The Finest Hell is a Waiting Room

A layover is just a waiting room in mid-transit.

A layover is just a waiting room in mid-transit.

There is no finer hell than a waiting room. In fact, if there is such a thing as Hell, it’s probably just the waiting room outside the Pearly Gates. You sit there waiting for St. Peter to call your name, reading the same outdated copy of Reader’s Digest for all eternity. That idea alone is enough to keep me on a righteous path.

Government waiting rooms are probably the worst. People joke about the DMV being an unpleasant place, and for the most part, it deserves this reputation. Doctor’s waiting rooms are more hit-or-miss. I’ve been in some that are quite pleasant, while others are a total nightmare. Airport waiting rooms can be pretty nice, but they lose a lot of charm after a six-hour layover.

Some are worse than others, but in essence, they’re all the same. They all have the same basic setup: the rows of chairs, the canned muzak and the crappy magazines. Only the veneer varies. But I have to wonder, does it have to be so? Isn’t there something we could do make an inherently unpleasant experience just a little more tolerable. If you have any ideas, let me know.

Steve Lovelace

Steve Lovelace is a writer and graphic artist. After graduating Michigan State University in 2004, he taught Spanish in Samoa before moving to Dallas, Texas. He blogs regularly at

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3 Responses

  1. May 14, 2012

    […] most people, I hate waiting rooms. While doctors’ offices and DMVs come directly from the bowels of Hell, there is also another […]

  2. January 15, 2017

    […] Now waiting rooms are my personal hell, but I felt so bad that it didn’t bother me that much. Ironically, for an ear issue, my hearing was totally fine. My vision wasn’t. So I sat with my eyes closed, listening to names being called and re-called. I couldn’t help but admire the assembly line operation. First they called me up for blood pressure and temperature. Then we sat. They called me back for an EKG and blood draw. Then more sitting. We had vending machine trail mix for breakfast/lunch. Then a CT scan and more sitting. Finally I got to see a doctor. Or rather, a physicians assistant. The significance of this was lost on me at the moment, but I dad told me he was relieved. The fact that I got a PA instead of an MD meant my condition wasn’t super serious. […]

  3. August 1, 2019

    […] situations are nothing new. There’s a reason that waiting rooms usually have magazines. However, the invention of smart phones has changed the way we wait. With […]

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