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Books For The Win!

, , , , , | Right | June 1, 2021

I’m a female Army veteran. I have a job as a day aide for elderly clients. One of my clients is a ninety-eight-year-old lady who is very exacting about how she wants things done. She is also mostly blind, so she wants me to read to her.

Client: “I want you to read some short stories to me. Have you ever heard of The Decameron?”

Me: “No, I haven’t.”

Client: “Oh. I guess there isn’t much literature reading in the Army.”

Me: “Well, that’s rude.”

Client: *Staring at me in shock* “What do you mean?”

Me: “You saying there isn’t much literature reading in the Army. I do read.”

Client: “Oh, I just meant you hadn’t had a literature class.”

Me: “I have, in high school and in college. I’ve read plenty of classics, like The Iliad, The Odyssey, and The Aeneid. Just because I haven’t heard of this particular book doesn’t mean I’m uneducated.”

Client: “Well, I… I didn’t mean to imply that you don’t read. Just that you… I’m sorry.”

Since she apologized, I decided to let it go at that and read the stories to her. Once we got past that, we actually had a good conversation about the book, which is a series of stories based on the Black Plague. Yes, I know, a bit weird to read that right now, but it was nice to sit and talk. When it was time to leave, she said she was excited to have me back to read, so that’s a win.

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Gordon Was Their Glue

, , , | Working | May 11, 2021

Gordon was a janitor, odd-job man, and general get-things-done man at a care facility for vulnerable adults and the elderly. He was happy, friendly, cheerful, and competent, kept the infrastructure running well, and kept the place spick and span. Basically, he was really good at his job and went above and beyond as the necessity presented itself.

Come the day when the place was computerised. The requirement was now that he book all his activities on a computerised timesheet, for which he had to have a computer of his own or a mobile phone. Gordon did not have a computer and didn’t have the most up-to-date phone; all he needed to do was to take phone calls, which he managed perfectly well with his old model.

This latest requirement gave him a lot of trouble. He managed to get around it by being allowed to use one of the computers in the office, which was not part of his domain, and he felt socially awkward in there. Not only was it a complicated, fiddly, and awkwardly buggy piece of software — it used to crash when you didn’t enter the operations in the correct order — but Gordon did not take easily to learning how to use a computer. Equally unfortunately, there was nobody in the facility who was skilled in training a technological newcomer, and he was getting shouted at plenty, so of course, he found himself shouting back.

It didn’t end well. He was given an ultimatum: shape up or ship out. He was close to retirement anyway, so he took that early retirement and shipped out before the facility had even begun to think about getting his replacement trained up. They were forced to rely completely on the agency staff who had been used on a temporary basis on the occasions when Gordon was on leave. While competent enough at general janitorial duties, such temporary staff were nowhere near familiar enough with the facility to know how to keep it running properly, and things started progressively breaking down and not getting properly repaired, and of course, it turned out that Gordon had contacts in the trade where he would call specific people to get various repairs done. Without Gordon’s happy smiling presence, coupled with the increasingly shabby and ill-maintained infrastructure, morale plummeted, and staff started to drift away. Hence, they started failing inspections, and in due course, the facility closed. I’m not sure what happened to the residents; I believe they were shunted off to other establishments.

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The Hits Just Keep On Coming

, , , , , | Working | March 12, 2021

A few years ago, I suffered a concussion at work. I had clipped the lid of a plastic recycling bin on a door handle and, due to the force I was shoving it with, managed to have the lid flip back on my head with enough force that it broke my glasses.

The first problem occurred four hours after the incident. I was still at work because we always had staffing issues and didn’t want to screw them up. I talked to my manager.

Me: “Hey, my head is still pounding and I am dizzy. I need to go home.”

He proceeded to SLAM his clipboard down and walk away. I went home.

A few days later, I got my concussion diagnosis and proceeded to take a few months off. Eventually, I managed to get into a concussion clinic where they started helping me through dealing with the pain. 

I had a pair of friends working there. The second issue I had was that they let me know that management and other staff members didn’t believe me because, “You can’t get a concussion from plastic.” I was pretty upset about that and was considering whether it was worth going back if they didn’t believe I had been injured over the last few months.

The third issue occurred one day when I lost a filling. I skipped my shift so I could get it fixed instead. Where I live, when you get injured at work, you are given a caseworker and they review your case, make sure you are doing what you need to do, etc. He called me and said that I was under review for not being injured; they had gotten calls that I was okay, and me missing my shift that day was a red flag. I burst into tears.

That was the last straw. After I finished my next shift, I handed my resignation in to that job. Just because you can’t see an injury doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, and the workers essentially bullied me out of there.

I found out a year later that my replacement had a heck of a time trying to do my job because, apparently, I did more stuff than they realized, and then they bullied her out, too. I’m unsurprised that the building still has a high turnover.

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Your Ability To Accept Help Is Useless

, , , | Right | March 9, 2021

I answer the phone, as I do hundreds of times a day. The caller sounds to be in her thirties or forties.

Me: “Good morning, [Business]; this is [My Name].”

Caller: *Silence*

Me: “Hello?”

Caller: “Oh… uh… Who is this?”

Me: “[My Name] at [Business].”

Caller: “Is this the assisted living place at [Hospital about twenty miles away]?”

Me: “No, this is [Business]. We’re not associated with [Hospital].”

Caller: “Oh… Can you transfer me to them?”

Me: “I’m sorry, no. We’re not associated with them. I have no way to do that. I could—”

Caller: “Well, you’re just no help at all!” *Hangs up*

I was going to offer to Google the correct number for them, but some people just can’t be helped.

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What Did Grandpa Do?

, , , , | Right | February 27, 2021

I work at the reception desk at a retirement center. We frequently receive calls from confused/sundowning elderly people trying to contact friends or family who live in the facility.

Me: *Answering the phone* “Good morning! This is [Facility] how may I help you?”

There is no answer, only the sound of shuffling and button pressing.

Me: *Louder* “Hello? Hello, this is [Facility]. May I help you?”

There was more button pressing, and then in the background, there was a sudden, scandalized cry of, “GRANDPA, NO!” before the call abruptly disconnected.

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