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by Abigail Van Buren

On This Day, as on Every Day, Don't Tolerate Drunk Driving

DEAR ABBY: The story in your column about people having themselves paged in a hotel lobby for recognition reminded me of the time I was a patient in our local hospital. I happened to be chairman of the board of trustees of the hospital as well.

My room was in a normally quiet wing of the post-surgical floor when I became aware of the pages being broadcast over the hospital intercom system. One doctor in particular seemed to be in great demand. When I did a little investigating, I learned that he had himself paged on an ongoing basis -- sometimes even when he wasn't in the hospital -- as "free advertising." (He thought that if people heard his name being broadcast often, they would think he must be a great doctor.)

Needless to say, the audio paging was soon stopped. Now doctors are paged only on their personal systems. -- A READER IN PALM BEACH, FLA.

DEAR READER: I'll bet the patients are grateful for the peace and quiet. When someone is ill and trying to recover, incessant pages such as you have described are about as welcome as telemarketing calls while you're taking your Saturday night bath.