The Waiting Room

by Jan Yuill

Lately I have had several conversations with people who feel their careers are stagnant, unfocused, or moving too slowly. Strong emotions have been shared, including frustration, embarrassment, and worry.

Each time, these conversations have reminded me of a segment from a Seinfeld TV program, where Jerry talks about waiting to see a doctor, and how it seems that it is a built-in part of the process of being diagnosed, or receiving a remedy, or just getting well. He says it seems to be such an important part of the treatment process, that they even give the room a name – The Waiting Room.

Of course, he makes us chuckle about it, but I think he has a point! Waiting is sometimes necessary. Life does not happen all at once. We wait for babies to grow and seeds to sprout and morning to come. Sometimes we wait for inspiration to catch up to us, or for circumstances to change. Sometimes we wait because we need to rest.

Waiting is not my favourite thing. It seems to be a waste of time or a sign of disrespect on the part of those causing the ‘wait.’ But then again, how often do I learn something useful from a magazine in a waiting room that I normally would not take time to read? Or think of something I need to do, just because I have slowed down for a few minutes. Or write in my journal. Or review my To Do List.

The biggest gripe is not knowing how long The Wait will be, and in our work, this could mean days, or weeks, or … before things change or become clear.

I have no advice, … but I am thinking differently about The Waiting Room. It makes me smile a bit.