Geeks (And Doctors) Come In All Shapes And Sizes

, , , , , , , , | Friendly | July 31, 2020

It’s the middle of winter with a decent amount of snow outside, late in 2006, and I am waiting in line at a shop. The little girl standing right in front of me, about eight, maybe ten years old, is wearing a big, thick, puffy, bright pink winter jacket and a purple hat and gloves.

The little girl turns around and looks up at me, very serious-faced, her head tilted to the side.

I smile down to her and nod in greeting.

The little girl pulls off her gloves, dangling them at the ends of strings, and then unzips her jacket. She pulls one side open and reaches inside to pull out a blue-light sonic screwdriver. As I watch in surprise, she scans me foot to head, head to foot, and then she tosses the screwdriver a few inches up and catches it sideways, staring at it as if examining a readout, in perfect David Tennant style. Then, she gives a satisfied, serious nod, tucks it back into her jacket, zips it up, and turns back around.

“Did… I… Wha… Did you just sonic me?!” I say in shock.

The little girl’s dad turns around to give me the biggest proud grin and then turns back to sign his receipt.

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I Was A Teenage Beowulf

, , , , , , , , | Working | July 27, 2020

I’ve just started an after-school job at a print shop. My job involves cleaning, making sure the machines always have paper and ink, and clearing jams. My trainer is showing me around showing how to check the paper and ink levels and explaining what the machines do. Soon, we get to the biggest machine.

Trainer: “And now we get to the banner printer…”

Suddenly, the machine starts making this ungodly grinding noise.

Trainer: “And the beast awakes; that, dear squire, is Grendel’s Mother. When she roars like this, there is but one solution. One must take up Hrunting and strike at the beast’s head.”

I look at her like she’s crazy.

The trainer grabs a Nerf sword with the word Hrunting written on it from beside the printer and whacks the printer with it. The grinding stops.

Trainer: “Seriously, she’ll do that every now and then; just smack her. Right here, not over here, and don’t hit any buttons when you hit her. The old hag is older than both of us and replacing her would cost more than we make off her in two years. Percussive maintenance has proven effective. Just don’t use Naegling on Grendel’s Mother; he’s just for getting paper to fit into the compactor.”

“Naegling” was written on the back of the yardstick, which was indeed useful for getting things into the compactor.

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I Wonder If That Was His Final Form?

, , , , , | Right | July 5, 2020

I’m a pharmacy technician who greatly enjoys video games. My head pharmacist does not. Still, she sometimes tries to use “gaming terms” to better motivate me during the crazier shifts, although she usually ends up asking, “Was that right?” Today was one of those days.

Just before the end of my shift, a very intimidating customer drops off a script for a controlled item and stays at the counter for several minutes to instruct me on how it is to be done. For the record, as far as I have been taught, if certain controlled items are only partially dispensed, then the remainder is void and a new script would need to be written for more. This is one such item.

Customer: “The last time I was here, your other pharmacist denied me this prescription because you did not have enough in stock. The time before that, they only gave me half and never the rest. I never had this problem in [County next to ours]. I don’t know why doctors in this backwoods county have no balls, but you will fill this today. If you do not have it all today, then you will give me what you have and then the rest of the script next week.”

I make sure to keep eye contact and say little more than “okay” as they rant about government prescription coverage and more about medical professionals “not having balls,” including something about another pharmacy wanting to overcharge them this morning, which is why they are back to “deal with us.” They are practically shaking with restrained anger by this point.

Customer: “Also, you will never give me one of those stickers again! I have been taking [medication] for over twenty years. I worked at [Nearby Hospital]. I know how to use it!”

Me: “My apologies. We are now required to add those stickers to the bottles of all [medications].”

Seeing they are about to explode in another tirade, all 5’2″ of me cringes and I hastily continue.

Me: “But I will add a note to your profile today.”

The customer is seemingly placated for now.

Customer: “Fine! Make sure they never give me another safety cap again, too!”

Me: “Okay. I will get started on this with my pharmacist.”

The customer stalks off to wait. I assure my pharmacist and a coworker, who have both been listening in, that I will be fine, and we all agree to get the customer out as soon as possible. After filling them in, we actually get to work on the script, as corporate has been breathing down our necks about any customer complaints, and refusing this person would very well end up giving us one. My pharmacist says she will ring up the sale, but I insist, telling her I can finish this. As I call the customer back up, I can see that they have had time to cool off and have visibly deflated a little.

Customer: “Look, I’m sorry for my tone. This whole government system has me so fed up!”

They continue to, more politely at least, repeat their previous rant about Medicare and doctors with “no balls” as I quietly ring up the sale. At one point, they even notice they forgot an item, and I go the extra mile by heading out to grab it for them. By the end of the transaction, we are actually having a partially civil conversation.

Customer: “Anyway, thank you for the help.”

We wait until the customer is gone before I turn to my pharmacist.

Me:That is what we call a Boss Battle, and I just pwned its a**!”

Looking back, I added all the notes, including a warning for future shifts, but forgot to double-check the safety cap. I’m going to need some hi-potions and phoenix downs if they show back up tomorrow. Still taking the win tonight!

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When Odo Came To Dinner

, , , , | Related | June 30, 2020

My dad, mom, sister, and I are having dinner together. For dessert, Mom brings out a big bowl of Jello.

Sister: *As she’s serving herself* “What flavor is this? Raspberry, cherry…?”

Dad: *Deadpan* “It’s red, Jim.”

Did I mention we’re all “Star Trek” fans?

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Thanos’s Good Ideas Continue To Pay Off Somehow

, , , , , , , | Friendly | May 26, 2020

I’m a ski instructor that works in the Austrian Alps. I’m in charge of a group of ski students from a boarding school in the UK.

One of my students is wearing a suit of motocross armour under his ski clothes — a full neck guard, breastplate, shoulder armour, elbow and knee pads, gauntlets, buttplate, and calf armour. They are all made of the same reinforced plastic as his ski helmet. He wears it as he is “paranoid that he’d get hurt on the slopes.” We all laugh and call him a wimp. As his armour is painted bright gold, everyone calls him “Thanos.”

This happens on the third day of skiing. Thanos manages to get into the ski lift ahead of us, and there’s a group of what looks like university-age girls speaking in obvious American accents. They’re quite loud and when in the queue, they use their poles to disconnect the skis of the person in front of them before shoving them aside before taking their spot. It’s gotten more than one person angry, but the girls ignore them.

They reach Thanos, but when they try to disconnect his skis, he moves his leg out of the way, lightly knocking one of them on the ankle in the process. Those girls go ballistic, shouting about him being rude and a jerka**. They start swearing, but Thanos has reached the front by then and goes up the lift.

I think that’s the end of it, but that is not the case. When Thanos reaches the top, he patiently waits for the rest of us, but the university girls get up there first. They see him and start shouting and swearing at him, calling him rude and demanding an apology.

Naturally, all they get is a flat refusal. They take that poorly, to say the least. They then start hitting him with their ski poles and punching him with their fists. He turtles up and takes the hits, calling out for help while telling his assailants to desist. The girls push him over and then they notice that he is Chinese and add accusations about the recent health crisis — this is during the outbreak in Italy.

At this point, I arrive with a few more students. Seeing us and some ski patrol guys rushing toward them, the girls run off, leaving Thanos behind.

Thanos says cheerfully, getting up, “Well, thank goodness for my armour.”

[Student #1] asks, “Did that even hurt?”

“Nope,” Thanos responds. “Barely felt a thing.”

“Dang, that armour’s tough,” I observe. “I’ll be more worried about the person that rams into you than you.”

“Told you all that my paranoia was justified,” Thanos says smugly.

[Student #2] asks, in an appalled tone, “This was what you were paranoid about?”

I ask him, “Should we go to the police? Press charges?”

Thanos just says, “Nah. It’s our holiday. Let them go. Besides, they’re long gone by now.”

We reluctantly agree with him and continue skiing, but I just wonder what would have happened if Thanos wasn’t wearing his armour or if they had gone after one of the other students. Would they be unharmed and treat the whole thing as a joke? Those girls could have hurt someone badly, and I can only hope that they face justice at some point in the future.

Thanos Had One (1) Good Idea

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