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Either You’re Civil Or You’re OUT

, , , | Healthy Right | June 24, 2022

Me: “Thank you for calling [Clinic]. My name is [My Name]. Can I get your name and date of birth?”

Man: “Oh, for f***’s sake… It’s [Man] and [Date].”

Me: “Can I get you to verify your address, please?”

Man: “Why the h*** do you need that for?”

Me: “I’m going to have to ask you to watch your language, sir. I cannot access your chart without three forms of verification.”

Man: “I have a question. You can’t answer a simple f****** question without my address?” 

Me: “It depends on what your question is.”

Man: “When was the last time you filled my [medication]?”

Me: “In order to tell you that, I have to access your chart, and in order to do that, I need a third form of verification, like your address or—”

Man: *Screaming* “IT’S [ADDRESS]!”

Me: “Okay, looks like we refilled that for you back in January.”

Man: “That’s what I thought. So, you tell me why the f*** I need to come in and see you before you fill it for me this time?”

Me: “I’m going to ask you again to watch your language. Looking at your chart, it seems like you haven’t been in to see us for over a year. [Doctor] wants you to come in and get checked out first.”

Man: “Then why fill it back in January?”

Me: “They asked you to come in for an appointment then, as well. You made the appointment, they filled your medication, and then you didn’t come in for the appointment.”

Man: “I made an appointment earlier today, but my pharmacy says you refused the refill!”

Me: “[Doctor] is refusing to refill the medication until they see you in person.”

Man: “This is bulls***! Why did you fill it back in January, then?”

Me: “Sir, I’ve already explained that to you.”

Man: “F*** you!”

Me: “I’m going to terminate this call. When you feel like being civil, please call back.”

While we were talking, I typed up a quick note to my coworkers and management letting them know that I was terminating a call in case he called back. One of my managers responded, telling me to document the conversation and that if he did call back, to transfer the patient directly to him.

The man did call back and the girl next to me picked it up. I could hear him cursing at her through the phone. She transferred him to the manager, and I found out later that the man continued to speak that way to the manager. His medication was denied (it was not something vital), his upcoming appointment was canceled, and he was released from his doctor’s care and is not allowed to see any other physician in the clinic.

Can’t Mask These Lies

, , , , , , , | Right | June 23, 2022

Our liquor store is run by the provincial government. As employees of a Crown corporation and members of a union, we tend to have a little more leeway than your average retail worker to tell an unreasonable customer to get wrecked.

We have a few customers who don’t want to or can’t wear a mask, and they follow our accommodations. They come in, go to the customer service desk, and request what they want. An employee gets it for them while they wait in a low-traffic area, and they’re rung up quickly.

However, there is one customer who regularly waits until no employees are watching the door, comes in sans mask, and tries to come through the line as normal. If he’s called on it, he argues about how masks are “just recommended” until the person ringing him up gives in, banking on the fact that we’d all rather get him out of there as quickly as possible than have a fight with some a**hole.

One evening, however, I’ve had enough of his stupid, smug face. I’m the only person on till, and the only other person on the floor is my manager, over at customer service. I look up, see the customer’s bare face, and say:

Me: “Sir, you know our policy perfectly well. If you’re not wearing a mask, you may be denied service.”

Customer: “I’m exempt.”

Me: “We have accommodations for people who are exempt. Please wait by customer service and you will be helped. Next customer, please.”

Customer: “Yeah, well, I’m here now, so why don’t you just ring me up?”

Me: “No. Next customer, please!”

Customer: “What?”

Me: “If you wait by customer service, you will be helped. I will not ring you up here.”

Customer: “This isn’t a big deal.”

Me: “Oh, good. I’m glad you agree. Next, please!”

Customer: “No! You have to serve me!”

Me: “Yes, we must provide service to you. It’s available at the desk to your right. Please wait there to be helped. Next customer! Sir, please move out of this person’s way so I can help them.”

Customer: “I don’t understand why you aren’t just helping me here.”

Me: “Perhaps my manager can explain it to you?”

Customer: “Yes! I want to speak to your manager.”

Me: “Great. She’s at customer service.”

Don’t Expect Change Until You Can Make Change

, , , , , , | Right | June 23, 2022

Way back in the early 1980s, this guy would almost daily take the same bus, and at the exact same departure time, too.

A single fare back then was two Danish kroner. He’d always try to pay with a five-hundred-krone note, but because the drivers didn’t have that kind of change, and because the banknote WAS legal tender, the guy would always get a free ride.

That is, until word reached the dispatch manager one day. Said manager drained the office safe for as many coins as he could find — the smaller the denomination, the better. The next day, the jerk tried to pull the same stunt. Imagine the combined smugness and glee on the face of the driver who could now report:

Driver: “Oh, good news, sir! I can actually break that for you today!”

The jerk ended up receiving:
12 x 20 kr. (240 kr.)
15 x 10 kr. (150 kr.)
19 x 5 kr. (95 kr.)
20 x 0.25 kr. (5 kr.)
20 x 0.10 kr. (2 kr.)
12 x 0.50 kr. (6 kr.)
TOTAL: 498 kr.

All his pockets were about to burst, and he rattled like a knight in shining armour walking down the aisle to find a seat. The jerk never tried to pull that stunt again.

It Doesn’t Have To Make Sense; I’ll Follow It If You Insist

, , , , | Working | CREDIT: Ashen_one1 | June 23, 2022

Our workplace follows a bi-weekly work schedule. I am one of three cooks that work. With agreement from our boss, [Coworker] and I switch some shifts on every schedule. This schedule is sent via text and a physical copy is posted at work.

[Coworker] was scheduled to work this time as I gave notice a month ahead for those days off. [Boss] likes to copy and paste schedules; he screws up by posting the physical copy stating that I’m supposed to work those days that I’m off, and he sends the text copy correctly stating my days off.

My supervisor is following the physical copy. She calls me one day that I’m off.

Supervisor: “You’re thirty minutes late! Where are you?!”

Me: *Confused* “I have the day off today. I can’t come in.”

Supervisor: “You were scheduled to work today. You’ll be getting a warning for a no-show.”

The next day, I get a call from [Boss] about my no-show. He doesn’t care that the schedule was wrong and not matching.

Boss: “If you miss today, you’ll be written up. You must follow the schedule at work.”

He can’t schedule anyone else as nobody wants extra shifts besides [Coworker], [Coworker # 2], and me, and he can’t hire anyone as there’s not enough business.

The next month rolls around. [Coworker] is quitting and has already given his two-week notice. The new schedule shows up and I notice… the schedules. Don’t. Match. [Coworker] is assigned to work Friday and Saturday when he will already be gone by then.

So, after closing on Thursday night, I mute my phone from work and I head home to have a few drinks. I come back to work on Sunday and [Boss] is waiting.

Boss: “You missed work yesterday, and I had to fill in for you as nobody else could!”

Me: “I was only just following the work schedule exactly.”

Oh, man, he was furious. But after calming down, he did a 180° as he had no one the next week to cover those days! I just said I couldn’t work those days.

The next week came. I was at my mom’s work friend’s party, and I saw [Boss]’s wife there.

Me: “Where’s [Boss]?”

Boss’s Wife: “He couldn’t make it as he needed to cover some shifts at work.”

Me: “That’s too bad. He probably should’ve scheduled someone.”

If You Need Your Mother To Do It For You, You’re Probably Not Ready

, , , , , , , | Learning Related | June 23, 2022

Many years ago, I received a call from a new college student’s mother.

Mother: “Hello, is this Professor [My Name]?”

Me: “Yes, it is.”

Mother: “Oh, good! I wanted to talk to you about getting my son into your class.”

This particular class is a 300-level course, meaning that it’s unusual for incoming freshmen to take it. They generally wait until their sophomore or junior year. As registration takes place in the order of credits earned, the class is generally full by the time freshmen begin registration. I should also mention that I do have the flexibility to permit extra students into the class if need be. While students often contact me about being added to a full class, it’s unusual for a student’s parent to call about getting into a class (though not unknown).

Me: “I’m sorry, but that class is full.”

Mother: “I know. And my son was so disappointed. He wants to be a [major I teach in] and was so excited to get started with your class.”

Me: “Typically, new students will start with their general education classes. I don’t have many incoming freshmen taking this class. It’s also a challenging class and may not be the best way for him to start a college career.”

Mother: “Oh, I know he can handle it. He did so well in high school in similar classes, and he was so disheartened that he couldn’t take your class. He was just so sad about it. Couldn’t you let him into the class? He would do so well in it.”

We went the rounds with me trying to be respectful to this woman (she was persistent but polite), and her just repeating her assertions about her son’s disappointment and his readiness for the class and the major associated with it.

Finally, against my better judgment, I gave in. I added him to my class. When the semester began, he showed up (it’s a small class) and was very quiet. He didn’t seem particularly engaged with the material but attended faithfully… for about the first month. His performance on tests was poor, and eventually, he started attending sporadically and then stopped altogether. He got an F in the class and dropped out of college completely after the first semester.

I don’t know if it would have made any difference in the end, but I do wish I had followed my instincts on this — for both our sakes.