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Sadly, There Is No Vaccine Against Entitlement

, , , , | Right | October 25, 2021

I work for mobile vaccination units on busses that travel to various parts of the city to offer vaccines to people right on the side of the street. My job is basically to help patients with everything except the vaccination itself: run the line outside of the vehicles, register people, point them in the direction of a vaccinator once they’re ready, help them set up appointments if they need another dose, etc.

We do set up tents, chairs, and tables to try to make things as comfortable as possible, but due to the mobile nature of our sites, sometimes people are stuck standing in line outside.

As I am coming back from lunch one day, I see an elderly woman seated in the shade under one of our tents, a spot that people normally aren’t allowed to be in when we’re on lunch, with a fellow employee nearby. It’s clear that the employee has seen that she was uncomfortable standing in line and has allowed her to enter the tent area and sit until we were able to get back from lunch and register her. She seems content and as comfortable as possible considering the situation.

A man who I assume is her husband is pacing back and forth near the line and is absolutely fuming as I approach the tent.

Patient’s Husband: “Finally! Someone is here! She has been forced to wait outside in a long line like a dog! It’s inhumane!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but due to our limited space and the fact that this is a medical site, the only place for the line is outside. And if waiting outside is uncomfortable or unhealthy for her, I encourage you to take her to a non-mobile site where she can wait inside. But our vaccinators are coming back from lunch right now; I’m sure we can get her registered and on her way as quickly as possible.”

Patient’s Husband: “This is unconstitutional! You can’t treat people like that! I’m a retired lawyer, and this is illegal!”

Me: “Sir, I’m not a lawyer, but I’m pretty sure that having a line outside isn’t unconstitutional. Not to mention, our sites are run by the city and they regularly check to see that we meet their standards. There is no question that nothing we’re doing is illegal, and we are doing what we can to make her comfortable.”

Patient’s Husband: “What’s your name?”

I provide my name.

Patient’s Husband: “Get ready for a lawsuit! I’m suing this whole operation, and your name is going to be on the suit!”

I can’t wait for the lawsuit in which a low-level city employee is named for the unconstitutional act of having an elderly woman sit in a chair in the shade.

In For A Penny, In For Just Enough Pounds

, , , | Healthy | October 24, 2021

My grandmother can be pretty stubborn sometimes, and she can get worried about a lot of things. When her daughter, my mom, was just a kid — around seven years old, I think — she was worried because my mom was “too thin” and did not eat a lot of meat.

She went to the village doctor, who checked her weight.

Doctor: “Your daughter is fine; she’s in good health.”

Grandmother: “But she’s too thin!”

Doctor: “Okay, well, there’s a specialist from [Big City far away] coming into [Big City close to their village]. You can try going to see him.”

And that’s what she did. She managed to get an appointment and went to see this specialist. I can’t remember if he was a pediatrician or a nutritionist. He did some exams and came to the same conclusion as the doctor.

Specialist: “Your daughter is fine; she’s in good health.”

Grandmother: “But she’s too thin!”

Specialist: “Why does that bother you so much? Are you planning on selling her by weight?”

With that, my grandmother finally understood that she’d gone a little bit too far and stopped going to doctors for that. She sometimes tells this story, laughing about her stubbornness and the witty response of the doctor.

Not Taking Anyone’s S*** Today

, , , , , , | Working | October 21, 2021

About fifteen years ago, I worked for an HMO (health maintenance organization) as their mail processing clerk. My job, in addition to sorting and delivering the mail within my building, was to drive around to their eight sites located in neighboring cities to pick up and deliver interoffice mail and packages, and bring mail to the post office, etc. 

One day, after returning from my rounds, I’m in the mail room placing postage on the outgoing mail when I hear a bustle going on out in the corridor. I stick my head out to see what’s going on. There are about a half a dozen employees milling about, talking sort of frantically about something. Everyone is discussing whose job it is to do a certain task; no one wants to do it, but someone’s got to take care of it.

Me: “What’s going on?”

Colleague #1: “Someone took a dump in the middle of the men’s room floor!”

The only people that can get into this area of the building are either employees or delivery staff; no patients can get onto this particular floor.

Colleague #1: “We’re trying to decide who’s responsible for cleaning it up.”

This baffles me; I figure the only answer would be the building janitors, who are employed by the HMO, not a cleaning company.

Me: “Why is there even a debate over this? Isn’t this obviously a janitor’s job?”

Colleague #1: “I thought so, but our janitor is off today, and the guy covering won’t do it.”

During all the back and forth discussion, I learn that the guy covering is from a temp agency; he was brought in to cover for our regular janitor, who is on vacation this particular week.

Me: “What? He’s a janitor! Gross as it is, it’s his job, isn’t it? I don’t get why this is such a big deal!”

Colleague #2: “Hey, guys, I just heard that [Senior Manager] asked [Temp Janitor] to clean up the mess and he refused.”

Colleague #1: “He refused? Like any of us would get away with that!”

Me: “Yeah, no kidding. What’s [Big Boss] going to say when she hears about this?”

Colleague #3: “I understand she went to him and told him it was part of his duties to clean it up and that he had to clean it up, and he supposedly told her, ‘It’s not my job to clean up some filthy dirtbag’s s*** off the floor.’” 

Just then, my boss’s manager calls me over.

Manager: “Hey, [My Name], come with me for a minute!”

She wanders off, indicating that she wants me to follow her. She heads to said men’s room.

Manager: “I hate to ask, but can you please clean this up?”

Me: “Sorry, no. My job is a mail clerk, not a janitor. The janitor should be doing this.”

Manager: “But as a mail clerk, your job has wide-ranging duties, which were explained to you.”

I point to the crap on the floor.

Me: “Yeah, but it did not ever include me cleaning up that or anything to do with janitorial duties.”

Manager: “But we’re in a spot here. I need your help. You just need to do it.”

Me: “No, this job is clearly the duty of the janitor. Sorry, you know I help out in a lot of things, and I’ve always been very cooperative with all of you here, but this crosses the line. I’m not cleaning someone else’s crap off the floor. You have a janitor on duty, and it’s clearly his job to clean this up, not mine.”

I turn and go back to work in my mail sorting room.

A few minutes later, my direct boss comes into the room to talk to me.

Boss: “[My Name], I know this is a really off-the-wall request, but someone’s got to clean that up and we need cooperation here.”

Me: “I appreciate that, but as I told [Manager], that is not even close to being part of my job. There’s a janitor here on duty. Why is no one telling him to do his job? Why is everyone on me about something that is very clearly not my job?”

Boss: “Well, he’s being difficult, I guess. His boss is the maintenance supervisor, and I guess no one can get in touch with him. Can’t you just do it? Refusing this is the kind of thing that can hold up raises, you know.”

Me: “What just a minute right there. I will not tolerate threats like this; cleaning up s*** in a bathroom is not my job. Excuse me.”

I left and immediately headed upstairs to tell the human resources manager what was going on, including the threat to withhold my next raise and whatnot. He looked at me, stunned, as if he couldn’t believe someone had actually done this. He assured me that I had nothing to fear.

I went back to work. The rest of the week was uneventful, but my boss was unusually kind with me all week. I took that to mean that the HR manager must’ve told him off or something. I never heard about the matter again. I still can’t believe they expected me, a mail clerk, to clean up someone’s s*** off the floor.

Incidentally, as far as I know, they never found out who did it.

A Busload Of Garbling

, , , | Right | October 20, 2021

I’m a community nurse who works with patients who live at home. I get a call from a patient who is due to attend a clinic in my office that day.

Patient: *Garble garble* “—make it—” *Garble* “—bus is—” *Garble*

I can’t hear most of what he is saying because he is obviously standing next to an idling bus that is making too much noise.

Me: “[Patient], I can’t hear you. Can you move away from the bus a bit?”

The patient remains standing next to the bus.

Patient: *Garble garble* “—TOO LOUD, I CA—” *GARBLE* “—YOU!”


I repeat this about four times at increasing volume.

Patient: *Mumble, mumble*

The bus sounds move away.

Patient: “What did you say? I was trying to say that I couldn’t hear you because of the bus.”

Me: *Face-palm*

When he arrived, he said he was trying to call to say he would be late because the bus had broken down.

Stress Is Bad For Your Health

, , , , , , | Working | September 30, 2021

I have avoided going to the doctors for ages, way before the health crisis, but I finally made an appointment for a physical consultation as I have been told I am high-risk. I am not at all worried, but they keep sending me messages!

I am there on time but there are two people in front of me and it takes me ten minutes to speak to a receptionist.

Receptionist: “You’re ten minutes late.”

I am irked by her facial expression and tone, not to mention having to wait because a man talked to another receptionist for at least ten minutes being told repeatedly, “They probably won’t do that for you.”

Me: “Why do you think that is?”

She’s taken aback.

Receptionist: *Mumbles* “I don’t know.”

Me: “I have been standing in the queue having to listen to some bloke wasting everyone’s time.”

She didn’t know how to deal with my lateness on the computer and turned to a colleague. I could hear them say that I would have to wait for the next available time or rebook.

I didn’t want to be there in the first place, so I swanned out, telling them as much.

I am not a patient person and especially not with people who blame the service user. I will delete their texts for a few months and rebook when I feel I have gathered sufficient patience to try again.