Take A 48-Hour Chill Pill

| IL, USA | Right | June 19, 2016

(I work at a very busy animal hospital’s oncology department. A client calls after having taken a lot of the doctor’s time that morning and making us run behind. I take the call, so the doctor can continue working on paperwork for her current patient.)

Customer: “Yeah, you guys didn’t give me enough d*** pills!”

Me: “I’m sorry about that. We have a newer person that filled your prescription, but I did double check her. How many pills did we send you with?”

Customer: “It’s supposed to be two weeks’ worth, but you only gave me eight pills!”

Me: *realizing where the confusion lies* “Oh! Actually, that’s right; you got eight pills because the medication is given every other day. We need to see [Dog] in two weeks, so you’ll only be giving seven doses. I wanted to make sure that you had an extra dose, just in case, so that’s why we filled eight pills.”

Client: “But it’s supposed to be for two weeks. Why are there only eight pills?”

Me: “Because in those two weeks, you’re only giving seven doses. It’s an every other day medication.”

Client: “I get that it’s every other day, but why did you only give me eight pills?”

Me: *trying a different tactic* “Every 48 hours you’ll give [Dog] a pill. This means that, when we see you and (Dog) in two weeks’ time, you’ll have given seven pills. The pill can make some dogs feel ill, so we want to make sure he tolerates it, because you’re not allowed to return medication. That’s why we send two weeks’ worth the first time we send it home.”

Client: “Then why are there eight pills?”

Me: “The eighth pill is just in case something happens to one of the pills. For example, should [Dog] chew on one, or if he spits it out, or you should drop it down the sink. All those things have happened before to people. ”

Client: “I know why there’s an extra pill! But you said you wanted to see [Dog] in TWO WEEKS. Why did you only give me seven pills?”

Me: “Because you’ll be giving seven doses in those two weeks.”

Client: “But [Doctor] said you’ll give me two weeks’ worth, fourteen days! But there’s only seven plus the extra one!”

Me: “If we sent home fourteen pills, then that would almost be enough for a month worth of medication-”

Client: “I KNOW WHY THERE’S NOT FOURTEEN PILLS! You said you you’re giving me two weeks’ worth and—”

Me: *finally feeling the last part of my brain melt, I calmly unleash a stream of reasons, hoping one will make sense to her* “Because it’s an every other day medication. In those two weeks, you’ll only be giving seven pills. We don’t want to send more in case (Dog) gets sick from it. There’s two weeks’ worth of pills filled since you’re doing it every other day. Every 48 hours. Seven total doses.”

Client: “But you said—” *huff of breath, phone clattering, and then a click*

(I’m dumbfounded, so I look at the phone for a moment, then silently hang up the phone.)

Doctor: *shocked* “Did she just hang up on you?”

Me: *head in my hands* “Yes.”

Doctor: *picks up the phone, starts dialing client’s number*

(I had to go check in another patient so I didn’t hear the call, but the doctor told me later that the client had finally realized what I’d been telling her, and it made sense. She felt stupid and just hung up, to stop wasting my time…)

Making A Dog’s Dinner Out Of It

| Chattanooga, TN, USA | Right | May 26, 2016

(It was a usual problem, client comes in with an adult dog that has been vomiting and having some diarrhea. I start to go over a few basic questions with him.)

Me: “So, has everything else been normal before this started? Nothing out of the ordinary?”

Client: “That’s right; it just started randomly yesterday.”

Me: “And there’s absolutely nothing he could have gotten into, like chemicals or sweets?”

Client: “Nope, not that I can think of.”

Me: “Okay, what kind of dog food does he eat?”

Client: “Oh, he doesn’t eat dog food.”

Me: “Oh? So you make his meals? Boiled chicken and the like?”

Client: “Not exactly. I feed him what he likes to eat.”

Me: “…and what might that be?”

Client: “Well, yesterday I gave him two blocks of Colby Jack cheese and some leftover chocolate donuts, and the day before he had a few chicken wings and some ice cream.”

Me: “…”

(Needless to say, we did some X-rays to make sure there were no chicken bones, gave the owner a list of things you should not feed your dog, and sent him home with some actual dog food.)

Dead Bird-Brained

| VA, USA | Right | May 6, 2016

(I work at an all species vet clinic. The receptionist pages back, in a worried tone, for a tech to come up to discuss issues with bird food with a client.)

Me: “I understand you have some questions about bird food?”

Client: “Yes! I keep this bag of chicken scratch in my barn and there’s a dead bird in it!”

Me: “Oh, my. That certainly isn’t right! I see the bag has a label from—”

Client: “Who put it there?”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Client: “Who put it there? Who’s trying to poison my chickens?”

Me: “I’m sure no one’s trying to poison your chickens, sir. It’s possible a bird flew in—”

Client: “You sell tainted food to get chickens sick. That’s how you make money!”

Me: “Sir, I can assure you we would not risk an animal’s health to make money. I see the bag is from [Farming Supply Company]; we do not even sell that food. It may be a quality control issue on their end, so I would definitely contact the company to report it. Their number is right here on the bag. I would not use this bag to feed your chickens.”

Client: “So, you didn’t put the sea bird there?”

Me: “No.”

Client: “Okay, have a nice day.”

Need Some Ma’am Malm

| MD, USA | Right | April 30, 2016

(I’m a technician, going over discharge instructions for a dog with an eye injury. I have a reputation for getting more and more polite the more difficult or foolish the clients become.)

Me: “So you’ll need to put these drops in his eye three times a day for the next two weeks, and make sure he wears his E-collar.”

Client: “Will it make him not want to eat?”

Me: “You can take the collar off while he’s eating, but put it right back on afterwards and don’t let him scratch the eye.”

Client: “No, the drops. Will they make him sick to his stomach?”

Me: “No, ma’am. They don’t cause nausea.”

Client: “Do they taste bad? Can I mix them with peanut butter? That’s what I do for his other pills.”

Me: “NO! Ma’am, these are EYE drops. He shouldn’t eat them. They go in his eye. It’s a topical medication.”

Client: “Ohhh. Do I put them in both eyes or just the squinty one?”

Me: “Just the squinty one, ma’am.”

Client: “Are you sure? What if his other eye gets squinty?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, I’m sure. He has a scratch on his eye. Those aren’t contagious. I promise.”

Client: “Well, I’ll put them in both eyes anyway, just in case.”

Me: *gives up* “Sure, ma’am. Just make sure to keep up with the drops in the affected eye for the full two weeks. If you run out early just come in and we’ll get you some more.”

(The client leaves, and the practice manager comes out from behind the desk where she’d been sitting trying not to laugh.)

Manager: “I bet [Veterinarian] five bucks she would be a seven Ma’am-er, at least!”

A Very Specific Need(le)

| Austin, TX, USA | Right | April 27, 2016

(I’m at the front counter of a small veterinary clinic when a young couple that I’ve never seen before come in, followed by a regular client.)

Me: “Hi, how can I help you?”

Man: “Yeah, I need to give my dog some medicine, but I don’t have a syringe. Can I buy a syringe?”

Me: “Sure, what size do you need?”

Man: “I just need a syringe!”

Me: “I understand. How much medicine is it that your dog needs? We have syringes that measure in tenth ml increments, and in larger sizes up to 60mls.”

Man: “Just sell me a syringe!”

Me: “Give me just a minute.”

(I go to the back and return with syringes in a variety of sizes. None of them have a needle attached.)

Me: “These are what we have; which one would you like?”

Man: “NO! I need a SYRINGE!” *gestures with his finger as if giving himself an IV injection in the arm*

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, I can’t sell needles.”

(The man leaves in a huff, the woman trails behind. Before they are even through the door, my regular client walks up, slams his hand down on the counter and says loudly:)

Regular: “What does it take to get some heroin in this place?”

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