Father Used Norovirus And It Was Super-Effective

, , , , , | Learning | July 27, 2016

(It’s nearing the end of the school year and a couple weeks from Father’s Day, and with nothing else to do, my classmates and I get into a discussion on our favorite childhood memories with our fathers.)

Classmate #1: “Our air conditioner wasn’t the greatest, so every summer when it got really, really hot, my dad would go to the store and buy a box of popsicles and we’d sit in his room with three fans going and eat the entire box while watching TV. He always let me eat all the red ones.”

Classmate #2: “My dad took me camping one year for Memorial Day and it rained the entire time, so we stayed in the tent and played board games and wrote a story.”

Classmate #3: “One year my sister and I got norovirus and had to stay home from school, and we kept throwing up in the same spot in the kitchen, so my dad put a masking tape line on the floor and told us that whoever could throw up that far would get to name our new puppy!”

Everyone Else: *long, extended silence*

Classmate #3: “And that’s why my dad let me name our dog Pikachu!”

(We then continued talking like that never happened.)

Giving Your Best Shot

, , | MN, USA | Hopeless | July 15, 2016

(It is 2004, when a bad batch of the flu vaccine creates a shortage for that year. So, high-risk groups like the elderly, young children, and people with chronic health issues are prioritized. My brother and I go to a local clinic with our grandparents. Note that my state is known for being constantly nice and generous.)

Nurse: “I’m afraid we don’t have enough doses for everyone. So if you don’t have or aren’t…” *she lists criteria* “…please prioritize those that are at high risk.”

(About a third of the people leave, making the line mostly older people.)

Older Customer: “What are you doing here, hon? You’re not the right age for the risk.”

Grandmother: *indignant* “[My Name] has asthma. The flu complications could kill her.”

Older Customer: “Oh, my gosh! I’m sorry. Hey, let this kid up the line. She has asthma.”

(As I move up, I see my neighbor heading out, carrying her recently internationally-adopted daughter, about four.)

Me: “Wait! [Neighbor]! Don’t leave. [Child] gets priority, too. Her immune system needs help to adjust to the US. Here, give her to me. I’ll make sure she gets it.”

(Especially because I am carrying a toddler, many of the mostly-older people let me up to the front of the line, saying it’s better to protect the younger generation. I soon reach the nurse.)

Me: “If there’s not enough, give the shots to [Child] and my grandparents. I can go without.”

(Both my grandparents come up to us and interrupt.)

Grandfather: “No. You are getting this shot. I am 78 while you have 65 more years to go!”

Grandmother: “Absolutely not. Give it to [My Name]. Even if you have to skip us.”

Nurse: “Wait…” *counts heads* “There should be enough now that some people have left. You can all get it.”

(Despite this, even the frailest-looking old people continued to push children and the very ill to the front of the line; I later read that the vaccine shortage was much less of a problem in Minnesota since many people chose to make sure there was enough for those at risk.)

Can’t Hold A Scented-Candle At Your Boss

, , , | Scotland, UK | Hopeless | July 14, 2016

(I have Joint Hypermobility Syndrome which causes pain and means my joints bend too far. I’ve been in a lot of pain recently. After work one day, my boss and I are walking to our cars. I get in my car and start the engine. My boss opens the passenger door and puts a gift bag on the seat. She smiles at me and gets into her car and drives off before I get a chance to speak. I text her.)

Me: “Why did you do that?”

Her: “You’re a trooper and I know you’ve been in more pain recently than you have been letting on. I hope it cheers you up.”

(She gave me a cherry-scented candle, a cherry face scrub, and a mini bottle of my favourite wine. Best. Boss. Ever.)

Getting A Leg Up On Your Day

, , | UK | Hopeless | July 13, 2016

(I have ME/CFS but am also in the somewhat difficult position of being a carer for both of my parents. On days when my ME is bad, I tend to use crutches or a walker. On this particular day, my parents, who are both elderly and partially disabled, are both unable to walk more than a few steps but since we need to go shopping, I push my mum in her wheelchair and use that as a walker, while my dad hires one of the store mobility scooters. My parents and I have reached one side of the shop when I suddenly remember I need to go back to the other for coffee and cereal, so they ask to stay where they are while I head off. I’m limping badly because of severe sciatica and have just picked up the cereal and reached the coffee aisle when I hear a voice beside me.)

Boy: “I’ve got one of those!”

(I look down at the box of cereal and see an advertisement for a ball inside it. I debate just smiling and shrugging it off, but see his parents nearby with the good old ‘here we go again’ look on their faces.)

Me: “Really? They look cool! I got a smaller box last week but there was nothing in that one.”

Boy: “Yeah! I got that one.” *points to the ball in question* “It’s a special one!”

Me: “Oh, wow! I’m gonna have to be really lucky to get that then.”

Boy: “Yeah, but the other ones are cool, too. You’ll have to see which one you get. It could be good!”

Me: “I will. Thanks for the tip!”

(I grinned at him and then looked at the parents, who gave me bright smiles as the boy ran back to his mum before his dad paused to tell me that the boy was actually very shy and I was the first person to listen to him chatter about the toy he got. He thanked me, but that was the first time that day when I hadn’t felt close to tears from the pain in my leg and had actually forgotten about it, and being scared of people myself, getting to talk with that little boy and his parents was a joy. I think it’s me who owes them more thanks!)

Enough To Give You A Fit

, , , , , , , | Working | July 1, 2016

(Owing to a number of disabilities, including epilepsy, I’m not permitted to be in the office on my own in the early morning for health and safety reasons. When I’ve got systems to check or restart/fix early morning I arrange with another member of staff to be in at the same time as me. I’ve got admin rights to the systems; that guy doesn’t. We both get to go home early when this happens and we’ve done this for years. This morning I turn up and nobody else is in, so I wait in reception. And wait. It gets to 8:45 am, when I’d got in at 6 am, and finally someone shows up but not the staff member I’d arranged with; it’s our IT director. I mention about my coworker not showing up.)

IT Director: “Yeah, I heard about that and told him not to show up.”

Me: “Oh, did the system restart not need doing at 6:30 am today? Would have been nice to be told but these things happen, I guess.”

IT Director: “No, it needed doing… Does this mean you didn’t do it?”

Me: “Well, no, I couldn’t. I’m not allowed in the office on my own. That’s why [Coworker] comes in when I need to do this.”

IT Director: “Yeah, I heard about that. It’s a stupid rule.”

Me: “Under health and safety I’m not allowed in the building on my own. Stupid rule or not, that’s how things are.”

IT Director: “Why not? Because you’re a woman? So much for feminism.”

Me: “No, because I’m an epileptic.”

IT Director: “Well, that’s two faults against you, then. Not doing the restart and not telling us you’re a [very rude term for the mentally disabled]. I’ll be speaking to your boss.”

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