Patient Zero Intelligence

| Working | February 16, 2014

(I work at a retirement home. Many of the people that work there are less concerned about cleanliness than me. I’m in the maintenance/cleaning department. An outbreak is occurring and we are required to kit up in masks, gowns, and gloves on entering any rooms with sick patients. As my coworker and I are leaving a room, dressed up in all our gear, we hold the door open. A personal support worker (PSW) comes in, without wearing any gloves. Half the building is sick and it is very severe.)

Me: “You need a mask, gloves, and gown on, [PSW].”

PSW: “No, I only need it when I’m cleaning up puke.”

Coworker: “You’re going into an outbreak room. Everyone needs to wear them.”

PSW: *closing the door* “No. It’s not worth bothering with.”

Me: *to coworker* “Bet you five bucks she’s the first employee to come down with it.”

Coworker: “No way. Easy bet.”

(The PSW was the first to get it, as were several of her friends who agreed with her.)

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Could Have Gotten A Real Tongue-Lashing

| Working | November 9, 2013

(I work the front desk of a retirement home for a few weeks while they wait for their new hire to arrive. My main duty is to greet the elderly residents, answer questions, and answer the phone. It is Monday morning, and I take a call.)

Me: “Thank you and go-morling; I mean, thank you and good morning for calling [Retirement Village], rel… rem… recreational and visitation… I mean…”

(I make several noises like ‘ha blah bleh’ as I trip over my tongue a few times, before pausing to take a breath.)

Me: “I am so sorry; let me try that again. Good morning, and thank you for calling [Retirement Village], recreation and visitor center; this is [Name]. How can I help you today?”

(The caller has been laughing loudly on the other end of the phone since my first few mistakes, and takes a few deep breathes to try and calm down enough to respond.)

Caller: “Oh my God, that is the funniest thing I have ever heard! You got a bad case of the Mondays this morning, didn’t you?”

Me: “I am so sorry about that, I am usually much better than that! I really do have a case of the Mondays today! My tongue seems to be having a mind of its own, and tripping over itself!”

Caller: “Oh it is quite alright; I really needed that laugh! Be glad that it was an internal call, and not someone who was a prospective customer!”


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Not A Klan-destine Name

| Working | November 8, 2013

(While I’m working, two supervisors walk into my office and close the door. I assume this cannot be a good thing, until they both burst out laughing.)

Supervisor #1: “You would not believe the interview we just had! We were interviewing for the open maintenance position, and it was already going badly; the guy was wearing enough cologne that I needed to turn on a fan and ventilate the room. So we get to the end of our questions, and I ask if he has any questions for us. So he asks if we ‘have a problem with diversity’ here.”

Supervisor #2: “We were confused; we thought maybe he just wanted to know if there was diversity among the staff, and phrased it awkwardly.”

Supervisor #1: “So I explained that the maintenance department is very diverse: Native Americans, Latinos, Whites, African-Americans, recent immigrants from Eastern Europe…”

Supervisor #2: “And he buts in and says, ‘But do you have trouble with the blacks and whites working together? Don’t they have conflicts?'”

Supervisor #1: “And we have no idea what to say. So as we’re thanking him for his time, I look at his resume again, and notice that his name is K**** K. K*****. It’s either the worst coincidence in history, or he changed his name so his initials would be KKK!”

(Somehow, I don’t think he’s going to get the job.)


This story is part of our Juneteenth roundup!

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The Lights Are On, But Nobody’s Answering The Phone

| Working | June 19, 2013

(Note: We have sub-managers sent by the corporate office to cover for our managers while they are out of town. I am sitting in the office with a sub-manager and a co-worker.)

Phone: *rings*

(Instead of picking up the phone, the sub-manager speaks into thin air as if he had answered it.)

Sub-manager: “Thanks for calling [our place]. This is [sub-manager]. How can I help you?”

Phone: *rings*

(This time, the sub-manager actually picks up the phone.)

Sub-manager: “Thanks for calling [our place]. This is [sub-manager]. How can I help you?”

My Co-worker & Me: *jaws agape*

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Sub-Par Managers Don’t Rise To The Occasion

| Working | May 20, 2013

(The managers at our retirement community are out of town, so we have some corporate subs in. I’ve just returned from taking some folks out in the bus. I pass the manager’s office and see both sub-managers there, happily chatting. I then return to my office; while there, I overhear a conversation between two coworkers in the hall.)

Coworker #1: “I can’t believe the elevators are not working.  It has been so long. What are they going to do? How are we going to get to our rooms?”

Coworker #2: “I just feel so bad for the person who is in there.”

Me: “Is someone stuck in the elevator?”

Coworker #1: “Oh yes. She’s been in there close to an hour.”

Me: “Are you sure?”

Coworker #2: “Yes. Shortly after you left the elevator started making a funny noise and then we heard someone banging.”

Me: “Didn’t you tell the managers?”

Both Coworkers:  “We told them.”

(I run to the manager’s office and find a sub-manager there.)

Me: “Did you know someone was stuck in the elevator?”

Sub-Manager: “Yeah. The door is stuck or something. You know, I have a key here somewhere that will bring the elevator down to the first floor and then the door will open.”

Me: “Will you please get it!? Someone is in there?”

Sub-Manager: “I don’t think it is a resident. I think it is a nurse.”

Me: “Get the key!”

(It’s clear the stuck elevator is on a higher floor, so I get a screw diver and crowbar and run the stairs to the third floor. When I knock, I can clearly hear someone on the other side.)

Me: “Are you okay?”

Nurse: “NO! Get me out! Please help me!”

Me: “Okay. I know this is awful but we are going to get you out. Just take a deep breath. Okay?”

Nurse: “Okay.”

(She sounds very close to tears but a little less frantic.)

Me: “Now, I am going to try to force this door. I’ll need your help. Push as hard as you can against the door and towards your left. Ready?”

Nurse: “Ready.”

(Together, we get the door open in about five seconds and she jumps out. The nurse is okay, but clearly rattled, overheated, and thirsty, so a helpful resident comes with a bottle of water. I clean the elevator sensors and ride it down to the first floor to find both sub-managers still sitting there, talking.)

Me: “Did you find that key?”

Sub-Manager: “Yeah, it must be one of these here.”

Me: “Why didn’t you try to use it?”

Sub-Manager: “Oh, yeah, I guess I could have done that?”

Me: “How long was the elevator inoperable?”

Sub-Manager: “I dunno. We got a call at about 3:10.” (It’s 4:25 by now.) “Did you know you could call from the elevator?”

Me: “YES! It is so someone stuck in there can get help!”

Sub-Manager: “That makes sense…”

(The nurse quit the very next day. We had to put up with those sub-managers for three more weeks!)

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