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“We’re The Piraaates Who Don’t Do Anythiiiing…”

, , , , , , , | Working | May 24, 2022

Back in the early days of office computer networks, I was put in charge of setting up and maintaining the network for the law firm I worked at. The partner attorney who oversaw all this was really something!

First, the firm’s entire reason for upgrading to networked computers was so that the firm would have an inter-office email system. But Mr. Partner decided that it would cost too much to buy thirty-five individual versions of the software and bought only ONE stand-alone version and had me install that one install disk on all thirty-five computers, using the same code every time. Thus, email wasn’t possible because stand-alone software didn’t include it.

After some investigation, I did find a way to do short “instant messages” from one person to another and set up a short macro for everyone to make that easier. Mr. Partner was heard proudly referring to that as “our email system.”

He followed that up by ordering me to call a friend in a nearby firm to ask if we could “borrow” their install disks for a spreadsheet program. Not surprisingly, that request was denied.

Then, he attended a conference at the local Bar Association on the subject of computer piracy and came to me afterward.

Partner: “Have you heard about computer piracy? It’s really terrible!”

Me: “Yes, I have heard of it. We do it all the time. If we did it any more, I’d have to have a patch on my eye and a parrot on my shoulder!”

The following year, they opted to do an actual legit upgrade to have real email and licensed software on each PC, all while Mr. Partner kept shaking his head saying he really didn’t see why we needed to go to that expense!

Vets Are Mind-Readers, Too, Apparently

, , , , , , , | Healthy | March 24, 2022

I was seeing a client for the first time whose concern was that her dog was itchy. The file had a few visits from about a year ago concerning urinary issues and suspect urinary tract infection, but at a recheck visit, the client had reported it resolved. Otherwise, the dog had a healthy, normal history.

I could see on the exam that it had scratched its skin in several places from being so itchy. Running a flea comb through its coat, I pulled out several fleas that I was able to show to the client, which is always very satisfying. We started him on flea prevention and also gave him an anti-itch injection, as he was so itchy I was suspicious he was either allergic to the fleas (which is a thing) or had some allergies on top of the fleas.

I worked with the client to find options that worked in her budget and gave estimates for everything. At the end of the appointment, as with all appointments, I asked if there were any other questions or concerns for that day. We talked about the skin and allergies a little bit more, but otherwise, there were no other concerns.

The next day, she left a negative review on our page because, “We never resolved her dog’s urinary issues.”

At Least SOMEONE Is Looking Out For This Dog

, , , , , , | Healthy | February 22, 2022

I am a veterinarian. On the day before Thanksgiving, I have an owner bring their older dog in for a mass on her foot that grew very quickly over the past few days and seemed very irritating as the dog was licking at it. Off the bat, this makes me think of something like a local infection and/or trauma. I recommend taking a small sample of it with a needle to view under a microscope, either in-clinic or by sending it out to a lab, for more information. It starts to go downhill here, as the owner informs me that he is a human physician, and he appears to have some opinions on what should be done instead. I don’t think it helps that I am a young recently graduated female veterinarian, and this owner is an older male physician.

Me: “Taking this sample can tell us whether there is an infection or if there is truly something more concerning like a growth or cancer.”

Owner: “I don’t think I want to do all that. She is an older dog, and I just want it removed, whatever it is.”

Me: “While that is a fair goal, surgery may not be the best solution to this. Even if it is cancer, that area can be hard to remove large masses from because there is so little tissue on the limbs.”

He starts to go into medical jargon about healing, and we go back and forth a few times. I support different owners with their goals and their right to make decisions for their pets so long as they are informed, but I don’t think jumping to surgical removal of this mass is in the dog’s best interest. He eventually concedes to us taking a sample, which I do, and I get a pus-like material that makes me even more suspicious of infection. When I go to explain this:

Owner: “Well, if it is an abscess, you can just take her in the back and drain it with a scalpel blade!”

This is also something I would not want to do immediately, especially in animals who do not sit still like humans and without appropriate pain control. Since our in-clinic materials for evaluating the sample were not working, I told him that I would send the sample out to a lab and that we would hear back with results in about three to five business days, possibly longer with a holiday tomorrow.

I sent the dog home with anti-inflammatories for comfort and a cone to keep her from traumatizing the area in the meantime. The owner was so fixated on having the mass “just removed” that on the way out, he scheduled a surgery for two weeks from then. The whole appointment left me exhausted, but the icing on the cake really came over the next two weeks.

I got the results back about three business days later — six calendar days — and called the only number we had on file for this owner. No one answered, so I left a message explaining that the results were consistent with an infection, that no cancer was seen, and that I was sending them an electronic prescription for an antibiotic. I also told them to call back and let us know how [Patient] was doing.

We heard nothing back about this dog until the next week when the owners got an automatic reminder for surgery drop-off the next day. The owner’s WIFE called us, upset, and asked why her dog had a surgery scheduled. When we reviewed the appointment and explained that it had been scheduled by her husband, the wife got irritated and told us to cancel it, because — shocker — the antibiotic got rid of the mass. She also snipped about how it took a week to get the results back.

In summary, he told me how to do my job (incorrectly), didn’t communicate to his spouse about the dog, didn’t update us about how the dog was doing or respond to a phone call, and complained about getting results back within the estimated timeframe during a holiday week. Well, at least the dog is better.

Thanks For The Constructive Instructions

, , , , , , | Working | January 29, 2022

My coworker and I were legal secretaries and she, unfortunately, was assigned to work for a very insecure young woman associate. This associate was the daughter of a senior partner and was determined that everyone knew how powerful this made her. She never let an opportunity go by to berate or talk down to anyone she deemed less important than her.

[Coworker] was scared to death of her because she yelled at her pretty much daily. As a result, [Coworker] would sometimes stumble and make more errors, and so things went. The day in question, [Associate] had a document she needed filed in the courthouse in a hurry. She wanted to know what time the clerk’s office closed for filings. [Coworker] knew the answer but made the mistake of saying, “I think it’s [time],” instead of, “It IS [time].” As a result, [Associate] barked at her that since she didn’t actually know, she had better get on the phone and confirm that right away. Of course, either of them could’ve looked online and learned the answer, but that wasn’t good enough for [Associate]. She demanded it come straight away from a phone call.

So, poor [Coworker] started shakily dialing and getting a busy signal every time. Five minutes later, [Associate] swooped back in and barked at her again.

Associate: “Have you reached them yet?”  

Coworker: “No, it’s still busy.”

Associate: “Well, DIAL HARDER!”

Thanks, Rafiki!

, , , , , , , | Friendly | December 4, 2021

When I was about five years old, my parents took my three siblings and me to the state fair. At some point, I slipped away from the group. My mom noticed almost immediately but couldn’t find me. Cue panicked yelling of my name, and my dad asking a vendor to get security immediately.

Earlier in the day, my mom had bought us Disney pennants with our names on them. A man heard the yelling, looked down, and spotted a hysterically crying child holding a pennant with the name being called.

He crouched down and asked me to lift my flag as high as I could. I did so, and he picked me up and lifted me over the crowd.

Man: “[My Name]’s mom! [My Name]’s dad!”

The crowd cleared the way to my parents, some of them joining the call. My parents spun around and saw me now half-giggling, half-crying, being held like Simba, and ran to me. My parents thanked the man profusely, and those pennants were packed anytime we went to an outdoor event.

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