The Good Times Will Come Again

, , , , , , , | Hopeless | December 22, 2017

(We’ve been seeing one of our patients regularly for the six years I’ve worked in this intensive care unit, and according to my coworkers he’s been a fixture since he was four months old. He’s 15 now, suffering from a serious heart condition and awaiting a transplant. He’s one of the politest, funniest, and genuinely nicest young men I have ever come across. Today, finally, he’s getting his new heart. Typically organ donation is done completely anonymously in Australia, and we aren’t legally allowed to tell anyone who their organs came from. In this case, the heart is coming from a 19-year-old boy who was killed by a drunk driver. As uncommon as it is, he was brought to our hospital and his parents have agreed to turn off his life support and donate his organs, so his parents are still hanging around saying their final goodbyes after surgery. The procedure goes well and our 15-year-old patient is asleep in his room, 18 hours after surgery. I’ve just finished some paperwork and am sitting at the nurses station chatting to some of the nurses. The 19-year-old’s parents have come out of their son’s room and asked if there is anything left to sign. My colleague is walking them through the final forms for the funeral home when the alarms start sounding for our 15-year-old patient. Several of us break into a dead sprint and go to help him. We burst into his room all at once to find him sitting up in bed, absolutely mortified.)

Me: “[Patient], what’s happening? Are you feeling okay?” *I start checking him over*

Patient: “Yes! Everything is fine! I’m fine!”

(I hear a giggle from behind me and look down. The poor kid has a pillow across his lap and a box of tissues next to him on the bed. I deduce that he has been “test-driving” his new heart, and we all slink out of the room, leaving him on his own to deal with his embarrassment. As we come back to the desk, one of the nurses tells the others what happened. From behind us, we hear a short laugh. We turn and see the 19-year-old’s parents, both struggling to contain their laughter.)

Me: “Oh, I’m so sorry; I didn’t know you were there.”

(They break into uproarious laughter. It’s infectious, and eventually we’re all laughing. The 19-year-old’s mother eventually catches her breath enough to speak.)

Mother: “I’m sorry; I know it’s all supposed to be anonymous, but we know he ended up with our boy’s heart. Honestly, with the amount of time he spent in the bathroom as a teenager, I can’t think of anything more true to his memory than what that young man was doing!”

(It might have scared the h*** out of us when it was happening, but that teenager gave some good people a great laugh, exactly when they needed it.)

We’re Not Selling What You’re Buying

, , , , , , | Right | October 30, 2017

(I work at a large and “alternative” store known for its laid back attitude and plain-clothes “uniform.” People tend to shop at this store for the prices, regardless of how they feel about alternative culture. We are trained to ask open-ended questions when approaching customers.)

Me: “Hi there! What brings you into [Store] today?”

Customer: *looking me up and down with disdain* “Does this look like a F****** CHEMIST to you?”

Me: *stuttering* “No?”

Customer: “Then, clearly, I want to buy something! F***!”

Me: *smiles and walks off*

Don’t Mess With Family (Business)

, , , , , , , | Working | October 13, 2017

(My wife and I have owned a café a few blocks from our house for over a year. I suck at cooking, so 90% of the time I’m a stay-at-home dad to our two-year-old, while my wife is at the café nigh on constantly. I do help out from time to time, and I’ve met most of the employees. I decide to bring our daughter in for lunch one day, since she’s been begging for mummy since she woke up.)

Me: *talking to new employee I’d never seen before* “Hi, is [Wife] in? I’d like to speak to her.”

New Employee: *rolls eyes and sighs* “I don’t know.”

Me: “Could you please find out?”

New Employee: *sighs again* “I can get the boss for you, but I don’t know who [Wife] is.”

Me: “[Wife] is the boss.”

New Employee: *snorts* “No, she isn’t. You’ve been lied to, mate.”

Me: *getting pretty angry at this point about how rude this girl is* “Just get the boss, then.”

New Employee: “Fine, if you’re going to be rude about it!”

(She stalks off. My daughter climbs up onto one of the chairs and sits at the table, pretending to read the menu and excitedly telling anyone who walks past, “SEE MY MUMMY!”)

New Employee: *stalks back over* “He’s coming. Could you control your kid, please? She’s bothering the other customers.”

Me: “She’s not hurting anyone.”

New Employee: “Ugh, whatever.”

(She flounces off to serve someone. A very frazzled looking [Brother-In-Law] comes out of the office and sees me.)

Brother-In-Law: “Oh, it’s just you! I thought it was another bloody complaint about her. [Wife] will be back in a bit; she just ran to get the milk order. Hey there, [Daughter]!”

(My daughter grins and giggles at the sight of her uncle, and in her excitement, knocks over her sippy cup she’d brought with her. It’s spill-proof, so it just falls to the floor and rolls under the table.)

Daughter: “Uh-oh! Sorry, Daddy!”

Me: “That’s fine, sweetie.”

(Before I can get over there, the new employee storms over, picks up the sippy cup, and SLAMS it onto the table, narrowly missing my daughter’s hand. The sudden noise and the girl’s angry face scares my daughter, who begins to cry.)

Brother-In-Law: “Hey! What the h***?!”

New Employee: “She’s been running around wrecking the place since he walked in, demanding to see some lady. He can’t control his kid, and he’s obviously picked up with some woman who lied about being the boss here to seem important.”

Me: “I asked to see [Wife] and she has been nothing but rude. Should I tell her or should you?”

(My brother-in-law has picked up my daughter and is cuddling her, trying to stop her from crying.)

Brother-In-Law: “[New Employee], [Wife] is the boss.”

New Employee: “No, she isn’t. [Supervisor who happens to be my sister-in-law] said some married couple owned the place. She’s not married; she doesn’t wear a ring.”

Me: “She doesn’t wear a ring because when she cooks it tears the gloves. It’s on a necklace instead.”

New Employee: “Ugh, whatever. Could you just stay out of this?”

Me: “Here, take a look at my license.”

(I hand her my wallet, and she flips it open and looks at my license. I’ve never seen someone go so pale so quickly as this employee when she looks at my surname — the name of the d*** café.)

Me: *to [Brother-In-Law]* “Has she had her warnings?”

Brother-In-Law: *grins* “Two, in writing. [Wife] wanted to give her one last chance.”

Me: “I’d say she’s used that.” *to her* “You’re fired.”

New Employee: *stammering* “You can’t do that! You’re not the boss! I’m sorry! I won’t do it again!”

Wife: *who has apparently been standing quietly in the office doorway for a few minutes and has heard enough* “I am definitely the boss, and you are definitely fired.”

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Requires A Nugget Of Sense

, , , , | Working | September 29, 2017

(This takes place at a well-known fried chicken restaurant. I have never had an issue placing this order, as the vast majority are aware of how to do maths.)

Me: “May I please get 20 chicken nuggets?”

Cashier: *who is definitely not a teenager; stares at me like I’m stupid* “We only do 10 maximum.”

Me: *after visibly steeling myself to refrain from replying sarcastically* “Then I will have two lots of ten nuggets, please.”

Cashier: “Oh! Sure! That’ll be [Price].”

(The sheer amount of idiocy shown was overwhelming. I was stunned.)

No Longer Part Of The Charity Machine

, , , , , , | Right | September 2, 2017

(My husband and I both work at a community centre, which provides emergency relief [food vouchers and parcels, help to get medications and pay bills such as rent, electricity, etc.] generally only four times a year, but some people take advantage of this. I have just been promoted from a volunteer to a paid worker, while my husband has been a paid worker for two years. We go to a local pub for dinner to celebrate. After dinner, we decide to put a couple of dollars in the pokies. My husband goes to the bathroom and to get drinks while I choose a machine. There are only handful of people in the gaming room. I find a machine I like and put a couple of dollars in it, and on my second spin I win some free games. I notice an older lady standing behind me, watching as I win over $60. As I go to play it down to an even $60, I can hear her mumbling behind me but don’t pay any attention. I happen to get the free games again, taking my total up to just over $100. I get a coin bucket and push “collect” when I’m pushed off my chair. I look up to see the old lady grabbing dollar coins from the machine.)

Me: “What the h***?”

Lady: “This is my machine. You’re playing my machine, so this is my money.”

(I’m confused, as there was no credit on the machine or reserve sign up. My husband and the gaming manager race over to help me.)

Husband: “What the heck are you doing to my wife?”

Lady: “She’s trying to steal my money. That’s my machine.”

Manager: *after radioing for security* “Ma’am, you weren’t playing a machine. I have to ask you to give this lady her money back and leave, unless she would like to press assault charges. You will also be banned from here.”

Lady: “No, this is my machine, I always play this machine. I spend more here in a week than they’d make in a whole month. You ban them.”

(By this time, two security guards have arrived and my husband has helped me up, I decline to press charges and she is escorted out, screaming about how it’s her machine. We are given vouchers for drinks and the restaurant. The next week at the community centre, I’m being trained in the welfare side of things, as I had only worked in the second hand shop before, when the lady from the pub comes in. She doesn’t recognise me, but I pull aside the senior worker who is training me and explain what has happened. She explains that this lady comes in every week demanding food vouchers, payment for her prescriptions, and help with rent and bills. They had already decided to just give her a food parcel and advise her on financial counselling if she came back within three months, but after I explain what happened at the pub, this is what the senior worker does.)

Senior Worker: “I’m sorry Mrs. [Lady], but we are unable to assist you anymore. I can give you the numbers of some other places that may be able to help you.”

Lady: “What? No, you are a charity; you have to help me. I need food vouchers and these bills paid now.”

Senior Worker: “I’m afraid that, no, we don’t have to help you, as we generally only assist every three months, and if it’s more than that we only give food parcels. You have been here every week for the last three months, demanding assistance. I’m sorry; we can’t help you anymore for the next 12 months.”

Lady: “What? This is an outrage. How am I meant to pay my rent? How am I meant to eat? I have diabetes, you know. If I die because of not eating, it’s all your fault.”

Senior Worker: “Ma’am, as I said, I’ve got a list of numbers here that may help you, but can I suggest not spending more in a week than I make a whole month at [Pub]?”

(I tried not to laugh as the lady looked between me and the senior worker. She finally recognised my husband and me as another worker arrived to escort her out, all while she was screaming how it was her machine and her money, and how she was going to die because we wouldn’t give her food. The manager contacted other services in the area to warn them about her.)

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