Deaf To Reason, Part 8

, , , , , , | Right | April 9, 2019

(Our accountant is deaf. Every once in a while we get people wanting to speak to her. This is one of these calls.)

Caller: “Can I speak to [Deaf Accountant]?”

Me: “I’m sorry, we are not allowed to transfer people to her on account of her hearing disability; you will need to email her.”

Caller: “I don’t understand. I just want to pay my bill. Transfer me to her now!”

Me: “As I’ve explained earlier we can’t transfer you to her. She is deaf.”

Caller: “Why in the world would you hire a deaf person if you can’t transfer me to her?”

Me: “We are allowed to hire people with disabilities here at [Company]. You will need to email her if you need assistance with a bill. I will not tell you again.”

(They emailed her.)

Related:
Deaf To Reason, Part 7
Deaf To Reason, Part 6
Deaf To Reason, Part 5

An Oriented Playlist

, , , , , , , | Friendly | March 22, 2019

(My job involves running a lot of errands, and while I can usually handle it myself, I know that this trip I have a lot to pick up and will need help. I’m allowed to pull another employee, so we go get in my car, which is hooked up to my phone. When I start the car, the last song I was listening to starts playing: “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” by Whitney Houston.)

Coworker: “Oh, so, you’re a lesbian!”

(I burst out laughing and he was briefly concerned he’d offended me, until I explained that I was, in fact, a lesbian. I’ve just never been outed by a song before!)

Concretely Resolute That I Will Not Help You

, , , , , | Right | February 25, 2019

(Our customer base is an odd mix: angry, irrational, helpless, entitled, crazily demanding, and often any random combination of those elements. My department is on the far side of the store from the break room, which means I must cross the entire store to get there after I take a break and/or after I clock in for my shift. The cement aisle is right outside the break room. I have just taken a break during a miserable, hot day during which customers have yelled at me multiple times for no reason. I am exiting the break room to go back to my department. Two reasonably healthy-looking, strapping male customers are standing in the aisle looking at bags of concrete.)

Customer: “HEY! YOU! We need some of these! Come help us load our cart!”

Me: “Okay, sure.”

Customer: “Those!” *points at a skid of 80-pound concrete bags and starts to walk off with the other customer*

(I load up two bags, but as I said, I am fed up already, and tired, and frankly, it’s not my job to wait on anyone hand and foot like this. Plus, the bags are very heavy. I also have my own department to get back to, since no one else is working it while I’m gone.)

Me: “Um, wait. How many did you need? And could you please help me load these?”

Other, Nicer Customer: “Sure, but we only needed those two bags of that brand. We actually needed a couple of these down here…”

Customer: *whirls back in my direction, interrupting his friend* “WHAT?! How about you do your job?!

Me: *over it* “Tell you what. I will go back to my department right now and do my job, which does not include what is happening right now.”

Customer: “FINE! WHATEVER!”

(I turn to walk away, and there is third customer standing right behind me who just saw the entire exchange. He is grinning ear to ear and laughing.)

Grinning Customer: “Hi! Could you show me where the glue is?!”

(Glue, epoxy, etc., are all in paint, which is right next to my department.)

Me: “Sure! It’s right this way. Let’s go!”

(As we are walking through the store, he talks to me.)

Grinning Customer: “You know, I’m from Brooklyn, and hearing that exchange made me homesick. Nobody back there is fake or pretends to be nice when someone is an a**hole like that. You sounded exactly like someone from my old neighborhood. That was great.”

(I laughed, thanked him, and showed him our glue selection. He pretty much made my day.)

Branded With Kindness

, , , , , , | Hopeless | February 8, 2019

I was dropping off some prescriptions at my local 24-hour pharmacy around ten at night. There were only two employees working at the time: a pharmacist and a pharmacy tech. They were obviously extremely busy. When I was asked when I’d like to pick up my prescriptions, I simply said I’d like them as soon as possible. The tech looked genuinely terrified to inform me that there was at least an hour wait time. Of course, I expected as much, so that was no problem at all. I could tell from her demeanor that other people had not been as understanding. I told her that I was planning on going out to eat, so she could take her time and that I hoped that customers would learn to be more understanding.

When I returned to retrieve my medicine, one of them was ringing up at four times the amount I expected. As I have a heart condition that prevents me from working, I knew there was no way I could afford that. I purchased the other medication and decided that I would just call the hospital and ask if they could send a cheaper alternative prescription to the pharmacy. Upon speaking to the pharmacist, I was told that it would be another thirty minutes before he would even be able to check for an alternative. I decided to sit in the waiting area, as I had nothing else to do at the time and I wasn’t in any particular rush.

At that point, it was clear that the young lady’s shift had ended and she had left for the night. The pharmacist was now working by himself. I waited patiently as I watched this man run around and assemble orders, answer phones, type furiously on the computer, check inventory, and deal with customers in both the drive-thru and at the counter. That poor man didn’t have a breath to himself. Eventually, he looked up and noticed I was still there. He called me to the counter and rang up my medicine at a huge discount — much less than I was expecting to pay in the first place. I thanked him profusely and wished him a better night than the one he appeared to be having. It was only when I reached the car that I realized that he hadn’t had time to find a generic alternative and he had given me the name brand medication. He brought it down from 105 dollars to 17. As someone struggling financially, that meant the world to me.

I made sure to call the manager in the morning and tell them how wonderful their employees were. I will definitely be going back there. It might cost a little more than other pharmacies and it might take a little longer, but the customer service cannot be matched.

Moral of the story: a little patience and kindness go a long way.

Way Past Due For Some Bedside Manners

, , , , , | Healthy | January 12, 2019

(I am pregnant with my firstborn. After a great deal of reading up on the subject and a conversation with my uncle, a prominent obstetrician, we decide to use a certified nurse-midwife and a birthing center. Unfortunately, the due date comes and goes, despite multiple efforts at bringing on labor naturally, including walks, cohosh, and cod-liver oil. Finally, the midwife sets it up for us to go to the nearby hospital for some Pitocin to be applied topically. By this point, I’ve been lying on a table in a cubicle for several hours and am already stressed out because of the overdue baby and because I’ve had to go to the hospital. I am sure they will make me stay, and I don’t want that. Finally, a resident walks in. He pokes around for a bit.)

Resident #1: “How many days past due are you?”

Me: “Nine days.”

Resident #1: “You know, the fetal mortality rate spikes after fourteen days.”

(The resident walks out. Later, a different, female resident comes in. She pokes around for a while. Then:)

Resident #2: “Your cervix is off to the side.”

(The resident walks out. By now, I’m hysterical. Thankfully, the midwife phones right that minute to check on me. I blubber out what the resident said about the cervix.)

Midwife: “She just means that it’s off to the side right now. It will move into position as part of labor.”

(I still think that the first resident’s completely gratuitous information was because he was annoyed that he wouldn’t get to do a delivery. The kicker? My contractions started the minute we were in the parking deck on our way out of there. Our son was born about nine hours later, in the birthing center, with the midwife.)

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