See All The Blood Drain From Their Face

| CA, USA | Health & Body

(I work in a small town ER as an advanced EMT. I do a lot of IVs and venipuncture in the ER, on our ambulance on 911 calls, as well on our other hospital floors for nurses who are unable to start the IV themselves on people who are exceptionally hard to stick. I get a lot of practice in less than ideal conditions so my IV skills are well-honed.)

Me: “Hello! The doctor wants to run a few labs so I’m here to draw your blood.”

Patient: *laughs condescendingly* “You won’t be getting any of my blood today. I’m a horrible stick. Your nurse will have to draw it out of my central line.”

Me: “I understand, ma’am, but I’ll have to at least take a look.” *applies tourniquet to right arm and notices large blue vein comes to the surface on her hand* “Looks like you’ve got a nice one right here so I’ll give it a shot.”

Patient: “You’re welcome to try but you’re wasting your time! Everyone tries and they always fail.”

(The patient continues to chastise me for trying and assures me repeatedly that I’ll fail. Meanwhile, I poke her with a small butterfly and draw the blood, giving her “mmmhmms” and “ahh, okay…” during her rant. When I finish I apply a cotton ball and a bandaid.)

Patient: “See, I told you! You’ll need to go get your nurse now!”

Me: “Get my nurse? How come?”

Patient: “Because! You can’t just draw blood off of me like I’m just any other patient! I’m an impossible stick!”

(I hold up 10 mL blood.)

Me: *flash her a smile* “Oh, no worries. I got all I need. I appreciate your concern for me, but I’ve done this a couple times.”


You Drain What’s Left Of My Brain

| Australia | Bad Behavior, Bigotry

(Today at work we are experiencing more customers than usual and are drastically understaffed. I have recently undergone brain surgery for a hemorrhage so my hair is on the short side for a girl my age. After manning our coffee machine for several hours, a particularly sassy woman approaches the counter, pushing aside several customers in the process.)

Customer: “I demand to be served immediately!”

Me: “Sorry, ma’am, but you’ll have to wait in line like everyone else.”

Customer: “You just don’t want to serve a straight woman like myself because you’re a lesbian.”

Me: “I beg your pardon, madam, but I am not a lesbian and I’m just asking that you wait in line like everyone else.”

Customer: “But you have short hair.”

Me: “Ma’am, that doesn’t mean I’m a lesbian. In fact I’ve recently undergone brain surgery and to operate they had to cut my hair off.”

(By this point I’m incredibly frustrated as my line is growing longer every minute she carries on with her rant.)

Customer: “Oh, you’re a f**k*** liar! I just want a coffee and a straight person to serve me.”

(A man approaches the woman looking about as angry as I am.)

Customer #2: “Look here, b****, this poor girl has had an extreme surgery and as a result her hair is short. If you have any tips for her on how she should style herself then leave them in the tip jar!”

(The woman turned bright red, quickly dropped a $20 note in my tip jar, and high-tailed it out of the shop.)


Starved Of Useful Information

| TN, USA | Extra Stupid, Pets & Animals

(I’m the manager at a pet store, and I’ve always had a soft spot for reptiles. My favorites are leopard geckos, so I’m always eager to give advice to customers interested in them. One day I’m bagging crickets for a customer who has leopard geckos at home, and we start a conversation about them.)

Customer: “Yeah, for some reason, their appetites increase during the summer.”

Me: “That’s normal. The warmer temperatures make them more active, so they’re going to eat more.”

Customer: “I just don’t know what’s going on. My leopard geckos always act like they’re starving!”

Me: “Oh? How often do you feed them?”

Customer: “Once a month.”

Me: *wondering if maybe I misheard and she has a snake* “What type of animal did you say you have again?”

Customer: *annoyed* “Lizard!”

Me: “But what type of lizard?”

Customer: “Gecko? Leopard gecko.”

Me: “Ma’am, leopard geckos need to eat every other day! Three times a week at the bare minimum!”

Customer: “That’s not true! More than once a month will kill them.”

Me: “Ma’am, I’ve had leopard geckos since I was in middle school. They’re my favorite animal in this building. You NEED to feed them more than once a month, or they WILL starve.”

Customer: *huffy and offended* “Well, I’ve had leopard geckos for years, so I know what I’m doing.”

(I later found out that she’d complained to the cashier about how rude “the cricket girl” was and had threatened to call the manager. Since I WAS the manager, a part of me wishes she had!)


Cause For Pregnant Pause, Part 14

| Burnsville, MN, USA | Bad Behavior, Health & Body, Wild & Unruly

(I manage a retail store that does engravings. When customers want something done we go to a little counter, stand opposite the customer, and explain pricing. I am due to have my daughter any day when this happens. I’m tall and have always been really skinny.)

Nice Young Couple: “We want to get [Item] with [Name] on it.”

Me: “Oh, that’s such a cute name!”

(I explain the pricing. All is going well.)

Woman: “I’m six months along and feel like a whale! How far are you?”

Me: “I’m nine months. Actually, the doctor said I should have popped a week ago. When I’m done working, I walk the Mall of America like a crazy person because a manager over there swears it helps induce labor!”

Woman: “You’re nine months!? Why are you so small?!”

Me: “I don’t know. I’m just naturally skinny but the doctor predicted that she would at least be seven pounds or more.”

Woman: *suddenly incredibly angry* “I’m only six months and bigger than you! That’s not fair!”

(At that point the woman went savage and actually tried to climb over the counter to hit me. Her boyfriend grabbed her and dragged her out of the store kicking and screaming “It’s not fair!” while giving me a look that said “I’m so sorry!” Two days later I got my doctor to give me a note saying I couldn’t work anymore while pregnant because of blood pressure issues. I had my baby a week later and quit when my maternity leave was up. I have never, and will never, go back to retail. I have a lot of respect for people that stick it out. You don’t get paid enough.)


Cause For Pregnant Pause, Part 13

Cause For Pregnant Pause, Part 12

Cause For Pregnant Pause, Part 11


Wearing The Bracelets Of Persecution

| AB, Canada | Bigotry, Criminal & Illegal

(Two women come in and pick out several hundred dollars worth of things. This is something that we watch for because it is an excellent tactic for shoplifting. Eventually they approach the counter.)

Girl #1: “Why are they watching us?”

Girl #2: “It’s because we’re Native, isn’t it?”

Me: “No, we have employees stationed at various point through the store at all times to create the optimal experience for customers to be able to locate an employee without much issue.”

(I watch the girl slip a bracelet into her pocket.)

Me: “So with the bracelet in your pocket, your total will be [Total]. And in fact they are one for [Price] or two for [Better Price].

Girl #1: “There is no bracelet in my pocket.”

Me: “That’s because your friend grabbed it while you were trying to cause an issue about your race. I watched you.”

Girl #2: “I’d like to speak with a manager.”

(My manager has been watching on the cameras in the back room. We have video of the girl blatantly taking the bracelet. The manager comes out.)

Manager #1: “Girls, security has been alerted. You have two options here. You can hand over the bracelet and pay for ALL of the items, or face prosecution.”

Girl #2: “You have no proof.”

Manager #1: *points at the camera* “We do.”

(They hand over the bracelet and a gift card.)

Me: “This gift card will not be sufficient to cover the costs of these items.”

(At this point security shows up and escorts them out of the store and asks if we’d like to pursue charges. Thinking they learnt their lesson, we chose not to go forward with charges but did place a ban on them from returning. On my next shift:)

Manager #2: “So, what happened the other day?”

(I explain what happened.)

Manager #2: “That’s not what [District Manager] said. She heard from the girls’ mother. Apparently they called her to lodge a formal complaint after the girls said you called them [derogatory term for Native women].”

Me: “Um, no, I called out the one girl for attempting to steal an item. Then security escorted them out.”

(They launched a full investigation into the incident and finally the girls broke down and explained that they were angry that I had caught them and lied to get me fired.)

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