaps they are not all rude. They're just themselves, I think. Americans.