Trying In Vein

| FL, USA | Working | July 20, 2013

(I’ve been sent to a diagnostics clinic to have my blood drawn and some tests run. I’ve never had this done, and I’m a bit nervous as I sit in the chair. I am naturally extremely pale, to the point where my skin is translucent enough to see the veins with ease.)

Phlebotomist #1: “Okay, give me an arm. It doesn’t matter which one.”

(I hold out my left arm.)

Phlebotomist #1: *mumbling to herself* “Alright, I’ll just stick it… here.”

(The phlebotomist pushes the needle through my skin, and goes right through the vein. She pulls the needle back, re-angles it, and shoves it forcefully into my arm, going through the vein a second time. She pulls back a bit and starts digging around in my arm, trying to hit the vein. She RIPS the needle out of my arm so that it tears a diagonal gash about an inch long, which starts bleeding profusely. As she does this, she starts yelling.)

Phlebotomist #1: “S***! I just can’t deal with this patient any more! I am DONE with this girl. Someone else can do it; I’m not touching her again!”

(She storms out of the room as another phlebotomist rushes in.)

Me: *bewildered* “What just happened?”

Phlebotomist #2: “Oh, don’t worry about it! You’re just the last patient of the day, and on a Friday. We’re all anxious for the weekend.”

Me: “I suppose…”

(I hold out my right arm for the second phlebotomist. She hits the vein perfectly the first time, gets the blood quickly, and draws the needle out smoothly, all without leaving a mark.)

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Two Smiths Of The Same Coin

| Des Moines, IA, USA | Working | June 11, 2013

(I’m calling to make an appointment at a clinic I haven’t been to before. It’s run by a husband and wife team.)

Me: “Hi, I’d like to make an appointment for an annual exam.”

Secretary: “Okay, have you been here before?”

Me: “No.”

(She takes all my details, and there is just one question left.)

Secretary:  “Okay, and would you prefer to see Dr. Smith, or Dr. Smith?”

(I pause, thinking this is a joke. When the secretary doesn’t say anything, I answer.)

Me:  “…Uh, Dr. Smith.”

Secretary:  “Okay, I have you down a 3 o’clock with Dr. Smith. We’ll see you then!”

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The Costs Sexceed The Benefits

| UK | Working | April 4, 2013

(I am going to Tanzania to do charity work, and am at a local clinic to see the nurse about vaccinations.)

Nurse: “Okay, so we’ve scheduled in appointments for you to have the Hep A and Typhoid vaccines. We’d really highly recommend several of these other vaccines though.”

Me: “Well, since I was highly allergic to the last vaccines I was given, I’m not keen on taking many more. So, I’d rather have these as a preliminary to see how things go.”

Nurse: “We really do recommend you have the Hep B vaccine.”

Me: “Well, I would, but I’d rather test how these others go first, since they’re the first I’ve had since my reaction.”

Nurse: “I think it’s still wise that you get the Hep B vaccination.”

Me: “I may be interested in the future, but not just yet. Besides, it’s three injections rather than the one, and it’s not free like the others.”

Nurse: “I can assure you the £180 is well worth the investment.”

Me: “Yes, but I don’t want to schedule myself in for three appointments for those when I don’t know how I’m going to react to the first two.”

Nurse: “I think you’ll change your mind. You really should have Hep B.”

Me: “How do you even get Hepatitis B anyway?”

Nurse: “Well, there are two methods of transmission. We recommend you get it if you’re going to be having sex because it’s mostly sexually transmitted.”

Me: “That won’t be a problem. I won’t be having sex while I’m in Tanzania.”

Nurse: “But you’re going for a couple of months. You’re young; you won’t be able to resist.”

Me: “I can assure you I don’t need the vaccine.”

Nurse: “But what if you meet someone? There’s lots of attractive women over there, and one thing will lead to another.”

Me: “That won’t be an issue.”

Nurse: “Why not?”

Me: “Because I’m gay, and homosexual acts carry a jail sentence. I think I’ll manage to refrain for two months.”

Nurse: “Oh… yeah, you probably don’t need the vaccine then…”

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No Wait To Her Argument

| Columbus, OH, USA | Right | October 31, 2012

(I’m running slightly late to meet a patient. I arrive about five minutes after the appointment time to find no one there. I wait around, wondering if she was perhaps caught up in traffic. After half an hour goes by, I call her.)

Patient: *rudely* “Hello!?”

Me: “Hello, this is [name] of [clinic name]. We had a 4 pm appointment today, but I didn’t see you.”

Patient: “Oh, I was waiting forever, and you never showed!”

Me: “I’m so sorry I missed you. How long were you waiting?”

Patient: “45 minutes.”

Me: “Huh? But it’s 4:30 now and there’s no one here.”

Patient: “Yeah, I know! I left at 4pm!”

Me: “But, that’s when our appointment was.”

Patient: “Right! I can’t believe you were so late!”

Me: “Please correct me if I’m wrong, but [clinic] is by-appointment-only, which means I am not in the office unless there’s a patient. I’ve told you this, haven’t I?”

Patient: “That’s right.”

Me: “So you’re upset because I wasn’t here 45 minutes before I was actually supposed to be here?”

Patient: “Yes!”

(The weirdest thing is that I had actually treated her before, and she’d shown up fifteen minutes late without calling!)

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Self-Discarding Prophecy

| Switzerland | Right | August 12, 2012

(I am a secretary at an eye clinic. A patient comes up to me to get a new appointment.)

Me: “So, this is your card with the date and time of the consultation.”

Patient: “Do I get a letter with this information?”

Me: “We just give out the cards. We have about 140 patients everyday. So, we can’t mail everyone a letter for their next appointment… sorry.”

Patient: “But then, how do I remember it?”

Me: “Well, you have your card now.”

Patient: “That’s not possible, because I’m going to throw this card away!”

Me: “Just please hang on to the card, and you’ll be fine.”

Patient: “Great. How am I supposed to remember the appointment when I’m throwing this away?”

Me: “Please just hang on to the card.”

Patient: “You’re no help at all. In case I forget my next appointment, it’s your fault!”

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