Their Relationship Must Be Deafeningly Quiet

, , , , | Right | July 30, 2021

Call Center, Minnesota, USAI am part of a group that does volunteer work. We had an event coming up, and for the first time, I was calling members to ask them to help out. It went really well until I tried to call this one guy. A woman picks up the phone.

Woman: “Hello?”

Me: “Hi. I am [My Name] from [Volunteer Group]. May I please speak with [Man]?”

Woman: “What?”

Me: *Slightly louder* “Umm, hello! I am [My Name] from [Volunteer Group]. May I please speak with [Man]?”

Woman: *Calling out LOUDLY* “[Man]! Someone’s on the phone for you!”

Man: *Distant but still loud* “WHAT?!”

Woman: “Someone’s on the phone!”

Man: “WHAT?!”

Woman: “THE PHONE!”

Man: “WHO IS IT?”

Woman: “It’s someone from [Volunteer Group]!”

Man: “WHAT?!”

Woman: “PUT YOUR HEARING AIDS IN!”

Man: “THEY ARE IN! WHAT IS IT?”

Woman: “Come answer the phone!”

Man: “WHAT?!”

They went back and forth like this for several more minutes, getting louder and louder, arguing among other things about HER needing hearing aids, too. I finally just gave up and moved on to the next volunteer.

I mentioned this at our next meeting and everyone acknowledged this couple are both quite hard of hearing and don’t like to admit it.

1 Thumbs
219

Do You Know What “Volunteer” Means?

, , , , , , | Healthy | July 3, 2021

I used to take part in clinical trials for a little extra cash. The trials were easy; they usually involved visiting the clinic for about an hour a day over a week, testing different lotions on our legs to see how well they moisturized. Everyone who participated had to fill out a form at the very beginning. Apart from the usual disclaimers, it said that we were volunteers and we would be paid a certain amount of money for our time. As far as I was concerned, I was being paid grocery money to do next to nothing, and I was glad for the opportunity.

One day, about halfway through the trial, one of the other participants suddenly spoke up.

Participant: *Loudly* “You know what I just realized? We’re only being paid [total] for [time] hours. That’s not even minimum wage!”

She looked around the room with a self-satisfied expression, obviously expecting us to agree with her. No one said anything. In fact, we all pretty much pretended that we hadn’t heard her. Irritated by the lack of response, she said:

Participant: *Even more loudly* “They’re taking advantage of us! We should ask for more money!”

Along came a clinic employee, and I inwardly cringed. I’d done several of these trials, and I’d seen this lady before. She had NO tolerance for fools.

Employee: “I understand that you have a complaint?”

Participant: “Uh… Well, you’re not even paying us minimum wage.”

Employee: “That’s right. Remember that form you signed which said that you’re a volunteer? Volunteers, as a rule, don’t get paid, but we are paying you [total].”

Participant: “…”

Employee: “So. Do you still have a complaint?”

Participant: *Meekly* “No.”

Employee: “Good.”

She walked away, and I didn’t hear another peep from that participant.

1 Thumbs
527

Don’t Leaf Them Unattended

, , , , , | Working | May 25, 2021

About ten years ago, my mum got involved with one of the local parties, and when the local election rolled around she got involved in delivering their leaflets. Predictably, she got my step-sister and me to help. So, out we went, and as teenagers, we got bored and looked to cause some mischief.

We noticed another party had been round earlier and some of their leaflets were still stuck in the letterboxes along our route, so we came up with a competition to keep us entertained: who could grab the most of the other party’s leaflets out of the letterboxes? It kept us entertained until we finished our piles of leaflets and we headed home.

Of course, my mum saw us carrying the other leaflets and gave a lecture about democracy, blah, blah, blah.

A couple of days later at the victory party, my mum was talking to the local councillor and she told him this story. He laughed and said, “Your girls have a better idea of how democracy works than you do.”

1 Thumbs
319

There’s Strengthening Your Immune System And Then There’s This

, , , , , , , | Healthy | February 17, 2021

I’m a volunteer marshall. I do anything required at a vaccination site to make things go smoothly, except preparing and giving the actual injections, though I have applied to be trained to do that, too!

The tested vaccine protocol for both vaccines currently on offer in the UK is two doses, three weeks apart. The government has decided to focus on getting as many people their first vaccination as soon as possible, so patients are being told to wait twelve weeks for their second vaccination. I was vaccinated three weeks ago, which means I am ready for a second shot, but I probably won’t be called before Easter; it’s the end of January now. However, I am working on the front line, so I will take it if they offer it to me. Before administering the vaccine, they ask a series of screening questions — allergies, are you well today, etc. — and one of them is, “Have you had a vaccination of any kind in the last seven days?”

I’ve arrived late for my shift at a site I haven’t visited before. I go to the check-in desk where patients go when they arrive to pick a fresh mask up before finding something to do.

I take a mask from a box on the table and indicate my hi-viz.

Me: “Thanks. I’m a volunteer; I have just arrived.”

Admin: “Great, just take a seat there.”

I sit in front of a nurse, thinking she is going to deploy me.

Nurse: “What’s your date of birth and NHS number?”

Me: “What’s happening here?!”

Nurse: “Don’t worry; I’m not going to give you an injection.”

Phew! She asks a few more questions and I see where this is going. 

Me: “You are not going to give me an injection, but after this, someone else will?”

Nurse: “That’s right.”

Me: “I had the [Company #1] vaccine on the eighth.”

Nurse: “That’s fine; it’s more than seven days ago.”

Me: “What vaccine are you using today?”

Nurse: “[Company #2].”

Me: “But I had the [Company #1]!”

It took a few more moments to work it out. It had been a long day, and she had asked these questions a lot. There was much laughter as the people nearby had wondered why I kept saying [Company #1]! If I had been at the end of my shift and as much on autopilot as she was, I might have been an n=1 study of the effects of mixing two vaccines.

I guess it’s a reminder to own your own healthcare.

1 Thumbs
226

Welcome To Idiotshire, Population: Me

, , , , , , , | Working | January 19, 2021

The animal rescue/sanctuary charity I volunteer with also serves as the helpline for a national bird of prey charity. We only have the resources to go to local cases but have a directory of rehabilitators across the UK so we can put callers in contact with someone close to them. For those unfamiliar with the UK’s counties, many are named after the most important city in them — Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Staffordshire, etc.

In this instance, I’m helping a caller who came across a wounded peregrine falcon and I have reached the stage of finding someone who can help them.

Me: “All right, let’s see if we can find anyone close by. Whereabouts are you?”

Caller: “I’m in Cambridge.”

Since this is one such city as I mentioned before, this would be enough for most people to go on. But in this case, my brain completely fails me and I respond before I can stop myself.

Me: “Right. My geography’s not very good; what county is that?”

There’s a slight pause, just long enough for it to sink in.

Caller: “Cambridgeshire.”

Unsurprisingly, the feeling of idiocy strikes me hard as I realise how incompetent I sound and I try to think of something to say to get things back on track.

Me: “I rest my case.”

For what it’s worth, that did get a chuckle out of her and helped lighten the mood of an otherwise serious call. Mercifully, I was able to find a rescue center close by that the caller could take the bird to for treatment, without even forgetting the layout of my own country again!

1 Thumbs
307