Unhealthy Priorities

, , , , , | Right | January 30, 2019

(I work as a receptionist at a city hall. We only take 30 numbers of applicants who are submitting their documents for passports. We are open from 8:30 to 3:30 and typically run out of numbers before 12:00 pm. When we do we put up our “NO MORE PASSPORTS” sign. It’s 1:00 pm when this lady and her daughter run in.)

Mom: *as she is reading the sign* “Hi, I would like to get passports.”

Me: “I’m sorry, we are currently not taking any applicants today; we’ve already reached the 30 applicants we can process for the day. If you like, I can give you alternative locations, or you can come back next week.”

Mom: *starts breathing heavily and looks like she just ran a mile* “Oh, my God. My husband is in the hospital because he just had a heart attack and I just took my daughter out of school.” *which is what almost every parent says when I tell them no* “Can’t you squeeze us in?

Me: “No, I’m sorry. We’ve already reached our maximum, but I can give you a list of other locations that can help you today.”

Mom: “Oh, my God, are you serious? I’m about to vomit right now. I can’t go to [Location #1] or [Location #2]. They are too far.”

(She is looking at the list and pointing and asking about locations that are 20 minutes further than the locations I suggested.)

Mom: “So, what location can I go to?”

Me: “[Location #3] or [Location #4] are the closest walk-ins.”

Mom: “No, I can’t do that.” *starts to walk away with her daughter*

Me: “I’m so sorry.”

Mom: *to her daughter, mumbling* “Sure, you’re sorry, blah blah blah.”

(All I could think of was, “Wow, your husband is having or had a heart attack, and you are here instead of with him. He could die right now, and you are being a snob because you think I’M a horrible person for doing my job. Okay, lady, you need to check your priorities.)

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