A Mite-y Big Problem

| NY, USA | Right | April 8, 2016

(I work in an animal hospital as a receptionist, and answer a phone call.)

Me: “[Veterinary Hospital]. This is [My Name] speaking. How may I help you?”

Customer: “Yes. I came there a few years ago with my cat. I also have pet rats and I think I got mites from them. I have lots of bites on me and my skin is very itchy. My dermatologist told me to bring a sample of the bugs to a vet to have them looked at under a high powered microscope.”

(I really wish I could say no humans ever came to us or called us wanting to be treated, and that this man was the first, but I sadly cannot.)

Me: “Oh, umm… well, sir, firstly, we do not treat humans—”

Customer: “I know! I don’t want you to TREAT me. I just want you to look at the mites under a high powered microscope and tell me what kind they are so my dermatologist can treat me!”

Me: “I understand sir, but the veterinarian won’t—”

Customer: “Yes, I know. I just need you to look at them under—”

Me: “I know, sir. But the vet doesn’t treat or research for humans in any way.”

Customer: “But I got them from my pet rats.”

Me: “I understand. But regardless of where you believe they came from, the vet will not look at them. Animal mites do not remain on humans. And your dermatologist would not send you to a vet, because he or she knows vets do not see humans, and he or she should have the means to look at your mites or send them out to be looked at.”

(This goes on for several minutes, and to get him to hang up, I say I’ll give his name and number to the vet, but tell him not to expect a call because she doesn’t work with people. Fast forward to six hours later, when we’re half an hour past closing time, but cannot lock the doors yet because the last appointment is still in the building. A greasy looking man walks in, clothes dirty and disheveled, and he smells faintly of alcohol.)

Customer: “I called earlier to have the doctor look at my mites with a high powered microscope.”

Me: “Yes sir, you spoke to me. I told you not to come in, and that we won’t look at the mites. And we closed half an hour ago so there’s nothing else I can do for you right now.”

Customer: “Is there a school around here where I can use a high powered microscope? Or can you look at the mites for me?”

Me: “No, sir. I don’t know any schools that will allow that, and nor will I look at the mites. I have to ask you to leave, and contact a human doctor.”

(It took a while, but he FINALLY left, still muttering about his pet rats, mites and high powered microscopes.)

Take A Shot At Being Nice

| NY, USA | Right | April 8, 2016

(I answer the phone at the animal hospital I work at.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Location] Animal Hospital. This is [My Name] speaking. How may I help you?”

Customer: “Yes, this is [Customer]; I’m calling to find out what shots my cat needs to be up to date.”

Me: “Of course, let me pull up your account and check that for you.”

(I enter the information, pulling up the cat’s record and read off the shots the cat is due for, and it goes smoothly until we get to the FVRCP vaccine, which is also called distemper. Despite what the name may sound like, it is a vaccine for feline panleukopenia virus, an infection (there is also a canine version).)

Customer: “So the distemper shot… that will make my cat nicer?”

Me: “Ah, no, ma’am. The vaccine doesn’t affect behavior or temperament. It’s to prevent a type of virus.”

(Sadly we get asked that A LOT.)

Wish You Could Vet The Customers, Part 2

, | Argentina | Right | March 18, 2016

(I am at a pet shop that has as a veterinary clinic in the back, looking for a kennel for my dog. A lady is at the counter complaining to the only employee there, so he can’t come help me, but I’m no hurry, so I wait.)

Lady: “But my dog won’t eat this food. Don’t you have [Brand #1]?”

Employee: “Sorry, ma’am, we only have this [Brand #2].”

Lady: “But he won’t eat it! Is there any way to make him eat it?”

Employee: “He might need time to get used to it.”

Lady: “But even if I give it to him, he won’t eat it!”

(This goes on for about five minutes, with the employee telling her there’s nothing to be done if the dog doesn’t want that food and the lady complaining because they don’t have the brand she always takes and asking if there’s a way to get her dog to eat the food. Finally, the lady changes tactic.)

Lady: “I want to speak with [Vet]. Maybe she’ll know a way to make him eat it.”

Employee: “Sorry, she isn’t here now, but the other doctor is in.”

(The other doctor is a tall, sixty-year-old man with a grey beard who clearly doesn’t appreciate being called from the back to attend to this issue, but he speaks to the lady nonetheless.)

Vet: “What seems to be the problem?”

Lady: “Well, you don’t have [Brand #1], but my dog doesn’t like [Brand #2] and he won’t eat it…”

(Meanwhile, the employee comes to show me the kennels and I pick one. All the time the lady keeps arguing with the vet about ways to make her dog eat the food.)

Vet: *visibly tired of her insistence* “Look, the only way to make him eat it is if you starve him until he has no more choice than to eat it.”

Lady: *she doesn’t seem very happy with this reply, but she takes the dog food to the counter to pay for it* “Are you sure you are a vet? I have never seen you here before.”

Vet: “Yes, ma’am, I have been for forty years. I just stay in the back most of the time.”

Lady: “Why?”

Vet: “Because I’m too old for this s***.”

 

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Problem Numero Uno

| Colorado Springs, CO, USA | Working | March 7, 2016

Receptionist: “[My Name], can you take a phone call? I don’t think this lady speaks English.”

Me: “Hola. Soy [My Name], una de las enfermeras. En que puedo ayudarle?” *Hi. I’m [My Name], one of the nurses. How can I help you?*

Client: “Tengo unas preguntas… Cuanto cuesta una consulta?” *I have some questions. How much does a consult cost?*

Me: “Con vacunas, cuesta cuarenta y cuatro dolares. Sin vacunas, cuesta quince y quinto dolares.” *With vaccines, it costs $44. Without vaccines, it costs fifteen and fifth dollars*

Client: *switching to English* “Wait… what?!”

Me: “Uhh… fifty five.”

Client: “Oh.”

(I don’t know why I have such a hard time with numbers!)

But There’s A Cat(ch)

| Winter Haven, FL, USA | Right | March 1, 2016

(I’m a receptionist at an animal hospital. Sometimes we house stray dogs and cats for a while until we can find them forever homes, and people come in frequently asking about any strays we may have. I see a man walk in, and by the way he’s grinning to himself in the corner, I can already tell he’s slightly strange.)

Me: “Good morning. How can I help you?”

Man: “Hello. You may not know me, but I’m a professional cat sitter.”

Me: *trying not to laugh* “All right. I can honestly say I’ve never heard of that before. Is there anything I can help you with?”

Man: “Well, my b**** of an ex-wife divorced me and took all my cats, so now I only get to see them on the weekends. I was wondering if you had any cats for adoption that I can keep for five days and bring back.”

Me: *it takes me a few seconds to figure out how to answer* “So… you want to adopt one of our cats for five days and bring her back on the weekends?”

Man: *completely serious* “That’s right.”

Me: “Well, I’m sorry. If you adopt one of our cats, you’d have to keep them.”

Man: “That’s what I thought you’d say. Thanks anyway.”

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