Another Day, Another Bold-Faced Liar

, , , | Working | April 1, 2020

(I answer the phone for the umpteenth time this morning. Everything’s been normal and boring so far, just how I like it.)

Me: “Good morning, this is [Business]. My name is [My Name]. How can I help you?”

Caller: “Hey. Can I speak to [Dining Manager], please?”

Me: “Let me see if he’s in. May I ask who’s calling?”

Caller: “Yeah, this is [Caller]. He’ll know who I am.”

Me: “Okay, just a moment, please. Let me see if [Dining Manager] is in.”

(He is; he’s just walked in the door and is listening. He motions for the phone and I take it off hold to hand to him.)

Dining Manager: “Hello, this is [Dining Manager].”

(He says, “Uh-huh,” and, “Okay,” and other general murmurs of agreement as the caller speaks.)

Dining Manager: “That sounds great; what company are you from again?”

(He listens some more and then his face screws up, and he makes a “WTF” face.)

Dining Manager: “Well, I think if you’re looking to sell me some cleaning chemicals, you could tell me what company you’re selling for.”

(He listens some more.)

Dining Manager: “No, if you can’t tell me what company this is, I think… Huh, he hung up.”

Me: “What the heck was that all about?”

Dining Manager: “It was a scam. They basically offer you a box of free chemicals and then when you eventually get them, they charge you. Idiots.”

Me: “So, I’m guessing you didn’t know [Caller], huh?” *laughing*

Dining Manager: “Nope.” *also laughing*

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How She Made Her Millions: Stealing Tea

, , , , , | Working | April 1, 2020

(I work in an assisted living facility. Part of my job is taking care of a small beverage station in the front lobby that is self-serve, although I tend to make the hot drinks for the residents or anyone else who needs the help. In front of the station is a wooden box with different kinds of tea and packets to make hot chocolate. Most people — in fact, everyone I’ve seen except for this one woman — takes one packet, tea bag, or whatever they need for the one drink they’re having at that moment. But this one woman is family of one of the residents, in her 30s or 40s, looks very well-off — expensive brand-name clothing, Coach purse, drives a BMV — and looks fit and healthy. She doesn’t understand the concept of “take one.” She takes ALL of them every time she comes in. She cleans us out. My boss won’t let me directly call her out on it, either. I have finally had enough, so when I see her the next time parking her car and coming in, just after I have unlocked the door, I walk over to the beverage station while she signs in and fuss around straightening it up. I hide the tea bags and hot chocolate packets in the cabinet underneath. She comes up to do her daily “shopping” and…)

Woman: “Oh! Where are the tea packets and the hot chocolate?”

Me: “I’m sorry, we’ve gotten rid of them because someone keeps stealing them all at once and it’s costing us too much money.”

(The woman’s eyes widen and she huffs.)

Woman: “They’re for everyone, aren’t they?!”

Me: *still entirely polite* “Yes, everyone was welcome to take what they needed to make one drink at a time. But someone was taking everything at once, so now no one gets tea or hot chocolate. I’m sorry.” 

(I smiled at her. The woman stomped her foot like a child, got a single cup of black coffee, and stalked off. Petty? Maybe. But the next couple of times I saw her come in, she got her single cup of coffee and went about her visit, ignoring the tea bags and hot chocolate packets I had put back out. Feels like a victory to me.)

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The Human Step-Counter

, , , , , | Working | March 29, 2020

(I fall off my bike on my way to get some dinner before covering an overnight shift at the front desk for my coworker on a night I don’t usually work. I bang up my knee pretty good, but I am able to walk and everything, and working at a retirement home means orphaned canes. This is about twelve hours after I fell, and my shift is over. We have calendars listing weekly events in the elevators.)

Coworker: “You didn’t change the calendars last night.”

Me: “No, I fell off my bike. Can’t walk that far. I can wait here if you want to do them now.”

Coworker: “No, I’ll get someone else to do them. Why didn’t you do them?”

Me: “Because I fell off my bike yesterday.”

Coworker: “But you can walk?”

Me: “Yeah, it’s not that bad, but it’s really limited how many steps I can take today.”

Coworker: “But you didn’t change the calendars.”

Me: “Yeah, because I can’t walk that far. My knee hurts.”

Coworker: “But you can walk home?”

Me: “Yes, because I didn’t do the calendars.”

Coworker: “Then why didn’t you do the calendars?”

Me: “Because I can only walk so far. And not fast enough to catch the elevators.”

Coworker: “Then why didn’t you come back to the desk and rest in between?”

Me: “Because that is physically more steps.”

Coworker: “No, it’s not; you rest in between.”

Me: “It’s physically more steps.”

Coworker: “Whatever. Why didn’t you stay home?”

Me: “Because I was already covering a shift and there wasn’t anybody to take it?”

Coworker: “I wouldn’t have come in if I was in pain.”

(Note: this coworker didn’t show up for her shift the day before, stranding the coworker I was covering for two extra hours and making our boss work the shift.)

Me: “Well, I have chronic pain, so it isn’t that big of a deal.”

Coworker: “Then why didn’t you do the calendars?”

Me: “Because I have a limited number of steps.”

Coworker: “Whatever. I don’t believe you anyway.”

Me: “All right, if you could only eat 2,000 calories a day, you wouldn’t spend it all on candy, right? You would eat something else? That’s what I’m doing with my steps. I have a limited number.”

Coworker: “I don’t get it.”

Me: “And I don’t think you ever will.”

(I limped out then with my cane. As it was the weekend, I had to go further to catch public transit and barely made it home as it was. I don’t think I would have made it if I’d done the calendars. I’m very glad that I don’t see her very often. Thanks for nothing, [Coworker]!)

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I Got 99 Problems, And… We Should Really Get Out Of Here

, , , , , | Working | March 18, 2020

About ten years ago, I worked in a nursing home. The building was old and while we waited for the new build to start, there wasn’t much money spent on repairs. Needless to say, the old building had some “problems.”

Problem 1: I was working with an intern who had just started. She was unaware of some of the issues we had to deal within the building. She and I walked into a small room where a resident was sleeping. She had thrown up and the room was really smelly. While I grabbed towels and water, the intern tried to open the window. 

When I realised this I yelled, “NO, DON’T! It’ll…”

Then, there was an almighty crash and the sound of glass breaking into thousands of pieces. The intern was standing near the space where the window was, still holding on to the latch.

“…fall out,” I finished.

The window wasn’t to be opened anymore, as staff knew the hinges were so rusted the window would drop out. It had to be replaced, as it was a tad cold in a bedroom without a window. But the smell was gone!

Problem 2: I was working the nightshift and doing my rounds. I was just walking along the third floor hallway when I suddenly heard the elevator arriving. The doors opened and I had a serious jumpscare, as the elevator should stay on the ground floor with the doors open all night. Nobody was supposed to use the elevator at night.

The doors opened and I could see nobody in the elevator at all. The doors closed and I heard it travelling up to the top floor where it opened again and closed. It then went down again and opened and closed again. This apparently happened every night around 3:00 am. The elevator would travel up and stop at every floor, and when it reached the top floor it would travel down, again stopping at every floor. Nobody knew why, not even the technicians who had been called a couple of times, but they couldn’t locate the problem. We called it the elevator ghost.

Problem 3: One wing had sunscreens which were all attached to each other. That is, there was only one button which controlled all sunscreens on that wing. If you wanted to pull them out — or in — you needed to look outside first to see if anyone had their door open. If so, it needed to be closed first. One of my coworkers forgot to check and took out two doors. Both got torn from the hinges and had to be fixed. The boss wasn’t best pleased.

Problem 4: We were having a fire drill and one of our residents had to be “evacuated” from his room. As the “fire” was further down the hall, we got him to the top of the hall, only to realise the evacuation chair was missing. Someone thought it wasn’t needed and had had it removed. As it was a drill, we joked with the resident — a relatively young guy — about throwing him off the stairs. The fire department just carried him down, but a new chair was needed in order to pass the drill.

There are quite a few more stories; some deserve their own story completely.

Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head

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Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head…

, , , , , | Working | March 18, 2020

About ten years ago I worked in a nursing home located in a very old building, in desperate need of a new building. The build finally started and problems to the old building were patched up, not fixed.

I was working a night shift with a coworker when, around 2:00 am, a long-awaited thunderstorm arrived. We made a bet where we would have to mop up water, as the roof was leaking. Up until that night, it wasn’t too bad, just a bit of a nuisance. That night, it changed.

We made our way to the top floor where we didn’t find any water. So, we went down to the main hall, which was a more recent addition to the building. We found a giant puddle near the bar area and started mopping it up. The rain intensified and it was pouring down quite badly. From the window, we couldn’t see a thing other than rain.

At around 2:20 am, I got a call from a resident up on the top floor. At first, I heard nothing but water gushing. Then I heard this:

“Please… I’m drowning!”

I could hear the anxiety in her voice, so my coworker and I rushed up to the top floor and into her apartment. We found the resident in bed, scooted as far as she could to the left. Keep in mind that this resident couldn’t move without help, so this must have been a massive feat for her.

Water was literally pouring down into her bed. Everything was soaked, including our resident. My coworker and I moved the bed away from the water as quickly as we could. Half the ceiling had collapsed onto the bed, miraculously missing her head. The other half was hanging by a thread. My coworker ran to turn off the electricity as water was gushing out of the sockets and from the lamps. In the living room, the ceiling hadn’t yet collapsed, but the weight of the water was very visible. We managed to get our resident out of her room before the whole ceiling collapsed. My coworker made a bed for her in another room, which would be occupied the next morning, and I moved the resident to a shower room to get a nice hot shower.

The resident said to me, “Well… I bet you didn’t expect that when I called.”

“No, not really,” I replied. “I thought you were joking about drowning.”

“I wasn’t.”

“No, I know now. But I’m glad you didn’t drown in your bed.”

Then, the resident laughed and said, “That would’ve made a nice headline. Woman drowns in bed.”

“I wouldn’t have had a clue how to tell that to your children,” I told her, also laughing.

We got her into bed and checked all five other rooms on the top floor. No water was found in any of the other rooms, although we didn’t turn on the electricity on the top floor that night. We did call the fire department to check the roof and we called our boss, who wasn’t pleased we called her at 3:00 or 4:00 am, though she was glad the resident was okay. The fire department found a large hole in the roof, just above the resident’s room. It took two weeks before the resident could return to her room.

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