I find myself disappointed when my name is called too quickly, like if I'm in the middle of a good magazine article or was eavesdropping on a interesting conversation. Twenty minutes is the ideal wait. Fourty-five minutes, and I'm feeling antsy which is counter-productive to the whole experience.
If I have to bring my six-year-old daughter along, then waiting is not relaxing at all. It's more like Chinese water torture with a constant drip, drip of "how-much-longer-do-we-have-to-wait" being bounced off my eardrum. If there is something to hold her attention... say, another kid have a total meltdown, tantrum... she's spellbound for an untold number of minutes. As much as I love spending time with my daughter, waiting rooms do not seem like a good use of togetherness, and it's only a true time-out for me if I'm alone.
My favorite thing to do is eavesdrop. I just grab a magazine and pretend to read it while I soak up the conversations around me. Husbands and wives often sit and not talk to each other, so they're not that interesting unless they pick that time and place to have a disagreement. Two friends are the best because they probably have a lot of catching up to do.
Today, I had to wait about 30 minutes to get my car serviced. I flipped through a couple of magazines, read a couple of interesting articles and eavesdropped as a couple of other customers were told what was wrong with their cars. It was relaxing, interesting and amusing.
Relish your time in the waiting room. It might be the only time-out you get all day.