It’s As Easy As Flipping a Switch

courtesy of

courtesy of

Unless of course you are talking about turning on the lights in our new office.

Consider the following information.

When we designed this office, we took into consideration every single thing that drove us nuts about our original space and kicked it in the face. For example, we used to have one bathroom. Now there are five. That toilet used to need a glass of wine, Ella Fitzgerald and a massage to flush. Now our toilets can flush a bucket of golf balls in seconds. When really hot water was needed for a procedure, it would take several steps. First, a nurse would fetch a styrofoam cup of boiling water from the back. Then under the dubious stares of patients,  I would add cold then hot then a little more cold until the temperature was just right.  As we neared the end of life in that office, every time we turned on the cold water, the entire sink, cabinet and wall would convulse. We became genuinely frightened for our safety.

While the carting, mixing, splashing and waiting for blast off was fun, we opted for the bazillion dollar hot water circulator that silently delivered water at precisely 175 degrees from every one of the 20 plus faucets.

So, naturally, when it came to light, we wanted nothing but the best. ” NO MORE FLIPPING A SWITCH!” we declared proudly.

Now our lighting system consists of 7 zones on a precise timer. This schedule required one man and 8 hours to program. The lights were set to go on and off at specific times of the day and on specific days of the week. Holidays?  Yep —different schedule. Then there are the motion detectors. If any room is “motionless” for a given amount of time, the lights would turn off.

On our first day, I walked into a room to find my patient laying in the dark.  “Are you OK?” I was concerned.

“Um well, when the lights went out, I thought I was supposed to lay down.”

I began encouraging patients to “move” around the room while waiting for me.

The next night during a busy evening session, suddenly the place went dark. No, not a power outage, the timer told the lights to turn off at precisely 6:15 pm. We fumbled around in the dark and by using our otoscopes to light the halls until we found the emergency override.

After countless black outs and yet another visit from the light-switch-programmer-guy, we had finally had enough.

The electrician arrived promptly but looked stunned as I spoke.

“I would like two light switches please. One for the front of the building and one for the back. ”

“What are you hoping to accomplish?” He is genuinely shocked.

“I would like to turn my lights on and off by flipping a switch.”

His feet are  glued to the ground. I motion him to the mechanical room. I point out the “wall” of light timers and paraphernalia.  “See all this? Just take it out and put in a switch.”

He shakes his head as if to say “Whatever you say Crazy Lady.”  Of course, he is here on a Monday morning. Of course, the lights must go off while he works. Of course, I am  in the midst of a flurry of patient visits. Of course, I am fuming mad.

When he is done, I am summoned to the mechanical room where I face the two most beautiful switches I have ever seen: retail $1.65 at Home Depot.

I smile.

He then hands me the giant metal briefcase that houses the system we just fired. Wordlessly, I ask “What am I going to do with this?”

“Well,” he is amused. “Lady, that thing probably cost you $5000. Maybe you could sell it on Ebay?”

Good plan, thanks. Now on to the thermostats that regulate temperature based on the number of menopausal women present in the building at any given time.


  1. Anonymous says:

    you need to be on SNL

  2. I love it!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Love it..

  4. Anonymous says:

    Haha! I was wondering why the lights in the halls were going on and off while I was sitting in the waiting room..

  5. Very funny!! I needed the laugh!!!

  6. That’s hysterical and that’s life in a nutshell!

  7. Jeanie Eves says:

    OMG! You ARE funny! I am laughing out loud! I feel your pain. I almost had a meltdown at Wawa the other day………all I wanted was a small hoagie. If my 2-1/2 year old grandson could reach the computer, he would have placed the order for me. Give me a break with all this fancy technical “stuff!” Simple IS better!

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