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Wait A Few Days Or Violate HIPAA…

, , , , | Right | July 15, 2021

I’m training at my new job, learning how to schedule patients for medical appointments. At this point in the training, I’m answering calls and scheduling while my trainer watches to be sure I’ve learned what I need to and in case I have questions. A man calls to schedule a non-urgent appointment, hoping to get in the next day. Unfortunately, we don’t have anything available.

Me: “I know you were hoping to get in earlier, but the next available appointment I can find for you is the coming Monday, at 11:00.”

Caller: “Hmm, I was really hoping to get in tomorrow. There’s nothing open?”

There are a few slots for emergencies, but again, his is a non-urgent need, so I don’t even tell him about those.

Me: “The soonest I can offer you is that spot on Monday. I can schedule you for it and also put you on our cancellation list; it’s no guarantee, but if someone cancels an appointment in the next few days before Monday, we’ll call you to get you in sooner.”

Caller: *Perfectly pleasant, not a hint of rudeness* “How about, instead of the cancellation list, you call some of the other patients and ask if they’d be willing to reschedule to Monday, and I can have one of those spots?”

My trainer’s eyes go wide.

Me: “No, I’m sorry, sir, I can’t do that.”

Caller: *Again, no rude tone in the slightest* “I can call them for you if you give me their phone numbers; I’m sure you have a busy job.”

My trainer’s jaw about hits the floor now.

Me: “No, sir, I can’t give out patients’ private information. The best I can offer is that Monday appointment and the cancellation list.”

Caller: *Still incredibly pleasant* “Okay, I guess that will work. Let me give you my cell phone number so you can reach me right away if anyone cancels.”

I book the appointment and put him on the cancellation list with his cell number, and the polite but baffling call ends.

Trainer: “I’ve been working here for seven years. I have never heard anyone ask for patients’ phone numbers to call them asking to trade appointments. If I hadn’t been here listening to the call and you’d told me what happened, I wouldn’t have believed you.”

Old Joke Super-Sized

, , , , , | Right | June 17, 2021

I’m at a restaurant with some friends from my high school cross country team. We’re placing our orders. One friend’s order has some options he needs to choose from.

Waiter: “Super salad?”

Friend: “Well, I don’t know if I’m that hungry… How big is it?”

Waiter: *Confused* “Um, which? The super salad?”

Friend: “Yeah, like it is as big as the entree?”

Waiter: “The super salad?”

Friend: “Yes.”

The conversation goes on like this for a couple of minutes, everyone’s confusion growing more and more, until finally, something dawns on the waiter…

Waiter: “Um, do you want salad or soup?”

Friend: “Oh! Side salad, please, with Italian dressing.”

It’s a pity we weren’t a baseball team!

Nice Doggie…

, , , , , | Related | June 17, 2021

About thirty years ago, when I was a preschooler, my mom and I went to visit my great-grandparents who lived in a neighborhood in Seattle. It was customary at their house to enter through the back door, so we parked and headed through the backyard.

To my surprise, there was a dog sitting in the yard. I was very excited; my great-grandparents hadn’t had a dog last time we visited.

Me: “Mom, can I pet the dog?!”

But she was already pulling me back around to the front of the house. I was so upset that she wouldn’t even entertain the question of whether we could go see the dog; she was too busy knocking on the front door.

My great-grandfather answered.

Great-Grandfather: *Confused* “Why did you come to the front door?”

My mom ushered me inside and closed the door behind us.

Mom: “There’s a coyote in the backyard!”

No wonder she didn’t let me pet it!

Woof, That Joke Is Ruff

, , , , , , , | Learning | June 14, 2021

My dad taught our childhood dog commands in both English and Spanish. For example, “sit” and “toma asiento” would both get her to sit down. In first grade, we had a pet show and students could bring in either a live animal or a stuffed one. I proudly showed off my dog and her tricks.

Me: “Sit.”

She sat and then got back up.

Me: “Toma asiento.”

She sat again.

Teacher: “Wow, your dog speaks Spanish!”

Me: *Incredulous* “What? No, she only barks.”

God Loves All Creation… Except That

, , , , , | Friendly | June 11, 2021

Our church holds a Thanksgiving Day mass mid-morning on the holiday. There are always two big tables set up in the church: one for food donations for the Thanksgiving dinner the church hosts for the needy, and one for people to bring something they’ll eat themselves that night. Both tables of food get a blessing.

However, one year the priest came forward to bless the food and noticed a plate of Brussels sprouts.

Priest: *Pauses* “Hmm, Brussels sprouts. I don’t know if I can actually bless those.”