H2-Slow To React

| Cottage Grove, OR, USA | Working | May 4, 2017

(It’s the last day in August, 1997. My mom is 9 months pregnant with me and has booked an appointment with the local hospital to get some blood-work done. As they are doing this…)

Mom: “I think my water broke.”

Nurse: “Nonsense, I would know if your water broke.”

Mom: “Isn’t the water gushing down my legs enough proof?”

(Indeed, by now the floor was soaked, as were my mom’s clothes.)

Nurse: “Well… I still don’t think your water broke.”

(My mom’s water had broken, of course, and I was born two weeks later, on September 12, a dry, very underweight baby. Both I and my mom nearly lost our lives. Thanks, nurse; your arrogance deserves a medal.)

Tubular Vision

| UK | Right | May 3, 2017

(I work part-time as a volunteer in a clinic, repairing hearing aids. I am shopping in a local store at the weekend, wearing very casual clothing (jeans and a logo t-shirt) when I recognise another customer who is one of my clients. He spots me and comes over.)

Customer: “Hey, don’t you work at [Clinic]?”

Me: “Yes, I do.”

Customer: “Oh, good! I need new tubes for my hearing aids.”

Me: “I… can’t do anything here. You need to come to [Clinic] next week.”

Customer: “Can’t you just give me some tubes?”

Me: “No, sorry. You have to come to the clinic. I can’t do anything right now.”

Customer: “But I just need new tubes…”

Me: “Uh, I don’t actually carry supplies with me. I’m just here shopping.”

Customer: “Oh. I suppose I’ll have to see you next week in [Clinic], then…”

(He walked off, looking most disappointed that I couldn’t just magically produce hearing aid tubes from thin air for him.)

Not A Staple Part Of The Usual Allergies

| Northern Ireland, UK | Working | April 26, 2017

(I’m allergic to titanium. It’s an odd allergy, certainly, but it means I usually need to avoid things like medical staples, etc. I’ve something on my arm that requires closing, and as usual, they’re insisting on using staples.)

Me: “You can’t use staples; I’m allergic to the metal.”

Nurse: “Nonsense. It’s titanium. You can’t be allergic to titanium.”

Me: “Well, I am, so—”

Nurse: “It’s seriously the most hypoallergenic metal there is. Stop being difficult, please, and let’s get this over with.”

Me: “What’s the point? First chance I get these are coming out again. Seriously. Just stitch it if it’s that bad.”

(Nope, I lost the argument. I figured I’d give it 24 hours and see if the reaction wasn’t too bad — sometimes it’s not quite as severe and it’s never life threatening — but the following day I march into my GP surgery and insist they take them out. After explaining they went in the day before:)

Nurse #2: “They’ve only been in 24 hours. I can’t take them out yet.”

Me: “You can’t leave them in. Seriously. Here, let me show you…”

(I finally manage to get the covering bandage off, and where each staple has pierced my skin, is swollen and oozing pus. Everything else is fine; it’s just at the pierced skin sites.)

Nurse #2: *going slightly pale* “Uh… okay. Yeah, we’ll take those out now. Why didn’t you tell them about this beforehand?”

Me: “You try convincing someone you have a titanium allergy.”

Nurse #2: “Fine, point taken. I’m gonna speak to the GP about putting something in your medical notes. That’s all kinds of ridiculous.”

(I don’t know what she said or if he ever wrote anything, but I’ve never been asked to have staples since, and nobody’s ever argued with me when I said I can’t have them, either.)

Squaring That One Away

| Prague, Czech Republic | Romantic | April 24, 2017

(Despite my age, I not only decide to donate blood for the first time, but I also talk my husband into doing the same. We are in the waiting room, filling in the questionnaire. Everything goes well, but then my husband gets to the part about “risky behaviour,” which may disqualify a person from being a donor.)

Husband: “What is this? Do I have to fill it?”

Me: “What is the problem? You never got transfusion, much less abroad, you never touched a prostitute, actually you slept with only one woman the last twenty years, and you never even thought about taking drugs!”

Husband: “Yeah… Now they will think I am complete square who has no fun in life!”

(Pause.)

Husband: “And yet I have SO MUCH FUN with you, my sweetest bloom on the tree of beauty!”

Me: “Tough luck. Let’s hope the medical records are really secure here.”

This Not Working Is Just Not Working

, | Shawnee Mission, KS, USA | Working | April 21, 2017

(A coworker and I are the same age, and when she started working we generally get along. Sometimes I would even give her part of my tips if she didn’t make a lot. Since then she has become a royal pain and altogether terrible worker. I’ve seen her steal tips out of the jar, both on her working days and her days off. I’ve seen her call in and then show up at the shop to make herself and her friends free food and drinks. I’ve opened the shop the day after she has closed and come in to a mess that takes nearly three hours to clean up. She would be scheduled for two days a week and call in one. She has failed to show up several times, and her excuse for her absence was basically “Well, if I had known I needed to show up I would have.” We are short staffed, meaning shifts usually consist of one employee at a time. It also means my coworker probably won’t be fired, seeing as we need people. My coworker in question is on work suspension for excessively calling in, after months of incidents, and as a result is only allowed to work eight hours a week. It is the day before I am scheduled to open the shop at 5:30 am. I live half an hour away, so to get there on time I need to wake up around 4:30. My coworker texts me at 10:45 pm. this night, waking me up.)

Coworker: “Hey, I have a church thing tomorrow. Could you work for me from 2:00-6:00?”

Me: “If I really have to, I guess, but I’m opening tomorrow also.”

Coworker: “[Manager] says it’s fine. Thanks so much!”

(I decide not to argue because I’m not very busy the next day anyway. I go in for my morning shift and get off at 11:00 am. My manager has the shift from 9:00-2:00. Instead of wasting gas to go home for an hour and a half, I decide to sleep in my car until 2:00. I go back in until my other, much more likeable coworker comes in at 6:000. She sees me and immediately gets angry, as this is not the first time it has happened.)

Good Coworker: “Go home. I’ll deal with her. Do not take another shift of hers, got it?”

Me: “I wasn’t planning to.”

(The next day, my good coworker forwards me what is apparently the reply of our manager to what I assume was a long, merciless rant about the bad coworker.)

Manager: “I understand your concerns, but [Coworker] has a tough home life. I wouldn’t be surprised if she messes up here and there. I’ll talk to her about it, but there’s not much I can do, since we need workers. Most of the customers like her anyways. Cut her some slack.”

(I, in turn, sent a lengthy email of the above along with this manager’s reply to my supervisor, who seems to be unaware of the situation. Her solution was to increase her suspension to four hours a week. Losing it, I told her that four hours is all the coworker works anyway. I was fired for talking back.)

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