Many times I have said that I am living in a different world than when I was born; I have no idea where this world is now heading.
People now use the telephone to type; and whereas they used to brag about having a big screen television, now they use the typewriter to watch television on a much smaller half-size television screen.
Friends used to call each other sometime, then it went to “text me”; but now it is “I’ll see you on FaceBook.”
I went to lunch with two guys one day, and I was sitting in the middle with each of them at one side. After seeing them texting, Facebooking and any other stuff people do on the cell phones for about twenty minutes, I left. When they got back to the office, they had the nerve to ask me where I went since they could not find me anywhere and they had to text the taxi driver the address to the office because I was nowhere to be found.
At the end of the trip, the taxi driver texted them the fare amount and they had to text the driver the amount owed for the trip. I was already frustrated because that morning I went to the doctor — the nice doctor, not the one that makes me wait for a half an hour in a closet full of ugly pictures of all parts of the human body and then he only has ten minutes to hear why I am there and tells me that is nothing to worry about and walks out of the closet — and after talking about his new-born baby girl we started talking about medicine and all the illnesses and diseases there are in this world.
The funny part of this conversation is that none of the illnesses I mentioned to the good doctor — cancer, arthritis, dementia, high blood pressure, asthma, diabetes and many others — have a cure.
After all the research, after all the fund-raising telethons, after all the donations and experiments for the last fifty years, we’re still not close to finding a cure.
How come? That is why people are more skeptical to donate money for any of those illnesses because they are wondering after twenty or forty years of telethon after telethon, collection after collection, nothing positive is seen.
Why? Because all the money that is collected goes to expenses, to staff and to other more frivolous expenses.
I remember when people used to go to the doctor and whatever medicine he or she prescribed it was to cure; but nowadays people go to the doctor — oh, excuse me, a health provider — and the prescription he or she gives you is like marriage used to be, forever, “until death do us part.”
I have a friend that is not in that good of health and every time he leaves the medical building he has a new prescription; by now he may have about twenty different pills he needs to take on a daily basis.
I have another friend that has the entire night table full of different medicines because all the medicine he is taking is to be taken “forever.”
The pharmaceutical business is booming, and I have no idea why people think that they want to finish with the old-timers when they make money with the elders that are left in this world.
Look at it this way: if the pharmaceuticals make medicine that cures, how are they going to make a living? how are they going to keep the status-quo they now enjoy?
It is important for the economy of the country that people get hooked on all those prescription drugs and those prescriptions that the Mickey Mouse insurance industry does not cover under any plan.
I know a case where the patient was told that the medicine was not covered by the insurance company and he paid $280 for a few pills; then later he found out that the insurance company would cover the medicine, but the senior already was in the hole for that amount of
Insurance plans get higher in cost and what they cover gets skimpier and the pharmacists are under the impression that they are doing the client a favor by filling the prescription and even treat some of their customers very rudely.
That same thing is what happens in many other places, where customer service is a thing of the past; where the customer means nothing to the employees who think they are indispensable and I assume that if the hired help do act incorrectly, it is because they know the boss will allow it, meaning that the boss doesn’t care about the customer either until the business starts going down the drain and they wonder why.
I remember when Las Vegas was the place where everyone was treated as royalty; there were no half-empty water glasses, there was always a cup of fresh coffee and the employees were all happy and protected the client as much, if not more, than the owner of the place or the management.
People appreciated the good service and the employees appreciated the clients and were proud of their job classification, regardless of what it was.
Today it takes one hour to give the car to the valet and two hours to get coffee from room service in the morning; and one is lucky if they don’t drop half of the cup on your robe because they are in a hurry to go and get another order.
The other day I stayed in a hotel and when I was leaving the room I ran into the young lady that brought me the coffee the previous day while I was going down for my coffee because I didn’t want it two hours later.
I noticed that the room service waitress was pulling two tables with breakfast orders on them. Can you imagine that? By the time she got to the second order, the breakfast might be cold.
In the old days, before the corporations took over our town, things were different in almost every hotel; at the Sahara the valet parking used to keep a bowl with fresh water for when my little dog got thirsty; at the old Thunderbird, Moe the valet captain always kept my car by the front door so I didn’t have to wait for the car on my way out.
The employees as well as the management used to appreciate the clients, the customers, the players, or whatever the house likes to call the patrons.
After all, maybe it’s a good idea that the new administrators have changed the old names that were symbol of prestige, class and distinction where everyone, regardless of their financial status, were treated as royalty and respected and treated as if we were the only costumers in the place.
Every new group that buys a property on the Strip always wants to change the name that helped make our city famous worldwide; maybe it’s a good idea so those of us who’ve lived here for a very long time can keep those names on the same pedestal that those hotels had us on in the past.
I miss Las Vegas.
My name is Rolando Larraz, and as always, I approved this column.
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