They’re Outing Their Minds

, , , , | Right | February 25, 2021

I am working the front desk at an assisted living facility when two family members come up to look at the outing lists I have posted on the side of the desk.

Woman: “So… this outing today to [Mexican Restaurant]. Can she go on this?”

Me: “It looks like there’s enough space left! You’re welcome to sign her up.”

Woman: “But… then there’s this bus ride to tour [Local University Campus], too. How can she go to both?”

Man: “Yeah, that might be too much for her.”

Me: “Well, they’re both on different days.”

He points at dates in bold on the two sheets.

Man: “This one for the restaurant is for today and this one is for next week.”

Woman: “But if she goes to this one—”

She points to today’s outing.

Woman: “—at 11:30 and then the other at 1:00, she’ll have a really busy day and might get over-tired.”

The man is nodding along.

Me: “But… they’re not on the same day, so that wouldn’t be a problem. The restaurant outings usually take about two hours, sometimes two and a half or three with driving time. The bus tour takes around an hour. And our staff will always bring residents back who aren’t feeling up to it anymore.”

The woman nods while staring back and forth at both sheets.

Woman: “Okay… I’m just worried that two outings in one day might be pushing it.”

I am looking back and forth between the two.

Me: “They’re on separate days. This one is for today—” *points to it* “—and this one—” *points to it* “—is for next week. We only ever do one outing on a day.”

Woman: “I’m not sure… That’s quite a few hours out of the community in one day.”

Me: *Inner sigh* “Here.”

I pull out the calendar and point to today.

Me: “This is today. Today is the outing to [Mexican Restaurant].”

I slide my finger through the rest of the week and on to next Friday.

Me: “And here is the outing to [Bus Tour], a week from today. Each outing is a week apart, on different Fridays.”

Woman: “Hmm…”

Man: “But if she gets too tired doing two outings today, she can come back early?”

Me: *Giving up* “Yes, they will bring her back early if she gets too tired.”

Woman: “Okay, let’s sign her up for both of today’s outings, then.”

They signed the resident up for both of “today’s” outings and left. I have no idea where their brains were. Seriously, how else could I have explained it?! People have real issues paying attention.

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Making A Stand Over Candy

, , , | Right | February 15, 2021

I work in an assisted living facility. A woman comes into the front lobby and asks for our director. She’s expecting her for an interview.

Me: “I will let [Director] know you’re here.”

The woman keeps standing over my desk, staring at me.

Me: “You’re welcome to have a seat.”

Woman: “No, thank you.”

She continues to stand there, hovering.

Me: “Okay…”

I call the director to let her know her interview is here and then continue my typing work. She is still standing there.

Woman: “Is that for everybody?”

She points to candy on my desk that is partially hidden by the taller part of my desk and phone.

Me: “No… that’s my coworker’s.”

The woman gives me a suspicious look.

Woman: “Okay.”

Me: “I can’t just hand it out.”

Woman: “Fine.”

She crossed her arms and pouted. My boss came out and they went off for the interview. The candy was mine, by the way, not a random coworker’s. But who does that?! Lurking over a reception desk, not taking a seat when it’s offered, and trying to pilfer someone’s candy that’s obviously hidden on their desk…

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Introduce A Fine For Non-Sign-Outs And See What Happens

, , , | Right | February 3, 2021

I work in an assisted living facility. On my desk in the front lobby is a computer for visitors to sign in and out. A man is leaving, taking his wife, who is a resident, to an appointment.

Visitor: “You can sign us out. Our ride is here.”

Me: “I can sign [Resident] out, but I need your phone number to sign you out.”

Visitor: “Oh, I don’t need to sign out.”

He flounces off out the door.

Me: “You… you do, actually.”

I sighed and went through the process of looking through our online files to find his phone number and signed his rude a** out.

I wish I could say this was the one and only time this happened. The man is in his fifties and seems sound of mind. I understand being in a hurry, too, but ten seconds to sign out like every other person is too much, I guess.

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If Google Says So, It Must Be True, Part 2

, , , , | Right | January 20, 2021

It’s nearing the end of my shift and I’ve more than paid my dues dealing with stupid today. Then, I get this phone call.

Me: “[Business], this is [My Name]. How may I help you?”

Caller: *Silence*

Me: “Hello?”

Caller: “Um… ah, yes… is this [Totally Different Unrelated Business]?”

Me: “No… this is [Business].

Caller: “Oh… well, Google says this is the number for [Other Business]. This isn’t [Other Business]?”

Me: “No, ma’am. This is [Business].”

Caller: “But… Google has this number for [Other Business].”

Me: “I’m sorry, that’s not us. Google does mess up sometimes.”

Caller: “But Google lists [phone number] for [Other Business]!”

Me: “I don’t know how that reached us; that’s not our number.”

Caller: “Google says this should be [Other Business], though!”

We continued in that vein for a good five or ten minutes. Google is a good search engine, but it’s not omnipotent! And how hard is it to just say, “Sorry, wrong number”?

If Google Says So, It Must Be True

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The Conundrum Of Masks Continues

, , , , , | Working | January 15, 2021

I work in a retirement living facility; it’s not exactly a nursing home, as it also has independent living options for older folks. It’s a fairly hoity-toity place and pretty expensive to live in.

I do part-time reception while the current health crisis is happening and I’ve only been there for about three months. Our policies are changing almost daily, since we have healthcare, as well. My shifts are all over the place and both staff and residents are having a hard time keeping up with all the new procedures.

One of these recent changes is that we cannot provide residents with masks, as we are all going through boxes like crazy; staff are excluded in this rule if they need a fresh one. We all have to wear surgical masks, not cloth ones. Their families are supposed to provide them with their own masks going forward. This seems a bit silly, as everyone in the building is required to wear one at all times; however, this is a set-in-stone rule that cannot be pardoned, as I’ve been told.

The residents are used to asking us for masks all the time, so naturally, they’re a bit confused and often upset that we no longer pass them out. The following two incidents happen within a day of each other on the weekend.

Incident #1:

A resident approaches the front desk.

Resident #1: “I need a mask, please.”

Me: “I’m very sorry, but we are not giving out masks at this time.”

Resident #1: “What do you mean? I don’t have one and I need one. You can’t give one to me?”

Me: “Unfortunately, it’s not my decision. We were told by [Boss’s Boss] directly that we cannot give out masks anymore. I know it’s a pain, but it’s out of my hands. She also told us that you can speak with her about it, if you want to.”

Resident #1: “Well, how am I supposed to get one, then?!”

I try to explain the policy further, and then a staff member from the dining room comes over, evidently hearing the argument.

Dining Staff: “You can give her a mask; it’s okay.”

Me: “I’m afraid it’s not. We’ve been instructed by [Boss’s Boss] not to give them out to anyone but staff, and even then, we have to use discretion. I can’t give her one.”

Dining Staff: “Yes. You can. Give her one.”

It’s clear she won’t leave me alone until I do it. I don’t trust myself to turn my back in case she tries to steal one, so I give the resident a mask and stress that I will not do it again. They both leave me alone, finally.

But the dining staff member comes back after a few minutes and tells me, “I need a mask”. She reaches over the desk and takes one, and then leaves quickly before I can say something.

I send off an email to my manager about the situation and do not get a reply.

Incident #2:

Resident #2: “Can you give me a mask?”

I explain the policy again. The resident sees my box of masks.

Resident #2: “You have a full box and you can’t give me one? That’s ridiculous!”

She goes off a few feet away and starts complaining to a few people about me. This time, one of the nursing staff is around and hears the arguing, so she comes to see what is happening.

Nurse: “Why can’t you give her one?”

I attempt to explain once again, but she keeps cutting me off and asking, “But why?” again and again. I really can’t get more than a few words out before she interrupts me. Then, in mid-conversation, she actually TAKES ME BY THE ARM AND SPINS ME AROUND so I face the opposite wall.

Nurse: “Look over there!”

Instead, I turn back around to see her quickly take a mask from the box, walk back to [Resident #2], and give it to her.

Nurse: “She didn’t see anything!”

I’m stunned, to put it mildly, but I march over to her; I don’t care if I’m being a hard-a** at this point, but I am NOT going to get in trouble over something like this!

Me: “I’m sorry but you can’t do that! They’ll think they can bully me into giving out masks now!”

Nurse: “She needed one, so why didn’t you give her one?”

We go back and forth some more, again getting nowhere with her interrupting me. Eventually, she just ends the conversation with:

Nurse: “I’ll give you more masks so you can hand them out.”

And she leaves.

Fuming, I fire off another email, while keeping it discreet, to my manager, and I also tell the other receptionists what happened in case something like this happens again. I tell my manager to contact me if she wants more details. My manager reads my emails and just reiterates the policy to me, which doesn’t really help. I’m off for a few days after this, and I receive a phone call one evening.

Manager: “Hi, so… I heard from one of the receptionists that something happened on your shift? Can you tell me more about it?”

I then re-tell both of the incidents, with names included. I also mention that the staff may think they can get me to bend the rule because I am still considered “new.”

Manager: *Angrily* “That is totally unacceptable. They cannot undermine you for a rule that was set by [Boss’s Boss], no matter if you have been here three months or three years. And no one has the right to touch you like that, even if she was doing it in a joking manner. Can I ask you to send me an email that includes the entire incident? I want to have the details in writing.”

I agreed and sent off a long email, which she confirmed that she got. I haven’t heard anything since, and things seem to be settling down, so hopefully, it won’t happen again.

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