Had A Hand In Your Pain

, , , , | Working | June 30, 2017

This happened when I was 13. I was a country girl, to explain the next part. I am at a friend’s place for the day and she is going out in the tractor. I went along, and somehow manage to crush my hand quite badly between mechanical parts. Things get a bit fuzzy at that point, so I only remember that it hurt like hell and her mum drove me home asap. My dad takes one look at me, curses her out for not taking me to the ER, and drives me there himself. When we get there we we’re told to sit and wait.

We wait for several hours. I pass out a few times and have worked myself into hysteria. Dad is trying to get the staff to get me in quicker, at least so I can get some painkillers. A sweet guy in the waiting room with a sprained foot is called before us, and insists that the little girl (aka me) get treatment first.

I am admitted and a doctor comes by to check out my swollen and discoloured hand. What happened next still gives me nightmares.

He prods at it, and cheerfully tells me and my dad that they’ll probably have to amputate it.

Now, I was already hysterical. Being told that I am going to lose my hand did NOT help things. Things get fuzzy here, but dad later told me I had a panic attack and that a nurse had to administer a mild sedative, and that they finally gave me some heavy duty painkillers.

I remember being very impressed with the shiny elevator on the way up to x-ray and much less impressed with the technician when they had to straighten out my fingers for the x-rays.

And guess what the x-rays showed? No breaks. A slight hairline fracture to one finger, but nothing that needed a cast. Definitely not amputation material. Some nerve damage, but all in all it wasn’t that bad. Dad cried, and I cried. The nurses were shocked when they heard why and what the doctor had told a terrified teenager in pain. A supervisor was called, and the doctor came slinking back to apologize for his mistake, and to this day I’m sort of shocked my dad refrained from hitting him.

Ebola Sounds Better Than The Cubicle Farm

, , , , | Working | June 29, 2017

I used to work for a payment collection call center. It was a real revolving-door sort of place, people always quitting, new people always coming in, less-than-stellar corporate policies, all packed into a big cubicle farm.

One day I’m at my desk, trying my best to handle some customers, when I notice a lot of the supervisors and higher-level personnel seem to be gathering and chatting fervently. I assume it’s nothing important and that they’re probably all just getting together to go to the supervisor office to eat candy and laugh at all the normal employees. Yes, they really did that. I return my focus to work.

A few minutes later, I hear loud footsteps. I peer down the room again, and now in addition to the supervisors, there are several firemen. And I can tell they are firemen because they are dressed for the part: yellow jackets, red helmets, and masks. I think one of them even has an axe. I am a little worried about this, but since nobody is saying anything, I just figure it is a burst pipe or something and go back to work.

Later still, the footsteps have gotten louder, and the supervisors and firemen have been joined by police officers. I am now officially worried. Sure enough, we finally get the word that we need to vacate the building. We power down our computers and are herded down the incredibly narrow fire escape into the parking lot.

Here’s what happened, according to one of my coworkers who spoke to an officer. In the office that shares a building with ours, a random guy went up to the front desk and placed a single glass test tube. On that test tube was a piece of sticky tape with one word scribbled onto it: “EBOLA.” Naturally, the police were called, and when the man who brought the tube was questioned, he said it was “the cure for Ebola.” The test tube was obviously empty, but to play it safe, the building had to be vacated for about two days.

Here’s where those corporate policies I mentioned come in. You would think, in a situation like this, we would simply be told to go home. Once we’re all herded into the parking lot, the supervisors explain that we all have to get in our cars and drive to the company’s sister office, an entirely separate cubicle farm, at which we’ll spend the next two days.

There are two problems with this:

  1. The second office is already grossly overcrowded, unable to accommodate the people who are actually supposed to be there. It is statistically unlikely that any of us will be able to even get a computer, much less get any work done.
  2. Nobody knows the second office’s address. The supervisors just parrot “follow us, follow us” over and over, but even if we ask for the address just in case, they refuse to give it up for some unknown reason.

I try my best to follow the enormous line of cars, but the car I’m behind suddenly pulls into a commuter parking lot. I follow them and ask why they stopped. Apparently, she is equally clueless as to where we are going, as is the person she was following. We just sit there for a few minutes, heavily considering just ditching work, but the other driver manages to wrestle the second office’s address from her temp agency after calling them, and we manage to make our way there.

And to top it all off, when we finally arrived, the supervisors didn’t even know we had been gone, greeting us with an emotionless “get back to work.”

Will Take More Than That To Shake You Down

, , , , | Right | June 28, 2017

I am the customer in this story. After a long day of first work at my fast-food restaurant and then babysitting, I have stopped for a late supper at the only decent fast food place still open at that hour.

There’s a group of high schoolers at a table. As I’m ordering, one of them tastes his friend’s shake. He runs over and jumps up ONTO THE COUNTER, yells “THIS S*** IS GOOD!”, throws the shake on the ground, breaking it open and sending it all over the floor, and runs out the door before anyone can do anything. (His friends had the decency to be as shocked as we all were, and tried to help clean it up.)

Somewhat startled, I finish my order, and turn to wait for my food. I look down to find a safe path through the shake mess and realize that there’s also shake all over my pants. As I note it, the cashier also sees it, and apologizes profusely. I turn to her and grin.

“Don’t worry about it, ma’am. I work at [Other Fast Food Place]. This isn’t even the first time that I’ve had shake on my pants TODAY!”

Just Plane Stupid

, , , , | Learning | June 28, 2017

One time in Physics I got bored and made a paper plane out of a page from my notebook. I then asked the teacher in the middle of class whether he’d let me fly it through a Bunsen burner flame. I can’t remember why I thought it was even remotely a good idea to ask, especially given that the closest thing I had to a justification was “I wonder if it’ll catch fire mid-air.”

He let me do it after the class was finished. He justified it afterwards as a demonstration of how convection worked, despite that we’d done convection two months or so previously.

It didn’t catch fire, by the way.

Today’s Lesson Is “The Penis Game”

, , , , | Learning | June 27, 2017

It was standard in my middle school that everyone took health class the second semester of eighth grade, so half the school is in the “sex ed” chapter all at once every year.

I am in math class one morning, and it’s dead quiet while we work on a quiz. Suddenly, from the other side of the wall we hear what must be the entire class yell “PENIS” at the top of their lungs.

Cue the shocked pause and then 35 thirteen-year-olds dying laughing. We didn’t get the quiz done for another 20 minutes.

I found out later that the teacher had everyone get over the “awkwardness” of talking about sex and bodies by having the whole class yell each vocab word in that chapter. And, of course, being 13 and 14, guess what word everyone always shouted the loudest?

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