Dumb As A Post

, , , , , , | Working | March 8, 2019

(We live in a townhome complex where we have community mailboxes. Usually, if you get a package, it’s placed in a larger mailbox and the key to access it is placed in your personal mailbox. Our mail carrier is already notorious for mis-delivering mail in our neighborhood, so when we don’t receive several packages, we think he’s given them to the wrong home again. We’re outside one day and we manage to see him while he’s at the mailboxes. We grab his attention and have this conversation:)

Husband: “Hey, we’ve had three packages that tracking says were delivered to us, but we never got them. Is there any chance you put them in the wrong box?”

Postal Worker: “I doubt it. What’s your address?” *checks our address and starts opening the package-sized mailboxes* “See? They’re all right here.”

(Sure enough, they are all together in one package-sized mailbox.)

Husband: “Okay, but then why didn’t you put the key to it in our mailbox? We never got the key, so we didn’t know they were there and had no way to get them!”

Postal Worker: “Oh, the key for that box is missing. It got lost a couple weeks ago.”

(Yup. He put our packages into a locked mailbox, didn’t tell us, didn’t give us the key, and didn’t understand why we had no idea our stuff was there.)

Fighting Tooth And Nail To Get Your Money

, , , , | Healthy | January 28, 2019

(I’m on Medicaid since I’m working at an unfunded startup and don’t have any income — I got a sizable equity stake to compensate — nor does the company offer any insurance. I haven’t been to the dentist in a couple of years since my previous job’s dental coverage expired, and I’ve finally overcome my laziness to find a new one. There are only a few dentists in the area I have moved to in the interim who take Medicaid; I look them up on Yelp just to get a general idea of people’s experiences, and pick the one that had the best reviews.)

Dentist: “Your front top and bottom teeth are clicking against each other, when the top ones should be in front of the bottoms. This is causing your bottom teeth to be pushed out of alignment and is producing some gum recession.”

(This seems reasonable, and I have noticed that the gums around my front bottom teeth are thinning a bit.)

Dentist: “This is a serious problem that you should address immediately. You should set up an appointment as soon as possible for us to get you on [Name-Brand Clear-Aligner Orthodontic Treatment].”

(Denti-Cal, California’s Medicaid dental coverage, isn’t that comprehensive; I doubt they’ll cover a multi-thousand-dollar orthodontic treatment for an adult, and I don’t have that kind of out-of-pocket money at the moment. Also, while this dentist does apparently do both dentistry and orthodontics, from childhood I’m used to seeing a separate orthodontist.)

Me: “Thanks for letting me know, but I don’t want to do that procedure at this time.”

Dentist: “You need a deep cleaning since it’s been so long since your last cleaning.” *shows me x-rays* “If we just did a regular cleaning, we might not get all of this plaque that’s built up under the gum line. I don’t see any infection, but a long-term plaque buildup could lead to one.”

(This also seems reasonable, since it has been a couple of years, and the last time I went that long between cleanings I also needed a deep cleaning. At the time this takes place Denti-Cal doesn’t cover deep cleanings, so I have to cover the $400 charge out of pocket, but figure that’s my burden for waiting so long. Wanting a second opinion on the tooth-alignment issue, I schedule to see my childhood orthodontist when I’m home seeing my parents a few months later. I haven’t seen him in at least a decade, and there’s no chance of him getting any business from me since he’s on the opposite coast.)

Orthodontist: “Your teeth have shifted a fair amount since we last saw you. No, that clicking isn’t ideal, but the gum issues aren’t that bad and aren’t an immediate concern. You should probably address it in the next few years, but I’d recommend seeing someone who only does orthodontics, not a dentist who does orthodontics on the side.”

(Maybe there’s some professional snobbery involved with that last comment, but I’m more focused on the so-called “immediate issue” not being that much of an emergency, which I had suspected. At the next dentist appointment:)

Hygienist: “You know, your teeth are rather discolored. I think you should have us do a whitening procedure!”

Me: “My teeth aren’t that bad, and I’m not that concerned about my appearance. Also, in case you weren’t aware, I’m on Denti-Cal, which I’m pretty sure wouldn’t cover that, and which means I don’t really have hundreds or thousands of dollars to spare on a cosmetic procedure. So, no, I won’t be doing that.”

(Ten minutes later:)

Hygienist: “I really do think you’d look so much better if you got your teeth whitened! We’d do a really good job of it!”

Me: “I already said I both didn’t want to and couldn’t afford that.”

Hygienist: “Okay. Well, the dentist recommends you get a gum irrigation while you’re here, for the infection.”

Me: “What infection?! When I was here last time I was told I didn’t have any, and that I should do a deep cleaning to avoid any notable chance of one.”

Hygienist: “Well, no, you don’t have an infection, but the irrigation would further ensure you don’t get one.”

Me: “I was told last time that a deep cleaning was sufficient, and it seems that it was. I don’t like the insinuation that I have a problem when there’s not actually a problem. If I don’t have an infection, this sounds like an unnecessary procedure, and I’m not paying for it.”

(The hygienist finishes my regular cleaning.)

Hygienist: “Are you sure you don’t want your teeth whitened?”

Me: “No. I do not. Want. My teeth. Whitened. I said that twice already in no uncertain terms. Don’t ask me again.”

(The dentist comes in for the post-cleaning check.)

Dentist: “So, when do you want us to remove your wisdom teeth?”

Me: “Is there something wrong with them?! They came in several years ago, there’s enough room in my jaw for them, and I haven’t had any issues with them to date.”

Dentist: “No, but many of my patients get them removed just to avoid any complications.”

Me: “I’m currently 28. My dad didn’t have his removed until his 50s, and that was in response to some tangible problems he was having. I’m on Denti-Cal, and this probably isn’t covered. I’m not paying that kind of money right now to possibly avoid some problem that may never crop up, or may not crop up for decades. Please stop trying to sell me a bunch of unnecessary procedures, especially when you should know, from my insurance, that I probably don’t have much money to fritter away on things I don’t absolutely need.”

(I am rather annoyed by this whole ordeal, but I make an appointment for six months later since they at least seemed to do a capable job of cleaning my teeth. My usual inertia about switching dentists leads me to not find another one in the interim, so I go back. The cleaning is shorter than usual, possibly since I’ve started using a water flosser in addition to brushing.)

Dentist: “You know, that under-bite hasn’t gotten any better. You should really get [Clear Orthodontics Product].”

Me: “I’m still on Denti-Cal. It’s still not covered as far as I know, and I’m still not in a position to afford that. If and when I do decide to fix the problem, I will see a full-time orthodontist.”

Dentist: “All right, then. Next time you come in, you should do a deep cleaning, because I see some noticeable plaque buildup under your gums.”

Me: “I’ve been using a water flosser for several months now. You showed me the x-rays you took before the cleaning and there were maybe two tiny spots of plaque under all of my teeth put together. While Denti-Cal now covers deep cleanings, I’m not going to do that when there’s absolutely no reason to. I’m sick and tired of being pressured and cajoled into all manner of questionably necessary, or flat-out unnecessary, procedures. No other dentist I’ve ever been to has ever behaved like this. I’m not coming back.”

(I actually didn’t come back this time, and when they called me six months later to remind me of my next appointment, I told them again that I was never setting foot in their door.)

Everyone’s Poop Is The Same Color

, , , , , | Learning | January 19, 2019

For a few months after graduating high school, I worked for the city cleaning public beach restrooms. One of my coworkers had been born and raised in Mexico and he explained to me about why sometimes people will poop on the floor. He told me once you get out of the touristy areas of Mexico you’ll find places where the sewer lines are so small that pooping in the toilet can back up the entire sewer system, so people never poop in them nor put toilet paper in the toilets. Many people, when they come to America, not knowing that our sewer system is different, continue this habit. Therefore, they’ll poop next to the toilet and put used toilet paper in the trash instead of flushing it. This is why all cleaning vans were equipped with shovels and high-pressure hoses.

Cut to a few years later in an anthropology class I’m taking. We’re talking about culture shock, especially bathroom habits, such as one guy mentioning he used to work with someone who came from a country with squat toilets, so he broke a toilet seat at work by standing on it.

I tell what I was told by my former coworker. Cue every single white person in class calling me racist. Especially white girls. Right away every single student who was born and raised in Mexico came to my defense and said, “No, she’s right. That is how it is down there.” The talk about how they had to work with various relatives to get them to poop in the toilet, not next to it.  

I can only hope that all the white students learned from this that you should maybe learn to not jump to the conclusion of racism just because they want to believe every country has America-like sewer systems.

Unfiltered Story #119093

, | Unfiltered | September 1, 2018

(I work at a specialty chocolate shop located in an upscale mall. Since our town is also popular tourist destination, we mostly get either snooty, condescending customers or tourists who are just looking around. This happened late one night when my coworker and I had just locked the security gate after close. It’s important to note that we face a narrow hallway, so we can’t see anyone until they walk directly in front of our store.)

Me: *counting out the register* Huh. Not a lotta sales today. It was pretty slow, considering it’s Saturday. Sucks I didn’t make my sales goal, but I guess I’m just glad we didn’t have any of the usual difficult cust-

(Literally as the words leave my mouth, we hear loud footsteps running towards us. We both look up, expecting a security guard or valet to run past, since the mall is closed and virtually dead. Basically, we expected anything other than what happened next. A rather large woman THROWS herself at the gate, pounding on the glass and screaming.)

Woman: S***, you can’t be closed! Come on, open up! I want candy! Please give me candy!

Coworker: I’m sorry ma’am, but we just shut down the registers. It’s 9:15, we’ve actually been closed for a quarter of an hour now. Please come back tomorrow, we open at 10!

(The woman then PUNCHED the glass, startling my coworker and causing her to back away. The lady continued to yank at the gate, and tried to bust the lock open by hitting it with her purse, all while yelling “Let me in, I want candy!”. My coworker and I ran into the back room to hide, refusing to come out until she was gone. We both hear her continuing to pound and scream for another minute or two before finally giving up and leaving.)

Coworker: Hey, [my name]?

Me: Yeah?

Coworker: Next time you start to say something stupid like that, I’m going to hit you.

Me: …Good idea.

Unfiltered Story #118671

, , | Unfiltered | August 20, 2018

I worked in a Deli/Bakery combo in a grocery store chain. We had an older (but not elderly) man who would come in maybe once a week and complain for about 10 to 15 minutes at a time as to why we had no sugar-free variety of the pie he wanted. His usual spiel would be, “I just DON’T UNDERSTAND why y’all don’t have it! Now sweetheart, I ain’t saying it’s your fault. BUT-” and he’d continue on and on. He was very passionate and rambly whenever he talked, like the world depended on his pie, telling me his expectations of a good shopping experience. I’d explain to him that it just wasn’t a product that sold enough to be worth ordering, but it’s like he didn’t hear me.

Finally, by about the fifth time, I responded to his spiel with, “Ok, sir, I’ll tell you what! I’ll take down your number and I can place an order for your pie, and I’ll give you a call as soon as we get it in.”

The customer’s face changed to a clean slate like he wasn’t expecting my response. He went from fiery pie-passion to a blank expression. “Oh. Oh, uh, no, that won’t be necessary.”

He never complained about us not having his pie anymore.

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