My Audience Of Two Will Be Enraptured!

, , , , | Right | October 10, 2018

(I’m working on the tills and I am approached by a woman holding a packet of crisps. She doesn’t put them on the belt but holds them out to me. She has the look of a very stern headmistress.)

Customer: “I found this on the shelf reduced to 10p. They went off at the end of last month.”

Me: “Ah, yes. We reduced it because it was near the expiration date.”

Customer: “It is illegal to reduce stock after it has expired. Did you know that?”

Me: “It was likely reduced as it neared the best-before date to clear it off the shelves. We are allowed to sell stock which is nearing or has gone past its best-before date up to a month afterwards.”

Customer: *in a patronising tone* “Really? Well, that’ll be something interesting to write in my blog.”

(She strutted off looking very superior. For a few seconds, I stared after her, still holding the crisps. Behind her a male customer was trying his hardest not to laugh. I checked with a supervisor later and he clarified what I had said; we throw away stock which has reached the use-by date, but we can sell stock one month after the best-before date. We broke no laws, and hopefully the woman did her research and realised that before she wrote her blog!)

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The Doctor’s Prognosis Is Dislocated From The Truth

, , , , , , , | Healthy | October 1, 2018

This tale’s from a few years ago, and will need a little backstory. I have a multi-systemic collagen defect disorder called hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. To explain it in detail would take all night; suffice it to say that my joints dislocate very easily and, though I’ve learned to put them back by myself, there are some I just can’t fix unaided, the wrist of my dominant hand being one of these, for obvious reasons. Bear in mind, too, that dislocations — whether full or partial — hurt. A lot.

One evening, housesitting for a friend on the other side of my city, feeding her cats, I somehow managed to pop my right wrist half out of place. I knew it was out, and I was alone in the house, but — luckily, thought I — the nearest hospital was just over the road. I necked a dose of my usual liquid morphine, grabbed my walking stick left-handed, and headed over to Accident & Emergency.

It was quiet, so I was seen in about thirty minutes and sent for an x-ray, as per routine. When my x-ray was done, though, the doctor on duty left me to sit — on a hard, plastic chair in a cubicle, that was not helping my general chronic pain, while my morphine slowly wore off — for three hours.

After those long three hours, he finally bothered to come to me, and insisted, in the most supercilious, maddening way possible, that my wrist was fine, that the x-ray showed nothing, and that I should go home. I argued with him for a minute, but gave up. Words weren’t going to get through; that much was clear.

I sighed. Then, I asked him to humour me for a moment and get a firm grip of the hand on my injured arm. He did, not looking too pleased about it.

I yanked my arm back against his hold, hard. I could hear the crack as my wrist went back into its proper position, and so did he. The look on his face was an absolute picture.

I’ve never been back to that hospital since. And if I have my way about it, I never will!

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Digging Your Nails Into This Alibi

, , , , , | Working | July 9, 2018

(A coworker bursts into my office.)

Coworker: *thrusting a sheet of paper into my hand* “I need you to sign this!”

Me: *after reading the paper* “[Coworker], I can’t sign this. This says you attended [Meeting] yesterday.”

Coworker: “I know; I sort of need an alibi.”

Me: “But this wouldn’t prove anything. [Meeting] is held over instant messenger. All someone has to do it check the record and see you weren’t in it.”

Coworker: “So, you won’t help me? God, you’re so mean now that you’ve been promoted. I could lose my job.”

Me: “What’s the alibi for, anyway?”

Coworker: “I needed to nip out and get a pedicure for my great-aunt’s funeral on Friday, and I can only get it done at [Salon], which is near [Town]. And, well, the parking is really bad, so I took the metro, and I ended up being gone for five hours.”

Me: “Five hours?! You know you could’ve taken compassionate leave?”

Coworker: “And missed ogling at those construction workers across the road? Think straight, [My Name]!” *leaves*

(She probably would have gotten away with her little frolic, had she not acted suspicious and blurted out a fabricated story to her manager, who then followed up on it and discovered the truth. She wasn’t fired, but she lost access to her company car for the rest of the week, meaning she had to pay to drive to the funeral. A rumour started later that month that she decided not to go, and spent all day at home.)

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At The Appointed Name And Time

, , , , , | Right | April 27, 2018

(I have an appointment for a blood draw first thing in the morning. I walk in and go to the automated check-in system, and it flashes back at me that it has booked me in under somebody else’s name, so I go up to the desk.)

Me: “Hi, sorry. The automated system just tried booking me in as [Other Name], but I’m actually [My Name]. You couldn’t check I’m definitely booked in, please?”

Receptionist: “Sure thing. I’m surprised the automated system ever works, to be honest.”

(She pauses for a second, then clearly tries and fails not to smile.)

Receptionist: “Yeah, okay, you’re booked in. The name you read, that’s not you; that’s who your appointment is with.”

Me: “It’s too early. That’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it!”

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The Wheels Of Change

, , , , , | Right | April 12, 2018

(I am a museum curator at a transport museum. I’m teaching a class of six-year-olds and have asked them to take a close look at the wheels on one of our buses. As I move around checking they can all reach one, a little girl stops me with a worried expression.)

Girl: “[Boy] says girls can’t touch wheels; he says we aren’t allowed.”

Me: “Oh, really? Where’s [Boy]?”

(The other children all turn and look at one boy.)

Me: “If girls can’t touch the buses, why do you think there is a woman running the whole place? I even drive the tractors! Don’t forget: girls can do anything. Now, everyone, have a good look at those wheels.”

Girl: “Wow!”

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