Keep Driving East And Eventually, It Will!

, , , , , | Working | September 17, 2019

(I travel pretty much everywhere in my city by bus and it is usually easy to tell who the tourists are as they often ask the divers for specific stops. The drivers don’t always appreciate having to be a tour guide for these folks.)

Tourist: “Where is the stop for Chinatown?”

Driver: “You get off when it looks like China.”

Tourist: “Yes, but what is the specific stop?”

Driver: “You get off when it looks like China!”

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Come For The Food, Stay For The Dementia

, , , , , | Working | September 16, 2019

My wife and I went to one of our favorite restaurants in town — favorite for the good food they made but not the service which was notoriously spotty.

We were seated right away by the manager who gave us menus, but no one came to take our order. After ten minutes and flagging down a waitress several times, “our” waitress finally came over to take our order. She was an older woman which, in my experience, usually meant we were going to get good service. Not this time.

She forgot to get our non-water drinks — ever, even after several reminders — never refilled our waters, didn’t bring us salads until after the main meals came, didn’t bring us dressing for the salads until after we’d finished the main meals, never stopped by to check on us unless we flagged her down for the previous stuff, and didn’t bring us our checks when we were done.

I finally got tired of waiting for the check — she hadn’t made another appearance after she brought out the dressings — and went up to the register. The manager was there and went off to fetch the check for us.

While he was ringing up our order on the register he asked if everything was okay. I rattled off the list of everything that was not okay and his response was: 

“Well, she is kind of old!”

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Breathe Easy: This One Has A Happy Ending

, , , , | Healthy | September 16, 2019

(My dog has developed a swollen face, is vomiting, and is not her usual, rambunctious self, but not lethargic. Although I’ve had dogs most of my life, I’ve never had a dog with such symptoms. It’s late in the day, just before they are due to close, but I call my veterinarian’s office for advice. She had a Bordetella vaccine just a few days ago so I think it might be related and mention that. After I explained the symptoms and asked about any relation to the vaccine:)

Receptionist: “I don’t think it’s related to the vaccine, but let me check.” *a few moments of silence* “No, the vet doesn’t think such an allergic reaction would happen at this point. It’s been three days and any adverse effects generally are seen with the first few hours, not longer than 48. Besides, the Bordetella vaccine doesn’t cause anything like what you’re describing. If you’re concerned, I can fit you in at the next available appointment. How about Tuesday at 10:00 am?”

(I’m calling on a Thursday.)

Me: “Um, did you say allergic reaction? Do you really think I should wait almost a week to have something like that checked? By then, I’m sure she would be already recovered or dead! Maybe I should take her to the emergency vet?”

Receptionist: “Well, the face swelling usually means the pet is on the way to recovery from whatever set it off, but yes, possibly an allergic reaction. If it makes you feel better, we can see her at 8:00 am tomorrow, but leave us a voicemail to let us know tonight or first thing in the morning if you won’t be coming. She should be fine.”

Me: “And if it gets worse, I’ll take her to the emergency vet; either way, I’ll let the office know if I don’t need that appointment.”

(My dog did appear to be improving, with the swelling decreasing. She stopped vomiting and started acting more energetic, but I didn’t call to cancel that appointment. Close to midnight, she started almost frantically pacing, madly shaking her head every couple of minutes — maybe something in her ear? — and couldn’t get comfortable to sleep. She generally sleeps on her own blanket at my feet on the bed but finally, about two am, she settled down wrapped around my head, laying on my pillow with her head on mine, her nose next to my ear. Soon, her breathing became soft and her usual light snoring started, and I dozed off myself. I was suddenly jolted awake a few minutes after four am and I quickly realized that, even though her nose was next to my ear, I couldn’t hear her breathing! I quickly sat up and turned to check on her. She was not only not breathing, but she was totally limp like a rag, no muscle tone at all, and she felt somewhat cold to the touch. I quickly moved her to an accessible position and started chest compressions, with no response, and I started bawling, calling her name, and berating myself for not taking her to the emergency vet. That woke my husband up and he, too, acknowledged that she appeared to be gone. He reached out to touch and caress her limp body and pretty much instinctively, I think, also squeezed her chest. And her head moved, very slightly. Imagination? Wishful thinking? No, it moved again and she started breathing again! It took several minutes but she recovered enough to pull herself to her blanket and she almost immediately fell asleep, gently snoring. She slept; we didn’t. I kept that appointment, but by then she was not showing any remaining symptoms at all, except for a bit of residual swelling. After questioning why we hadn’t given her any Benadryl –I wasn’t instructed to and didn’t know to do so — the vet explained that the head shaking was because the swelling makes the ears “not feel right,” that her ears were then perfectly clear and her temperature and color normal. I’m not sure the vet believed what had happened earlier, but he noted it all in her file. My pup was given injections of Benadryl and steroids to fight off any remaining toxins, but didn’t have any further issues. We still have no idea what caused such a dramatic allergic reaction, but it’s suspected to be a bug or spider bite from the back yard. Now, we keep Benadryl in the medicine cabinet and have instructions that if she begins to show any similar symptoms, no matter how slight, we are to give her half of a tablet and take her to the emergency vet immediately. And one veterinary receptionist is probably in a heap of trouble for his casual reaction to my very real concerns.)

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The Sound Of Reason

, , , , , | Working | September 15, 2019

(I work at a local chain of an international retail store. Recently, the store decided to put soundbars on display — a total of three — connected to our TV wall, and put the volume at an unnecessarily high input. The soundbars are so loud that we can’t hear phone calls clearly, hear our customers, or hear each other, which has led us to resort to shouting or using hand gestures to get across what we’re doing. It has given many of us headaches and decreased traffic in our department drastically. We’ve talked to multiple managers about this, including the new manager over our department who replaced the sweetest woman I’ve ever known. The new manager is a heartless woman who has only declined our pleading and even told us to turn UP the soundbars.)

Me: “Hey, [Assistant Manager], do you have a moment to talk?”

Assistant Manager: “Not really, but what’s up?”

Me: “Listen, the soundbars have to be turned down. They’re so obnoxiously loud that they’re giving us headaches and driving away customers. A guy tried to buy a phone plan but left because they were annoying him.”

Assistant Manager: “Yeah, I can’t really do anything about that; that’d be your supervisors’ job. Besides, as far as I know, it’s a corporate decision, so…” *shrugs and rushes off*

(The next day I come in, which is after a corporate visit — a nutjob threatened the store — I notice the soundbars are significantly lower. They’re so low, I don’t notice them until two hours into my shift.)

Me: “Hey, [Coworker], do you hear that? I can actually think!”

Coworker: *laughs* “Yeah, corporate came in today and said they were way too loud, so we got to turn them down.”

(Sweet victory!)

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Hit Your Ceiling With Bad Neighbors

, , , , , | Friendly | September 13, 2019

I rent the lowest apartment, which is halfway in the ground. It means I spend less on cooling and heating, but everyone else’s actions affect me. Here’s a good example.

One winter, our hallway light went off. We went to change it, but the glass bowl around it was filled with water! We immediately called the emergency maintenance line. Someone came within an hour, looked at our light, and then ran upstairs.

It was three days before we got the full story and our light fixed. The neighbor’s pipes started leaking, but they did nothing. “Just a small leak,” they said to him. But something that is constantly leaking can flood the entire floor. The neighbors had let it go for at least a week. If it weren’t for my report, our ceiling could have caved in! They would have been responsible for thousands of dollars worth of damage and we would have no home. As is, they still spent several hundred fixing the ceiling.

This is why I try not to let anything go, no matter how minor it seems.

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