Best… Seizure… Ever

, , , , | | Working | May 24, 2019

(I’m in my twenties. As I walk back home after shopping with my parents, I drop to the ground with a seizure and injure my head on the pavement. My parents call an ambulance and I get taken care of at the hospital. In the middle of it, my dad snaps a picture of me on the sidewalk, bleeding from my head. After spending a night in the hospital, I post the picture in my coworkers’ chat group, informing them I won’t come in for four weeks per doctor’s orders. My coworkers express their get-well-soons, and I get examinations for the cause of the seizure. After a week, my doctor tells me I’m not allowed to drive a car for three months due to insurance reasons. I immediately panic as my daily work commute plan goes out the window, I reach out to my works council to set up a meeting with the CEO and my shift lead. After the pleasantries are exchanged:)

Me: “The reason I asked for this meeting is because I’m not allowed to drive a car at the moment, and I was wondering if we could work out alternative work hours so I can use public transportation or some kind of plan how else I can get to work.”

CEO: “So, wait. You want to get back to work?”

Me: “Well, my sick leave is still in effect for another three weeks, but yeah, I’d like to come back.”

CEO: “Oh, great. I thought you wanted to announce you’d be gone for half a year or so. [Works Council] showed me a picture of you bleeding on a sidewalk; that must’ve hurt quite badly, didn’t it?”

Me: “Honestly, I don’t remember the fall at all. I just suddenly woke up in an ambulance headed for the hospital. Getting that wound stitched together was kind of uncomfortable, though.”

CEO: “You still have some overtime in your account, right? And some leftover vacation days too?”

Me: “I guess, last I checked 10 days vacation and some 60 hours OT.”

CEO: “Let me go to the HR office real quick to crunch some numbers.”

(They leave.)

Works Council: “Hey, [Coworker] lives in [Town near my parents’ town]. Maybe you can carpool with him?”

Me: “If he’s okay with it, that’s a valid option. But isn’t he off the early-late shift rotation and always starts at seven?”

Shift Lead: “That’s not a problem. We can put you off rotation until you can drive here by yourself again.”

(The CEO gets back.)

CEO: “So, HR and I came up with a little plan. We need you to reduce your overtime hours, anyway, so if you take your leftover vacation and some 50 hours, you can stay home and recover properly.”

(It is late-October and it dawns on me they intend to send me home for the rest of the year.)

Me: “Wait. You’re telling me I’d be done with work for the year?”

Works Council: “It would greatly reduce your carpool time, as well. [Shift Lead], are you okay with that?”

Shift Lead: “I’d have to swap some people around, but it is manageable.”

Me: “I don’t know what to say. I was panicking back home as I didn’t know how I could come here, and now you took this huge load off my shoulders.”

CEO: “I’d rather have you here healthy and fit than bleeding everywhere and stressed out. Go home, get some rest, recover, and I’ll see you on January 2nd. Just keep us updated if your doctor finds something serious.”

(My CEO has a reputation of being demanding, but when times get tough they totally have their workers’ backs. I ended up carpooling with my coworker for three weeks, but stopped doing the voluntary night shifts, as my doctor suspected my messed-up sleep cycle to be responsible for the seizure.)

The Less Spayed About That The Better

, , , , | | Right | May 24, 2019

(I’m working at a small, nonprofit, no-kill animal shelter. All animals are spayed or neutered before being adopted. Most of our dogs are mixed breeds of some kind.)

Customer: “Do you have any male [rare, specific breed of dog]?”

Me: “No, I’m sorry. I don’t think that’s a breed we see here very often, if at all. Maybe [something similar]?”

Customer: “No, it has to be [specific breed]. I’m looking for a male to match with my female so they can have puppies.”

Me: “Oh, okay. Even if we did have one, all of our animals are spayed or neutered before being adopted, so you wouldn’t be able to breed them.”

Customer: “But what if I wanted him to keep his penis?”

(I debated explaining how neutering works — that the penis is not actually removed — but ultimately decided that it wouldn’t be a productive conversation and let it go.)

Never Take A Shot At Guessing Pregnancy

, , , , , , | | Friendly | May 21, 2019

(I’m at a bar and I’ve ordered a shot. The bartender sets it on the bar in front of me, but before I can drink it, a woman storms up, grabs it, and dumps it out on the floor.)

Woman: “What the h*** do you think you’re doing? You’re going to be a terrible mother.” *to the bartender* “And you should be fired! This is the most irresponsible thing I’ve ever seen!”

Me: “Um—“

Woman: “No, you listen to me. You can’t drink when you’re pregnant! I should report you to the police; you’re going to—”

Me:Lady. I’m not pregnant; I’m just fat. Jeez.”

(She stared at me for at least a minute, then stammered out an apology and told the bartender to replace my drink on her tab.)

Too Chicken(Pox) To Accept The Consequences

, , , , , , , | | Learning | May 21, 2019

Though my kindergarten was part of an entire elementary school, the kindergarten was held in a separate building across the street from the main school with its own parking lot. This was originally done to ensure the children could see and point out whoever was picking them up without the clutter of other grades — also why the first graders had their own hall with its own exit in the main building. It also forced the school to teach us road safety at a young age since we’d have to go to the main school building to have library, PE, music, art, computers, and lunch. However, it wound up proving to have one more bonus after this incident.

Our last activity before recess was acting out Three Billy Goats Gruff, complete with masks for all four characters. After I, the third goat for this group, rammed the final troll, someone noticed my goat mask didn’t look the same and asked the teacher about it. She started by examining the mask, and then the kid playing the troll and me. Our troll was wearing makeup. Everywhere. While asking him why, the teacher started rubbing it away before stepping back, horrified.

The troll had chickenpox.

While I don’t remember this for sure, I believe that at the time vaccination was only required for entry into middle school, so not only was it quite likely that none of the students in the kindergarten were vaccinated against chickenpox, but it was just as likely many of the students in the main school weren’t, either. And this child’s mother decided it would be better to send him to school. How do I know it was his mother? Well…

The very first thing my teacher did was get the neighboring teacher to watch us, and then drag our troll right out of the classroom. When I took a restroom break later, I passed by the kindergarten’s office and heard a woman yelling about how this was no big deal, that she shouldn’t have had to come down for this, and more. The troll student didn’t come back that day, or any other day.

Once she got back, we were locked in the building the rest of the day. The teachers had to go get our lunches, and we lost our main building class for the day. Throughout the day, others were getting picked up unexpectedly. Evidently, the school called all of our parents to let them know a mother sent her child in with chickenpox, and many decided to get their kids out immediately.

The school was closed for the next two weeks, which means we lost two weeks of our summer vacation and our parents had to find sitters. Once the incubation period ended and symptoms would be appearing in anyone infected, the school reopened, but attendance was incredibly low; on the very first day back, I was the only one who came to class. Part of it was that some parents didn’t feel safe leaving their kids with the school any longer and transferred them out, but most of it was because the school had an outbreak which left most of the children sick, and the parents of the remaining healthy children were concerned another parent would do the same thing. After some assurances, the healthy students finally came back. I had bragging rights, however.

Since I was the only one who came in on the first day, the teachers called my parents again. With their permission, my teacher took me bowling for the day — out of her own pocket if my mother is to be believed — and even drove me home while everyone else stayed to close the kindergarten early. It was my first and only improvised field trip, and I absolutely loved it.

In the course of my education, I encountered almost my entire kindergarten class again. While a couple of them have scars, everyone I’ve found was just fine. The only mystery left in this case is the student who caused it. I’ve yet to encounter him again.

To the troll’s mother, while I hate that you delayed my summer vacation and cost me time with my friends, thank you for enabling a wonderful day of bowling with my teacher. I hope your stupidity hasn’t killed your son or anyone else.

Vaccinations Against Nazis

, , , , , | | Friendly | May 20, 2019

(I am shopping at a department store with my sister and her daughter. My sister bumps into an old friend from school and I stand awkwardly to the side of them while they catch up. The topic turns to my niece and my sister mentions getting her vaccinations last week, so we’re treating her for being brave about it. This causes my sister’s friend to start a long rant about how dangerous vaccinations are, how she would never inject “poison” into her children, and that autism is, and I quote, “worse than Hitler.” My sister, who is a pediatric doctor, just smiles and lets the friend rant herself raw. A couple of seconds after she finishes, my niece pipes up for the first time.)

Niece: “Mummy, is this what stupid looks like?”

(My sister and I burst out laughing while the friend blushed and stormed off, screaming that she hoped my niece “dies of autism.”)

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