Berate For Running Late, Part 2

, , , | Right | September 29, 2020

I am a medical assistant, which is essentially a personal assistant to a doctor or other medical provider. When you check in at a clinic, often it is a medical assistant that gets you back into a room and asks you questions before you see your provider.

On this particular day, I am working with a physician’s assistant. We are looking at our schedule and note that [Patient #1] is ten minutes late for his appointment, but [Patient #2] is at the clinic and ready to be roomed. To top it off, the appointment reason indicates that it should be a very easy issue to address and therefore should be a quick in-and-out.

After rooming [Patient #2], I notice that [Patient #1] is marked in my schedule as ready to room and that he’s had this status for five minutes. It is now twenty minutes into a thirty-minute appointment, meaning he was a whole fifteen minutes late. The provider and I agree that with [Patient #2] being relatively easy, we can see [Patient #1] in the next appointment slot — originally [Patient #2]’s — and that we should, theoretically, end up more or less on time.

I quickly turn over my second exam room and go get [Patient #1]. This is where it all falls apart.

Me: “[Patient #1]?”

[Patient #1] grumbles as he gets up and walks to me.

Patient #1: “It’s about time!”

I put on a cheery smile and resist the urge to remind him that he was late.

Me: “I appreciate your patience. We’ll be right this way.”

Once we are in the exam room, he glares grumpily at me.

Patient #1: “Why are you guys always running late around here?”

I still try to be non-confrontational.

Me: “I couldn’t tell you about other providers, but sometimes we just have things come up. We do our best, of course.”

I start asking him questions pertaining to his visit.

Patient #1: “You medical people always demand that we show up fifteen minutes early and bring all of our cards and fill out paperwork, but you can’t manage to be on time? I just don’t get it.”

I think, “If you HAD been on time, this wouldn’t be a problem!”

Me: “Well, as I said, I appreciate your patience with us.”

I finish rooming the patient about ten minutes into the [Patient #2]’s appointment slot. The provider goes in almost as soon as I’m done. She ends up spending a full forty minutes because he keeps complaining to her about being late and brings up other medical issues that are not related to the appointment visit. All in all, we end up being about twenty minutes behind. As he is leaving:

Me: “I hope you have a great rest of your day!”

Patient #1: “Next time, you need to be on time!”

The next time he is late, he’s not getting worked in. Ugh!

Berate For Running Late

Having More Than One Name Is Confusing

, , , | Right | September 29, 2020

A woman comes in to visit her mother. She’s been here several times before, each time signing in with no trouble. She’s in her forties and doesn’t have any visible disabilities.

Visitor: “Where’s my badge?”

I tilt the sign-in tablet so I can see it.

Me: “Oh, you just need your mother’s last name here.”

Visitor: “It is there! See?”

She points to it as if I don’t know where to look.

Me: “Yes, but you need just her last name, not her first.”

I fix it for her and hand her badge to her. She just stares at me a second.

Visitor: “Oh… that’s so confusing.”

She wandered off, leaving me thinking, “Why wasn’t it confusing the last dozen or so times you did it?” She must have been having a really off day.

Customer Limits Put Customers At Their Limit

, , , | Right | September 28, 2020

Because of the current health crisis, stores have a customer limit so it doesn’t get too crowded. My store is very small so we’ve had a limit of two customers at once. Not gonna lie; I love it because at five people it’s so full that customers have trouble walking around.

We have two signs on the floor and three more around the store entrance. Of course, barely anyone reads the signs, but the register is right at the entrance so people usually back off and wait when I tell them. This customer does not.

He rushes into the store. I tell him there’s a two-person limit and we’ve already reached it, so he should please wait outside. He doesn’t react, so I repeat myself louder. 

He’s walking along the counter so there are maybe six feet of distance between us, so he should hear me. He keeps walking. I start shouting, “Sir!” to get his attention while I walk off from behind the counter.

I think maybe he’s hard of hearing or deaf.

I finally get in front of him, way too close, but my back is against a wall and there’s nothing I can do. He scowls at me and barks out a “What?” so I tell him about the limit. 

He scoffs, gives me the finger, and prances out of the store. He comes back about an hour later and starts making rude comments about how stupid I am and how I could have just let him get his one item. He doesn’t seem to be hard of hearing after all. 

My boss has now bought a desk bell that we aggressively ring — it echoes wonderfully in the small store — whenever someone with selective hearing decides to come in and ignore us, be it about masks or the limit. 

It hurts my ears to use it, but with the number of people that stop taking the situation seriously because it’s been so long, it’s amazing to use!

The Continuing Adventures Of Sir Reginald Von Rufflebuttum

, , , , , | Right | September 28, 2020

A coworker of mine is cleaning the reptile habitats in the store. He notices one of the chameleons is starting to get a little big for its habitat, but there’s not much we can do to make it more comfortable as it grows.

Instead, he decides to give it a chance to stretch its legs a little, taking it out of the terrarium and letting it climb around his shirt as he goes about his duties.

I’m on the register and don’t usually get to interact with the animals, so I ask if I can hold it for a while. He brings it over and I let it climb onto my hand.

As I’m letting it crawl along my arms and hands, a woman comes up to check out. I manage to get a hand free to ring her items up, and the chameleon starts climbing across my chest.

I make a comment to my coworker about how the chameleon’s enjoying being able to explore a little, and the woman laughs.

Customer: “He’s thinking, ‘Look at these mountains’!”

We all started laughing. I tried to keep from shaking too much, as the chameleon was, indeed, on my breasts.

The chameleon continued to crawl all over me, and at one point, I needed to transfer it from one hand to the other again, but this time it decides it was perfectly comfortable half on one hand, half on the other.

It had a pretty good grip on both hands, and I didn’t want to risk pulling away too hard, lest I injure it, so I wound up sitting for a minute with no hands, and we all started laughing again.

Eventually, it decided which hand it wanted to be on, and I passed it back to my coworker so I could finish ringing the woman up. Definitely one of the most memorable encounters I’ve had at this job.

The Epic Saga Of Sir Reginald Von Rufflebuttum

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All Stores Should Have This Zero-Tolerance Policy, We Swear

, , , , | Right | September 28, 2020

I am working in a hardware store with two coworkers. [Coworker #1] is in his mid-twenties and absolutely never uses bad language. In fact, he physically cringes when other people swear around him. [Coworker #2] is a similar-aged woman who really knows her stuff. A customer is at her register with a return and is complaining loudly.

Customer: “This is your fault! You shouldn’t be able to sell this s***.” 

Coworker #2: “I’m sorry the item wasn’t what you expected, sir. Since you have your receipt, you’ll get a full refund.” 

Customer: “I know I will, b****. But it’s your fault I bought it in the first place. You’re the one who told me the f****** thing would work! You should be the one to pay for it.”

The abuse continues and gets worse for a few minutes, and [Coworker #2] is clearly uncomfortable. In walks a police officer.

Coworker #1: “Right over here, officer. That’s the man who is being threatening. And I have his profanity-riddled rant against my coworker on video.” *Holds up his cell phone*

[Coworker #1] called the police as soon as the angry customer started swearing and then recorded the rest. The customer looked scared out of his mind as the police and [Coworker #2] discussed potential harassment charges. She decided to just let the guy go. But he was like a frightened toddler as he left, and [Coworker #1] shot him daggers with his eyes the whole time.

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