When The Patient Isn’t, Part 2

, , , , | Right | May 6, 2021

I’m billing a patient who has seen two of our doctors. She has a referral for one of them but we’re waiting for the other to fax across the referral for the other.

Me: “I’ll call them to follow up on it.”

Patient: “Could you call them now, while I’m still here?”

I pick up the phone and start dialing.

Patient: “Are you calling them?”

I indicated that I am. As if I would make an unrelated phone call while still serving her! A few minutes pass.

Patient: “Do you need their number?”

Me: “I’m on hold with them.”

It gets to about ten minutes on hold.

Patient: “Are you sure you’ve called the right number?”

Me: “The hold message says I’ve called the right clinic.”

Then, she left just before I finally spoke to the receptionist to get the referral sent across!

When The Patient Isn’t

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A Sade Pleet With A Side Of Haggis

, , , , , , | Working | April 6, 2021

I’m from England. This was one of a string of temporary jobs I had while travelling a few years back. I’m selling people pies, sandwiches, and tea as normal when a lady in a nurse’s uniform asks me a question.

Nurse: “Can I have a sade pleet, please?”

Me: “A what?”

Nurse: “A sade pleet.”

I’m completely confused.

Me: “I beg your pardon?

Nurse: “A sade pleet!”

Me: “Er…”

I gesture at the array of food, drinks, and other assorted cafeteria-related items on the counter between us.

Me: “Ma’am, if you can see one on here, please grab one!”

The nurse picks up a small plate from a pile in front of me and shakes it.

Nurse: “A sade pleet! A SADE PLEET!”

It’s at this point that I finally twig that I’m listening to someone with a distinct Scottish accent, which I haven’t heard in some months and wasn’t expecting to hear at all while working in a hospital cafeteria in Australia. She’s asking if she can have a side plate. I laugh with some relief.

Me: “Beg pardon, ma’am, I wasn’t at all expecting to hear a Scottish accent here! Yes, of course, please take a plate, and sorry about that!”

Thankfully, she took it in good grace, headed off with her sade pleet, and, I hope, thoroughly enjoyed her break.

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Some People Just Want To Watch The World Burn, Part 5

, , , , , | Right | April 5, 2021

I work in a gift shop where we sell, among other things, a variety of scented products like lotions and candles. It’s a small shop, so the smell of these products is noticeable, but I wouldn’t say it’s overwhelming.

My coworker is dusting some shelves and I’m helping someone out at the till. An older man comes in. As soon as I’m done ringing my customer out, the man comes up to me, practically vibrating with indignation.

Customer: “Excuse me!”

Me: “How can I help you?”

Customer: “I just wanted to say that I think it smells terrible in here!”

Me: “Pardon me?”

Customer: “It’s perfumed; it’s not natural air. I think it’s foul!”

He looks at me defiantly with his hands on his hips, clearly waiting for a response.

Me: “That’s… um… I’m… sorry you feel that way?”

He continues to glare at me. 

Me: “Was there something I could help you with, sir?”

Customer: “You should stop using whatever godawful stuff makes it smell like that!”

Me: “It’s not something we add on purpose, sir. We sell some scented products, so the smell of those is kind of generally around. For example, right now you’re standing next to some new soaps we just got in.”

Customer: “Hah!”

With that, he turns around and stomps out of the shop.

Coworker: “He just waited in line and stayed here longer to tell you how much he hates it in here?”

Me: “I’m going on my break.”

Some People Just Want To Watch The World Burn, Part 4
Some People Just Want To Watch The World Burn, Part 3
Some People Just Want To Watch The World Burn, Part 2
Some People Just Want To Watch The World Burn

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This Customer Is A Wild Ride

, , , | Right | March 30, 2021

I’m working in an optical store in a shopping centre when a lady comes in looking at glasses.

A few minutes later, a kid rides in on his bike, talks to the lady — obviously his mother — and rides the bike around the displays in the store. I approach them.

Me: “I’m sorry, but we can’t have a bike in the store or inside the shopping centre. I’ll have to ask that your son keeps his bike outside. Otherwise, is there anything I can help with?”

The lady glares at me and replies snarkily.

Customer: “Well, not anymore!”

She stormed off, even taking the time to look back over her shoulder to give me a look that would boil steel.

Who’d have thought that an optometry store doesn’t double as a BMX track?

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The Bell Didn’t Go Off But The Lightbulb Did

, , , , , | Right | March 28, 2021

I’m sitting at the spare parts counter of my store, printing and sorting tickets for an upcoming catalogue. Since I cannot see behind me and she moves so quietly, I do not hear this customer as she approaches. What alerts me to her presence is her reading a sign above my head out loud.

Customer: “’Please ring the bell for assistance.’”

I spin around in my chair.

Me: “I’m so sorry; I didn’t see you.”

Customer: “That’s all right. Do I need to ring the bell?”

Me: “No, no need.”

Customer: “Why not? The sign says to ring the bell.”

Me: “But I’m already here?”

The lightbulb goes off.

Customer: “Oh, my goodness, I just realised what I said.”

Nothing crazy, just a bit of light-hearted interaction; it makes a nice change when you work in retail!

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