Wandering Through Her Career

, , , | Working | December 16, 2019

(At the store where I work, I’m technically a cashier, but I’m trusted to do a lot of the background stuff: putting returns away, pulling online orders, and helping fix register issues that don’t require a manager. As I only work part-time and am out for events somewhat often, my store decides to hire someone to work on my days off. I’m training them on the best ways to do what I do.)

Me: “The official policy is to check for online orders every two hours. I check whenever I’m between tasks or have a minute to do so.”

New Hire: “If you don’t have to check more often, why should you? That’s a lot of work.”

Me: “It really isn’t, once you have it as a habit. It keeps us from having overdue orders if I get backed up, customers can pick up these orders sooner, and it boosts our numbers.”

(Our store has some of the best numbers for sales in the company.)

New Hire: “Well, I guess. Why do you have the cart with you for the returns? You could just bring the basket.”

Me: “I could, but since I usually find things out of place, it’s easier to have the cart to hold those until I can put them up.”

New Hire: “Can’t someone else do it? That’s so much work! You’re adding in so many things at once!”

Me: “It’s no more work than ignoring it. Most of the time whatever’s out of place just goes on a shelf nearby, and we’d have to do it at the end of the night anyway.”

(The entire shift is her complaining about “how much work” everything involves. The next shift goes about the same. At the end…)

Me: “Okay, I’m on vacation starting tomorrow. Do you think you can handle a week of doing this alone? [Manager] can help you with questions.”

New Hire: “Yeah, I guess.”

Me: “I’m not expecting you to be perfect at it; if anything just focus on the online orders.”

(I come back from vacation and my manager calls me into the office. I figure it’s to talk about how the new hire is doing.)

Manager: “So, we transferred [New Hire] to work as a cashier in [Other Location].”

Me: “Wait, why?”

Manager: “She didn’t pull a single online order. Any time I asked her to check she said she would ‘in a minute’ and then never did. I ended up having [Coworker] do it with me before close just about every night.”

Me: “What?! I told her that was her main concern!”

Manager: “She also hardly put away returns. When we closed, she had a full cart still, and maybe a handful of things she actually put up.”

Me: “What was she even doing, then?!”

Manager: “Mostly just wandering around. She talked to a few customers, but other than that, nothing productive. I’ll see about hiring someone more… motivated.”

(A week later, I was training a second new hire. He was quicker on picking up the tricks and was even checking for orders by his third shift, without me prompting him.)

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“We Don’t” Want To Ruin The Ending

, , , , , , , | Learning | December 16, 2019

I’m in high school just as schools are starting to offer computer science classes beyond typing and basic computer literacy. My school has decided to add a programming class, but they have trouble finding anyone who has a teaching certificate and also knows anything about programming. They end up having to relax their usual teaching certificate requirement and hire someone right out of grad school with a computer science degree and absolutely no teaching experience. She only intends to teach for a year until her husband finishes his degree and they can move out to Silicon Valley. Because of this, she’s made no effort to learn how to teach or how to handle a classroom of teenagers.

The class has to be formatted in a different way than others because the expensive, proprietary software we use is only installed on the computers in that one classroom. That means the class has to be designed so that every student can complete their work during class time. Each class period, the teacher goes over a new topic for the first ten minutes or so, and then we get time to work on the day’s exercises. Since most of us don’t need the full time allotted, we’re left with nothing to do for a good 20 or 30 minutes at the end of class. The teacher allows us to do whatever we want during this time, so long as we’ve finished our work and aren’t disrupting other students.

Within the first week, a group of rowdy boys comes to realize that the teacher isn’t going to enforce any part of that rule. They start playing a multiplayer FPS game together and shout at each other the whole time. Eventually, they stop bothering to do their programming exercises. If it gives them a chance to have a LAN party every day in school, they all gladly accept that they’re going to fail the class. A few weeks in, they even start to play while the teacher is still teaching, pretty much drowning out everything she says.

The rest of the class hates this. Even if we didn’t care about finishing our work, it’s annoying to have to listen to these boys scream insults at each other for an hour. It’s even worse for me and the one other girl in the class, as much of what they say is violently misogynistic.

One day, the teacher finally decides she’s had enough and says they’re going to get a punishment for their behavior. The rest of us are relieved… until she announces the “punishment.” The entire class, not just the disruptive ones, will have to write a one-page essay answering the question, “Why do you deserve this punishment?” It’s due the next day.

Obviously, the rest of us complain. We haven’t done anything, and this isn’t even going to affect the ones causing the problem. The essay counts for just a single assignment grade, and the troublemakers already have long strings of zeros in the grade book that they don’t care about. Not one of them is going to bother writing the essay at all, while the rest of us probably will to avoid our grades taking a hit.

The teacher doesn’t listen to reason and quickly types up an essay prompt so there’s a record of the assignment. She passes it around, and most people stuff it in their bags right away. I take the time to read over it.

I come to realize that it’s the holy grail of essay assignments, the type only heard of in the school’s urban legends and never actually seen. There are no restrictions on font, font size, line spacing, or margins. The only guideline is that it has to be one page long. I look around. No one seems to have noticed yet.

Knowing that a golden opportunity like this will likely never come again, I decide I have to go for it. That night at home, I type up my essay. Here it is in its entirety:

“We don’t.”

It is in landscape orientation, bold font, and the largest font size that will fit.

The next day in class, the teacher calls us up to turn in our essays. I make sure I’m at the end of the line and watch as all my classmates who actually did the assignment turn in essays written in Times New Roman, 12-point font, double-spaced. Then, I reach the teacher’s desk.

When I put my “essay” on the top of the pile, she stares at it for a moment. She glances up at me with a disbelieving look; I tend to be quiet, well-behaved, and studious, so she probably never expected me to be the one to try this. Then, she pulls out her copy of the essay prompt and reads it over very carefully. When she’s done, she nods, writes “100%” on my paper, and gestures for me to return to my seat.

In case anyone’s wondering what happened to the LAN players, they were forced to settle down, eventually. Their parents and the school administration got wind of what was going on when our first progress reports showed them all failing. The parents worked out a deal with the administration where the boys could turn in their late work for partial credit, so long as they completed all of it as well as all the extra credit exercises. There was also a stipulation that they would be kicked out of the class permanently if they became disruptive again.

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Deck The Halls With Bouts Of Nausea

, , , , | Healthy | December 16, 2019

I have chronic nausea. I take a prescription nausea medication to keep it under control so I can eat and function. The nausea is related to stress, as well as my diagnosed depression and anxiety.

Six days ago at the time of writing, two days before Thanksgiving, my grandmother, who has to handle most phone calls for me due to my hearing issues, called the pharmacy to request a refill of my meds because I was almost out. Later, we got a call telling us that the refill request had been denied because my doctor’s office said I had to see the doctor before I could get a refill. I called the doctor the next day and was told that they had sent in an approval, but they would send another one to be sure.

Pharmacy still said they had no approvals, only a denial.

Thanksgiving came and the office was closed. I checked the pharmacy again, and they still said they only had a denial and couldn’t fill it.

Black Friday, same deal, but we got a call from someone at my doctor’s office informing us that they’d be closed until Monday. I only had enough of my meds to get me through Black Friday. I ended up skipping my second dose so I would have one for Saturday morning, and was unable to eat dinner on Friday.

Same deal with the pharmacy on both Saturday and Sunday. No approvals received, only one denial, and they still couldn’t fill it even though I was unable to eat or drink without it at this time. I even got on the phone myself and cry and beg the pharmacist to give me an emergency three-day supply that the law allows, and was told no because of the “denial.”

This morning, Cyber Monday, after going the entire weekend feeling like I was in Hell since eating was pretty much impossible, my grandmother called my doctor’s office to set up an appointment for the first time slot they could fit me into today.

She was informed that they absolutely did not send in a denial, I did not need to see my doctor before getting a refill, and that their system says I don’t have to see my doctor for a refill on my medication until sometime next year. My doctor knows that I need the medication every single day to be able to eat, and I’m about twenty pounds underweight right now due to stress-induced illness that lasted for three months solid, so I need to be able to get a refill at any time until I gain some weight back.

It turns out that someone at the pharmacy put it on my file that they were sent a denial and got no approvals whatsoever. A few hours ago, I got a text saying that I had a prescription ready for pickup, which would be done first thing in the morning because we couldn’t get to the store.

I have filed a complaint with corporate for the store the pharmacy is in, and my complaint has been forwarded to the store manager with the assurance that the incident will be investigated and that this absolutely should not have happened. The person I conversed with — via chat — was horrified about it.

I hope that pharmacist gets fired and feels proud of themselves for giving a disabled woman no less than five panic attacks over the course of three days and causing her a lot of unnecessary stress that has likely set back her recovery from illness. I won’t be able to fully enjoy Christmas with my family now because I’ll still be recovering and having trouble eating much food.

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Just Another Kidney Stoner

, , , , | Healthy | December 15, 2019

(I have a massive kidney stone trying to pass. I’m in the hospital, waiting for surgery to reduce the size. I suddenly have massive pain, bad enough my vision goes fuzzy. I’m crying, unable to really form words. I press my call button. After a moment, a nurse comes in.)

Nurse: “Can I help you?”

Me: “Pain… bad…”

Nurse: “On a scale of one to ten?”

Me: “Ten!”

(Because of the pain, I practically shout the number.)

Nurse: “You don’t need to raise your voice! I’ll get you something!”

(She leaves and comes back a minute later with a pill.)

Nurse: “Here’s some Tylenol.”

(All I can do is look at her, since that won’t be anywhere near enough for how my pain is.)

Nurse: “Well?! Take it!”

Me: “Need more…”

Nurse: “Ugh, you’re probably just a drug seeker! I’m not giving you anything else!”

(At this point, I just break down sobbing. She storms out. A few minutes later, my doctor comes in.)

Doctor: “Are you okay?!”

Me: “Pain bad… help…”

Doctor: “Okay, sweetie, I just need to know if you can tell me what number you’re at.”

Me: “Ten…”

Doctor: “All right. Do you want me to wait here while I have someone bring you medication?”

Me: “Please!”

(She does stay with me. After she calls the pharmacy, she holds my hand and talks to me to calm me back down. Once the medication is brought up and put into my IV, she makes sure it starts working.)

Doctor: “Your nurse said you were asking for drugs?”

Me: “No, I pushed my call light and told her I was in pain. She yelled at me saying that’s all I wanted and then left.”

Doctor: “She apparently thought you were faking something to get pain meds for an addiction. There’s no way you could fake a kidney stone on the imaging results. I’ll make sure you don’t have to deal with her anymore.”

(True to her word, I didn’t see that nurse for the rest of my stay.)

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Orange Alert! Orange Alert!

, , , , | Right | December 13, 2019

(I’m an associate about to clock in from break. I don’t work in produce, but when I walk by, a customer gets my attention.)

Customer: “I need a two-pound bag of oranges.”

(I think that’s what she said. It sounded like “tuber pack.”)

Me: “Oh, oranges are over there.” *points*

Customer: “I need a two-pound bag of oranges.”

Me: “Okay, well, I need to clock in, as I’m technically on break right now, and then I can help you.”

Customer: “A two-pound bag of oranges!”

(I give up and walk over to the oranges, pick up a bag, don’t care how heavy it is, and hand it to her.)

Customer: “Oranges. Oranges!”

Me: “These are oranges!”

(The customer sighs.)

Customer: “I guess these will do.”

(She was standing in front of a display with multiple types of bags of multiple types of oranges and somehow wouldn’t handle them herself. And yes, I was late clocking back in.)

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