Have A Bad Feeling About This

, , , | Healthy | December 28, 2017

I have a regular gynecologist who I’ve been seeing for several years. Usually before she begins the exam, she’ll touch the speculum to my thigh, and move it up my leg, saying ‘Feel this, feel this,’ to get me used to the feel and temperature before she begins the exam. Today, she’s asked me if it’s all right if an intern does my exam while she supervises, and I agree.

The intern is super nervous, and admits to me that I’m the first patient today that’s agreed to it. When she begins the exam, she picks up the speculum and starts tapping it to the side of my knee. “Um, so… You’ll feel this…”

My doctor and I both burst out laughing, and my doctor had to correct her. I hope I didn’t break her confidence!

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Giving You A Mall-ing

, , , , , | Working | December 27, 2017

Years ago, I worked for a company on the team that set up new store fronts. That year, the CEO made a promise to stockholders that we would have five new stores open by Black Friday in the state.

Unfortunately, one of the new stores was being put in a mall that was being built. They ran into problems, and the construction of the mall was delayed by six months. This pushed the store set up long past the holidays. We found this out early and reported it to corporate.

The next morning, my direct supervisor got a furious call from the CEO. He said he had promised a store ready to go by Black Friday, and we would provide it, no excuses.

So, October of that year we went to the active construction site of the future mall. We had to carry racks and merchandise from a block away by hand, as we couldn’t get a vehicle close, and we had to wear hard hats to go to and from the store. There was no plumbing or electricity, so we had to rent generators to run rented lights and a heater while we worked. The windows weren’t installed yet, so we had tarps taped over them.

Finally, after the most difficult store set up ever, we took pictures of the set up and sent them to corporate.

They responded to now pack everything back up and ship it back to corporate. By the time the store could have customers, everything would be seasonally changed, and they didn’t want anything valuable left behind.

So, we taped the boxes back up, undid everything, and carried it out to be shipped back. The whole process was three weeks of labor for a team of six, plus hotels, travel, shipping, and rental costs.

The photos of the “finished” store went out to stockholders, captioned that the CEO met his promise of having the store ready for Black Friday.

Six months later, they sent us back to set up for real this time.

The company went out of business since then, and every Black Friday I remember this story that demonstrates why.

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Fight Fire With Kindness

, , , , , | Hopeless | December 25, 2017

When I was four, our century-old wooden farmhouse burned to ash. It was January, so all our Christmas gifts went up in flames along with everything else we owned. We literally were left with only the clothes on our backs.

My parents didn’t know how they were going to afford to replace the necessities. They were not rich, and due to the age of the house there wasn’t much in the way of insurance. With two small children to care for, things were looking rather grim.

Then the donations started to arrive. Friends, neighbors, and local clubs and businesses all pitched in. These people, many of whom were strangers, gave money, clothes, furniture, and even toys. This support was especially heart-warming considering that January tended to be a difficult time of year for folks. Our rural community came together and did what they could to help my family through one of the most difficult periods of my life. Even though I was only four at the time, I still smile when I remember their kindness.

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Taking Some Mugshots

, , , , , | Working | December 25, 2017

I manage a retail portrait studio that gets very busy around the holidays. It is just after Christmas and my staff and I are celebrating the fact that we made it through the other side of peak season unscathed. We’re exchanging presents.

I am given a coffee mug that says “Dear karma, I can think of a few people you forgot!” Another person has given me a sign that reads, “By all means, let me drop everything and work on your problem!”

Maybe I should be less vocal about my opinions of our customers.

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Balls To Walls Humor

, , , , , | Learning | December 25, 2017

Because I grew up in a small town, our town’s library was located inside the high school for several years. This meant that not only did the library carry children’s and more casual-reading books alongside school curriculum and teen/YA books, but that the computer lab was open to the general public as well as students. Unfortunately, this also meant that teen pranks in the library affected the entire community, not just the school.

At one point during my senior year, just before the library finally got funding to build its own building, it was discovered that some joker was stealing the rubber tracking balls out of the computer mice. (This was back in the day before laser computer mice were a thing.) Because this rendered a computer mouse unusable, the principal, a man with no liking for teenagers and no sense of humor whatsoever, decided to take action.

During morning announcements, after the usual announcements of upcoming events and such, the principal took the microphone and said, in completely serious voice:

“Someone is stealing mouse balls in the library. The theft of the mouse balls is a serious matter, and will NOT be tolerated. If anyone has any information on who’s stealing the mouse balls, please report it right away. And to the rest of the student body, the mouse balls are to be LEFT ALONE…”

And that’s how the entire student body ended up on the floor, nearly peeing themselves with laughter, during morning announcements. “Mouse balls” became a running gag for the rest of the school year, even working its way into the valedictorian’s speech at graduation.

The mouse ball thief was never caught.

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