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Shouldn’t Have Aided Him

| Working | November 5, 2015

(I am a receptionist at a senior home. When we clock in or out we have to put one hand on a pad that scans it. I’m sitting at the desk on a Sunday afternoon and when one of the laundry guys walks by:)

Laundry Guy: *while walking* “Can I throw this in your garbage?”

Me: *sticking hand out* “Yeah, no problem!” *assuming it is paper or a wrapper or something*

Laundry Guy: *dropping used band aids in my hand* “Thanks! It wouldn’t let me clock in with these on!”

(I’ve never washed my hands harder or used more hand sanitizer in my life.)


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Not Exactly A Tray Of Sunshine

| Right | October 21, 2015

(I work in an assisted living facility. We take care of elderly people who are no longer able to do everything for themselves, but are not completely incapable of overseeing their own care. I’ve only been a caregiver at the facility for about two months, and this particular resident moved into the facility about a month ago. Because of the way the facility is set up and the work they like to start new people on, I have never seen her before and have only entered this resident’s room because the caregiver assigned to her is busy, and the receptionist noticed she missed breakfast and wanted someone to check in on her. It has also snowed heavily a few days ago, something that rarely happens in our area and that road maintenance is completely unequipped to handle, so road conditions are poor and have been so for a few days.)

Me: “[Resident]? Good morning. You didn’t come down for breakfast. Can I bring you a tray?”

Resident: “No. You can take this one out.”

(She gives me a tray from her dinner the night before.)

Resident: “No one ever takes my tray in the evening. I don’t know if you’re all lazy or what, but something needs to change. No one ever checks in on me.”

Me: “I’m sorry about that. I’ll see about leaving a note to help remind everyone to come in and check on you.”

Resident: “Well, what I want to know is why they need to be reminded at all? It can’t be that you’re all bad employees. And if it is then you should have been fired a long time ago.”

Me: “I don’t know why someone would need a reminder. It could be that they haven’t added you to the list of residents to check in on yet. I don’t know how often it’s updated.”

Resident: “I’ve been here a month. When are they going to add me?”

Me: “They might have done so already. That was just a guess. Are you sure you don’t want breakfast?”

Resident: “Yes. But can you see about getting me [medication]? I only have one dose left. My daughter usually picks up my refills from a [Drug Store] in [Town], but her car can’t drive in the snow. There isn’t anyone else in the area who can get it for me.”

Me: “I’ll ask a nurse about it and see what we can do.”

Resident: “Good. I’m suffocating here.”

(At this point the receptionist phones the resident’s room. I haven’t contacted them fast enough to let them know I’m checking in on the resident, so they ask if the resident needs anything for breakfast.)

Resident: “No! I don’t want a tray. You people charge [amount] for each one you bring up and I’m already paying [amount] a month to live here and you haven’t even added me to your list.”

(She paused to listen to the receptionist again.)

Resident: “I don’t know. Just make sure this doesn’t happen again.” *hangs up phone*

Me: “W-well, is there anything else you’d like me to do for you while I’m here?”

Resident: “Yes. Would you get me some coffee and a glass of water. There’s a machine in the kitchen.”

(I fetched her coffee, at which time I couldn’t help but notice that given the state of her kitchen, she either lied about her daughter’s inability to drive in the snow or was completely capable of getting to the kitchen and handling all of the equipment in it. Pouring drinks is a minor request, and she already seemed to be in a bad mood over insufficient care, so I still got her coffee, but we’re supposed to leave tasks that a resident can do for themselves to the resident. If we always did everything for them, they could lose certain capabilities from disuse. After I left her room, I tracked down the list of residents and level of care they required. Her name was on the list, as was the explanation for her room tray problem. As per her request, no one was allowed in her room roughly 15 minutes after we typically deliver dinner trays. Those 15 minutes are also some of the busiest of the shift. The only thing preventing her from getting her tray removed was her unworkable demands.)

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Betrayed By Coffee

| Working | September 9, 2015

(I’m a new hire as a waitress. My job is to make sure the elderly residents have anything they need to eat and drink, at all times.)

Me: *going around the dining room* “Do you need anything? Can I get you some more coffee?”

All Residents: “No thanks, we’re good.”

(I stand and wait. A minute later, my supervisor spots me standing there, and storms up.)

Supervisor: “What’re you doing? We don’t pay you stand around looking pretty, understand?! You’re supposed to find out what the residents need!”

Me: “But I just asked them and they said they were fine.”

Supervisor: “Liar!”

Me: “I did. Look, they’ll tell you.” *calls out the elderly residents* “Does anyone need anything?”

Them: “No, we said we’re fine!”

Me: “See?”

Supervisor: *sputters* “Well… you’re… supposed to…”

(Suddenly, one elderly resident calls out.)

Elderly Resident: “Actually, could you give me some coffee?”

Supervisor: “Ha! See?”

Me: “…”

(Afterward, I was written up for not doing anything and ignoring the supervisor’s commands.)

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Not Quite On Top Of Things

, , | Working | August 30, 2015

(I work with teenaged girls in a group home.)

Resident: “Ms. [My Name], are there any more sausage breakfasts left?”

Me: “Yes, in the door at the top.”

(I didn’t give her more detail because she knew they’d be in the freezer section at least. Five minutes later…)

Resident: “Ms. [My Name], there aren’t any left.”

Me: “I saw one in there earlier and no one else has gone into the fridge, so it should be there.”

(I follow the resident to the kitchen and watch her search. She opens the freezer door.)

Me: “At the top.”

(She looks in the middle, on the bottom…)

Me: “It’s at the top. Right there, in the door…”

(She is now looking in the actual freezer; she closes it, opens the refrigerator, and doesn’t find it, of course.)

Me: “It’s in the freezer door! At the top!”

Resident: “No, it’s not. I looked there!”

Me: “It’s there. Right there. Right in front of your eyes!”

(She reaches into the top compartment and finds the package.)

Resident: “Oooh! Why didn’t you tell me it was there!”

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A Real Hum-Dinger Of A Hymn

| Working | July 31, 2015

(My mother-in-law is in assisted-living apartments, and is very happy at Easter because they are going to have Easter church services at the facility.)

Mother-In-Law: “They were putting together the program but had to redo it.”

Me: “Why?”

Mother-In-Law: “It seems they’d included a couple of hymns as part of the service and the know-it-all administrator had volunteered to type up the hymns from a hymnal.”

Me: “Why was that a problem?”

Mother-In-Law: “She didn’t understand that the verses are printed above the music and the same music is used for each of the four lines, so she just typed the words in the order they appeared, which totally scrambled the whole thing. I overheard the conversation…”

(Below is the conversation, as described by my mother-in-law:)

Know-it-all Administrator: “Well, I’m not a musician! Who on Earth could be expected to know this stuff?”

Events Coordinator: “But [Administrator], you go to church every single week which is why you don’t work Sundays. Don’t they sing in your church?”

Know-it-all Administrator: “Well, of course, they do, but I just hum along because I never could figure out the song book!”

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