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Life As A Human Pin Cushion

, , , , , , | Healthy | April 18, 2022



I am not a tricky stick. I started donating plasma when I was seventeen and continued twice a year until I got pregnant, so I’m not afraid of needles, either. 

When I am pregnant, they have to draw my blood for the gestational diabetes test. When I get there, there are two people. The woman tells me the young man is a nurse doing his residency and asks if I’m okay with him doing my blood draw. I say sure. Again, I’m not afraid of needles and not a tricky stick.

It goes terribly. He misses my vein on the left arm twice. I’m still calm, but now he’s freaking out a little and misses again.

Older Nurse: “Are you okay, Mrs. [My Name]?”

Me: “I’m doing fine.”

Older Nurse: “Do you want me to draw your blood, instead?”

Me: “No, I’m good. He can keep trying. Better on me than on someone who needs a needle urgently in the future.”

The young nurse tries again and misses again. Now he looks close to tears and way more emotional than me. The older nurse pulls him aside and talks him through a few deep breaths. They come back, and he tries to stick me again and misses twice.

Me: “Would you like to try my other arm?”

Older Nurse: “That’s probably a good idea.”

After five failed tries in my left arm, he preps my right.

Me: “Don’t worry. You’re doing great. You’ll get it this time.”

Older Nurse: “Keep calm and focus. The more emotional you are, the harder it will be.”

After three tries, he finally got the needle into my right arm and could draw blood. I left looking like an addict with holes in both arms. Hopefully, he didn’t get discouraged and is working as a nurse today with a steady hand.

The More You Read, The Worse It Gets

, , , , , | Right | April 11, 2022

I’m in high school. My mom works in a pet salon, and sometimes I help her there.

We have a customer that insists on having us shave her rottweiler to stop shedding. Shaving a dog won’t do a thing to stop shedding; it’ll just make the hair smaller. Her dog likes to bite at the clippers, so it takes a while to do him because we have to be careful that he doesn’t hurt us or himself. Don’t get the wrong idea — he’s the sweetest dog I’ve ever met — he’s just a handful to deal with. We’re in the middle of shaving him when the owner calls at 5:13 pm.

Customer: “Uh, yeah, I’m calling about [Dog] because it’s almost six and he isn’t ready yet.”

I start to bring the phone to my mom, but she tells me to tell the customer that we are having problems shaving him.

Me: “He’s almost done; we have one leg left to shave. We’re just having problems shaving him.”

I am in no way rude to her, but she must find offense in something I say because she goes off on me.

Customer: “Well, it really pisses me off! [Dog] is a good dog, and I pay good money to get him groomed, and now you’re saying that he’s mean and he’s biting! My dog doesn’t bite!”

I try to explain that I never said her dog was mean or bites, but she cuts me off.

Customer: “You know what?! You should’ve had my dog groomed and bathed at 5:30! I’m coming to get my dog right now!”

Me: “Okay, ma’am.”


She doesn’t get a chance to finish before I hang up the phone. I’m in high school and helping my mom out at this place, I have had a long day, and I’m not about to deal with this woman screaming at me. I tell my mom what just happened, and even though the woman is rude, my mom STILL finishes her dog, at 5:30, just like the woman had screamed about.

I think it’s over, but then the phone rings again and the customer’s name flashes on the screen. This time, my mom picks up.

Mom: “Hi. What can I do for you?”

Customer: “Whoever I just talked to said my dog was biting and that he couldn’t be shaved!”

Mom: “That was—”

Customer: “Well, whoever I just spoke to was being a little b****! They didn’t have to be an a**hole about it!”

Mom: “That a**hole was my daughter, and you are not going to disrespect me or her like that.”

Customer: “Well, I wanna see the owner!”

Mom: “The owner will be waiting for you when you get here.”

My mom told the owner what happened and she wasn’t even mad. The customer ended up sitting in the parking lot for about twenty minutes just screaming on the phone at some other poor person. When she came inside, she took her dog and said she’d never be coming back, and neither would her stepmother.

We already knew the stepmother pretty well because the customer had cheated on her son, so the stepmother didn’t even talk to her anymore. She ended up paying full price and just leaving.

This Is Why There Are Rules

, , , , , , , | Right Working | April 1, 2022

A few decades ago, I was working in a bank that merged with another. The local branches of each were so busy that all the staff was simply combined, with just a few positions adjusted in management.

One day, a man comes to my window to cash a check he has made out himself, except his name is not on the check nor the account. The teller next to me recognizes him as the assistant to an elderly regular from the bank we just merged with and assures me he’s authorized to write and cash checks on the account. Figuring the information just hasn’t been put into the system yet, I go to verify the permission on the signature cards that have been brought over from the other bank.

But he’s not on the card, and there’s no reference to a Power of Attorney or other form that might give him permission to use the account. Back I go to tell the customer I can’t cash his check.

Customer: “I’ve never had a problem before.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but I have nothing that says you’re allowed to write checks or withdraw money from this account.”

Coworker: “Oh, it’s fine, He’s in with [Account Owner] all the time.”

Me: “That may be, but there’s no authorization.”

Coworker: “I’m authorizing you.”

Me: “You’re not a manager. Without the paperwork in place, I’m not cashing this.”

Coworker: “Fine, I’ll do it. [Customer], come over here. I’ll take care of you.”

I shrugged, handed the check back to the customer, and continued my day.

A couple of weeks later, all staff was brought in for a mandatory meeting. We were informed that thousands of dollars were missing from a customer’s account. Yep, it was [Account Owner]’s.

It turned out that [Account Owner] had never authorized or intended to authorize her assistant on her account. Staff from the other bank had simply assumed that this person who came in with [Account Owner] twice a week was allowed to and that [Account Owner] just forgot to do the paperwork because she was old. [Customer] played off that familiarity to make regular withdrawals, and because part of his job was handling the mail, he just didn’t give [Account Owner] anything from the old bank. When asked, he’d just reassure her he’d seen the statement and all was well. This went on for months, and [Account Owner] only found out because [Customer] forgot that the statements would come in with the new bank name.

The manager and assistant manager from the other bank were fired. Every teller from the other bank got a written warning for cashing those checks, as well as a few of our own who’d ignored the discrepancy on the reassurance of the other bank’s staff. Everyone from both banks got retrained in our procedures and protecting both our customers and ourselves. It turned out that there were a ton of rules and regulations the staff at the other bank had been ignoring because of familiarity, and they’d been telling our staff that the busy work was an unnecessary hassle.

Deflecting Yourself Right Out Of A Job

, , , , , , , | Working | March 16, 2022

Five or six years ago, I was working in the IT department of a non-profit. Staff started leaving after the new Chief Information Officer came in. He brought in his own management team! We were desperate to backfill Linux administrators since half the team left.

This resume came through Human Resources. The work history seems a bit off: short-term contracts, a few months there, a few months here. We had doubts even before we contacted him for a phone interview.

Coworker: “How do you rate yourself as a Linux admin, on a scale of one to ten?”

Applicant: “To be modest, I’m a ten.”

I muted the phone and we both started laughing. I unmuted the phone.

Me: “So you know the OS well. How would you extend a logical volume?”

Applicant: “Oh, I don’t do the day-to-day stuff. I just create a ticket for the other team. I mainly do architecture.”

My coworker muted the phone.

Coworker: “Is this guy serious?”

We chuckled and got back to the interview.

The next few questions were all pretty simple, but the applicant gave variations of “I have no idea” deflections.

I muted the phone again.

Me: “If he doesn’t know the basics, there’s no point in continuing the phone interview.”

But I decided to give him another chance

Me: “How would you set up passwordless SSH?”

Applicant: “Why don’t you stop asking me basic questions? Ask me about troubleshooting.”

At this point, we gave up and gestured a thumbs-down.

Coworker: “We have no further questions. Do you have questions for us?”

Applicant: “When will you decide to fill the position? I have great confidence in starting this new opportunity.”

Graphic Problems Require Novel Solutions

, , , , , , , | Related | March 11, 2022

My brother wants to buy a book.

Dad: “What type of book is it?”

Brother: “It’s a comic book.”

Dad: “No, you can’t get that.”

Brother: *Without missing a beat* “It’s a graphic novel.”

He did not get the book!