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There Will Be Blood (Twice)

, , , , , , | Healthy | March 13, 2023

As a student midwife, one of the things that I had to learn was drawing blood for testing.

One morning, I was given this task as there were a lot of blood tests due and it would be good practice. Together with my mentor, I put together all the bundles of equipment I would need into trays along with the paperwork for the test, so I could pick up the next set while sending the ones I had just taken to the lab. My mentor joined me for the first couple to make sure of my technique, and then I was set loose on my own.

After four women, I had gotten into a routine: enter the bedside, introduce myself and explain why I was there, check that I had the right patient, place the tourniquet, find the vein, clean the skin, needle in, attach the blood bottle, take the blood, detach the blood bottle, release the tourniquet, needle out and onto the tray, plaster on, and throw the contents of tray into the sharps bin. Then, I would sit and write the name of the patient on the blood bottle and package it up to send to the lab.

I got to one patient’s room who needed multiple bottles of blood, so I put them all down on the tray as I filled them. Then, when I had finished, I picked up the tray and threw every single blood bottle into the sharps bin.

I have never felt my stomach drop so quickly, and the look of horror on my face as I turned around to my patient (who it turned out was a nurse) made her burst out laughing.

As I was taking her blood again, she told me the story of the first time she had done that and reassured me that I was now part of a very large club.

Bad Advice, But Was Their Spanish Good At Least?

, , , , | Learning | March 4, 2023

In Spanish class, we’re learning about food, as well as words relating to food. We did an assignment imagining someone asking for advice on what food-related choices to make and what we should say to them.

Assignment: *In Spanish* “The fresh/healthy food costs a lot, and I only have a little money. What healthy food can I buy on a limited budget?”

Student: *In Spanish* “Steal it!”

Time For The Cheaters To Tap Out

, , , , , , , , , | Learning | March 2, 2023

Many years ago, my grandfather taught carpentry at a tech college, and part of his job involved proctoring written exams.

During one of these exams, a couple of students were tapping their pens. On the face of it, this wasn’t so unusual; plenty of people in exams tap pens, drum fingers, etc., as an aid to memory — or at least, they certainly did when I took my exams. These taps, however, seemed rather more… rhythmic.

A few taps later, Grandfather — who was in the naval cadets as a boy — realized that these two students were using their pens to tap out the answers to various questions in Morse code. 

Without saying a word, Grandfather picked up a pen of his own, glaring pointedly at the guilty students, and tapped out the phrase, “I K-N-O-W M-O-R-S-E C-O-D-E T-O-O.”

Funnily enough, the tapping stopped immediately after that!

Understandable When You Consider What The Save Icon Looks Like

, , , , , | Right | February 27, 2023

I worked at the help desk at a community college computer lab for a few years and encountered all sorts of stupidity; this one stands out above all the rest.

A middle-aged woman walks over to my desk and wants help opening a document she saved on a 3.5-inch floppy the other day. No problem. I follow her to the computer she was using. We get all sorts of problems with people and their disks here, so this is pretty run-of-the-mill. We sit down at her computer, and I open the disk.

It’s blank. Not only is it blank, but it’s a brand-new unformatted blank.

Me: “This is a blank disk; it’s never been used. Are you sure this is the right disk?”

Customer: “Yes, it is; I bought it yesterday. I was in the other lab and they said they were going to erase all those computers that night and I needed to save my work to a disk.”

Me: “Well, this disk is empty. It’s never had anything saved to it. Are you sure you saved it to the disk?”

Customer: “I did! I put the disk in and clicked save.”

Yup, I know what happened now; she never actually saved it to the disk.

Customer: “They must have erased my disk! They said they were going to erase everything on those computers that night, and they erased my disk!”

Me: “Did you leave your disk in those computers overnight?”

Customer: “Of course not! It was in my bag at home! They must have erased it!”

Me: “That’s not physically possible. There is no way they could do anything to your disk when you have it at home in your bag. You must have not properly saved your document to the disk. Would you like me to format this disk and show you how to do it for next time?”

The customer screamed, flipped the keyboard over, and then promptly stormed out.

You’re Never Gonna Make It To The White House With That Enunciation!

, , , , , , | Learning | February 25, 2023

It’s the first day of World Literature class, and my teacher has started some activities where we can get to know each other better. One of the questions involves asking another person where they want to eat on their birthday.

Student #1: “And [Student #2] said that he wants to eat at the White House.”

Teacher: “Okay! That seems a little ambitious, but…”

Student #2: “I said The Lighthouse, the place over on [Street]!”