Sizing Up The Problem

, , , , , | Right | April 9, 2018

(I work in a coffee shop, and I have this conversation at least 30 times in a day.)

Customer: “Coffee.”

Me: “What size?”

Customer: “Cooooffeeee.”

Me: “Yes, what size?”

Customer: “Cooo-fffff-eeeee, crreeeeeeeeam and sugaaaar.”

Me: “Right, one extra-large with cream and sugar it is.”

Customer: “Wait, no! I wanted a small! I… Oh…”

I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 31

, , , | Right | March 21, 2018

(I work for an company that does auditing for multiple stores around the city. Our current assignment is to make the inventory at a large store. The employees of the store all have bright blue vests, while us auditors all have dark red shirts with the auditing company’s name on them. A middle-aged man walks up to me while I’m scanning items in the toy aisle.)

Customer: “Hi. Could you show me where to find [Plumbing Product]? I can’t seem to find it.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I don’t work here.”

Customer: “What? Of course you do! You’re working right now!”

Me: “Excuse me. I meant to say that I’m not an employee of [Store]. I’m just doing inventory. I’m not familiar with this particular location.”

Customer: “It’s only going to take a minute! Come on, now.”

(At this point he’s about to grab my arm when I move away. I then notice a couple of [Store] employees who have watched the whole thing with great amusement. One of them comes up to us.)

Employee: “Hello, sir. Can I help you with anything?”

Customer: “Yes! This other guy refuses to help me!”

Employee: “I’m sorry, but he doesn’t work for [Store]. He’s just there to do inventory.”

Customer: “What? How do you tell who works for [Store] and who doesn’t?”

(The employee gestures to her blue vest and then to my red shirt, multiple times, hoping the customer will catch on.)

Customer: “So, who’s going to help me?”

(We all had a mental facepalm, and the employee went to help the customer.)

Related:
I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 30
I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 29
I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 28

Pregnant With A New Perspective

, , , , | Healthy | March 21, 2018

(I have been sent to the radiology department within the ER for an urgent chest x-ray. When the technician asks me if it is possible I am pregnant, I have a mental glitch — I have a language-based learning disability — and my brain takes a good 30 seconds to interpret the question. Since I hesitated, the technician turfs me back to Family Medicine for a pregnancy test. I am upset at having to spend longer in the hospital while sick, as well as the effort to walk across the hospital and back. The nurse administering the test is also upset for having her work interrupted for the test.)

Me: “I tried telling him I would have to have the gestation of an elephant to still be pregnant two years after last having sex.”

Nurse: *annoyed, slamming objects as the test is performed* “Yes, you couldn’t even be on ‘I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant’ [reality TV show] by this point.”

Me: “And he’s going to throw me in the back of the line, so I’ll wait all over again. I’m on bed rest. I just want to be — and should be — at home, but we have to go through this! So, I took 30 seconds to answer the question, but I answered it! I don’t know why he just didn’t believe my disability.”

Nurse: *still annoyed* “Belief in your honesty has nothing to do with it. He wouldn’t be allowed to interpret; the policy is that anything other than a ‘quick no’ has to be investigated.”

(I pause for a moment as this sinks in. My tone becomes lower and calmer, and my speech slows as this new perspective hits me.)

Me: “I hadn’t thought of that. That makes sense. While he wouldn’t have any reason to believe I’m lying, he also has no ability to know if I am telling the truth, since my disability isn’t on the test request. He probably gets women who hesitate because they are in denial. This policy may annoy a lot, but probably saves a few zygotes from harm.”

(The nurse stops what she is doing for a moment in thought.)

Nurse: *obviously calmer* “Yeah, the policy probably does save those precious few.”

(We’re silent for the rest of the test, but the tension in the air around us has dissipated. The test is negative, and she signs a slip for me to take back to the x-ray technician. I take it and smile at her.)

Me: “Thank you. And I’m sorry about the interruption. I hope you can get back into your rhythm easily.”

Nurse: “Thanks, and I hope they manage to rush you through, and get you back to bed. Feel better!”

(It is amazing the difference perspective can make! And, while the technician had another patient when I arrived, he took me next, and even defended me when people complained I had jumped the line. [“She waited in line before, so she doesn’t have to wait now!”] I got upset for nothing — except the exhausting trek through the hospital!)

Assault By Battery

, , , , , | Right | March 21, 2018

(I am in the middle of helping a customer find a picture light to hang above her painting.)

Me: “Were you looking to power it by batteries, plug it in, or hardwire it?”

Customer: “Definitely not batteries. I can’t have batteries. I’m allergic.”

Me: “You’re… allergic? To batteries?”

Customer: “Yes, one of them split open on me once, and I got a horrible rash from the stuff inside!”

Unfiltered Story #107363

, | Unfiltered | March 15, 2018

I had been sent to the Radiology department within the ER for an urgent chest X-Ray. When the technician asked me if it was possible to be pregnant, I had a mental glitch (I have a language-based learning disability) and my brain took a good 30-seconds to interpret the question. Since I hesitated, the technician turfs me back to Family Medicine for a pregnancy test. I am upset at having to spend longer in the hospital while sick, as well as the effort to walk across the hospital and back. The nurse administering the test is also upset for having her work interrupted for the test.

Me: I tried telling him I would have to have the gestation of an elephant to still be pregnant two years after last having sex.

Nurse *annoyed, slamming objects as the test is performed* Yes, you couldn’t even be on “I Didn’t Know I was Pregnant” [reality TV show] by this point.

Me: And he’s going to throw me in the back of the line so I’ll wait all over again. I’m on bed rest, I just want to be and should be at home but we have to go through this! So I took 30 seconds to answer the question, I answered it! I don’t know why he just didn’t believe my disability.

Nurse *still annoyed*: Belief in your honesty has nothing to do with it. He wouldn’t be allowed to interpret – the policy is anything other than a quick no has to be investigated.

I pause for a moment as this sinks in. My tone becomes lower and calmer and my speech slows as this new perspective hits me.

Me: I hadn’t thought of that. That makes sense. While he wouldn’t have any reason to believe I’m lying, he also has no ability to know if I am telling the truth since my disability isn’t on the test request. He probably gets women who hesitate because they are in denial. This policy may annoy a lot but probably saves a few zygotes from harm.

The nurse stops what she is doing for a moment in thought.

Nurse *obviously calmer*: Yeah, the policy probably does save those precious few.

We’re silent for the rest of the test but the tension in the air around us has dissipated. The test is negative and she signs a slip for me to take back to the X-Ray technician. I take it and smile at her.

Me: Thank you. And I’m sorry about the interruption. I hope you can get back into your rhythm easily.

Nurse: Thanks, and I hope they manage to rush you through, get you back to bed. Feel better!

It is amazing the difference perspective can make! And, while the technician had another patient when I arrived, he took me next, even defended me when people complained I had jumped the line [“she waited in line before, so she doesn’t have to wait now!”]. I got upset for nothing – except the exhausting trek through the hospital!

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