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If I Can’t Have Nice Things, No One Can

, , , , | Healthy | September 10, 2022

I work as a screener at a hospital. Since the beginning of the health crisis, patients and visitors have been instructed to stay in their rooms, limit going out of the unit, and avoid spending time in general areas such as entrances, the cafeteria, and the atrium. This has left hospital staff the space to safely distance while taking breaks and fewer places for people to be unmonitored for things like removing their masks.

One day, a visitor comes in to spend time with a parent who has been admitted. After their visit, they come downstairs to the foyer area of the building and settle on a chair. By the time I begin my shift, they have already been there for over half an hour. I deal with a couple of other visitors while they continue to sit there. Finally, I turn to the visitor.

Me: “How much longer will you be waiting?”

Visitor: *A little angry* “I’ve seen staff sitting in chairs here!”

Me: “Yes. They were taking their breaks.”

Visitor: “If visitors aren’t allowed to wait inside the hospital, staff shouldn’t be allowed anywhere, either. They should take their breaks in cubbies instead!”

Not only do we not have cubbies, but there are some departments (like mine!) that don’t even have specific break rooms! On top of that, break room capacity has obviously been limited to fewer people due to the health crisis.

The visitor says they don’t want to cause a problem, but they continue to complain.

Visitor: “What if it was -40? Would you go out there and wait in that weather?!”

It was spring at this point and a lovely day, not to mention that they could have easily gone to their vehicle since they did drive that day.

We’re not unreasonable. If someone wants to wait for their ride for ten minutes inside, I’m not going to kick them out. But you also can’t wait for an hour inside a hospital during a global health crisis. It sucks for everyone, but don’t shoot the messenger!

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What is the most stupid reason a customer has asked to see your manager?

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