Stop! Or We’ll Stare Disapprovingly!

, , , , , , | Working | February 7, 2019

(We’re going through a busy spell at self-check, so my coworker and I manning the area are both running back and forth between customers while trying to keep an eye on all of them to prevent theft. Two men at a register have one item, but it’s from electronics and has an anti-theft tag, which they flag me down to remove. The policy is to remove it after they have asked and you see that it’s scanned. If they ask before they pay, you’re not supposed to argue or make them wait, just remove the tag as long as it’s been scanned. I have to help another customer, but the men have been at the register a while, and since I just finished helping that customer and my coworker is busy with a different customer, I go to check on them. Just as I get there…)

Me: “Is everything–”

Customer #1: *storms off, completely ignoring me*

Customer #2: *sheepishly smiles at me and starts to follow his friend*

(I look down and see their item still sitting on the bagging platform. Before I can do anything:)

Customer #1: *abruptly turns around, snatches the item off the platform, and storms back off*

Me: “Have a nice day?”

(As I say this, I’m glancing towards the register, having found it very odd that they would only purchase one item and then almost forget to take it. Sure enough, there’s a message on the card reader showing that their card was declined a couple times. I rush after them. As a cashier, I’m not allowed to go after customers myself.)

Me: “Security, that really tall guy by the door: theft!”

(Even though we’re a high-crime area, I guess due to violent reactions, security cannot actually detain anybody, nor can they follow them outside. All they can do is ask somebody to stop and see their receipt or turn over an item. The two men are almost to the door, so I am rushing, trying to get the guard to move quickly before they leave and there’s nothing more we can do.)

Security: *slowly scanning* “Those two?”

Me: “Yes, yes, the tall man in the brown jacket with the short man in the gray sweatshirt.”

Security: *finally starts after them, then quietly asks* “Sir? Sir, please?”

Customer #1: *continues walking at brusque pace and pays the guard absolutely no attention, walking right out of the store, his friend right behind him*

Security: *turns back to me and shrugs*

Me: “…”

(I just walk back to self-checkout. I’ve only been working a month or so and have not dealt with blatant theft like that before, so I catch my coworker, who is regularly stationed at self-check, tell her what happened, and ask what to do. She comes over to look at the register they left, which, fortunately, other customers have left alone.)

Coworker: “That’s a hundred-dollar item!”

Me: “I know; it sucks.”

Coworker: “And they just walked off with it… D***.”

(She printed out a receipt of the transaction thus far so she could take it to down to customer service where there’s usually a manager and give it to them to log. I later made sure to confirm with a manager that we couldn’t wait until after a transaction was finished to take off anti-theft tags if asked. I explained why I was asking, and the manager just shrugged and told me, yeah, remove the tag when asked. It just needs to be scanned first. I don’t particularly care because it’s a huge corporate business that pays their employees dirt, but it’s kind of a silly policy, though no more so than our security guards being there just for show.)

Lazy Cartographers

, , , | Right | February 7, 2019

(More than once, when I’ve gone up to the front of the store to grab a cart because I need it, a customer will immediately come up behind me and ask this question:)

Customer: “Can I have that cart?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I need it.”

(Believe it or not, employees also need to use the shopping carts at times. We are not pulling out the cart because we saw you enter the store and know you’re too lazy to walk two feet to get your own cart.)

Sent A Stinging Note

, , , , , , , | Healthy | February 6, 2019

My grandmother was a teacher at one of the nearby elementary schools, and at the time she was teaching in this old, wooden building which was located where the playground is now. One day, as she was teaching, a wasp flew in. My grandmother was deathly allergic to wasp stings, so she freaked out, screaming and diving under her desk to avoid it. She ended up writing a note and sent it with a student to the janitor.

The note read, “There’s a wasp in here, and I’m allergic. Come get it!”

The student came back with a reply on the other side of the paper that read, “I know how you feel.”

One of her students killed the wasp for her.

Don’t Freak About The Leak

, , , , , , | Working | February 4, 2019

My dad was a police officer back when local “bobbies”’ were given houses with outpost offices attached to them so they could technically work 24/7 and serve the community. This meant that the house was rent-free — just bills to pay — but if anything needed work it had to go through the police and their repair request system. When we discovered a leak in the upstairs toilet, it was reported, and they sent two plumbers over the course of a month to fix it.

Just before we were due to go away on a family holiday, we discovered a leak in the upstairs toilet that we thought had been fixed a week previously. Another plumber was sent, and as I was at home from college for the summer holiday, and I’m nosy, I got chatting with the plumber whilst he was working. I mentioned how many times this leak had happened and he replied that he was “the guy who gets sent out when everyone else has failed.” He sorted the issue, showed me there was no leak, and left. We were happy, no more leaks happened, and a week or so later we headed out for our holiday.

Two weeks later, we arrived home around ten or eleven pm. My parents were tired as they had been driving for almost twelve hours at that point — we had driven back from a very rural part of France — and my sister and I were tired as we hadn’t been able to sleep properly in the car, which is why none of us could believe that we were hearing a weird noise coming from the house. My dad opened the door and water spilled out!

The entire ground floor was flooded, our post was bobbing around the place like ducks on a pond, there were tide marks on the wall over one foot high, there was a massive hole in the kitchen ceiling — below our bathroom, in case you hadn’t guessed where this was going — and a half-decent waterfall was pouring through it.

After much swearing and freaking out, my mum found a way to shut the water off and Dad phoned the police residential management people on their emergency number and after clarifying that no, this was not a joke, they sent someone out. That someone was some guy that suggested seeing if we could find a way to turn the power on so we could “at least have a cup of tea”!

Eventually, it was agreed that we couldn’t stay there, so we had to find a hotel, and by this time it is almost midnight on a Thursday. My dad later explained that before we found our holy grail of a hotel, the four others we went to first claimed there was no room at the inn and they had conferences. There weren’t conferences, just to clarify; I think they just didn’t want to deal with my tired, upset, and irked dad that late at night.

The next day a plumber came out to sort the toilet. My dad is a chatty guy, and so naturally got talking to the plumber, expressing his amazement that this had happened. Before he even looked at the toilet he tried to blame us by saying it was because we had used one of those bleach blocks you could clip onto the toilet bowl. My dad had to show him that we didn’t have any of those before he’d let it go.

The plumber then got to work and explained that, in a nutshell, whoever was there last dropped a part down the toilet — he eventually fished it out and showed my dad — and that they either didn’t realise or didn’t tell anyone. This caused a blockage, which in turn caused the pipe to burst.

At that point, I came out of my room, stopped by to see what they’re talking about, saw the guy, and grabbed my dad. I recognised him as the plumber who had come out in the first place! I quietly told my dad who the man was, and what he had said to me previously. Dad let the guy fix the issue and leave before calling the company up to check that he was the same person who had been sent out last — he was — and then went to town on them. I’m pretty sure the guy got sacked.

In the end, it took three months to make the house liveable again. In that time, my sister and I had to live with our nan some seventy miles away for the remainder of the school holidays, with our parents visiting us on the weekend. The hotel my parents had been paid to stay in was too far away from any travel links and our friends, and my parents didn’t think it was fair to make us stay in a hotel all day on our own whilst they worked. I ended up losing my part-time job because they didn’t understand why I couldn’t take a train to work — even when I explained it would have cost about £60 when I made minimum wage.

When school started back up, my dad had to argue and fight to get somewhere that was close to my college and my sister’s school because the area was quite expensive and the police didn’t want to pay for it.

Despite how stressful the whole situation ended up being — I could write a book on what happened! — my parents never let it show, which amazes me to this day.

I’ll never get over how we had to go through it at all just because one plumber got butterfingers.

Medicaid: Come Back When There’s More Than One Stomach Hole

, , , | Healthy | February 3, 2019

(I have been extremely sick with stomach issues for quite a long time, but have had zero luck finding a doctor who will take on a Medicaid patient. One day, the pain after trying to eat something becomes so severe that I ask my grandma to take me to the ER. We go to the main hospital downtown and wait. My mom eventually gets off work and comes to take grandma’s place waiting with me. Finally, after over eight hours, I’m called back. We sit with the doctor and talk about my symptoms: non-stop nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, exhaustion, unable to keep anything solid down, and so on, getting progressively worse over the course of more than a year. I’ve survived on an increasingly all-liquid diet all that time, so it’s clear something’s wrong.)

Doctor: “Well, you’re young, so I’m not too worried about it. I know you’re in school right now. Remember, your state of mind can really affect your body. Have you been depressed at all?”

(Yep, no tests or anything other than checking my blood sugar and doing a pregnancy and drug screening. I am discharged with basically the advice to try to relax and find a GP to discuss things with. Exactly one week later, I’m at home, and this time start vomiting blood pretty much nonstop rather than the usual intermittent basis. I call the nursing helpline for my Medicaid provider.)

Nurse: “You’re bleeding internally. You need to get to an ER immediately. Do you have someone who can drive you, or should I line up a ride for you?”

Me: “Well, I was literally just in the ER last week.”

Nurse: “Miss, you really need to go back. Is there someone who can take you?”

Me: “Yeah, I know my mom will take me if I tell her. Thank you.”

(Sure enough, my mom came to get me, and we headed for the one hospital in town not part of the network that ran the other one, as it was the local Catholic hospital. I was checked in and taken back within a few minutes, the doctor really listened, and they did tests, giving me meds to help with the nausea in the meantime. Turns out, my H. pylori numbers were practically astronomical, and the ultrasound revealed visible swelling where an ulcer was on the brink of eating through my stomach, in addition to the anemia and high white cell count. I effectively got there pretty much just in time. So, yeah, that’s my story of how most of the medical system wanted to effectively leave me to die just because I couldn’t make enough between my four jobs while going to school, and the one hospital that saved my life. Thanks to a scheduler in the local medical system, I have since found a GP and a GI specialist who are working on the underlying autoimmune issue we’ve since found, as well as getting the stomach issues under control that I was left with due to long-term lack of treatment.)

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