You’ll Stress-Knit A Whole Outfit At This Point

, , , , , | Healthy | August 1, 2018

(I’m waiting to see my psychiatrist for a medication check-up. This office schedules meds appointments in fifteen-minute blocks; they’re a quick in-and-out to make sure the meds are working before the prescription is refilled. I arrive five minutes before my appointment and am told I’m seeing a new doctor. I’m a little annoyed that they didn’t tell me this when the appointment was being set up — my father works in the mental health field and I’m uncomfortable being seen by his coworkers — but whatever; maybe my regular doctor is out sick. So, I go to the waiting room. And wait. And wait. At twenty minutes past my appointment time — so, five minutes after it is supposed to be over — I hear the receptionists chatting. They say something about the new doctor having computer problems. Okay, stuff happens. Forty minutes past my appointment time, the person who is waiting before me gets into a shouting match with the receptionists about how late things are running. I’m frustrated too, but an extra person yelling won’t change anything, and I have plenty of time, so I keep waiting. Finally, fifty minutes after my scheduled time, a harried-looking man calls my name and introduces himself as the doctor. I’m expecting him to apologize for the delay, or offer an explanation, or anything. Nope. He doesn’t say a word until we get to his office. Now my appointment starts in earnest.)

Doctor: “So, do think you’re depressed?”

Me: *pause* “This appointment is literally to treat my diagnosed depression, so, um, yeah.”

(He doesn’t respond at all to this. He doesn’t even look at me. He has a walking desk, so he’s power-walking in place while he types on his computer. And he keeps typing. For almost ten minutes. I almost stand up and walk out. But I’ve already been here forever, I don’t want to have to do this all again, and I need my meds refilled. So, I take out my knitting and work on that for a bit.)

Doctor: “Do you want to keep taking [Medication #1] and [Medication #2]?”

Me: “Yes, please.”

(He types for a few more minutes.)

Doctor: “I’ve sent in the prescriptions for those. I’ll see you again in five months.”

Me: “Thank you.”

(I get up to leave.)

Doctor: “Wow! You’re so fast at knitting! What are you making?”

Me: “A sweater. Bye.”

(I was at that office for over an hour, but in the appointment for less than fifteen minutes. He said almost nothing to me, and half of what he did say was about knitting. And when I went to the pharmacy, only one of the prescriptions had actually been sent over!)

She Was Kind Of Busy

, , , , | Related | July 31, 2018

(When I turn 49, I get a phone call from my mother:)

Mom: “Happy birthday! Do you realize you’re half a century old?”

Me: “Mom, I’m 49.”

Mom: “Really?”

Me: “Yeah, I was born in [year]. I thought you were there at the time.”

Interesting Round Of Name-Calling

, , , , | Working | July 30, 2018

(A coworker of mine has decided she’s no longer going to accept customers’ failing to practice basic courtesy, so she frequently has conversations like the following.)

Coworker: “Hello, welcome to [Store] how are you?”

Customer: “Evaporated milk.”

Coworker: “That’s not my name. Let’s try again. How are you today?”

Customer: “Evaporated milk!”

Coworker: “Nope, still not my name; it’s [Coworker].”

(Surprisingly, customers either relent and show courtesy or just wander off. She’s yet to receive a complaint.)

A Crazy Lack Of Competence

, , , , , , | Healthy | July 27, 2018

(I’m Bipolar I and not medicated. We’ve tried a few different combinations of drugs for me, but unfortunately I either have side effects or it simply doesn’t help anything. While therapy has been helpful, it’s not perfect; I still need the occasional trip to a psychiatric hospital. For this particular incident, I am sent to a completely different hospital, which I later learn is more adequately equipped to handle patients seeking drug rehab. However, even that seems to be inaccurate, as I learn during my three-and-a-half day visit. On day one, a patient and the head of the wing are talking in a common area:)

Patient #1: “When do you think I can go home?”

Doctor #1: “Sunday. Your insurance lets us hold you another week.”

(For a little context, during a previous group session I had with [Patient #1], he mentioned he’s been here almost two weeks and the head of the group commented on how much progress he’s made. As my stay continues, it isn’t uncommon to overhear the nurses gossiping about how they can’t believe the doctors still won’t discharge [Patient #1]. Day two: one of the other patients is a new mother with apparently no thought filter. As a result, she frequently talks about how she has to pump if the subject even remotely drifts towards family or children. One of the other patients finally gets fed up with it and a fight nearly breaks out. Unlike the mother, the other patient is allowed to leave the wing to go have lunch in the cafeteria.)

Doctor #2: “Okay, [Patient #3], you just lost your cafeteria privilege for today.”

Me: “But doesn’t [Patient #2] have to stay up here, too?”

Doctor #2: “Of course.”

Me: “So, you’re going to lock them in the wing together when most of the staff is down in the cafeteria?”

Patient #1: “Besides, isn’t [Patient #3] getting discharged tomorrow?”

(After enough of us band together, the doctors finally agree the best thing they can do for both patients is to separate them. Also of note, a fourth patient is discharged at the end of day two, with a certain nurse helping her gather her things. On day three, though I’ve only had three or four sessions with her, I bid [Patient #3] farewell as she is gathering her things from the storage locker with the same nurse who assisted yesterday’s discharge. Just as I go to leave:)

Patient #3: “Where’s my backpack?”

Nurse #1: “Your what?”

Patient #3: “My backpack. I came in with a pink backpack from [Brand]. Where is it?”

Nurse #1: “We only had one like that. It was [Patient #4]’s, wasn’t it?”

Patient #3: “Wha?!”

Nurse #1: “She said that bag was hers. We gave it to her when she left last night.”

Patient #3: “YOU GAVE HER MY BACKPACK?!”

Nurse #1: “Sorry. We’ll call the police and report the theft.”

Patient 3: “WHAT THE F***’S THAT GOING TO DO? SHE’S BEEN GONE A DAY ALREADY! WHY DIDN’T ANY OF YOU NOTICE THE BAG WASN’T LABELLED FOR HER?” *begins crying*

Nurse #1: “Calm down! It’s just a backpack!”

Patient #3: “THAT BACKPACK HAD MY WALLET IN IT! WITH MY LICENSE AND SOCIAL SECURITY CARD! YOU LET HER STEAL MY IDENTITY!”

Nurse #1: “We can replace those things!”

Patient #3: “IT HAD THE ONLY PICTURE I HAVE OF ME WITH MY FATHER! YOU CAN’T REPLACE THAT! HE DIED AFTER I WAS BORN!”

Me: “Get the f****** police already, you dips***!”

(I didn’t know what else to do. The police do show up, though I have no idea how this story ends or if anything was done about [Nurse #1]. On day four — my release day — I’m sitting in the common area playing cards, waiting for my girlfriend to show up and drive me home. Needing a fourth for Hearts, one of the nurses agrees to join us.)

Nurse #2: “[My Name], you sure know how to pick ’em. Of all the weeks you could’ve shown up!”

Me: “I’m amazed, too.”

Nurse #2: “Yeah, but this ain’t even the worst of it. One patient last year always ran his mouth. ‘I’m in for bestiality!’ ‘I’m a member of the local KKK and they think this’ll cure me!’ and on and on. All cause he didn’t want to admit he tried to kill himself after his girlfriend broke up with him.”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Nurse #2: “Yeah, he just kept making excuses to justify the cuts on his arms.”

Me: “You can’t tell us that! His medical records are still privileged!”

(I’ve never been back. I haven’t looked it up yet, because I’m truly frightened that it might still be open.)

Finally Managing The Manager Situation

, , , , , | Working | July 26, 2018

(I work at a large retail chain. As a result, we have many managers in the building, most of whom people can at least tolerate. One manager, however, is absolutely horrible and disrespectful with employees underneath him. This exchange happens on my way to my department one morning.)

Manager: *sees me from across a display in the middle of an aisle* “[My Name]! Why did you sign your initials on a task that wasn’t completed?!”

Me: “Okay, first off, you don’t raise your voice to me on the sales floor in front of customers, or ever, for that matter.”

Manager: “Well, I’m telling you now!”

Me: “No, you’re not telling me anything in this disrespectful manner. If you have a problem with my performance, you take me back to the office and we discuss it there civilly and professionally. Secondly, let me explain why I signed my initials–“

Manager: “No! What you did is an integrity issue!”

(Having had enough, I walk around the display and stand a normal, conversational distance from him in order to force the volume of the exchange back down.)

Me: “Actually, as it was explained to me by the department manager, you sign your initials next to any task you work on, whether it gets completed or not. If I was mistaken, or if that’s changed, then I’ll sign accordingly going forward. Regardless, you will not speak to me in this disrespectful tone.”

(With that, I walk off. As I arrive in my department, there’s the usual line of customers with the only two people available working with them. After we get the line down, before I even mention him, my coworkers tell me that [Manager] has already been there to yell at them for having empty spots on the shelves just a few minutes before he found and started yelling at me. I decide that enough is enough. I help my coworkers get to the point where the department isn’t falling apart more than usual before I head straight to the store manager.)

Me: “Hey, [Store Manager], can I talk to you?”

Store Manager: “Yeah, come on in. What’s up?”

Me: “Well, I know we’ve talked about him before, and I also know you’ve had several complaints about him from other employees, but I have to bring up [Manager] again. His behavior has gone far beyond acceptable at this point.”

Store Manager: “Yeah, I know he can get a little hot-headed, but you have to understand. Some of the departments he’s managing aren’t performing as well as they should.”

Me: “I’m going to stop that line of discussion right there. Last time we spoke about him, I already said that I understood his frustrations as a manager. That doesn’t excuse anything or make his actions anywhere near acceptable. This morning, he shouted at me in front of customers over a simple misunderstanding, almost immediately after having shouted at my two coworkers for not having all the empty spots on the salad and sandwich wall filled. So, I have a question. If one employee is in the middle of making salads while also serving a line of customers at the cold cut station, while the only other employee is cooking food and serving customers at the hot case, how exactly are they also supposed to be producing so much that they’ve filled the shelves before the store’s even been open for an hour?”

Store Manager: *pausing for a moment* “I don’t know.”

Me: “If you have employees already under pressure because they’re trying to juggle filling a wall and serving customers, as well as all of the other regular things one has to do when opening the deli department, and [Manager] comes along and the first thing he does is to start disrespecting them openly in front of customers, what happens to morale?”

Store Manager: *pausing again* “It drops, and if anything, they slow down because of the unneeded stress and frustration.”

Me: “Exactly! Now, I honestly feel that I should have gone to corporate about [Manager] last time I had a complaint, but since this is your store, out of respect for you, I’m giving you one last chance to handle this. What he’s doing is acting like a bully, which is high school nonsense. This is the adult world now, where there’s no place for that foolishness. If this problem isn’t resolved this time, I will go to corporate. If they do nothing, then I’ll move myself from his side of the store or I will walk out. I have more respect for myself than to allow myself to be treated like that.”

Store Manager: *nods slowly* “I understand.”

(With that, I thanked him for his time, shook his hand, and got back to work. I believe my complaint may have been one of the final straws, since not long after, [Manager] was moved to a smaller store.)

 

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