D. and I have back-to-back appointments in an eye doctor's office, one new to us. We arrive to find the place looking unlike any medical office we've ever seen. It looks more like a cheap, shabby business office. But the eye doctor calls me into a room for my exam. When I go back into the lobby area there are totally different people there. D. is nowhere to be found, even after waiting around a long time for him. The people at the office have split us up intentionally, and I am angry about this.
Some staff people tell me to go stand in a certain place to wait for the next phase of the appointment. I go and stand at a chest-high tray on wheels. It has a piece of paper on it that says "Mouthwash." The only office that involves mouthwash is a dental office. I am outraged -- this is not an eye doctor's office, it is in fact a dentist's office.
Angrily I stride over the the receptionist's desk. There is now a man sitting at it, not the woman who was there when we checked in. I confront the man about the deception but he talks loudly over me, never stopping or pausing to listen, just talking loudly saying anything to drown me out, not even responding to my accusations of trying to shut me up. He knows exactly what is going on and he doesn't care. So I give up trying to confront him.
A staff person hands me something that looks like a metal index card file box whose rim is attached to some sack-like fabric. It is the office's outgoing mail, and patients at that office are expected to trudge down a long dirt road to the train tracks to put the office's mail on a train. I go down the road and climb onto a wooden structure spanning the tracks. When the train goes by I lean over and try to aim properly but the box-bag bounces off the train and lands on the ground. I missed getting the mail onto the train.
I go all the way back to the office, and on the way the knowledge comes to me that no patient has ever been able to get the mail successfully dropped onto the train. Everyone has failed at it. I walk into the office to see a woman who has the appearance and persona of a local TV news anchor but who works for the office cheerfully telling a group of reporters that not a single patient has missed getting the mail on the train, ever. She knows it is not true but she is cheerfully lying to the press about it. The press is oohing and aahing at how wonderful this is for the patients, and aren't the patients all so clever? Several other patients sitting around the lobby mutter to themselves about how much she is lying, and I speak out loud to her, saying, "I just failed at it, why are you lying?"
Suddenly several of us, including D., are whisked out of the office and are forced to go on a tour of a nearby famous house that has been built halfway into a huge slab of rock spanning a road. A tour guide is droning on and on about the house in minute detail, expecting us to listen with fascination. I am angry that they are trying to distract us from everything that has just happened.