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Category: Health & Body

Stupid customers in stories are bad enough. However, dealing with a customer’s health issues may be hazardous to your own health! Please consult your doctor before continuing.

Running On Empty

| CA, USA | Bizarre, Health & Body

(I work in an outpatient lab that is usually very busy at all hours of operation. On this day, there are only two people in the waiting area and I am sitting behind the front desk entering in paperwork. An older man walks in and begins to wander around which is odd because there are signs posted everywhere indicating that he should sign in or tell a staff member he is here.)

Me: “Sir, can I help you?”

Man: “There’s no one here!”

Me: *I look at the two people sitting right in front of me, then back to him* “I know, weird! Usually we’re packed right about now. How can I help you?”

Man: “Why isn’t anyone here?”

(The two patients and I look at the man, not knowing what to say.)

Me: “Well, that means there’s hardly any wait to get your blood drawn.” *I smile, trying to be friendly* “Are you here for blood work?”

Man: *he stops wandering around and looks at me, suddenly angry. He shakes his blood work order in my direction* “Bah!”

Me: “…Can I help you with anything, sir?”

(He shook his paperwork at me again and made a gesture of dismissal with his hands and turned to walk out. I guess we weren’t busy enough for him. To this day, I’m still confused about the entire situation.)

No X-Ray For Ex-Clients

| USA | Crazy Requests, Health & Body, Money

(I volunteer at a free clinic. We get a disturbing number of people who get angry and entitled. The clinic basically will provide whatever medical services that are both needed, and the clinic has the resources to provide. An x-ray machine was donated a few years back, and we used to have an x-ray tech that volunteered to run it. However, recently, our x-ray tech needed to quit volunteering because of her own professional, personal, and family obligations. We have to tell the patients that had x-ray appointments that we cannot do them. However, seeing our plight, a hospital system in the area has agreed to do the x-rays with a voucher from our clinic at an extremely reduced rate.)

Receptionist: “Hi, this is [Receptionist] at [Clinic.] We have you down for x-rays on [date]. Unfortunately our volunteer x-ray tech is no longer able to volunteer with us, and we’re going to need to cancel that appointment. However, [Hospital System] has agreed to do the x-ray for [price].”

Client: “I’d have to pay it?”

Receptionist: “I’m afraid so. But that is a very generous agreement on their part and it would be done at serious cost to them.”

Client: “I shouldn’t have to pay. So, I’ll just reschedule with you guys.”

Receptionist: “I’m sorry?”

Client: “What time can you guys do it instead?”

Receptionist: “I suppose I didn’t make myself clear. We are currently unable to do x-rays at all. We do not know when we will be able to do them again.”

Client: “Well, the doctor says I need this done, so you need to do them.”

Receptionist: “Again, we cannot. We do not currently have an x-ray tech on our volunteer rosters. We cannot operate the machine without an x-ray tech, as that would be a compromise of care that we are not willing to do for the purposes of cheap care.”

Client: “So what am I supposed to do?”

Receptionist: “Again, [hospital system] has agreed to pick up our x-ray imaging with a voucher system. I understand that you have a very limited income, but their offer is more than generous and we do appreciate what they’re doing.”

Client: “Well, I think you should pay.”

Receptionist: “We do not have the funds to pay for every person’s x-rays at cost. It’s not in our budget. However, if you honestly cannot pay, perhaps I can speak with our ‘Patient Access Professionals’ and see if they can work something out. But it really isn’t in our budget.” *the cost of this person’s x-ray is in the realm of $10*

Client: “You said I’d get free care. Give it to me. You owe me this.”

Receptionist: “We are a volunteer organization, and we exist because we believe that it is inhumane for people to not receive medical care. However, I do not owe you anything. I said that I would speak with PAP and see what they can do. However, we cannot afford to pay for the x-rays of each and every patient in this clinic. It is not in our budget, and we don’t have much discretionary spending in the budget. But I have spoken to people today who I am much more likely to go to bat for with getting their x-rays paid for. Heck, there have been people today that I’ve considered opening my own personal wallet for who have had more expensive procedures than you. But I am quickly losing compassion for you.”

Going On A Nutty Trip

| Australia | Health & Body, Language & Words

(I work at a large supermarket franchise and our store is quite big so we often get people asking where things are.)

Old Woman: “Hi, can you help me? I’m looking for this nut mix stuff; I think it has almonds and linseed in it.”

Me: “Do you know what it might be called or what brand it might be?”

Old Woman: “Well, I think it was an acronym. I think it was called LSD.”

Me: “…Uh, do you mean LSA?”

Old Woman: “Yes, that’s it!” *after a few moments* “LSD’s a drug, isn’t it?”

Not Exactly A Tray Of Sunshine

| WA, USA | Crazy Requests, Food & Drink, Health & Body

(I work in an assisted living facility. We take care of elderly people who are no longer able to do everything for themselves, but are not completely incapable of overseeing their own care. I’ve only been a caregiver at the facility for about two months, and this particular resident moved into the facility about a month ago. Because of the way the facility is set up and the work they like to start new people on, I have never seen her before and have only entered this resident’s room because the caregiver assigned to her is busy, and the receptionist noticed she missed breakfast and wanted someone to check in on her. It has also snowed heavily a few days ago, something that rarely happens in our area and that road maintenance is completely unequipped to handle, so road conditions are poor and have been so for a few days.)

Me: “[Resident]? Good morning. You didn’t come down for breakfast. Can I bring you a tray?”

Resident: “No. You can take this one out.”

(She gives me a tray from her dinner the night before.)

Resident: “No one ever takes my tray in the evening. I don’t know if you’re all lazy or what, but something needs to change. No one ever checks in on me.”

Me: “I’m sorry about that. I’ll see about leaving a note to help remind everyone to come in and check on you.”

Resident: “Well, what I want to know is why they need to be reminded at all? It can’t be that you’re all bad employees. And if it is then you should have been fired a long time ago.”

Me: “I don’t know why someone would need a reminder. It could be that they haven’t added you to the list of residents to check in on yet. I don’t know how often it’s updated.”

Resident: “I’ve been here a month. When are they going to add me?”

Me: “They might have done so already. That was just a guess. Are you sure you don’t want breakfast?”

Resident: “Yes. But can you see about getting me [medication]? I only have one dose left. My daughter usually picks up my refills from a [Drug Store] in [Town], but her car can’t drive in the snow. There isn’t anyone else in the area who can get it for me.”

Me: “I’ll ask a nurse about it and see what we can do.”

Resident: “Good. I’m suffocating here.”

(At this point the receptionist phones the resident’s room. I haven’t contacted them fast enough to let them know I’m checking in on the resident, so they ask if the resident needs anything for breakfast.)

Resident: “No! I don’t want a tray. You people charge [amount] for each one you bring up and I’m already paying [amount] a month to live here and you haven’t even added me to your list.”

(She paused to listen to the receptionist again.)

Resident: “I don’t know. Just make sure this doesn’t happen again.” *hangs up phone*

Me: “W-well, is there anything else you’d like me to do for you while I’m here?”

Resident: “Yes. Would you get me some coffee and a glass of water. There’s a machine in the kitchen.”

(I fetched her coffee, at which time I couldn’t help but notice that given the state of her kitchen, she either lied about her daughter’s inability to drive in the snow or was completely capable of getting to the kitchen and handling all of the equipment in it. Pouring drinks is a minor request, and she already seemed to be in a bad mood over insufficient care, so I still got her coffee, but we’re supposed to leave tasks that a resident can do for themselves to the resident. If we always did everything for them, they could lose certain capabilities from disuse. After I left her room, I tracked down the list of residents and level of care they required. Her name was on the list, as was the explanation for her room tray problem. As per her request, no one was allowed in her room roughly 15 minutes after we typically deliver dinner trays. Those 15 minutes are also some of the busiest of the shift. The only thing preventing her from getting her tray removed was her unworkable demands.)

Caught In The Heat Of The Moment

| UK | Family & Kids, Food & Drink, Health & Body

(I am a waitress, serving food to a table. The plates are hot, and I’m holding them in cloths to serve them. I go to put down a plate in front of a boy about ten years old, who reaches out to grab the plate.)

Me: “Oh, no, be careful. It’s hot!”

(The kid snatches the plate out of my hands and almost drops it.)

Boy: “It’s hot!”

Me: “Are you okay? Are your hands all right?”

Boy: “Yeah, I think.”

Mother: “Are you okay?! Are you hurt?”

Me: *seeing she’s acting very panicked* “Do you want me to fetch a damp cloth or something for him?”

Mother: “Yes, please.”

(I go and fetch a cold towel for him and come back to the table.)

Mother: “I can’t believe you just did that. That was very bad of you. How could you give a plate that hot to a child? He’s had to go to the bathroom with his dad!”

Me: *a bit shocked, as she had clearly seen him snatch it out my hands* “I’m very sorry. I did warn him that it was hot. It is quite loud so he might not have heard me.”

Mother: “But how could you let him hold it? These plates are really hot. That was an awful thing for you to do. He’s only young and you’ve really injured him. I can’t believe you.”

Me: “Again, I’m sorry. I was trying to put it on the table and he grabbed it out of my hands.”

(At this point my boss turns up to serve the rest of the food.)

Boss: “Is everything all right here?”

Mother: “No, actually. She’s just handed my son a red hot plate knowing it would hurt him. He’s in a lot of pain now and it’s all her fault!”

(My boss gives me a look and takes me to one side, out of earshot of the table.)

Me: “I’m really sorry; he just grabbed it. I don’t think he heard me say how hot it was.”

Boss: “Don’t worry, I don’t think you’d hurt a kid on purpose! I’m guessing his dad’s taken him to run his hands under cold water. The plates aren’t that hot but I’ll deal with it if they’re upset.”

(She came into the kitchen later saying that apparently they had not put cold water on his hands, but his mother was demanding we bring burn cream out for him (the boy himself insisted it didn’t hurt anymore). The worst part? He ordered a hot pudding and snatched that plate off me, too! Luckily the plate itself was cold!)

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