Hope For Humanity Is Elevating

, , , , , | Right | April 2, 2020

(There’s an office party in a nearby member’s club. My friends headed to it before I did as I had to work late, so I arrive on my own. I’m scared of lifts and so, even though the party is on the eighth floor, I attempt to take the stairs. The security guards spot me on the way down.)

Guard #1: “Hey! Didn’t we tell you there was a lift?”

Me: “Yeah, you did. It’s just, uh, I’m scared of lifts and I kind of took a look at this one and thought I’d be happier on the stairs.”

Guard #1: “Oh. I’m afraid the stairs only go to the sixth floor and then the doors are locked.”

Me: *laughs* “Yeah, I noticed that. I guess I’ll just have to suck it up.”

(I start to walk to the lift. I hear the second security guard ask the first one what happened.)

Guard #2: “Hold on! Wait there!”

(I turn around. The guard walks up to me.)

Guard #2: “How about I ride up with you?”

Me: “Oh, no, don’t worry. I’ll just suck it up.”

Guard #2: “Nah, it’s fine.” *presses the button and walks in* “Come on in.”

(I walk in. He closes the door and presses the button for the eighth floor.)

Guard #2: “You see, nothing is going to happen. I’m here, riding with you, so we’re going to be fine. I promise.”

(True to his word, we got to the eighth floor without dying. I didn’t see him for the rest of the evening, but if you’re out there, my friends said they were worried about how I’d get up there, given my phobia, and thought you were incredibly sweet for riding up with me.)

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It May Not Be Pretty, But It’s A Pretty Decent Thing To Do

, , , , | Right | April 1, 2020

(I used to work with individuals with special needs; I would help clients in any aspect of life to ensure they could live the best life possible.

Recently, I began working as a host in a restaurant. Little did I know that my previous job would leave me well-equipped for my new job.

I am up front with a few other hosts when an elderly couple comes up to the front. The woman is seeking the bathroom, and on her way in, the man says:)

Man: “She’s going to need help.”

(Having assisted with toileting too many times to count at my previous job — sometimes 20+ times a day — I step up to the plate, assuming — very incorrectly — that I will just need to help with getting her on and off the toilet. Once I help her lower her pants, I realize just how wrong I am. Her briefs are heavily soiled.)

Me: “Do you have any other briefs with you?”

Woman: “No, but you can ask my partner to see if maybe he has some.”

(Once I find him, he confirms that she is right; they have not packed extra briefs for their outing.

After consulting with the woman some more, I begin asking my general manager and manager on shift if there are any briefs available by any chance. No luck. The manager on shift, a female, comes to the bathroom with me to discuss our options: send someone to buy briefs or find a way to clean her up and get her home. She chooses the latter.

Cue several minutes of tearing the briefs off and cleaning her up, the manager keeping her steady while I use damp paper towels to wipe away any unpleasantness.

Eventually, we get her ready to pull up her pants, but we have to improvise her missing briefs. We end up laying one of the fresh linens we normally use for cleaning on the crotch of her pants, and two more running down the front and back of her pants.

When I take my gloves off, I end up scrubbing my hands for a particularly long time. Then, when I finally feel clean, I return to the host stand. When the other hosts find out what happened, the first response one of them gave me is:)

Host: “You know that’s not part of your job description, right?”

(A day or two later, I asked my general manager what he would have expected of us, and yes, it may not be part of our job description, but apparently, if a guest needs toileting assistance, we are expected to do what it takes to assist our guests.)

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The Book Thief

, , , , | Right | March 31, 2020

(While browsing at a bookstore, I am vaguely aware of a man at the other end of the aisle of shelves. A bookstore employee passes the aisle and pauses on my end.)

Employee: “You need to put those books back on the shelf right now.”

(I stare at her, but as she sounds deadly serious, I begin to put the book I am looking at back on the shelf. Then, I notice she is looking past me at the other customer.)

Employee: “Sir, you need to put those books back. This minute.”

(Her voice is IRON. The man pauses and then pulls a paperback out of his shirt and sheepishly sets it back on the shelf.)

Employee: All of them.”

(Two more paperbacks are pulled out of the man’s shirt and reshelved. The man goes past sheepish into anxious, as the employee is glaring murderously at him.)

Man: “I’m really sorry.”

Employee: “Not as sorry as I’m going to be marking those books as damaged returns. Leave the store.”

Man: “But I was going to—”

Employee: “Leave now, and I will not tell my manager that I watched you jam three books under your shirt.”

(The man almost runs toward the exit. The employee watches until he is gone, sighs, and refocuses on me.)

Employee: “Can I help you find anything?”

Me: “Your iron will?”

Employee: “I was a librarian for five years. He’s lucky I didn’t peer over my glasses at him; he would have melted.”

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Fluffy’s More High-Maintenance Than Most Pets Of His Kind

, , , , , | Healthy | March 23, 2020

(I work at the front desk at an animal clinic that is located on a street with many assisted living facilities. Most of them are not pet-friendly — they may have an office cat but residents can’t have personal pets — except for the largest of them which is right next door and pet-friendly.

We have a deal with the management of this facility where, whenever a new resident moves in with an animal, we set them up as a patient with us, the facility handles all their billing, we send care instructions to them to make sure the residents don’t forget the doses, and when making appointments we contact both the owner and the facility so they can make sure the owner doesn’t have something else scheduled that day and doesn’t forget their appointment.

For the humans who think they are more self-sufficient than they really are, we make sure someone from the facility is available and needs to take “important paperwork” over to the clinic at the same time the owner needs to leave, to make sure they get there and back safely. Sometimes they slip through alone, though, or decide they have an appointment when we don’t have them on the books, so we are used to having random elderly people coming in.

A clearly distraught elderly woman carrying a small dog carrier comes in one day.)

Woman: “Please, you have to help me!”

Me: “What can we do?”

Woman: “It’s Fluffy! He’s not acting right and I think I need to put him to sleep.” *sobs*

Me: “Oh, dear, we’ll get you and Fluffy in to see the doctor and take a look at him to decide if that is the best thing to do, okay? Now, what is your name so I can pull your chart?”

Woman: “It’s [Name I don’t have in my system].”

Me: “I can’t find you on the computer; have you been in before?”

Woman: “Oh, no, Fluffy and I just moved into our new apartment today and you are so much closer than his old doctor.”

(I figure she is so new the facility hasn’t had time to bring us her paperwork, so I get Fluffy’s age and breed and go about making a chart. We’ll get the rest of her information from the facility when we contact them. Thankfully, we’ve had a cancelation so I can get her into an exam room right away.

A while later, she comes out of the exam room with the doctor, with one of our techs carrying the carrier for her, much happier than when she came in.)

Woman: “And you really think it will cure him, Doctor?”

Doc: “If it doesn’t, you just have your doorman give me a call and we’ll get you back in, no charge. Now, I’m going to have my son carry Fluffy home for you. You have a good day.”

(The doctor is referring to our tech who isn’t actually his son, but that’s the code we use to let the front desk know the resident is not paying us directly and to just smile and say goodbye rather than following the normal checkout process. As soon as she and the tech are out of the building I turn to the doctor.)

Me: “So, we’re charging an exam and what else?”

Doctor: “Nothing.”

Me: “So, just the exam?”

Doctor: “No, Fluffy isn’t real.”

Me: “What?!”

Doctor: “He’s a stuffed toy; he’s just been laying around all day for weeks now. So, I told her we were going to try an experimental treatment, and if it works, that’s great, and if not, she can bring him in to be put to sleep later. Then, I drew up some air from an empty vial and injected it. She said he already looks perkier. Poor thing; she is really far gone.”

(Tech returned almost an hour later. The woman wasn’t from the facility next door, or even the one on the other side of them. She was from the one almost all the way down the block, and they had to check into all of them because she couldn’t recall which apartment building she lived in.

To their staff’s credit, they thought she had gone to get lunch with her daughter and her daughter thought her mom was taking a nap after an exhausting morning of moving in. Nobody knew Fluffy had been feeling bad, or that he was capable of feeling bad.  

The experimental treatment worked great for a month, and then Fluffy relapsed and had to come in for another treatment. We gave him his shot once a month for three years, and then one day he just stopped coming in.

Six months later, the daughter brought him in; her mom had become too ill to take Fluffy for his shots so she had just taken him out of the building for a bit and then come back and told her mom he’d had his shot, and now her mom said she couldn’t take care of Fluffy anymore so could we find him a new home. We found him a nice place in the doctor’s office; he’s our supervisor.)

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Stand And Deliver (And Install)

, , , | Working | March 19, 2020

(I have to buy a new TV — a 55″ — from a popular electronics store. It is going on top of an electric fireplace with a pretty mantle that I have just gotten and put together. I make sure to have it ready before the TV is delivered so that the delivery guys can put it on. When they arrive, they come in with the big box and proceed to leave it on the floor before starting back towards the door.)

Me: “Wait, aren’t you guys going to unpack it and put it up for me?”

Delivery Guys: “Sorry, but we don’t do that unless it’s requested when you order it.”

(I had not selected the option to have it set it up for an extra fee, assuming that by “set up,” that means plugging it in, programming it, etc. All I need, and expected, is to have the TV unboxed and put where I want it. It has been seven years since I bought my last TV from this same store, and that time, it was a given that they would do that.)

Me: “I wasn’t expecting you to actually hook everything up and set up the WiFi or anything, but I thought you would at least put it where I wanted it. I’m 4’11” and live alone, and there’s no way I can get that TV up there by myself!”

(The delivery guys apologize again and say that they’re only to bring it in, and I begrudgingly thank them as they leave. I turn to the box and wonder how exactly I’m going to get that up on my mantle. Then, the doorbell rings, and I open it to find that the delivery guys are back.)

Delivery Guys: “We’ll put it up for you.”

(I let them back in, and they unboxed the TV, drilled the feet on — something else I’d have needed to do — and put it up on the mantle. I gratefully gave them $20, which they tried to refuse, and a couple of canned sodas for the road. They were very nice to come back and do that, because they certainly didn’t have to. Thanks, electronics store delivery guys!)

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