The Waiting Place

The waiting place is only a pleasant experience if you like the place you’re waiting, which is so rarely the case. It’s true that the GNIB waiting place is much more pleasant than your typical DMV. There’s lots of wood and glass and it’s sort of pretty. But I got here an hour early and now, two hours later, there are still more than a hundred tickets to go before my number is called. That is to say, the ten stations each see an average of two people an hour. I’m not really liking this place. At least I am able to write this post to help pass the time.

Update, an hour later: about seventy more numbers to go. So my friend and I are verging on true mental anguish. Bureaucracy is slow, surprise. In other news, the earth is still round and the sky is still blue. We’ve had some pleasant conversation between the two of us, ranging from Lake Baikal to jelly beans. But there’s only so much pleasant conversation can do when you’re facing that cruel, cruel number counter. With two hours to go, we’re realizing we might not make it. In the melodramatic sense of we’re about to die, yes, but also literally. They might close before calling our number. Black–the color of despair.

Unfortunately, I’m writing this update sitting disconsolate on my bed at home. I regret to say that four hours in, they called up everyone whose number was above 400 (we were 414 and 415) and told us to give up and come back tomorrow. They wrote a little note at the top of our ticket, but not really sure if we’ll actually be able to sidestep the queue. We’ll find out tomorrow morning, I guess. I can’t say that this is the worst experience or that we had to wait for absolute ages (though four hours is long by any count). But we did meet someone who registered last year in twenty minutes. I just have a lot of anger about that…

Anyway, I’d love to wax philosophical about the Waiting Place, leaning heavily on Dr. Seuss’s seminal work. At this point, though, I’m just not quite feeling up to it. Not only was this evening’s experience less than ideal, the life connections to waiting that I would draw (my currently nebulous-at-best life after grad school) would be too depressing. Instead, I’ll truncate this post here. Rest assured, I have some plans for this blog for the month of November and, whether you’ll like them or not, you can at least look forward to next week insofar as it will be a bit of a change of pace. Needless to say, I am excited.

Next time I write, we’ll be on the other side of 1 November. Until then, happy Halloween.


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