You Just Brightened Their Day

, , , , , | Right | October 16, 2018

(We’re in the lobby of the animal hospital where I work. It has several large windows that look out towards the parking lot. Dark clouds have rolled in and it looks like rain. A client sitting on a bench with her dog doesn’t quite yell at me, but definitely speaks loud enough at me to make stop dead in my tracks.)

Client: “Hey! You know, you guys can turn the lights on at any moment. It getting dark out there!”

Me: *cautiously* “Are those prescription sunglasses you’re wearing?”

(The client’s jaw drops as she takes off her sunglasses, then hides her face from me.)

Client: “I’m so f****** embarrassed.”

Starting A New Trope

, , , , , | Learning | October 15, 2018

(During university, I work as a student assistant in my major department. We have one professor who has a particular list of instructions for tropes, etc., that he does NOT want his students to include in any of their final papers. He is tired of reading them and tries to encourage students to think outside the box. Luckily, he doesn’t dock points for using items on the list; he understands his isn’t the only class they take and with four or five final papers to do, students will sometimes rush and just try to fill in the word count. The number one item on the list is:)

Trope #1: “NO opening any paragraphs with dictionary definitions. (Example: The dictionary defines “courage” as…)”

(At the end of the semester, I am collecting final papers for one of his classes. Most students are choosing to turn them in electronically, but there are still a handful of people who insist on turning in hard copies. So, I set up office hours at the student assistant desk to collect them. At the very last minute, a girl comes running up to my desk and practically throws her paper at me.)

Student: “There! I made it!” *tosses her hair back* “I’d better get an A+ on that thing. I didn’t even want to take this stupid class, but my advisor said I had to.”

Me: “Uh-huh… Well, I’m glad you made it by the deadline.”

Student: “I mean it! I included everything he asked for.”

Me: *starting to pack up* “Well, I’m sure it will be fine… Wait. ‘Everything he asked for’?”

Student: “Yeah, on that dumb list he kept pushing at us.”

(I glanced down at her paper, which happened to be on top of the stack I was about to put in a folder, and the opening paragraph began with, “The dictionary defines courage as…” Her topic didn’t even have anything to do with courage. I started to tell the student her mistake, but she’d already walked away. I flipped through the rest of her paper, and it was filled with every single trope the professor didn’t want to see. I warned the professor about what had happened, and he actually found it pretty funny. I have no idea what that girl’s reaction was when she found out what she’d done, but I bet it was interesting. It’s not like the list was vague; it was filled with the words “NO,” “DON’T,” and, “DO NOT USE,” underlined in all caps.)

An Evergreen Lone Star

, , , , , , | Right | October 15, 2018

(My business is located in Tyler, Texas, and I answer the phone with our business name. I have a customer that has called to price some gravel from an odd area code, but I don’t think much of it due to the high volume of my customers with out-of-state area codes. We figure out what kind of gravel he wants and are now trying to price the delivery. )

Me: “Are you in Tyler, or one of the surrounding towns?”

Customer: “No, I’m not in Tyler, but I’m in [Completely Unfamiliar Town] nearby.”

Me: “I’m sorry. Say again?”

Customer: “I’m in [Completely Unfamiliar Town].”

Me: “I apologize, sir, but I’m not familiar with that town. Can you tell me where it is in relation to Tyler so I can look it up?”

Customer: *after being pleasant so far* “ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?! HOW DO YOU NOT KNOW WHERE THAT IS? HOW DID YOU GET YOUR JOB AND NOT KNOW THE AREA AROUND TYLER, WASHINGTON?!”

Me: *pause* “That would be because you’ve called Tyler, Texas, sir. We’re not in Washington.”

Customer: “Oh, uh…” *hangs up*

STOP! And Get Out

, , , , , | Learning | October 15, 2018

(I’ve just finished a driving lesson. The instructor has me drive the car to where we’ll pick up another student, and then he’ll drive me home, a short distance away. I’m in the back seat, while the instructor is in the front passenger seat, which has another set of pedals.)

Instructor: “Remember: before crossing another street, slow the car, and look to see if any others are coming. If there’s a STOP sign, stop the car entirely. Understood?”

Student: “Yes, of course.”

(He starts driving. At some point we’re about to cross a semi-big street, with a STOP sign facing us, but the car shows no signs of slowing. Just when I think the other student is going to cross without looking, the car suddenly stops. At first I think the other student has remembered to stop a bit late, but then I look at him. He glances around us for a few moments, then down at his pedals, then at the instructor, looking entirely confused.)

Student: “What just happened?”

(The instructor had used his own brake to stop the car. I walked the rest of the way.)

It’s A Bad Sign-us Infection

, , , , , | Healthy | October 15, 2018

Several months ago my cousin woke up with an absolutely massively swollen right eye, so naturally, she went to the hospital to have that checked out. They administered two CT scans, diagnosed her with a large, inoperable, cancerous tumor sitting right behind her right eye, and gave her six months to live.

Cancer is rampant in our family, so this makes sense in the context. However, she’s always been kind of easy-going and also, she refuses to believe it, so she just didn’t tell anybody and went about her life as usual.

A few weeks after the diagnosis, she was at a normal dentist appointment, and whenever anything touched her right cheek, it hurt a lot, more than it ever had at the dentist, even though she was just having a check done. Her dentist informed her that she had a severe sinus infection. She told him about her recent diagnosis, and he was absolutely not having it.

The next day they went back to the hospital together, in his free time, and he demanded they do another check and pointed out her sinus infection. It turned out he was right; she had a severe sinus infection, not a deadly tumor, that had spread up to right behind her right eye, and had caused an infection. She received normal treatment for that, and within a short time everything was back to normal. The first CT scan had been incorrectly calibrated, and the second one had been incorrectly interpreted.

Having spent many of my teenage years in hospitals myself, I’ve seen a lot, but I had never personally encountered a doctor as dedicated as that dentist before.

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