Littered Thoughts All Over The Place

, , , | Right | November 7, 2017

Customer: “Excuse me? This is a bit embarrassing, but could I exchange this?” *points at a bag of cat litter* ” I really just bought it; it’s totally fine.”

Employee: “Um, well… I don’t think it’s an issue. Did you need another brand?”

Customer: “Yes! It’s for my baby, actually.”

Employee: “I’m sorry. Did you–“

Customer: “Oh, Lord, no! Sorry, I’m so sorry! I need diapers. See, there is a thing called pregnancy dementia, and obviously, it’s got me. I needed something for the poo and got mixed up. I know I should make a list, but I forgot the list and this is so… Sorry!”

Employee: “No, no, that’s okay. I’ll just return this, and it’s fine, really.”

(She thanks the poor girl profusely and pulls out her phone, which features a cat as screen saver.)

Customer: “S***! Hold on! We have a cat! Of course! I needed the litter and diapers!”

(She was handed the bag of litter and left, excusing herself over and over. Diapers? Nowhere to be seen.)

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Have Faith And You Will See

, , , , | Friendly | November 7, 2017

(My pastor is chatting with a lady who is blind.)

Lady: “I wish you would do more of the older songs. I don’t know the words to these newer songs.”

Pastor: “We have the words up on the screen.”

Lady: “Like I can see it.”

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Some People Have The Nerve

, , , , , | Learning | November 6, 2017

(One of my friends at college has a hidden disability. Her nerve endings send pain signals so she is in constant pain; however, walking is doable. On top of that, she needs a hip replacement at the age of 18, which makes stairs impossible. This means she takes the lift just going up a single flight of stairs. I’ve started going with her because she’s told me people often make comments. We get the lift with a group of guys who are on the sports degree. I press the button for floor one.)

Guy #1: *condescendingly* “That’s lazy, don’t you think?”

Me: *smiles* “My friend’s nerve endings don’t work properly, which means she’s in constant agony. Plus, she needs a double hip replacement due to a birth defect.”

(There’s silence.)

Guy #2: *to [Guy #1] in a light jovial tone* “Bet you feel like a right d*** now.”

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Gul Du-Splat

, , , , , | Right | November 3, 2017

(I’m working alone in a small pet store. It’s about 20 minutes before we close. A woman barges in holding a large cardboard box, a wild look in her eyes.)

Me: “Hello, ma’am. Is everything okay?”

Woman: “You have to help me! I found a seagull in the parking lot, and I think its wing might be broken!”

Me: “Oh. Well, I’m not sure what I can do to… Wait, is it in the box you’re holding?”

Woman: “Yes! Can you take a look at him?”

Me: “Ma’am, please keep him in the—”

(Before I can finish, she pulls the seagull out of the box. Understandably scared, it starts flapping its damaged wing, and blood spurts all over me, our displays, and the floor.)

Me: “PLEASE PUT HIM BACK IN THE BOX! I’m not a vet! I’d recommend you take it to an emergency room! Try [Nearby Vet Clinic]; I know they do emergency walk-ins!”

Woman: “ARE YOU SERIOUS?! Hmmph! I assumed you’d care about animals!”

(She stuffed the seagull back in the box and ran out of the store. I ended up staying almost 45 minutes past closing to clean and disinfect the entire front end of the store. I hope the poor seagull ended up okay!)

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You’re Going To Need A Thick Skin To Handle This

, , , , | Working | November 3, 2017

(I’m a dermatologist seeing a patient for the first time. She was referred for a chronic skin condition on her face and neck, and her appointment was booked around two months ago. Due to the nature of our work, we advise that patients do not change their skin care routines prior to seeing us, and to come wearing little to no cosmetic product, such as makeup, moisturiser, etc. We also ask for a list of products they use regularly, as well as a description of their skin care routine.)

Nurse Practitioner: “Your 1300… You aren’t going to like this.”

Me: “Okay? Let her in.”

(The woman comes in and I can tell, regardless of how much makeup is on her face, that she is seriously suffering from something her referral did not cover.)

Me: “Hello, I’m [Name]. How have you been?”

Woman: *dismissive* “Fine. How long is this going to take? I have stuff to do.”

Me: “It should take no longer than half an hour. Follow-up appointments may take longer, however.” *picking up a packet of wipes* “Once your face is clear of product, we can begin. I’ll promise to be as fast as I can.”

Woman:No! I have stuff to do. I need my make up!”

Me: “I can’t do an examination without seeing your skin.”

Woman: “You can see my skin. See?!” *pointing*

Me: “I can see your skin through a layer of makeup, which will only make it difficult to find out what you’re suffering from.”

Woman: *pouting* “But, please. Can you just do it with my makeup on, just this once?”

Me: “There’s little point in us doing anything if you aren’t willing to let me see your skin.”

Woman: “Fine!” *takes wipes*

Me: “We also asked for a list—”

Woman: *smugly* “Here! I take good care of my skin, so I don’t know what could be wrong!”

(She hands me a rather long list and a thorough description of her routine. Judging by most of the products, I can only assume she does it weekly, as it would take four to five hours to do it all. I can already tell why she is suffering from skin complaints. She comes back looking sheepish and I instantly recognise a mild to moderate burn on her left cheek. It’s also bleeding slightly.)

Me: *looking at the list* “How long have you been on [Medication]?”

Woman: “About a month.”

Me: “And is that around the time this—” *gently touching around the burn* “—has been here?”

Woman: *shrugs* “I guess.”

Me: “Okay. Firstly, I need to warn you that if you continue with this routine, you are seriously going to damage your skin. Even weekly exposure to this much—”

Woman: “Daily.”

Me: “…daily?”

Woman:Daily! That’s daily!”

(I stare at her wide-eyed for a moment before regaining my composure.)

Me: “Okay. All of this needs to stop. Weekly is bad enough, but daily… you’re putting yourself at serious risk. Your skin is an organ that can care for itself most of the time. You don’t need all this. Every time you clean or exfoliate your face, you are removing secretions from your skin which help to maintain it. Every time you wipe them away, your skin works harder to restore the balance.”

Woman: “But that’s why I use all that. It does the same; better, in fact.”

Me: “No, it doesn’t. Not when your skin functions perfectly well on its own.”

Woman: “So, what does all this mean then? What will happen if I don’t stop? Is it serious?”

Me: “You’re 22, correct?”

Woman: “Yes.”

Me: *looking over her face* “From your face alone, I would have guessed mid-30s.”


Me: “The damage you’re doing is causing your skin to age faster than it should. You’re also at risk of developing skin cancer, lesions, eczema, and—” *gesturing to the burn* “—burns.”

Woman: *completely unfazed* “But isn’t all that supposed to help?”

Me: “Not with the way you’re using it. I would rather you do nothing than abuse your skin like this. Most of these products are designed for occasional use, not daily. Now for that burn.” *I turn back to her list* “When did you have acne? Your records don’t mention it.”

Woman: “I didn’t have it.”

Me: *turning to her* “You said you have been using [Medication] for a month. Did you follow instructions?”

Woman: “Umm… I—”

Me: “I don’t see any signs of scarring. Why were you prescribed [Medication]?”

Woman: “I wasn’t.”

Me: “It isn’t an over-the-counter medication. You need a prescription.”

Woman: “A friend gets it for me.”

Me: *pinching my nose* “How often do you use it?”

Woman: “Everyday, for about an hour.”

Me: *closing my eyes* “Was it for a spot?”

Woman: “YES!”

Me: *opening my eyes to her* “This medication is to reduce acne scars. It contains a mild acid which can break down scar tissue. It’s only meant to be used at bi-weekly or monthly intervals, keeping it on the skin for five to ten minutes or until your skin starts to tingle, whichever comes first. I’m not equipped here to handle the damage it could cause.”

Woman: “But, b-b-but… this is meant to help me!”

Me: “I can refer you to a specialist. She’ll be able to accurately assess the damage and risk of scarring. You’re lucky it’s only been a—”

(The woman fled from my room in tears. We contacted her family and made them aware of the referral and asked her to call us. She never did. I sincerely hope she is doing well.)

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