Not Keeping Their Cool Over The Cooler

, , , , | Right | September 4, 2018

(I am working a sandwich shift at a high-end retailer. Basically, I closed the night before and I’m opening the next morning. Therefore, I’m more aware about what has been going on in the store, but also more sleepy. We serve upper-class individuals, and right now we are selling a lot of holiday-themed items. I come up to customer who is looking around a bit confused.)

Me: “Hello, ma’am. Are you finding everything you’re looking for today?”

Woman: “Well, I wanted this cooler that I saw a few days ago; it was big and red.”

Me: “Ah, the picnic cooler. I apologize, but we sold out of those last night.”

Woman: “But they were here yesterday.”

Me: “Yes, we sold out of our entire stock last night.”

Woman: “So, you don’t have any more in stock?”

Me: “At this particular store we do not. I know because I did a check last night and they said that we did not have any more. There are some coming in after the holiday.”

Woman: “That’s not acceptable; I need one of those for tomorrow.”

Me: “Well, we can order them to be shipped to your house, which you’ll get free shipping for, since we didn’t have them in stock, or I can check local stores which have them.”

Woman: “Okay, search which stores have them.”

Me: “Okay, so [Nearest Store] has six in stock. They are about twenty minutes’ drive a—”

Woman: “I don’t have time to go there; do you send them between the stores?”

Me: “No, but I can run a back order from the warehouse.”

Woman: “No, I need you to send someone out there to pick two up for me and come back and bring them to me.”

Me: “We… don’t do that.”

Woman: “Well, I don’t see why you don’t have those in stock. I wanted to buy one and you should have saved it for me.”

Me: “We can’t have saved it for you if you didn’t order it for pick up. Someone else saw it and they bought the last available ones.”

Woman: “But I didn’t buy it.”

Me: “Okay, but somebody else did last night.”

Woman: “But it wasn’t me.”

Me: “That’s correct; it wasn’t you. Now, I can back order them, I can ship them to your house, or I can give you other options, but those are the only things I can do for you today.”

Woman: “I need them. You didn’t tell the person who bought them last night that I needed them for tomorrow.”

Me: “He saw them, he liked them, and he was here when we had them. If you had purchased them yesterday afternoon, then you would have had the ones you wanted.”

Woman: “But don’t you know who I am?”

Me: “Who you are doesn’t make a difference to me, apart from that you’re a guest like he was. Now, I’m sorry for the inconvenience, but I’ll ask you how I can help you keep your cool.”

(The woman left without ordering the coolers, looking a bit upset about it. Even though we were indoors with soft lighting and good AC, she NEVER took off her Gucci sunglasses.)

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Unfiltered Story #99128

, | Unfiltered | November 2, 2017

It’s Monday, September 2, 1991. I’m in my late 30’s. I’ve been on my new job for a few months. My immediate supervisor left for a two week vacation (on a cruise to Alaska) on Friday, leaving me in charge of our department (about 20 people). I am awakened early that morning (around 3am) by acute abdominal cramps, and go to the bathroom, and experience a lengthy bout of diarrhea; and hot flashes and cold chills. I go back to bed, and notice that my left side has a very sharp pain deep inside.

My alarm rings a couple of hours later (6am). I’m still experiencing pain and cramps, but I decide to go into work. I’m also very nauseous, so I make a decision to not have breakfast. I only live a mile from work, but the ride there is excruciating.

Once I arrive at 8am, I do have a cup of hot tea. It doesn’t help. About 30 minutes later, I call my local health care provider’s (Kaiser Permanente) nurse info line. I talk with the nurse about symptoms (no fever, left side pain, cramps, nausea), and the Nurse says to stay in bed, and if it doesn’t subside, to come into the emergency room. I advise I’m on work. Nurse is not impressed.

At 9am, I can’t take it anymore. I explain to my supervisor’s supervisor that I’m leaving for the day.

I thought the drive was in bad, the drive home was even worse. I crawl into bed and try to go back to sleep. Doesn’t happen. At 10am, I hear my roommate come home. I ask him to take me to the Emergency Room.

We go to Walnut Creek Kaiser’s emergency room. The ER is packed. I register and I’m told I’ll be seen by the Triage Nurse as soon as possible. At 11am, I’m still waiting. At some point in time, I have my hands locked around my roommates upper arm. He peels my hands off, and goes over to speak with the Registration Personnel. I don’t know what he said (he’s 6′ 5″ and husky), but I’m called in by the Triage Nurse five minutes later.

Triage Nurse takes my vitals. Still no fever. Pulse, respiration and blood pressure are high. She sends me back into the Emergency Room treatment area, where I get a bed in a room at the end of the hallway. A nurse arrives and takes some blood for analysis.

Around 1pm, a doctor arrives. He palpates my abdomen, notes that the left side (where I’m having pain), doesn’t present any problems. Asks about my GYN history (any problems with cysts, etc.). None. He leaves. Another nurse comes in and takes some more blood for analysis.

Around 3pm, I’m now starting to get a migraine. A nurse comes by and gives me two aspirin for the pain. And takes some more blood for analysis. I am allowed to chew a stick of doublemint gum.

At 5pm, there is a shift change. Another doctor comes in and goes over the note charts with me. Another nurse comes in and takes more blood.

At 8pm, I call home, and ask my roommate to come me pick up. I tell him if I’m going to die, I’d rather die at home, than die at the hospital.

At 9pm, my roommate and his best friend arrive. Just as they walk in, I start throwing up. As I’m in the middle of throwing up, a doctor walks in, and announces that my last blood test revealed that my white cell count has “just jumped through the roof” (an indication of infection), and that they will be taking me into emergency surgery immediately.

And sure enough, no more than one minute later, in came the orderlies to transfer me to the operating room.

I wake up the next morning around 7am. I am very surprised. I didn’t die. Well, that was nice. Still not feeling great. Nurse walks in, and notes I’m alive. She says that I had a gangrenous appendix that was removed! And that it was removed by laparoscopic surgery.

Turns out, I have what’s called referred pain syndrome. Referred pain is when the pain is located away from or adjacent to the organ involved. In my case, instead of having pain on the right side, where the appendix is located, I had the pain on the left side.

I’m in the hospital for a week. I’m release for home, where I spend two weeks recovering. I’m finally release back to work. I return to work on a Tuesday. Thursday morning when I wake up, I’m not feeling good. By the time I get into work, I’ve got cold chills and hot flashes again. I cave around 11am and go home.

I get home, and put a pot of soup on the stove. I call the Kaiser Nurse Info line again, but they’re backed up, so I leave my telephone number for a return call. The soup is finished, I pour into a soup mug, and go out to the living room to sit and eat it.

Just as I go out there, the phone rings. It’s Kaiser. I explain what’s going on. The Nurse says come into the on call Surgeon’s office immediately, and DO NOT have anything to eat or drink.

Put the soup into the refrigerator. Drive over to the hospital. It’s late September, but it’s at least 90 degrees outside. I’m wearing a heavy sweater. I get odd looks from people, especially when I’m sitting in the waiting room, and I’m shivering.

Finally, I’m called in to be examined. Nurse takes my vitals. My temperature is 103. A doctor walks in, talks with me. And then stands up, takes this HUGE (huge as is very long) medical probe, and jabs it into my abdomen, just below the navel. (He wanted to see if there was infection.) Nothing happens, so he sends me down to radiology for a test. (I’m unclear now if this was a CAT scan or an MRI.) The tests are inconclusive. As I still have an open wound from the original surgery, I’m admitted back into the hospital, and get a single room.

Later that night, I get up to go to the bathroom. As I lean over, all of sudden, all this infectious material comes gushing out my wound. Yikes! I push the call button for the Nurse. The nurse arrives. Then a doctor is summoned.

I get moved to CCU. I’m placed on a high dose of antibiotics. My original surgery wound is packed with gauze that has been dipped into antibacterial solution every two hours. My fever stays at 103. I am connected to several IV bags. I’m placed on a liquid diet.

I don’t remember much of FridayOn Saturday, me fever goes down to 102.5. One of the local TV stations is airing a Star Trek marathon (for the 25th anniversary), so I spend my time watching the marathon. A lot of nurses end up in my room that day (everyone else is watching sports on TV).

I sleep with the TV on (I have always slept with music on at home). I stay awake for about an hour, and then drift off to sleep for a while, all through the day. I wake up around 11:30pm or so, and on the TV is this group of guys having a party at a swimming pool. One of the guys (who I thought looked like a lot like Dana Carvey) is promoting a new Gay Beer.

Okay, now I’m hallucinating.

I fall asleep again. I wake up again. On the TV is an old sitcom, Jim Belushi’s “Working Stiffs.” In this episode, he is in a room with a lot of pinball machines. (Possible a bar?) His best friend’s pregnant girlfriend walks in, and is in labor. He ends up putting the pregnant girlfriend on top of one of the pinball machines. It is, of course, a Star Trek pinball machine. Now, I’m sure I’m hallucinating.

I fall asleep again. I wake up around 6am on Sunday. On the TV is four men, dressed in sweaters (over a shirt and tie) and nice dress pants, seated in a semi-circle on straight back chairs. They’re all talking and talking. It takes me a while to understand what they’re talking about. Apparently, these are all priests or former priests. One man is saying that he while he was at Seminary as a novice priest, one of the older priests died while sitting at this desk, and been dead for some time before he was found.

The priest is placed into a coffin for viewing before the funeral. But, they have to nail his clothing down into the coffin, because the rigor mortis is still there. Novice priests are assigned to shifts of an hour, to kneel before the dead priest, and pray.

So, this particular novice priest is doing his shift … when the nail(s) gives way, and the dead priest set ups in the coffin.

Now I’m thinking, I’m hallucinating and I’m going to die.

I go back to sleep.

When I wake up later that morning, my fever has finally broken. I am starting to feel better. I’m moved from CCU and back down to a single room again. I stay a few more days, and then I’m released to go home again.

It’s not until October that I am finally release to return to work. And that is how I spent September 1991. Mostly in the hospital, or at home, recovering.