When The Patient Isn’t, Part 2

, , , , | Right | May 6, 2021

I’m billing a patient who has seen two of our doctors. She has a referral for one of them but we’re waiting for the other to fax across the referral for the other.

Me: “I’ll call them to follow up on it.”

Patient: “Could you call them now, while I’m still here?”

I pick up the phone and start dialing.

Patient: “Are you calling them?”

I indicated that I am. As if I would make an unrelated phone call while still serving her! A few minutes pass.

Patient: “Do you need their number?”

Me: “I’m on hold with them.”

It gets to about ten minutes on hold.

Patient: “Are you sure you’ve called the right number?”

Me: “The hold message says I’ve called the right clinic.”

Then, she left just before I finally spoke to the receptionist to get the referral sent across!

When The Patient Isn’t

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A Sade Pleet With A Side Of Haggis

, , , , , , | Working | April 6, 2021

I’m from England. This was one of a string of temporary jobs I had while travelling a few years back. I’m selling people pies, sandwiches, and tea as normal when a lady in a nurse’s uniform asks me a question.

Nurse: “Can I have a sade pleet, please?”

Me: “A what?”

Nurse: “A sade pleet.”

I’m completely confused.

Me: “I beg your pardon?

Nurse: “A sade pleet!”

Me: “Er…”

I gesture at the array of food, drinks, and other assorted cafeteria-related items on the counter between us.

Me: “Ma’am, if you can see one on here, please grab one!”

The nurse picks up a small plate from a pile in front of me and shakes it.

Nurse: “A sade pleet! A SADE PLEET!”

It’s at this point that I finally twig that I’m listening to someone with a distinct Scottish accent, which I haven’t heard in some months and wasn’t expecting to hear at all while working in a hospital cafeteria in Australia. She’s asking if she can have a side plate. I laugh with some relief.

Me: “Beg pardon, ma’am, I wasn’t at all expecting to hear a Scottish accent here! Yes, of course, please take a plate, and sorry about that!”

Thankfully, she took it in good grace, headed off with her sade pleet, and, I hope, thoroughly enjoyed her break.

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The Bell Didn’t Go Off But The Lightbulb Did

, , , , , | Right | March 28, 2021

I’m sitting at the spare parts counter of my store, printing and sorting tickets for an upcoming catalogue. Since I cannot see behind me and she moves so quietly, I do not hear this customer as she approaches. What alerts me to her presence is her reading a sign above my head out loud.

Customer: “’Please ring the bell for assistance.’”

I spin around in my chair.

Me: “I’m so sorry; I didn’t see you.”

Customer: “That’s all right. Do I need to ring the bell?”

Me: “No, no need.”

Customer: “Why not? The sign says to ring the bell.”

Me: “But I’m already here?”

The lightbulb goes off.

Customer: “Oh, my goodness, I just realised what I said.”

Nothing crazy, just a bit of light-hearted interaction; it makes a nice change when you work in retail!

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Talking Turkey About Receipts

, , , , , | Right | March 17, 2021

I’m overseeing the self-service registers at my store. A customer calls me over to help her with something. She’s holding up a packet of sliced turkey meat from the deli.

Customer: “I’ve just finished paying and I’ve realised I think I forgot to scan this. Can you check?”

Me: “Sure. Did you print a receipt?”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “That’s fine. I’ll reprint the receipt and see if it’s on there.”

I did just that, going through the backend of the system to find a copy of her receipt. I printed it out and looked at it. Not only had she remembered to scan the turkey, but it was the only thing she was purchasing. I have no idea what she thought she’d paid for.

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I’d Imagine Their Parents Might Have Something To Say About That

, , , , , , | Right | March 2, 2021

I have a fairly uncommon name that can be spelled the same but pronounced two different ways. 

I work at a supermarket. I have just started and I meet my first interesting regular. He reads my name tag and pronounces my name wrong.

Old Man: “Such a beautiful name. My niece’s name is [Wrong Pronunciation].”

Me: “I agree, but I pronounce it [My Name].”

Old Man: “What? Why the h*** would you say it like that?! It just sounds stupid. My niece’s name is [Wrong Pronunciation] and that’s how it should be. From now on, your name is [Wrong Pronunciation].”

He walked off, muttering about how stupid my name is.

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