An Hour Here, An Hour There

I have an excellent dental clinic right in my neighborhood. It’s just a few blocks’ walk from our apartment. It’s also just two blocks away from Capitol Hill Station.

That’s why I like to get my appointments as early in the morning as I can. It’s convenient to get up in the morning, walk to the clinic, get my teeth cleaned, walk around the corner to light rail, get to work, use only an hour or two of sick leave, and my day’s back to normal.

My previous hygienist did 7:00 appointments, and those were perfect. My current hygienist starts with 8:00 appointments – not as good, but OK.

So, I was disappointed that my cleaning was due this month, and all the early-morning appointments were taken. People are using up the remainder of their deductibles before the end of the year, my dental hygienist explained. Plus, she’s flying home for Christmas. I had to settle for a 2:00 appointment today.

I left work this afternoon with plenty of time to spare. I’d never actually broken down my commute into its parts, so I wasn’t sure how long it would take me to get from work to the clinic. (When I ride light rail home, I know what time I’ll typically get home. I know that a Link light rail train takes 8 minutes to get from Pioneer Square Station to Capitol Hill Station. But I’ve never looked at how long it takes me to get from my desk to the building’s front door, or how long it takes me to walk from my office building to the station platform.) I suppose I could have paid attention to when I get to work after an early-morning appointment, but I haven’t. Getting to work when they know you’re going to be in late is different from getting to an appointment on time.

It took me 24 minutes to get from my desk to the clinic waiting room. I was over a half hour early.

The cleaning took an hour, including a talk with my dentist. Then I went back to Capitol Hill Station, and back to work. It took me a little more than 24 minutes to get from the clinic to my desk, so 25 minutes seems like a good average to answer my question.

I put in an hour of work. Then I went back home, via light rail.

My next appointment is early in the morning.

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