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Read Between The Lines

, , , , , , | Healthy | October 10, 2021

It is against the law to prescribe medications to a pet that has not been examined by the doctor. I’m one of the more senior technicians at the clinic and have just clocked in for the swing shift when one of the doctors comes up to me and hands me a bottle of liquid medicine and a dispenser.

Doctor: “I’m so glad you’re here. In the lobby is a Mrs. [Pet Owner]. Some jerk left a cardboard box with a litter of eight puppies on her driveway last night. She can barely afford her one dog, much less eight, so she was going to take them to the shelter today, but overnight they started having diarrhea, and we all know what the local shelter does to sick puppies. So, she has called ahead and gotten prices and she decided she can afford an exam and a puppy diarrhea panel for two of the puppies. We had her just bring in one puppy so that she would still have money for treating it. [New Hire] was helping me with this one, but I don’t think she is ready to do this kind of discharge talk. Can you do it?”

Me: “Sure, what am I telling her?”

Doctor: “Let her know the puppy has [parasite], and it is incredibly unlikely that the rest of the litter doesn’t. So for his size, he’ll need 1mL of this every day for three days. We’re sending her 30mLs; the extra is for spillage. You understand exactly what I mean by ‘spillage’?”

Me: “You really have to ask?”

I go up to the lobby and put the charges in the computer and call the owner up to the counter. 

Me: “Good news! It isn’t parvo. It is [parasite] and that is easy to treat. The rest of the litter likely has it as well, so we don’t need to do the tests on them. You just have to give this liquid once a day for three days.”

I demonstrate how to use the dispenser to measure the dose.

Owner: “Oh, that is great. So, how much is it?”

I tell her the price and her face falls.

Owner: “Oh, dear. That is a very expensive medication.”

Me: “Not really. You see, you only need to give him 1mL a day, and we are sending home quite a bit more than that so if you accidentally spill some you still have plenty.”

Owner: “I don’t think I could possibly spill that much. Can you send home less? I need to save up to bring the others in to get exams and medication for them.”

Me: “Well, yes, we do need to do exams on the other puppies in order to send home any medication with their names on it, but we want to make absolutely sure that, no matter what, this little guy has plenty. Just in case you drop some, or it sticks to the side of the dispenser.”

Owner: “But I won’t drop any, and I really doubt that much is going to stick to the dispenser.”

Me: “We are sending you extra so that if you accidentally grab the wrong puppy and give one of his siblings a dose instead, you will still have plenty of medication.”

Owner: “Oh, no, he has very different markings from the rest; I wouldn’t make that mistake.”

Me: “I really don’t know how else I can explain this. Um…”

Owner: “Explain what?! That you think I’m a clumsy idiot that will waste more of the medication than I actually use?!”

Another client who is waiting in the lobby comes up to the counter.

Man: “Excuse me, miss. I couldn’t help but overhear. Am I allowed to say what I think you are not allowed to say?”

Me: “Sir, as long as you aren’t threatening or being vulgar, I am not legally required to stop you from saying anything.”

Man: “Excellent!” *Turns to the puppies’ owner* “You said you have other dogs, right? They are sending you enough medicine for all of them, but legally, they can’t say that is what they are doing. So, pay for the medication, take it home, and ‘spill’ it down the other dogs’ throats. I’m assuming they are all the same size and therefore should get the same dose.” *Turns back to me* “That’s right, right?”

Me: “Nobody who works here would ever tell you to administer medication to an animal it was not prescribed to. That would be illegal. But yes, if we were to send home medication for the other puppies, they would be getting the same dose.”

Owner: “Oh, wow. Oh, gosh, thank you so much. I’m going to write a review telling everyone how awesome you are to do this for me.”

Man: “NO, YOU ARE NOT! They are bending the law pretty far for you and your dogs. You can talk about how nice they are, how caring the doctor was, and how they found a treatment plan within your budget, but you will most certainly not say anything about them sending home medication for an animal they didn’t examine.”

Owner: “Oh, right. That makes sense. Thank you all so much!” *Pays and leaves*

Me: “Thanks for helping with that.”

Man: “Not a problem. I didn’t want the poor dogs to suffer from foolish human disease.”

The puppies all recovered and we helped the owner find good homes for all of them. We still see the six that stayed in the area regularly for vaccines and checkups.

Too Many Sprites Will Make You Giddy!

, , , | Legal | October 4, 2021

I am seventeen, working as a sacker and trash collector for a grocery store. It’s around 11:00 on a Friday night, and I am on my way home. It has been a long week and a long night. I still have homework to do. As I pass a street light I glance over at the passenger seat: NO school books. I panic and pull into the first parking lot with lights and search my car. Still no books.

I live twenty minutes out of town and am halfway home. As I am still not eighteen, I will cause my parents to be slightly miffed that I am late. I am thinking about this as I head back toward work. I miss my turn off the road I am on and make a three-point turn to head back to the intersection.

As I am getting there, a car approaching from the other side stops at the intersection. I am slightly confused. I look down to check that I do indeed have my blinker on. I do, so I flash my lights to let them know they can continue through. They flash theirs back and then they sit there. After about twenty seconds, I am like, “Look, I am running late and I do not have time for this,” and turn.

I get up to around thirty when the car — which turns out to be a police car — turns on his lights to pull me over.

Officer: “Where are you heading tonight?”

Me: “Back to work. I forgot my books in the locker.”

Officer: “Where do you work?”

I look down. I am wearing the company hat, the company vest, and, of all things, a name tag with the company name. When I look up, I say the name kind of slowly, as I seem to be dealing with someone who cannot read.

Officer: “What have you had to drink tonight?”

This is my senior year, last time I was at a party with beer was my freshman year. I fell asleep with my legs on the cooler, as then I could tell who was sober enough to drive me home, and I was never invited to another party. I was, however, offered money to drink as I was thought of as a bit crazy anyway and they wanted to see what I would do to me. I answer the only way a kid that has never had a problem with cops or drinking can.

Me: “I had a Sprite around ten.” 

Officer: *Long pause* “Are you trying to be smart with me, son?”

Me: “Smart with you? You asked what I had to drink tonight. I told you. Now, I am late getting home and need to get my books. As I have not done anything wrong — I wasn’t speeding, and I know my turn signal was on and you signaled me to turn — is there something else I can help you with?”

After running my license, he sent me on my way.

His Theft Was Only A Smashing Success For His Nose

, , , , , | Legal | September 24, 2021

One night, around midnight, I realized that I’d left a book in my truck, so I headed out to retrieve it. As I stepped out the door, I spotted someone trying to wiggle out from under my truck in my driveway. At first, I thought it was a dog or something, but then he shifted into the light enough for me to realize it was a man. I shouted, and he managed to wiggle his way out and try to run off, only to trip and slam face-first into the short brick wall that borders our yard. He managed to stagger up and vault the wall, running off, but he obviously broke his nose or something, given the blood splatter that was left on the wall where he hit.

I checked under my truck and quickly worked out he’d been trying to cut off the catalytic converter, leaving some damage to the exhaust. I managed to get that patched up, shuffled some things around so I had enough space to actually pull my truck into the garage, and felt that would be the end of it. I made a report to the police and moved on.

But then, around three days after it happened, a brick got thrown through my front window with a note tied to it, telling me that I would be in “big legal problems” if I didn’t pay for the “medical damages” I’d caused, and listing a PO box that I was supposed to send a check to.

Naturally, I did not do that. Instead, I called the police and provided them with the note as well as my suspicions about what it was regarding. And, it turns out, that was enough of a lead for them to track the guy down. They got me to come in to identify him, and he was apparently linked to several other thefts and break-ins in the area. So, off he went to jail.

But wait, it doesn’t stop there. About a month after all of this happened, I came out to find a paper taped to my front door. On it was a picture of a sad-looking kid and the sentence, “I hope u proudlee like that u make child cry for papa.” It took me a second to figure out what the h*** this was talking about, but once it clicked, I took a pen and wrote, “Very, very proudly,” on the bottom of the paper, and then left it taped on the outside of the brick wall, right about the point where the would-be thief broke his nose.

The paper was gone within a couple of days. I don’t know if one of the neighbors saw it and took it down, but I like to think that whoever posted it came by and got to see that I wasn’t shedding any tears that her “baby daddy” or whatever was in jail.

Don’t Sweat The Sweater

, , , , | Right | September 21, 2021

I’m a customer service manager on a very busy Saturday with callouts that have left us short two cashiers. We are processing returns and ringing people up to the best of our ability and trying to make it fast and friendly.

Our lines, even when they are long, don’t last more than fifteen minutes. We also have a separate line just to process returns quickly to take some of the strain off the main line.

A couple comes up complaining because they bought a sweater that wasn’t part of a promotion we are having.

Customer: “We waited thirty minutes in line and the cashier didn’t take the discount off this sweater!”

Coworker: “Not all sweaters are part of the promotion; it’s for ‘selected full-price sweaters.’”

Customer: “We want to talk to a manager!”

I’ve already overheard the conversation since I am ringing right next to them. I come over.

Customer: “If we don’t get the discount, we are going to return the sweater!”

Me: “Let’s return that for you, then.”

As I return back to my register, I hear:


I’m known for being incredibly accommodating and very friendly, but I’m not having any abuse towards me or my team, and I have little time to accommodate people who don’t deserve any of my friendliness.

Me: “So away you go, then!”

And away they went!

Yay, Bonus Bread!

, , , , , , | Working | September 18, 2021

I stopped at my favorite sandwich shop today and ordered my usual six-inch submarine-type sandwich. When I was handed the wrapped sandwich, it looked a LOT longer than six inches.

Me: “Is this really a six-inch sub? It looks more like a footlong.”

Server: “Yes, it is definitely a six-inch sub.”

When I got home, I measured the thing, and it was a bit over ten inches in length. It was a “whole loaf” rather than the usual loaf cut in half. However, upon opening the sandwich itself, I found that there were two inches of plain bread at each end. No filling. So, it was really a six-inch sandwich stuck in a ten-inch loaf, with an extra four inches of plain bread.

The “smaller” contents were quite good, anyway!