My phone rang as I walked into the gym. A guest at the Sunset Plaza wanted a doctor to
“check out” her 9 year-old daughter who’d awoken with a fever and vomited. This was a
good call. Multiple vomits can be worrisome, but one is OK. I jumped at the chance to skip
my morning exercise.
Sunset Plaza parking is indoors and free, a bonus on a hot day and on the Sunset Strip where
street parking is impossible. The daughter was recovering, so I reassured the parents, a
pleasure for everyone.
As I returned to my car, the phone rang again. This was a perfect time for a second call.
Lunch was two hours away. Late morning traffic is the day’s thinnest. I could thrill the guest
by announcing a speedy arrival.
The caller was a national housecall service. The patient was a Quantas flight attendant at the
Hilton. While there is a Hilton at nearby Los Angeles airport, this one was in Costa Mesa, 45
miles away. That was not so good, but there were compensations.
In the old days airlines called me directly, and I billed them directly. No airline does that
now. They call a national housecall service which, of course, calls me. I’m happy to work
for the service because, being a better marketer, it has acquired more airlines, so I receive
more calls. It also pays better. This is possible because it charges airlines triple my former
fee. You may wonder why airlines are willing to pay so much more. If you have an answer,
let me know.