Back Pain Sufferers, There Is Hope!

, , , , | Healthy | May 6, 2021

I’m twenty. For the past few months, I’ve been getting experience in my major field by working long hours in a lab, counting out microscopic worms on Petri dishes. It’s not difficult or too taxing, but I’ve noticed lately that the way I have to sit to reach the scopes has triggered some lower back pain around the center of my hips. I try to ignore it for about three weeks, as my father just laughs when I mention it and I’m worried that my doctor, the pediatrician I’ve seen since birth, will do the same because of my young age and lack of strenuous activity.

It gets to the point that I can barely walk and every few seconds, a shooting pain jumps down from my back to the front of my knee. It’s beyond anything I’ve ever felt, before or since. The spasms keep me at night, and when I wake up one morning to discover that I can’t lean forward or backward more than a few millimeters, I finally go in to see the doctor. As my main doctor isn’t in that day, I’m paired with a new doctor in the practice I’ve never met before. She’s much younger than the others I’ve seen and is incredibly pleasant.

Doctor: “So, I’ve heard you’ve been having back spasms?”

Me: “Yeah. I know, I know, I’m too young to have a back problem. I haven’t had any big jolts to the system or anything, nothing more stressful than sitting in a lab all day, but no matter what I do, I can’t shake this. I didn’t want to bother you guys during the flu season with what’s probably just a stupid pulled muscle but I haven’t slept for two nights now. Laying down or sitting up seems to make it worse, and the over-the-counter painkillers don’t put a dent in it.”

Doctor: “Hey, it’s no problem at all! In fact, I wish you had come in a bit sooner! Back spasms can be really serious, so let’s see if we can figure this out.”

The doctor chats with me about what I’ve done so far to ease the pain and what showed any improvement or made it worse and puts me through some simple range of movement exercises

Doctor: “Okay, I’m going to do a few little tests that should confirm my suspicions about this. I’m going to be putting my thumbs at those little dimples you get at your lower back, okay? Just tell me if it hurts, and which side hurts most.”

I feel something akin to a nail being driven into the area she’s touching.

Me: “Holy moth— Left! Left side! Haha, ouch, Doc.”

Doctor: “Sorry! Sorry, just one more. Pop up there, lay down, and cross your right ankle over your left knee.”

When I lay down, my entire pelvis should be an inch closer to the ground than it is, and I mention it to her.

Doctor: “That’s normal if this last one gives us a positive sign. When I push down on your right knee here, is there—”

Me:Pain?! Yes. Yes, there is.”

Doctor: “Positive sign! With how long you’ve let this go, it may be too tight for me to fix this here without you doing some home stretches first, but I’ll give it a shot if you’d like?”

Me: “Please, yes. Anything. Feed me to a lion if it would make this stop hurting so much.”

The doctor moves my left leg off the table to hang down the side and shifts my body so my hip also hangs off and instructs me to push up against her downward force on my left knee. My pelvic area makes an ungodly loud cracking sound that can probably be heard in the lobby as it feels like my entire pelvis drops down that missing inch. I fully expect extreme pain.

Me: “AAAGH— Oh, hang on.”

I sit up without difficulty.

Me: “Holy crap. It’s a little sore, but holy crap! You’re a miracle worker! What did you do?! I could kiss you right now!”

Doctor: *Laughing* “I put your sacroiliac joint back in alignment. It’s common for women to have problems with it, though it’s usually after childbirth or an impact accident like a car crash.”

Me: “Yeesh, no chance of that here, and I’ve never been in a wreck.”

Doctor: “Well, it’s unusual, but long periods of sitting in some positions can stress the ligaments and allow the joint to move out of alignment bit by bit. Please, if it ever starts to flare up again, don’t wait so long to come in! It should be manageable with targeted stretching exercises, and I’ll grab you our printout of the ones that should help, but don’t let it get this out of control next time!”

The next day, after a very good night’s sleep, I wrote two letters: one to the head of the clinic commending the doctor for her quick diagnosis and solution, and another to the doctor herself thanking her profusely for taking me seriously right off the bat and being so delightfully friendly during the whole appointment, despite it being a last-minute walk-in. I delivered them with snacks and chocolates for the staff and thoroughly enjoyed showing them how I could once again move without pain. I had to leave their practice once I aged out earlier this year, but I’ve never had a better experience with any other doctor.

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Sadly, This Is Very Regular

, , , , | Right | May 6, 2021

I’m working at an airport café.

Me: “We have Swiss, American, and pepper jack cheese. Which would you like?”

Customers: “Oh, just regular.”

Me: “All right, and how would you like your eggs?”

Customers: “Just regular eggs is fine.”

Me: “All right, and that comes with toast. Would you like wheat or white?”

Customer: “What’s wheat or white? Just regular toast is fine.”

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A Laundry-List Of Checkout Demands

, , , | Right | May 5, 2021

The hotel has a texting service where the person at the front desk can get text messages over the computer from guests who need things or have questions.

I’m working the evening shift after my coworker. She got a message from a guest who was complaining because his room was directly above the laundry room, and the washing machines can cause the floors above to vibrate when they’re running. Some guests don’t even notice it, but this guy was upset about it. She asked him if we could do anything for him as an apology, but he didn’t get back to her. She let me know about him before she left, and I got on with my shift.

Several hours later, the dude comes down to the desk.

Guest: “Hey, I was texting [Coworker] earlier today about the washing machine shaking my room.”

Me: “Oh, yes, I saw that. We are very sorry about the inconvenience. Is there anything I can do to make it better for you? We have earplugs, or I can move you to another room.”

Guest: “No, no, I don’t want any of that. I want you to give me a 3:00 pm checkout tomorrow.”

Me: “I can certainly promise you a 1:00 pm checkout tonight, and then if you call down in the morning they can see about extending it to 2:00 pm if that works for housekeeping. But we don’t do checkouts as late as 3:00 pm; we usually—”

Guest: “But I’m above the laundry room!”

Me: “Yes, sir, I understand. But our rule is that we offer 1:00 pm checkouts the night before, and you may try to extend to two tomorrow morning, but I cannot give you a 3:00 pm checkout tomorrow. It is not allowed. We have to give housekeeping enough time to clean the rooms and our check-in is at three. If I let you check out at three, it is impossible for your room to be ready for incoming guests.”

Guest: “Oh, okay. Fine, then. I’ll take the 1:00 pm checkout, then. And the 2:00 pm tomorrow.”

I write his room down on the late checkout sheet and leave a note that he will probably be asking for a 2:00 pm checkout in the morning.

Me: “Of course, sir. Please let us know if you need anything else.”

He walks off and I assume that’s the end of it. I can see him off in the corner talking to his girlfriend or wife, and I think I hear her say something along the lines of, “Maybe you just got the wrong person,” but I’m busy with other guests so I ignore them, and eventually, they walk off toward the rooms.

About an hour later, I get a message from him on our texting service.

Guest: “[Coworker], I’d like a late checkout for tomorrow at 3:00 pm. The lady at the desk said we could only do 1:00 pm, though.”

I stare at the screen in shock.

Me: “Sir, this is the person at the desk that you just talked to. [Coworker] will not be back into work until 7:00 am tomorrow. If you want to ask her then for a 2:00 pm checkout, I am sure she will be happy to help you, but as I said before, we do not do 3:00 pm checkouts. [My Name], Guest Services.”

There is a long pause before his reply comes through.

Guest: “Sounds good. Thanks, [My Name].”

Me: “Of course, sir. Have a good night! [My Name], Guest Services.”

My coworker and I had a good laugh about him assuming that she just works all day answering questions over the computer, and about him trying to tattle about me to her. He got his 2:00 pm checkout and not a minute longer.

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Backpack Attack

, , , | Right | May 5, 2021

I’m walking toward our back room to grab some plastic bags for the registers when my coworker grabs me and pulls me aside. He noticed a customer shopping in the men’s clothing who has a backpack on. We don’t allow backpacks inside our store to prevent shoplifting, and we have clear signs letting customers know of our policy.

Me: “How are you doing today, sir?”

Customer: “I’m doing fine.”

Me: “That’s great to hear! I just want to let you know that our store doesn’t allow backpacks inside for security reasons. I don’t think you’re going to steal from us, but I have to follow store policy. If you want, I can take your backpack up front behind the register and bring you back a ticket for it so you can keep shopping.”

Customer: “No, that’s okay. I’ll just leave.”

Me: “Okay. I’m sorry to hear that.”

Customer: “So that’s gonna be your reaction?”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Customer: “You’re just gonna let me walk out of here? You’re willing to lose a sale over my backpack?”

Me: “Unfortunately, sir, as I’ve already explained, we don’t allow backpacks in our store. I’d be happy to take it up front for you if you want to keep shopping, but if not, you will need to leave.”

Customer: “That’s f****** stupid! You’re willing to lose my money because of a f****** backpack?! That’s a stupid-a** policy!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, I am not the person who sets policy.”

I spot my manager, who is walking toward us carrying a stack of laptops.

Me: “If you would like to speak to a manager about this, my manager is coming toward us.” *To my manager* “This customer would like to speak with you.”

I take the laptops from her and carry them up front to our electronics case while she talks to the customer. I run back and grab the bags I need and bring them to the other cashiers. As I’m refilling the bag dispenser at my register nearest the entrance, the customer walks by me rather quickly. 

Customer: *Flipping me off* “F*** you, man! You’re an a**hole. I hope you’re happy now that you’ve lost my f****** business and I’m never coming back to this f****** s*** store ever again.”

He stormed out, still swearing up and down.

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Her Head Is Doing Yours In

, , , , , | Right | May 5, 2021

Me: “Your total is $96.37.”

Customer: “But the total was $70 in my head!”

I go over her purchases with her to make sure everything rang up correctly; it did.

Customer: “But it was only $70 in my head!”

I go over the receipt with her again, adding everything out loud.

Customer: “I don’t understand why it’s so much; it was only $70 in my head!”

I pull out my phone calculator and calculate everything again one by one and add the tax. The calculator, of course, shows the same total as the register.

Customer: “But it was only $70 in my head!”

I just shrugged, as there was really nothing else I could do, and she left.

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