Being Nice Doesn’t Have To Be Like Pulling Teeth

, , , , | Hopeless | April 11, 2019

(I study dentistry in France. Like every fourth- to sixth-year student, I work at the dental clinic. It’s divided into wards like surgery, care, emergencies, etc. This way, although unpractical for patients who have to take like three appointments for something a normal dentist could do in one, we can make sure the same person takes care of their patients if they’re nice and/or interesting to work on. One day at the care ward, I get a patient for something that should be taken care of by the emergency ward. After a brief talk with my professor, he agrees I can just take the patient in so he doesn’t have to wait any more than he already has. The procedure is routine and I take care of it in ten minutes; however, it requires the use of something that has a bad taste. As usual, I profusely apologize about it.)

Patient: “Don’t worry; you’re great!”

Me: “Haha, thanks!”

(I get everything wrapped up and inform him that we have to remove another tooth, and that we may have to remove the one I worked on. He has health issues, and I want a second opinion before subjecting him to a lengthy procedure for a tooth he might ultimately have to have removed. I, therefore, offer to show him where the surgery ward is. On the way there:)

Patient: “What’s your name?”

Me: *pointing to my badge* “My name is [My Full Name]. I can write it down if you want.”

Patient: “Oh, yeah! Perfect, thank you! You’re really the best, and I want you to be my dentist forever!”

(I laugh and write my name down, thanking him for the compliment. As mentioned before, I barely even worked on his tooth, so I don’t know how he got the idea I was so great. I tell him when I’ll next be in the surgery ward and he tells me he’ll be there. Fast forward a few days and, sure enough, he’s here. We get him in the chair and start working on the tooth we have to remove. It’s a difficult tooth and we fiddle around with it for maybe 45 minutes before managing to extract it. For comparison, a regular extraction takes five to ten minutes, tops. I also require the help of an experienced professor to remove it. I tell the patient something to the effect of, “It was hard, wasn’t it?”)

Patient: “Oh, not at all! I knew that you really were the best! As soon as you started working on it, bam! It popped right out!”

(I laughed and thanked him again for the compliment. Amongst all the crazy and entitled patients I get, it really cheers me up when I see someone this nice. It reminds me I’m doing this to help people smile!)

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The Need For Speed(ing)

, , , , , | Friendly | April 8, 2019

(We are in front of a town hall before a civil baptism and we meet another guest, a travelling salesman, whom we know to be a Sunday driver.)

Father: “I hope you didn’t drive too fast!”

Guest: “No, I was careful today.”

Guest’s Girlfriend: “That’s because there are only three points left on his license.”

(The French driving license is on twelve points. A number of points are lost in addition to the fine depending on the offence.)

My Mother: “Be careful; the driving license is essential for your job.”

Guest: “Oh, I talked to a police friend. To avoid any problems, I can buy another residence in Belgium and take the necessary steps to get a Belgian driving license. They don’t have a license with a penalty point system, so if I present the Belgian license to the French police, I’ll lose no points; I’ll just get the fine.”

My Father: “But wouldn’t it be easier just to respect speed limits?”

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That’s Why It Took So Bloody Long

, , , , , | Friendly | April 5, 2019

(Due to some recurring health issues, going to the bathroom is a rather long and unpleasant task for me, something that only gets worse when I’m on my period. On such a day, my friends and I eat at a fast food place after a movie, and I decide to use the bathroom there. This bathroom is unusually small, with only one toilet and a little, cramped room before it with a sink. As we are in one of the most lively parts of the city and the fast food place is rather full, there are soon six men waiting behind the door. This is quite an uncomfortable situation for me, as not only am I stuck in a dirty bathroom trying to do what I’ve got to do both as silently and rapidly as I can, but the men waiting soon start making loud comments in a rather coarse tone.)

Man #1: “What are they doing in there? It’s been forever!”

Man #2: *crude laugh* “Maybe they’re doing something else?”

Man #3: “Like what? Banging?”

Man #4: “No, it’s only one person here.”

Man #2: “They might be doing drugs!” *others laugh*

Man #1: “How long has it been?”

Man #5: “We’ve been here for like ten minutes and they were already in there.”

(This one confuses me because the first guys to arrive after me actually arrived while I was still waiting. Did they really manage to miss the woman that was standing in front of them in a room so small it feels cramped with three people in it? I’ve finally finished and I start preparing to exit.)

Man #2: “Ah, sounds like it’s moving!”

(I’m really annoyed, because there is no way those people didn’t realise I heard all their comments, and I didn’t exactly have a fun experience in there.)

Me: *as loud and clearly as I can* “I’m sorry to have kept you waiting, but I was on my period.”

(This worked extremely well. They’re really silent for an instant, then start apologizing and saying they absolutely understand, in the most awkward of tones. Three of them even exited the bathroom, saying that they’d come back later, then, and when I got out and went to wash my hands, two of those that were left avoided my eyes. I honestly only regret not having waited to exit the bathroom before responding so I could have seen their faces.)

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A Periodically Brief Scare

, , , | Healthy | March 20, 2019

(After surgery on my leg, I need to pee, so I ask the nurse for help using the bedpan. After I’m finished, I can’t see the contents from my position but she obviously can, and she looks up with a horrified expression:)

Nurse: “This… This is your urine?”

Me: “Er, yes.”

Nurse: *speechless*

Me: “Oh! I forgot! I’m on my period!”

(She immediately sighs with relief. Sorry for scaring you, nurse!)

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If She Could Only Hear How Ridiculous She Sounded

, , , , | Related | March 19, 2019

I was nine when my parents divorced, and I chose to stay with my father. We used to live about 350 miles away from his parents’ home, and then, after the separation, we moved and we were only 75 miles away.

So, every week, for about two years, my grandparents came to our place from Monday afternoon to Friday morning, supposedly to watch after me all week long, and on Friday evening, my father and I went to theirs every weekend.

Soon, that routine became pretty tiresome. For example, my father had to lend his bedroom to his parents, hence, he had to sleep on the sofa in the living room. The walls were quite thick between the two rooms, but pretty much every evening, around nine, my grandmother came back from the bedroom to ask us, gently but firmly, to turn down the sound of our TV. The reason she used was always the same: “It bothers [[Grandfather]; he can’t sleep.” Sometimes, she came back a second time, a little bit angrier, saying they were still hearing the TV, or that the TV was loudly humming. It wasn’t; two yards away from the set, my father and I couldn’t even hear the sound anymore because we had to basically shut it down not to disturb her sleep. Yes, hers. Because my grandfather never came to complain at all, not once. Men in my family are very heavy sleepers, prone to doze off in less than two minutes, TV on or not! In fact, we had to wait until SHE was finally sleeping to put the sound back on, even moderately.

About ten years later, a few months after my grandfather passed away, I had to stay at my grandmother’s for one night. Then, she forbade me to use my portable CD player before sleeping — even with headphones — because she could “hear the buzzing sound it makes through the wall.”

Yeah, sure, Grandma.

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