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Grief Is A Deep Pool

, , , , , | Related | December 2, 2021

My grandmother recently fell and things are looking grim. It will probably be a matter of days. Despite my dad being her son, she didn’t appoint him as “next of kin.” Instead, my grandmother appointed her daughter as the first point of contact. This is fine; she could only list one and she had a great relationship with her daughter.

My grandmother passes at 6:00 am. My dad is a volunteer at the swimming club and his first lessons start at 8:00 am, and his first break is around 10:00 am. My family knows this; he’s been doing this for twenty years now. 

At 10:00 am, he checks his phone and sees a missed call. He calls back and gets my cousin on the line. He is informed that his mother passed away. My cousin then gives this gem.

Cousin: “We couldn’t reach you! Why couldn’t we reach you? Why didn’t you pick up?”

Dad: “I was in the pool.”

Cousin: “You should have had your phone with you; you knew Grandmother was doing bad.”

Dad: “I know, but I was in waist-deep water.”

Cousin: “You should have taken your phone with you!”

Dad changed the subject. My cousin was probably grieving, but it’s a bit silly to expect a swimming instructor, who is supposed to keep an eye on little children, to have their phone with them in waist-deep water.

About To Be Dis-Appointed, Part 7

, , , , | Right | November 18, 2021

I’m sitting in the waiting room at my dentist’s office. I’m the only one there, so it’s quiet, and the receptionist is just a few meters away, so I can hear her clearly. I also can’t really tune out other people’s conversations, so when she picks up the phone, I can’t help but overhear the following conversation, or at least her part of it.

It appears the caller wants to cancel his appointment, which is in about three hours, but he’s not really happy with the office policies.

Receptionist: “[Dentist Office], how may I help you?”


Receptionist: “All right, sir, but because you are cancelling your appointment less than twenty-four hours in advance, we will have to bill you for the time.”

She’s not talking about applying a cancellation fee, which I’ve never heard a Dutch dentist apply, but apparently, this is a thing in some other countries; she just means the standard consultation fee which he would’ve been billed for anyway, and which his insurance will most likely cover.

Having health insurance is mandatory in the Netherlands, and people get an allowance from the government to help pay for it, so it’s not like she’s saying he’s going to lose more money than he would’ve otherwise.

There is a pause but with some irate muttering becoming audible even to me.

Receptionist: “Because we’ve scheduled an amount of time for you so the dentist can see you, and we can’t reschedule this on such short notice, so during what would be your appointment, the dentist can’t see other patients, meaning you still take up his time. That’s why we’ll still have to bill you for it. That’s just standard policy, sir.”

It sounds reasonable to me, but apparently not to the caller.

Receptionist: *More firmly now* “Yes, sir, we will bill you for it.”


Receptionist: *Starting to sound a little exasperated* “Because ‘I don’t feel like it’ is not a good enough excuse, sir.”

Longer pause.

Receptionist: “Yes, we will bill you for it.” *Short pause, like she’s cutting him off* “Yes, we will.”


Receptionist: *Suddenly a lot more cheerful* “All right, then, sir, so we will see you at three o’clock this afternoon? Okay, good, see you then. Have a nice day!”

She hangs up, bursts out laughing, and walks over to the open door nearby.

Receptionist: “Did you get that?”

Person In Other Room: *Also laughing* “Yes! Did he really want to cancel because he wasn’t in the mood?”

At that point, I was called up for my own appointment, so I left the receptionist laughing with her colleague. I was chuckling all afternoon, but I was also impressed with how deftly she handled that.

About To Be Dis-Appointed, Part 6
About To Be Dis-Appointed, Part 5
About To Be Dis-Appointed, Part 4
About To Be Dis-Appointed, Part 3
About To Be Dis-Appointed, Part 2

To Be Fair, Ice Cream Always Makes Me Thirsty

, , , , | Working | October 27, 2021

It’s very warm out and I just got off work, so I decide to get a small treat for myself and my family and stop by a local fast food place.

Me: “Hi! Could I get three [specialty flavour] milkshakes?”

Cashier: “Sure! Would you like to have a drink with that?”

Half a second passes, in which both of us process what she just said, before she turns beet red.

Cashier: “I’m so sorry, I was on autopilot. It just popped out!”

Luckily, she was able to laugh about it with me when I cracked up!

Sounds Like They Need Life Insurance, Too

, , , , | Right | October 20, 2021

I work in customer service for a healthcare insurance company. Healthcare insurance is mandatory in the Netherlands, so everyone has it — except if you object because of religious reasons, but then you have to pay for every form of care yourself, which is extremely expensive.

Because it is mandatory, we get a lot of calls from people asking what actually gets covered and what doesn’t get covered by their insurance, as they haven’t really looked it up. A lot of weird things get covered at this time, including stuff like reincarnation therapy and bleaching your teeth, so nothing really surprises me.

Me: “Hi, [Healthcare Insurance Company]. What can I help you with?”

Caller: “Hi. I was wondering if installing a new cover for my chair will get covered by my insurance? I pay a lot, you know.”

I look it up in the system, and guess what, there is actually a way to get this compensated.

Me: “Do you perhaps need a chair cover that’s made of anti-allergic material? Because that would get covered as long as you can provide a doctor’s note showing you are extremely or deathly allergic to certain materials and need a special cover.”

Caller: “No, I am not. The chair is dirty and needs a new cover.”

Me: “Ah, I’m afraid that won’t be covered by healthcare insurance. I’m sorry.”

The caller suddenly starts screaming at the top of her lungs.

Caller: “You are killing my son! You are killing him!

Me: “I’m sorry, is your son allergic? I don’t understand—”

Caller: “My son won’t eat if he’s sitting on a dirty f****** chair! If he doesn’t eat, he dies! You’re killing him!

Me: “Um… I…”

Caller: “I cannot change the chair cover myself as I am rheumatic, so you had better make sure I will get a new cover compensated and installed!”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that, ma’am, but it would only get covered if you or your son were extremely or deadly allergic to—”

Caller:No! You will get this compensated for me!”

Me: “I’m really sorry, but that’s not possible. I don’t want to sound rude, but isn’t it possible to ask a friend or family member to change—”

Caller:You are the reason my son will be dead soon! You are a child killer! I hope you die!*Click*

Either teach your son that sitting on a dirty chair is no reason to stop eating or ask someone else to change the cover for you. Let him sit on the couch, instead, or buy a new chair. There are so many solutions; wishing someone dead is not one of them!

Email Fail: The Golden Years

, , , | Right | October 19, 2021

One of my jobs is taking in email addresses sent in by the clients of a pension fund. Obviously, not every client has an email address. Some people, after all, don’t own a computer, especially some of the elderly. These are some of the replies about this.

Client #1: “I cannot afford an email address on my pension!”

Client #2: “Are you mad? You really think I want a computer? There is so much hacking! Computers can’t be trusted!”

Client #3: “I don’t own a computer! I’m over seventy! Show some respect to elder people!”

I’d say that it would be far more disrespectful to automatically assume that all people over seventy do not own a computer, but who am I to judge?

Email Fail, Part 34
Email Fail, Part 33
Email Fail, Part 32
Email Fail, Part 31
Email Fail, Part 30