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A Late Bill For The Late Resident

| Right | April 17, 2014

(I am an accountant for a retirement community. Some of our residents and their families can be easily confused by the volume of bills related to twilight years of life. As a result, I receive the following call way too often to count.)

Me: “Thank you for calling the accounting department at [Business]. How can I help you today?”

Caller: “I received a bill for [Resident], but he died six months ago, and we paid off the balance! Why are you billing us?”

Me: “One moment, please, while I check his account.”

(I bring up the late resident’s file on my computer, and indeed, it shows no balance due. I check the most recent months’ invoices, and confirm that we did not send them an invoice anytime in the past few months. I relay this information to the caller.)

Caller: “But it’s for services on [date when the deceased was a resident]! It has to be from you. What is this for?”

Me: “At the top of the invoice, does it say [Business]?”

Caller: “No…”

Me: “Is there a different company name?”

Caller: “Yes! It says it’s from [Medical Insurance Company]. Why are they sending me a bill?”

Me: “Is there a phone number on the bill?”

Caller: “Yes…”

Me: “I would suggest that you call that number, and ask their accounting department. I’m afraid I don’t have access to their system.”

Caller: “Oh… Can you transfer me?”

Me: “…”

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Don’t Just Be Married To Work

| Working | April 10, 2014

(I work housekeeping for a retirement home. I’ve just worked an entire weekend and a holiday all by myself and I’m exhausted. Typically, when you work a weekend and a holiday, you get the next day off. I wasn’t given it this time and I’m even more tired and cranky by Tuesday. On Wednesday, I have serious doubts about going in, but I decide to grin and bear it. Also worth noting is I’m getting married on Thursday and have arranged to take the day off. My boss has called me into her office just before lunch break.)

Boss: “I was going over the weekend schedule and wondering why it takes so long to finish up. I know I normally say you can leave some things set aside for during the week, but what is it, really?”

Me: “I think it’s just the sheer amount of beds to make, especially when some need to be changed. It takes a lot of time and energy. I know after I finish the beds, I start slowing down because I’ve used a lot of energy up. Everything else is pretty easy. It’s just the beds that really kill the weekends.”

Boss: “What else?”

Me: “I think that’s pretty much it… Weekends wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for beds. It gets pretty hard and doesn’t leave much time for anything else, especially if we get called around. And also [Dietary Director] called me and asked me to help in the dining room. I only gave them half an hour, but it still dug into my schedule.”

Boss: “You didn’t have to do that. That’s not our responsibility.”

Me: “I know, but I like to help out. If we’re in a bind on a weekend, the other departments always give us a hand, even though it’s not their job.”

Boss: “You have a point there… For things like that, you do need to tell me so I can make sure you get paid.”

(The conversation carries on in a similar manner, with us just discussing the schedule. I feel myself begin to relax, knowing I’m not in trouble for not leaving at the right time on weekends. Then my boss has one last thing to say.)

Boss: “I need to show you something downstairs.”

Me: *getting nervous* “Is it the avalanche of boxes in the office? I was going to get it cleaned up after lunch.”

Boss: “Just come with me.”

(We stop in front of the residents’ craft room. Through the window, I can see the lights are off and the room is pitch-dark.)

Boss: “Hmm, I don’t have my key.”

Me: “Here, I’ve got it.” *moves to open the door* “Huh, it’s already open…”

(Suddenly, the lights flashed on and all my coworkers and people from other departments screamed out, ‘SURPRISE!’ I nearly fell over in shock! Turned out my boss just wanted to distract me while my coworkers set up a bridal shower for me, complete with presents, pizza, cake, balloons, soda, and so much more! It was the best lunch break ever! My husband-to-be and I almost teared up when we read all the cards and looked through all the presents when I got home. Things like that make my job so worthwhile and make me love the people I work with.)


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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.)


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