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“Yes, Ma’am” Me ONE MORE TIME

, , , , , , | Healthy Working | July 4, 2022

I volunteer at a local hospital in the Volunteer Administrative Office. I do a lot of filing and clerical work with prospective volunteers, creating files, organizing paperwork, and making sure everything is in order so the Administrative Manager can get them on board.

Part of becoming a volunteer is to complete two Tuberculosis Skin Tests (TSTs) or have proof of having them within the last year from your doctor.

We have a prospective volunteer who has completed almost everything except the TST test. I call him up to see if he’s still interested. The man answers.

Me: “Hello, my name is [My Name], and I’m calling on behalf of the [Hospital] Volunteer Services.”

Man: “Yes, ma’am.”

Me: “Are you still interested in volunteering?”

Man: “Yes, ma’am. I had my interview and orientation nearly a month ago, but I haven’t heard from the hospital since.”

Me: “Okay, well, it looks like the only thing missing is your TST test.”

Man: “My what?”

Me: “I’m sorry, your Tuberculosis Skin Test.”

Man: “What’s that?”

Me: “A test you have to have in order to volunteer.”

Man: “Where do I go to get one?”

Me: “You need to complete two. We gave you a sheet of paper in your interview packet—”

Man: “Yes, ma’am.”

Me: “—that has the hours that Employee Health—”

Man: “Yes, ma’am.”

Me: “—that has the hours that Employee Health is open to give you free skin tests.”

Man: “Yes, ma’am.”

Me: “You need to go there and get both of your tests—”

Man: “Yes, ma’am.”

Me: “—before you can volunteer.”

I’m beginning to see the pattern here. He talks over the top of me, says the same thing, and doesn’t appear to really be listening or understanding what I’m trying to tell him.

Man: “So, I cannot volunteer without these tests?”

Me: “No, sir, we cannot move forward—”

Man: “Yes, ma’am.”

Me: “—until you are cleared.”

Man: “Oh, uh, I’ve already had those tests.”

I highly doubt that!

Me: “Oh, good. Then all you have to do is go to your doctor and—”

Man: “Yes, ma’am.”

Me: “—ask them to print out a sheet. It takes only a few seconds and doesn’t cost anything.”

Man: “He’s in Pakistan. I can’t get those papers.”

Me: “Then you’ll have to retake the tests.”

Man: “I have to retake the tests?”

Me: “Yes, sir.”

Man: “Why didn’t the lady call me to tell me this?”

Me: “She told you this in the interview and the orientation—”

Man: “Yes, ma’am.”

Me: “—sir. After that, it’s up to you to—”

Man: “Yes, ma’am.”

Me: “—get the shots done and get us the paperwork.”

Man: “Yes, ma’am.”

My eye is twitching by now, and I’m normally very patient, but his interruptions are getting on my last nerve.

Me: “So, get those tests to us, and we’ll get you started volunteering.”

Man: “Yes, ma’am. So, I cannot volunteer unless I get these shots?”

Me: “They’re not shots, sir—”

Man: “Yes, ma’am.”

Me: “They are skin tests.”

Man: “Yes, ma’am.”

Me: “And no. You can’t volunteer until you complete them.”

Man: “Yes, ma’am.”

Me: “Have a good day, sir.”

I hung up during his final “Yes, ma’am” and facepalmed into both hands with a sigh nearly deep enough to throw out my back.

He never completed his tests and thus never volunteered.

Code “Oh, My God!”

, , , , | Healthy Related | June 28, 2022

About thirteen years ago, Dad was in the hospital recovering from surgery. He had cancer, and this was just prior to beginning chemotherapy and radiation treatments. I stopped by to visit him after work, just to check in on him and to see if he needed anything brought from home.

Dad: “You just missed all the excitement! They just called Code Blue on me.”

This means that he had stopped breathing and was unresponsive.

Me: “What? Why are you telling me this?! What happened?”

He had gotten up to go to the bathroom, and he’d managed to pull the call cord as he blacked out. He reported coming back to consciousness with a half-dozen people clustered around him. Apparently, his body had a shortage of a particular nutrient or another, so they had him on an IV to make up the shortfall.

As to why he told me this?

Dad: “I just wondered how you’d react.”

He’s fine… but his sense of humour is still terminal.

For His Patients’ Sakes, We Really Hope That Sandwich Helped!

, , , , , | Right | June 12, 2022

I work at a little shop located inside a hospital. We sell cold sandwiches.

Customer: “I’d like this sandwich heated, please.”

Me: “I’m afraid we only sell cold sandwiches.”

Customer: “But… I’m a doctor.”

Me: “Okay? We don’t have any means to heat sandwiches in this shop.”

Customer: *Slightly different tone* “But… I’m a doctor…”

Me: “Be that as it may, we don’t have a microwave or an oven.”

Customer: *Yet another slightly different tone* “But I’m… a doctor.”

Me: “So… just the sandwich, then?”

The customer blankly scans his card on the reader and walks out of the store, looking dazed and confused.

Customer: “But… I’m… a doctor?”

No Soup For You! Part 6

, , | Healthy | June 10, 2022

I work as a door screener in my small town’s hospital. The hospital is small, too, and doesn’t even have vending machines, let alone a public cafeteria. From the entrance, you either take a right to enter the Emergency Department or take a left to reach the outpatient laboratory for blood tests.

One day, a man comes in needing to fill out some paperwork. He is dressed in business casual clothing and has a stylish messenger bag. I direct him to the doctor’s offices and see him as he exits a few minutes later.

After he turns the corner out of sight, he turns around and jogs back to the front door. He fishes around in his bag for something and then produces…

A plastic container full of soup.

Man: “Is there a microwave I can use to heat this up?”

After a moment’s stunned silence, I stammer out that we don’t have any easily accessible and he nods, puts his soup away, and heads off again.

I still wonder what sort of person would think that a hospital would heat up some random person’s soup for them, in a global health crisis, no less!

No Soup For You! Part 5
No Soup For You!, Part 4
No Soup For You!, Part 3
No Soup For You!, Part 2
No Soup For You!

A Lack Of Information On Your Part Does Not Constitute An Emergency Room On Mine

, , , | Right | June 3, 2022

I work as an emergency room receptionist at our local hospital. In the middle of a rush, during which the computers are malfunctioning, I receive a call.

Caller: “Hi. Can you give me the number for [Person] in [Next Town Over]?”

Me: “I can try. Is she here at the hospital, or was she just brought into the ER?”

Caller: “No. I just need her number. She lives just down the street.”

Me: “Sir, I’m afraid I can’t help you. This is the hospital emergency room. I don’t have that information. I suggest calling 411.”

Caller: “I tried that. They’re busy. I just get the busy signal.”

Me: “Since she’s not a patient here, I can’t help.”

Caller: “Well, can’t you just look it up?”

Me: “No. This is a hospital emergency room.”

The call was disconnected, and he called back a few minutes later, just to repeat the conversation.