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    Category: Family & Kids

    Adopting An Apologetic Attitude

    | Boise, ID, USA | Family & Kids, Health & Body

    Me: “Thank you for calling [clinic], this is [my name]. How can I help you this evening?”

    Caller: “Hi, I just needed to speak with a nurse about my son; he’s been coughing really badly this week.”

    Me: “Sure thing!”

    (I get her son’s details, and pull up her son’s account in the computer.)

    Me: “Alright, I will have the nurse give you a call back in the next 20 minutes. Is this the best number to reach you back at?”

    (I read her the primary number on the account.)

    Caller: “That is his biological parents’ phone number, but I’ve adopted him and have primary custody. Can you call me back at [this number] tonight?”

    Me: “Of course! Alright the nurse will call you shortly.”

    Caller: “Actually, can you remove that number and put mine as the primary contact number, please?”

    Me: “Unfortunately, I cannot do that for you this evening. I do not have access to any of the legal paperwork you would have on file, and I would be uncomfortable changing the information on the account at this time. But I will have the nurse call your number tonight. You can call back in the morning during regular office hours and speak with my supervisor to get that done.”

    (The caller immediately flies into a rage.)

    Caller: “I can’t believe this! I should be the primary contact for the child that I have full custody of! This is absurd! Why can’t you just replace the d*** number?”

    Me: “I’m very sorry. It has to do with the privacy laws surrounding your protected personal and health information, as well as the legalities of custody agreements. I wish there was more I could do, but I am just a receptionist. I have very limited access to your records, and have no way to verify who you are. But for tonight I can definitely have the nurse call you at your own number about your son.”

    Caller: “Whatever. Fine.”

    (The caller hangs up, but calls back again about five minutes later.)

    Caller: “Hey this is [name] again. I’m really sorry about being so short with you earlier. I realized that you were just protecting yourself, as well as my son and his information. You guys do a great job, and we really like coming to your clinic. So, I apologize. I’m just very stressed out with my son being so sick.”

    Me: “Wow, thank you for your apology! But I totally understand where you are coming from.”

    Caller: “It’s just been a rough few days. But thank you for your help, and being so kind while I yelled at you. Keep up the good work!”

    Some Kids Are All Work And No Play

    | Huntsville, TX, USA | Family & Kids, Food & Drink

    (I work as a hostess. A family of four walk in, and I seat them. The nine-year-old son leaves the table and comes up to the host stand.)

    Nine-Year-Old Son: “Do you like your job?”

    Me: “Sometimes it gets a little crazy, but it’s all good! Do you need some extra crayons or something?”

    Nine-Year-Old Son: “No. Are you tired of your job yet?”

    Me: “No, I’m doing all right.”

    Nine-Year-Old Son: “Because if you’re tired, I’ll take over for you. Just come tell me at my table.”

    (I laugh.)

    Me: “Thank you very much, but I have to stay up here and work until the end of my shift!”

    (His older sister comes over.)

    Nine-Year-Old Son: “I’m serious! If you’re tired, I can take over!”

    Older Sister: “Come on, let’s go!”

    Emerging Non Emergencies Reaching Emergency Levels

    | AZ, USA | Extra Stupid, Family & Kids, Health & Body

    (I work at the check-in counter for the ER. A patient comes in, dragging her very embarrassed teenage daughter behind her.)

    Me: “Hi! How can I help you?”

    Patient: “Yeah, I’m bringing in my daughter.”

    Me: “And what brings you to the emergency room today, ma’am?”

    Patient: “My daughter.”

    Me: “I see. What is wrong with your daughter that brings you in tonight?”

    Patient: “Her monthly is irregular.”

    Me: “So, you want to bring her to the emergency room for irregular periods?”

    Patient: “Duh!”

    Me: “Have you taken her to her family doctor?”

    Patient: “No!”

    (As we’re not legally allowed to turn away any patient, I begin the registration.)

    Patient: “And me, too.”

    Me: “You want to check yourself in, too, for irregular periods?”

    Patient: “No! God!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. What are we checking you in for?”

    Patient: “Can’t you see it?!”

    Me: “Ma’am?”

    Patient: “My face!”

    (She shoves her face up close to mine.)

    Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry but you’ll need to be a little more specific.”

    Patient: “I got ‘the zits’!”

    (Her face looks fine. I see one blemish that doesn’t even look like a zit.)

    Me: “So, you came to the… emergency room… for adult acne?”

    Patient: “YES! God, what are you, stupid?”

    Me: “And have you seen your doctor about this?”

    Patient: “No! This is my doctor!”

    Me: “Ma’am, this is the emergency room. We treat emergencies. We are not your regular doctor.”

    Patient: “Yes, you are. FIX IT!”

    Snob-less Not Jobless

    | Austin, TX, USA | Family & Kids, Politics, School, Top

    (I’ve just taken an order from a well-dressed woman and her daughter, who is wearing a uniform from a private school. The woman is berating her daughter about her grades.)

    Woman: “If your grades don’t improve, you won’t get into college. You’ll end up in some dead-end job like her.”

    (The woman gestures towards me.)

    Me: “Actually, I’m a college graduate.”

    Woman: “Yes, well I mean a real college.”

    Me: “I graduated from the University of Texas with two degrees, and my teacher’s certification.”

    Woman: “You evidently didn’t do too well if you wound up here now, did you?”

    Me: “I wound up here after our state legislature cut funding for public education. My husband also holds a Master’s in engineering, but has been laid off for similar reasons. We’ve taken these jobs to survive so we wouldn’t have to depend on public assistance.”

    (I hand them their drinks.)

    Me: “Never judge a book by its cover.”

    (The woman goes over to the condiment bar without another word, but her daughter smiles and fist-bumps me.)

    Man’s Best Friend, From Beginning To End

    | Alamogordo, NM, USA | Family & Kids, Pets & Animals, Top

    (A family has just had their old golden retriever euthanized, due to a mix of a bad heart and bone cancer. The whole family is pretty despondent, but the youngest, a little boy, is taking it the worst. While the family is waiting for the paperwork to get finished, one of our regulars—a young Air Force lieutenant—walks in. He quickly notices the group, and approaches the desk.)

    Lieutenant: “Did they just have to put someone down?”

    (I nod. The lieutenant sits down right next to the boy, who is near tears.)

    Lieutenant: “You okay, little guy?”

    (The boy nods.)

    Lieutenant: “Did you lose someone you care about?”

    Boy: “Uh huh…”

    Lieutenant: “Do you miss him?”

    Boy: “Uh huh…”

    Lieutenant: “Did you make every day of his life worth living?”

    Boy: “Huh?”

    Lieutenant: “I lost my little brother to cancer a few years back, and it tore me up. Had I done everything I could? What if I had done this or that differently? I just didn’t know, and it ate me up inside. Then they read us his will. It said, “I thank you, all of you, for making what borrowed time on Earth I had worth it, down to the second. That is all I could have asked for; know that should this cancer take me before I pen this will again, I loved each of you like no other family can, and going out with a smile worth smiling is the best way to go”.”

    (The whole family is listening at this point, and the boy is completely enraptured. The lieutenant, lost in his recounting for a moment, looks back at the child.)

    Lieutenant: “So, if you did your best—your VERY BEST—to make every day of his life worth living; I’m sure from wherever he is now, he’s looking back on your time together and smiling.”

    (The boy runs out of his chair, up to the lieutenant, and gives him a hug. He lets loose all the tears he was fighting back. The father tries to remove the child from his iron-gripped hug, but the lieutenant stops him.)

    Lieutenant: *to the father* “It really is no trouble at all…”

    (As for the boy, he eventually the he cried himself to sleep in the lieutenant’s lap.)


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