This Story Will Take Your Breath Away

, , , | Healthy | February 23, 2020

(I work in an inbound 24/7 call centre while studying. We take calls for over 150 different companies and can rarely do more than take their details and have them be called back, but we are not supposed to let the callers know that. On one of my last Saturday night shifts, my coworker receives a call from an elderly man for a company that sells and waits on equipment for patient care, including oxygen tanks for private use. Extra note: on weekends we rarely get any calls, so there are only two people in the office at a time.)

Coworker: “This is [Company]; how can I help you?”

Old Man: “My oxygen tank isn’t working. Please send someone to help me.”

Coworker: “I’m sorry, but we are already closed. I can make a note for support to call you back, but they will only see it on Monday. Do you require the oxygen supply constantly?”

Old Man: “I need my oxygen tank and it isn’t working. Please help me.”

Coworker: “I am really sorry, but there is nothing I can do until Monday. Please hang up and call emergency services; they will be able to help you until we can get your oxygen tank fixed.”

Old Man: “No! These are your oxygen tanks! You have to help me! Please help me!”

(They keep going in circles like this for almost 15 minutes, with the man repeating the phrase “please help me” until he hangs up on my coworker, but not before she has convinced him to tell her his name and address.)

Coworker: “I don’t know what to do. I don’t think he’s going to call an ambulance. What if something happens to him?”

Me: “Maybe we should call an ambulance for him to be sure? You got his address, right? Lack of oxygen can make people very confused, I think.”

(My coworker called our supervisor, because we are not technically allowed to make external calls. He said he didn’t know, either. We could call emergency services if we wanted to, but if the man decided to sue for breach of privacy, it would be on us. I decided to call the non-emergency line instead of my coworker, since they couldn’t fire me, anyway. The operator seemed more than a little weirded out by me calling an ambulance for a stranger I had never seen or spoken to but had an address and a name for, but he thanked me and my coworker for the effort. I never found out what happened to the old man, but I hope he was okay, whether he needed that ambulance or not. Emergency services are completely free here, by the way, for you concerned US citizens out there. PSA: At least around here, if you suspect someone’s life is in danger, you are totally allowed to disregard any data protection slips your workplace had you sign.)

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Racists Are A Cancer Upon Society

, , , , | Right | February 22, 2020

(Just after high school, I was diagnosed with oral cancer. Thankfully, I recovered, but due to chances of remission, I remained out of school and ended up as head waitress at a local fish and chip place. Two men are regulars at the restaurant. They always complain and tip next to nothing. Consistently, they insult my job and tell me I should be educated and do more with life. I set two plates of their usual order down and greet them.)

Customer #1: “Why are the fish pieces always smaller and smaller each time we come in?”

Me: “Sir, all our fish is measured by weight, and the senior portion has always remained the same.”

Customer #2: *rudely points at the opposite table of a younger couple* “Then why are their pieces so much bigger?!”

Me: “You two order the senior discount, and less batter. If you’d like to upgrade, let me know!” *turns to get their condiments*

Customer #2:Hey! You didn’t grab the tartar sauce!”

(I motion to the tartar I’m about to grab as I’m not halfway across the store, not too far away to hear the other man grumble.)

Customer #1: “Maybe if she spent more time in school and less time working for these d*** Asians she’d have a better memory.”

(The rest of the meal they groan and complain, being rude and disrespectful. Finally, they approach the table to pay.)

Customer #1: “How come you’re not in school? Shouldn’t you be doing something with your life?”

(This has to be about the tenth time this man has asked me this and usually I politely shrug it off.)

Customer #2: “You’re wasting your life, I tell you! When you’re old you’ll regret that you only amounted to serving for some [Asian slur]s!”

(I’ve finally had enough and I snap.)

Me: “No. The owners are not ‘[slurs]’ and your racial slurs are not welcome. They are good people who helped me in a bad time. I graduated with over a 96% average and fully intend to go back to school when I’m ready to get back into action. However, having any job is a good job. I cannot apply when I am in remission as the cancer I had when I was 18 may very well just come back, and I am still recovering and in pain! If you assume things and use racial slurs, you are the uneducated ones. Now, will that be all?”

(At a loss for words, the two apologized under their breath, leaving behind nearly a $20 tip on a ten-dollar meal. They have been nothing but pleasant ever since. My boss, who heard the whole thing, gave me a smile and thumbs-up. Made my day!)

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That Takes A Lot Of Balls

, , , , , | Healthy | February 21, 2020

(I have to visit the hospital due to a wave of nausea that was bad enough to keep me from going to work. The doctor decides to have an ultrasound done on my abdomen to check for anything that may be causing it. The radiologist doing the scan is a rather gorgeous girl that looks like she’s in her mid-20s.)

Me: “I have to ask. What’s the weirdest thing anyone’s ever asked you while you do this?”

Radiologist: “You’re not gonna believe this. Sometimes I have to do ultrasounds on guys’… um… testicles, and in the middle of it, they start asking me if I’m seeing anyone, or if I wanna go out, things like that.”

Me: “Wait. They’re having ultrasounds done on their balls and they think they have a shot?

Radiologist: “Yeah. And it’s always the ones who need them scanned, too. It’s never the ones who need their chest or anything else scanned; it’s always the ones who need their testicles scanned. Maybe it’s because my hand has to be… you know, down there to do the scans.”

Me: *laughs* “Ever been tempted to tell them, ‘You know I’m taking pictures of something that might not be working, right?’”

Radiologist: *bursts out laughing*

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Extra Thick Medicine

, , , , , | Right | February 20, 2020

(In high school, I contract mono. The worst of it for me is the sore throat; my tonsils are so swollen I haven’t really eaten in days. My dad and I are on the way home from the doctor, and we stop at the local ice cream place. They aren’t quite open yet, but I am getting weak and faint from the lack of food.)

Me: *somewhat hoarsely* “Hello?”

Owner: “Sorry, hon, we’re not quite open yet.”

Me: “I know, and I’m sorry, but I’m really sick and I haven’t had any real food in forever. Is there any way I could get a milkshake? I hate to be a bother, but I’m just really dying for some calories, and this is the only thing I’ll be able to get down.”

Owner: *backs up jokingly* “Whoa, whatever you want, hon. Just don’t breathe on me!”

(The owner pulls over one of the workers, a girl a little older than me, to make the shake, and then goes back to setting up the shop.)

Girl: “Here’s your shake.” *whispers* “I made it extra-thick, okay?”

Me: “Thank you so much; I really appreciate it.”

(They both said they hoped I’d feel better, and we left. Sadly, the shop has since closed due to some chicanery with the land lease, and everyone bemoans the loss of the nicest ice cream shop in the county.)

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What Part Of “NO MORE” Do You Not Understand?

, , , , | Healthy | February 19, 2020

(I go into labor with my son. My mother-in-law drives me to the hospital and they admit me right away as I am dilated enough that the birthing process can begin. I should note that the pregnancy has not been the best as I was a super sick one and had additional complications that necessitated ultrasounds — the invasive kind — every week after the first three months of pregnancy. I already decided long before we had our child that this would be my first and last child, as I have four stepkids, all of whom fulfill my life. Skip ahead to the labor. I ask for an epidural as my pain tolerance is low. The epidural has to be administered three times due to an unknown condition with scoliosis. The first time, nothing happens but lots of pain. The second time, only a portion of my body is numb but not the parts I need. Finally, the third time, it is bliss. I no longer feel pain, only enough pressure to get through the task. Everything goes smoothly from there. Then, I ask to be put back on the depo shot as I do not want to ever get pregnant again. I joke that I would get a hysterectomy if I could.)

Nurse #1: “Oh, honey, don’t worry. Let’s give you some time to let the pain meds wear off and think about birth control later. You are just scared because of your recent pregnancy.”

Me: “No, thank you. Can you please put me on the shot ASAP? It’s not because I disliked the experience; this was a decision made long before I became pregnant. I only want one child, as I am happy with our home dynamics as they are.”

(The next day, I ask another nurse for the depo shot.)

Nurse #2: “Okay, I’ll look into it.” 

(Nothing ever happens. The next day, with another nurse…)

Me: “Hi. The pain medicine has worn off, which I know was a concern for the first nurse, and I would like to receive my depo shot now, while I am still admitted in the hospital.”

Nurse #3: “Okay, I will look into it and see what we can do, but you are still very emotional from just having a child. Maybe give it a while before you decide to go back on birth control.”

Me: “Thank you, but I am certain I do not want to have any more children, and it’s not because of the labor experience I had.”

(Quite a time has passed, and I realize they are not looking into it for me. My final and last day in the hospital, I ask yet another nurse who is still skeptical, but finally, I get the shot and am happy to leave. Fast forward to my regular gynecologist appointment. The nurse asks me to take a pregnancy test and I say I will, but there is no need as my spouse has gotten a vasectomy. Only then do I realize she is one of the nurses from my time in the hospital; my gynecologist office is a part of the hospital that specializes in complications so for some things, the staff is the same.)

Nurse #3: “Oh, I thought you were kidding about not having any more kids.”

Me: “No, I wasn’t, and since it is easier for men to get a vasectomy… that’s what we did. The depo shot now is to keep my endometriosis under control and a backup in case the vasectomy ever reverses itself.”

(Needless to say, I stopped using them as my doctor’s office and found a different one.)

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