Patient Patients Make The World (And Not Illnesses) Go Around

, , , , , | Healthy | May 11, 2020

My new job is booking appointments for radiology services, and work is split into modalities — obstetrics, x-ray, fluoroscopy, CT, MRI, etc. So, they start me on an easy modality: obstetrics. 

I have to work out twelve-week scan dates, book the appointments, and let the women know that due to the recent global health crisis, they must attend their appointments alone to reduce visitors to the hospital and reduce risk of infecting mother, baby, and other patients and staff.

Most are so polite; some even ask how our day is.

The best patient I’ve spoken to was a foreign lady. 

Me: “Hi. Can I speak to [Patient], please?”

Patient: “Speaking.”

Me: “Hi. It’s [My Name] calling from [Hospital] appointment centre.”

Patient: “Oh, hi! How are you?”

Me: “I’m good, thanks, and you? You have an appointment, and we just need to check. You have no symptoms of the recent outbreak?”

Patient: “No, no, love.”

Me: “Great. Unfortunately, you do have to attend your scan on your own…”

Patient: “That’s fine. I’ll just leave him at home.”

Me: *Laughs* “Okay, we just wanted to check.”

Patient: “No problem. You have a wonderful day, [My Name]!”

Me: “You, too! We’ll see you then!”

This was the best call I ever made. 

However, some pregnant women don’t like being told what to do. One tried to bend the rules by asking if her husband could attend in full Personal Protective Equipment!

She wasn’t happy to hear no.

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The Thrilling Heroism Of Orange Shirt Guy

, , , , , , | Legal | May 4, 2020

I am running the register at the lumberyard of a hardware store I work at. It is incredibly busy this afternoon. Just then, a young guy with a tool bag is approaching the exit from my right side. He is a scrawny-looking twenty-something white guy with black curly hair and he wears square black glasses. I look over at him and begin my usual customer service spiel.

Me: “Hello, sir! Do you need help with anything?”

He looks at me and holds up the bag.

Bag Guy: “Oh, uh… I already paid for this. My buddy is behind me with the receipt.”

Before I can ask him for more information about this buddy of his, he walks toward the exit. Bear in mind, the store has two sets of sliding doors, so he has only passed the first set.

In the vestibule between the two sets of doors, there is a coworker sitting near the second set of sliding doors. He is there for two reasons: to watch the door and make sure no one tries to enter in that way since it is designated as an exit only, and to update a running counter application that we have on the current number of customers in the store.

We have this happening because of CDC guidelines of allowing only a limited number of people in our store due to current events.

The coworker sees the bag guy heading toward him and notices me trying to ask him about the receipt. He approaches and asks him for a receipt. The bag man pretty much gives the same spiel about the receipt. The coworker tries to get him to stop and produce a receipt, but he keeps walking out of our store.

He is a shoplifter.

At this point, there is nothing we can do. Management forbids us from trying to chase down or confront anyone that steals from us. There are two reasons why this rule was put in place:

  1. The shoplifter could get violent and assault any employee who tries to stop him or her. The thief could also pull out a weapon like a knife, gun, or mace and use it on the employee, causing injury or death.
  2. Given how lawsuit-happy some people are, the thief may decide to sue the store for wrongful detainment, harassment, discrimination, and so forth. And considering that companies are fearful of lawsuits filed against them, it is a PR nightmare, especially if it turns out the man or woman was innocent.

So, the doorman and I, along with two more coworkers who had tailed the thief, are watching him walk away, feeling rather angry. Suddenly, a rather obese old man in a bright orange shirt runs out the door after the thief. [Orange Shirt] is a regular customer who comes in and buys any leftover non-stock and damaged goods from us for renovations of properties he has.

[Orange Shirt] manages to catch up with the thief, who has been walking towards his truck and not really paying attention. [Orange Shirt] confronts the bag thief, who thinks that [Orange Shirt] is a worker here. He gets rather cocky toward [Orange Shirt].

Bag Guy: “You can’t do anything against me.”

Orange Shirt: “Yeah, I can, because I don’t work there.”

Realizing this, the thief gets rather angry at [Orange Shirt], possibly trying to intimidate him.

Bag Guy: “You think you’re some kind of bada**?”

[Orange Shirt] is having none of it. He stands his ground and glares at the thief.

Orange Shirt: “No… I know I’m a bada**.”

The thief realized he was fighting a losing battle, so he gave up the tool bag and walked away, looking angry. My coworkers and I had a laugh after seeing this, and [Orange Shirt] came back in the store with the tool bag.

Managers checked the tool bag and it was stuffed with a complete toolset worth hundreds of dollars. Apparently, he had been spotted cutting open random tools and stuffing them inside the bag to try to sneak out with them.

What an idiot.

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Short-Term Sweetness Can Cause Long-Term Happiness

, , , , , , | Friendly | May 4, 2020

This story is from when I am very young, probably three or four years old. My family is on vacation to Mackinac Island, an island in Lake Huron. One of the things the island is most famous for is its fudge, and at least for my family, it is an unwritten law that whenever we visit, we have to get at least two kinds of fudge.

We’re in the middle of a confectionary that sells mostly fudge. It’s crowded, given that it’s the height of the tourist season, and the line is so long that my parents let me stand by the glass barrier that separates the shop into the main area and the kitchen so I can watch a handful of workers cutting up huge slabs of fresh fudge while we wait for my parents to get to the front of the line.

I’m completely engrossed by the process, even though I’m not really tall enough to see more than what’s on the table right in front of me.

One of the workers notices how closely I’m watching what’s happening and silently gives me a small piece of soft chocolate fudge from the trimmings. To my three- or four-year-old self, this is the absolute best thing that has ever happened to me.

I don’t stop smiling for hours even after I eat the fudge.

If you’re out there, kind fudge shop worker, thank you. I’ve been to Mackinac Island a few more times since, and every time I think of you and that little piece of fudge.

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Training The Public To Accept Alternatives

, , , , | Friendly | April 22, 2020

I am goth — cyber goth to be specific — and I take the train to get to and from the city. Of course, I get some funny looks, and I expect that. I often also get photos taken of me without my permission and people moving away from me.

One day, I was on the packed train on the way home and I had a seat. I noticed that a couple got on and one person had low vision — indicated by a badge on their shirt — and the other was deaf. I waved them over and gave up my seat for them, thinking nothing of it.

Later on, when the train had cleared out a bit, I managed to get a seat again next to them. The man who was deaf signed to me that he liked my hair — pink and green cyber dreadlocks — so I tried to sign a thank-you.

He wanted to keep “talking” so he typed on his phone, “Thank you for what you did. It’s not often we can get a seat due to my wife not having a clear disability. And I have to tell you, I was surprised when you got up. I always had the idea that people who dressed like that were scary or bad.”

It was nice to talk to that lovely couple and nice for someone to see that goths are more often than not friendly and willing to help despite their “scary” appearance.

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We Can Attest That These Are Good Neighbors

, , , , , , | Friendly | April 7, 2020

Quarantine started a few days ago in our area. In France, since the beginning of the quarantine, we have had to print and/or write down an official attestation and take it with us whenever we leave home. People who leave home without this attestation and/or leave home to do unnecessary stuff may get a fine.

I live in an apartment building and many of my neighbors are retired, which means they are more vulnerable to illness than average. One morning, I find a note on the building’s entrance door. It’s from one of our young neighbors, who offers to help other neighbors by shopping for food.

The day after, there’s also a small display next to this note. It’s full of attestations printed by another neighbor so that people who don’t have a printer can just help themselves.

I love my neighbors.

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