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Her Babysitting Is Be-Nein

, , , , , , , | Related | October 24, 2018

My maternal grandmother, who I refer to as my Oma, left Germany in secret very shortly before the Berlin Wall went up. She came to the US, where she met and married my Opa and started her family.

Her mother, who my mom and I have always called Omi, spoke basically no English, but she still came to visit us when she could. The last time she visited, I was about four years old and didn’t really understand how different languages worked. I thought it was word-for-word substitution — that in another language “giraffe” means “breakfast,” and in another could mean “purple,” or any number of variations.

I was young and couldn’t talk with her, but I have one very fond — though somewhat embarrassing — memory of her that made an impression. I was running around the garden and using a wooden frame on a garden bed as a balance beam. I guess I was making her nervous, because she kept frantically shouting, “Nein! Nein!” at me. Since I didn’t understand that she was speaking to me in another language and thought she was shouting the number nine at me for some reason, I gleefully cried back to her, “Ten! Ten!” and went on with my playing. I didn’t understand until years later what had actually happened.

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Always The Season For Bad Customers

, , , , , | Right | September 28, 2018

(It is a busy weekday afternoon and I am covering a cashier’s lunch break at a sporting goods store. A customer comes to the register:)

Customer: “You don’t have any f****** shoulder pads! Or f****** helmets! Or g**d*** football pants in my son’s size!”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. Let me—”

(I begin to offer to call around to our other stores to see if anyone has what she needs. Before I can even finish my sentence…)

Customer: “You have got to be the most worthless sporting goods store around, because practice starts today for pee-wee programs and you don’t have anything left!”

Me: “I’m sorry you feel that way. We’ve actually had the football section stocked since the beginning of the summer in preparation for the upcoming season.”

Customer: “You’re not sorry. You’re not! F*** you and your apology!”

(Her son is standing behind her, nearly in tears. I’ve had enough of her nonsense.)

Me: “Look. I am not personally responsible for your procrastination. The reason the football section is wiped out is because all of the other parents were proactive and came and bought their kid’s stuff over the past several weeks. You can’t expect to come in a few hours before practice and find everything you are looking for.”

(The look of shock on her face is so satisfying; she can’t believe I’ve called her a procrastinator.)

Me: “Now, I can still call around and see what we are able to find, because I do want your son to get what he needs, even though you have been miserable.”

(I find everything she needs at two of our stores nearby, and she asks to speak to a manager. I think maybe, just maybe, she’s had a change of heart and wants to acknowledge that I’ve gone out of my way to help her… but NOPE.)

Customer: “I want to speak to the manager. I’m soooo getting you fired. You disrespected me.”

(Never mind that she cursed me out for no reason. Unfortunately for her, my manager has overheard everything.)

Manager: “Ma’am, in my store I expect our employees to treat our customers with respect. But I also hold our customers to the same standard. I overheard your transaction, and I must say I would have turned off the light and left you standing there if you had cursed at me. Instead, my employee called around and found what you needed, and your son will now be able to attend practice with all of the necessary equipment.”

Customer: *pausing, looking defeated* “You at least owe me a discount coupon for my next purchase.”

Manager: “Ma’am… that’s definitely not going to happen. You have a nice day.”

(He walked away, and she walked out with her tail between her legs.)

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No Re Mi!

, , , , , , | Healthy | September 17, 2018

A few years ago, I was having some issues with irregular periods and had to have my first pelvic exam. It was something I had avoided for a long time, because even the idea of it put me in a panic. My mom suggested I go to her gynecologist, and I agreed, largely because she was a woman and I refused to do it with a male doctor.

So, the day of the appointment finally came and I was a nervous wreck over it, actually nearly throwing up at times. But I went and met with a nurse first, and she put me a tiny bit more at ease.

But not for long. I was taken into the exam room and handed a “gown” to change into. I was told to have it open in the front, but it didn’t even come close to fitting me, so I was practically naked. If I pulled it as tight as I could around me, there were still at least six inches of skin uncovered across my chest, stomach, and lap. Then, the doctor didn’t come in for over half an hour, and at that point I was crying out of anxiety. When she finally came in, she asked if a student shadowing her could sit in, and I’m glad now I said yes.

The doctor began by rather aggressively checking my breasts while she started singing the opening lines to the song Do-Re-Mi from The Sound of Music, “Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.” She explained by telling me she had a two-year-old grandson who could only be calmed down by The Sound of Music when he was worked up, and she thought maybe it would help me, too. I was speechless.

I’m not sure why she thought it was a good idea to compare a grown woman having an anxiety attack to a tantrum-throwing toddler, but I’m still offended. The rest of the exam was relatively uneventful, with the student talking to me and holding my hand through much of it. I’ve promised myself that I will not let this experience scare me away from potentially necessary medical care in the future. But The Sound of Music is completely ruined for me forever.

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Looks Like Stupidity Is On The Menu Tonight

, , , , | Right | September 10, 2018

(The restaurant I work at sends out dishes as they’re ready instead of coursing out the food. As a result, a lot of plates are taken to tables by staff members other than the server for that particular table. This happens right after I’ve dropped off a plate and explained it fairly thoroughly.)

Customer: “How do I know if I ordered this?”

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Ankle-Deep In Misdiagnoses

, , , , , , | Healthy | August 29, 2018

I am going down the steps from my porch and misstep, and end up breaking my leg in three places right near my ankle. It is a Friday night, so I can’t get an appointment with the orthopedic surgeon until Monday.

When I go in for my appointment, I first see a nurse assistant with a very unique name. We talk about how it happened and my medical history. And because I’m female, she asks when my last period was. It has been almost a year. I’m on continuous birth control, despite not being sexually active, because during that time of the month, my migraines and fibromyalgia get to the point where I can’t function. She then goes to get the doctor, and from the room she has taken us to, we hear an argument break out over “who cancelled the appointment of the broken ankle girl.” I still don’t see how that’s possible, considering we made that appointment only an hour earlier. I end up being seen by another doctor with more of a specialty in what I need, so it works out and I forget about the weirdness.

Fast forward a week to when I can finally have surgery. I’m in the hospital gown, have an IV in, and I’m being asked the same questions again and again: spell my name, what’s my birth date, etc. Finally the nurse looks at me funny and looks at my ankle splint — which has a ton of padding and is massive — and tells me, “I know it seems obvious, but I need you to tell me what you’re here for.” I tell her to fix my ankle. She nods and tells me that that nurse assistant — I remember her unique name — had put me down as coming in for a hysterectomy. I’m not sure if she was trying to — inaccurately — note in my file that I’d had one because I hadn’t had my period in a year, or somehow managed to screw up why I was seeing an orthopedic surgeon when I had three broken bones. But I guess that will forever be a mystery.

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