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Their Attitude Stinks

Pharmacy | Right | November 14, 2014


(An order comes to my pharmacy for a well-known antibiotic. This antibiotic is known to smell exactly like rotten eggs, so most of us just hold our breath while we count it and try not to think about it too much. We dispense it to a woman who is picking it up for her teenage son. Everything is normal and she leaves with the prescription, but about 10 minutes later she comes stomping back into the pharmacy, pretty much shoves the person that I am currently helping out of the way, and throws the bottle of medication on the counter.)

Customer: “I want to speak to your manager right now! You guys gave me rotten medication!”

Me: “Really? Let me look at the expiration date on your bottle. Normally we don’t keep anything that has one less than a year away.”

(I look at the bottle and see that the pharmacist wrote a date of over a year away, and I go over to our stock bottle and check and the numbers correspond with each other.)

Me: “Hmm. Well, ma’am, it doesn’t look like this medication is expired but I will have the phar—”

Customer: “You are just lying! I mean, come on and open that bottle! It smells totally rotten! I can’t believe that you would ever give someone bad medication! My son is very very ill!”

Me: “Oh, that’s just because the active chemical that is in this medication has a bad smell. Trust me, I wish there was something that we could do about it back here, too. Most of us hold our breath while we count it.”

Customer: “Stop ****** lying to me. You just don’t want to admit you did something wrong! I will have your job for this, b****!

(At this point the pharmacist who has been listening the whole time walks over.)

Pharmacist: “Ma’am, while I don’t like the fact that you are calling my staff names like that I will let you know two things. One is, certain chemicals have a bad smell. It’s just a fact of life. So, while I know that smell is unpleasant, it’s just one of those side effects that come with being able to take medications that will help your sick son. I assure you it’s supposed to smell that bad. If it didn’t, it wouldn’t work right. Two, since you don’t seem to want to listen to my employees and call them awful names, this will be the last time that you or any members of your family can shop or fill any type of medication here. Maybe in the future you can learn how to treat people the way you want to be treated.”

(The woman proceeded to turn bright red with embarrassment and tried to apologize, but my boss wouldn’t hear it. That was almost two years ago and he still will not allow her or her family to fill their prescriptions at his pharmacy.)

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Old 02-04-2020   #881
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Not Seeing Eye To Eye On This

Iowa, Jerk, Medical Office, Patients, USA | Healthy | May 10, 2018


(It is important to note that every state in the USA has their own laws about eyeglass prescriptions. It is most common in Iowa for optometrists to write prescriptions that only last for one year, though they could write one that would be valid for up to two years. One day, I get this phone call.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Optometrist]’s Office. My name is [My Name]. How can I help you today?”

Customer: “Yes, hello! I ordered a box of contacts from you guys about a month ago, for my son, and he says these ones aren’t working. He’s got blurry vision. I know the doctor changed his script a couple times and I just want to make sure the most recent one was ordered.”

Me: “Sure. I’ll pull his file and take a look. Please hold.”

(I go to have a look at the file and my heart sinks. It’s April, and this kid had his eye appointment last June. Kids tend to have a lot of changes in their vision thanks, in part, to hormones. Not only that, but he came back three times with the same complaint of his contacts not working. All of that was within thirty days of his appointment, so his script was finalized in July. And Mom waited to order… until March. I steel myself and pick up the phone.)

Me: “Thank you for holding, ma’am. It looks like the most recent prescription was what we ordered for your son. It is accurate.”

Customer: “Well, he can’t see out of them! Can you take this box back?”

Me: “Is the box unopened? We can do a refund for the box if it is, but we can’t take back an opened box for hygiene reasons.”

Customer: “Of course it’s opened! He’s been wearing them! But they are wrong now.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. The order was placed correctly. We put the same strength that your son told us worked, and so there’s nothing we can do. At this point, he’s almost due for another eye exam, as it is.”

Customer: “So, you’re saying I’m just out, what, $75?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but yes. He saw the doctor last July, and it’s been almost a year. It’s possible his eyes have changed.”

Customer: “That’s just ridiculous! This is the worst service I’ve ever gotten. I’m never bringing him back to your office!”

(And she hung up on me. I’m sorry, but who waits eight months to order contacts and THEN complains? Next time, don’t wait so long!)
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Time To Make A Stand

Charleston, Hospital, Revolting, USA, West Virginia | Healthy | May 9, 2018


(My parents and I are sitting in the ER waiting room, waiting for my mom’s test results to come back. It’s very early in the morning, and the waiting room is quite small, so the few of us in there are all within eyesight of each other, except one woman sitting on the other side of a pillar from us. We’ve been there for a few minutes when a nurse comes in, carrying an armload of cleaning supplies. She walks over to the woman behind the pillar.)

Nurse: “Where was that man sitting?”

Woman: “Oh, three chairs over from me.”

(You can see everyone in the room count three chairs over from this woman… where another woman happens to be sitting. As soon as she realizes this, she tenses up and the guy next to her recoils away. The nurse awkwardly approaches.)

Nurse: “I need to clean this chair. The man who was sitting there had an… um… accident in his pants.”

(She immediately gathered all of her stuff and moved chairs, whispering somewhat-panicked statements to her male companion about whatever it was she was sitting in without realizing. We were called back before her, but the rest of the time we were there, she was sitting on the edge of her new chair, trying to touch as little as possible. You know you’re having a bad day when you’re in the ER at 1:00 am and find out you’re sitting in a stranger’s “accident.”)
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Getting Them To Understand Is Like Pulling Teeth

Bad Behavior, Dentist, Non-Dialogue, USA, Wisconsin | Healthy | May 8, 2018


When I was eight years old, my older sister’s school had an anti-drug campaign. She came home from school one day and lectured me to never, ever take drugs. I looked up to my sister, so I solemnly promised her I wouldn’t.

About a week later, my dad took me to the dentist to get some baby teeth pulled. I was alone in the room with the dentist while my dad was in the waiting room. The dentist told me he was giving me some analgesia. I asked what that meant, and he explained that it was a drug that would make me not feel any pain.

I told him, “No, no drugs,” and refused to let him near me with the analgesia. For some reason, he did not go out to the waiting room to confer with my dad. Instead, he went ahead and pulled three teeth from an eight-year-old girl without using analgesia or any pain relief.

After a few minutes of him pulling my teeth, the burglar alarm went off in the clinic. There was no break-in, though. Apparently, my screams of pain perfectly mimicked the sound of breaking glass, fooling the alarm system. We never went back to that clinic.
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Old 02-04-2020   #884
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Trash Can Make You Nauseous

Hospital, Ignoring & Inattentive, Jerk, Lazy/Unhelpful, Nurses, Pennsylvania, USA | Healthy | May 7, 2018


(I have the stomach flu, and have spent the night throwing up, with diarrhea. Dehydrated and in pain, I go to the emergency room. I’m trying to do something to distract myself from the pain, so I turn on the TV in the room. The channel buttons don’t work, so it’s stuck on a staged reality show that features a lot of yelling and fighting. The nurse comes in while it’s on commercial.)

Nurse: “Okay, you are so dehydrated the doctor wants you on IV fluids for a while before we run more tests. Oh, what are you watching? Oh, this show is so trashy; I can’t believe it. Who would watch a trashy show like this. Do you like this?”

Me: “It’s what was on.”

Nurse: “Oh, wow. I can’t believe how trashy this is.”

(She stops and turns to watch the TV, ignoring me. It isn’t until the next commercial break that she finally turns and puts the IV in my arm, then leaves without attaching the saline. I start dry-heaving again, and she comes back in to give me a bucket to throw up in.)

Nurse: “Didn’t I attach the saline? I must have been distracted by that trashy TV show you like. What are they doing now?”

(She watches until the end of the episode, while I deal with waves of nausea, then finally comes back with the saline drip.)

Nurse: “Oh, my God, it’s another episode! Are they running a marathon? Who watches this trash?”

(She fiddles with the saline drip for a while, while watching the TV, and then stands and watches until the next commercial break. As soon as she leaves, I turn off the TV. She comes back in a moment later with another nurse.)

Nurse #2 : “Why didn’t you start the anti-nausea medicine?”

Nurse: “I only just got the IV on her.”

(I was finally medicated, and as it kicked in, I drifted off into sleep. I was woken up by the TV being turned back on, and the nurse standing there watching it. She caught me watching and shook her head, muttering about the trashy show.)
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Old 02-04-2020   #885
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Kentucky-Fried Cure

Extra Stupid, Hospital, Jerk, Kentucky, Patients, USA | Healthy | May 6, 2018


I work in a very large trauma ER, and we are very busy. I see a lot of weird things, but this one stands out.

A mother brings her 17-year-old daughter in for a “fever.” The registration clerk asks how high the fever is. Mom says, “100.” This is not really an emergency fever unless you have maybe an immune deficiency or are in cancer treatment.

The clerk asks how long she’s had the fever. Mom says, “Like, a day.” The pediatric ER is very busy that day, so they end up waiting about an hour. Halfway through, I look over into the waiting room. The daughter is on her phone, looking as healthy and happy as can be. Mom is nowhere to be seen, but since the daughter is an older teen, I don’t think much of it. Maybe she went to move the car or something.

Ten minutes later, the mom comes back… with fried chicken. They both proceed to eat chicken in the waiting room full of sick people until the daughter is called back. She is almost immediately discharged.
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Old 02-04-2020   #886
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The Root Of Your Problems

Bad Behavior, Dentist, Lazy/Unhelpful, Minnesota, USA | Healthy | May 5, 2018


(I am the patient in this story. After many, many years of not receiving dental treatment, I finally get good dental insurance and make an appointment with a dentist. After the x-rays come back, I have in total 14 cavities and severe sensitivity in a majority of my teeth, and I need one root canal. After many visits, I am finally down to the root canal. So far, for a majority of my appointments, the dentist has been rough, short-tempered, and pissy. I am on a time limit to get all this work done, so I just live with it. Sadly, my final appointment does not go well.)

Dentist: *jerks my head* “Oh, s***.”

Me: “Everything okay?”

Dentist: “We are going to have to stop here and send you to someone else.”

Me: “Why?”

Dentist: “I broke a drill bit in one of your roots.”

Me: “I am fine with being sent to someone else, but my insurance ends tomorrow; this root canal needs to be done.”

Dentist: “Don’t worry; it will be done. We are sending you to our specialist. He is really good at root canals.”

Me: *skeptical* “Okay, as long as it gets done.”

(Next day

Specialist Dentist: “I don’t know how they managed to break a bit in your root, but the good news is that it broke on the torque, so it sealed the root. We can leave it in and just finish the root canal.”

Me: “Fine, let’s just get this done.”

(Another hour later, as they finish drilling the rest of the roots…)

Specialist Dentist: “We are finished. Schedule your next appointment for the filling and the crown.”

Me: “Um, no, you need to fill this and put the crown on. My insurance ends today; I do not have $1,600 to pay out-of-pocket for this.”

Specialist Dentist: “We can’t finish this today; you’re not scheduled for that.”

(After that, they made me leave. It has been four months, and two of the fillings they did have fallen off, the tooth with the unfinished root canal has cracked, and the broken fillings have exposed nerves. I managed to scrape together enough money to fix one of the fillings, but the other broken filling is out of the budget, and so is the unfinished root canal. It’s pretty bad when a filling falls off while eating pancakes.)
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Old 02-04-2020   #887
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Name Change Approved

Australia, Hobart, Language & Words, Patients, Pharmacy, Tasmania | Healthy | May 4, 2018


(A customer is picking up a regular prescription medication but he also wants something else.)

Customer: “Can I also have some ‘Stuffy Nose Squirts’?”

(He wanted a decongestant nasal spray.)
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Old 02-04-2020   #888
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There Will Not Be Blood

Blood Donation, Ignoring & Inattentive, New Zealand | Healthy | May 2, 2018


(Due to having a serious illness as a kid, I’ve had countless numbers of blood tests. When I am old enough to donate blood, I do so willingly, but knowing that my veins are now difficult to find, I always request an experienced technician. This is on all my paperwork, for their benefit as well as mine. This is my fourth or fifth donation, so I know the drill fairly well. It usually takes 15 to 20 minutes.)

Head Technician: “So, I understand that you’ve got difficult veins! That’s not a problem, but I was wondering if you would mind if we get one of our senior technicians to have a practice with you? He’s requested some further experience on veins like yours. I’ll be watching him and with him the whole time.”

Me: “That sounds fine.”

(The head technician brings over a young man, and they prep everything accordingly. Then, at the point where he has to place the needle in, the head technician walks away!)

Young Tech: “Oops! Let me try again.”

(To my mildly-suppressed horror, he tries to find a vein five times!)

Me: “Um, is everything going okay?”

Young Tech: “Sorry, this won’t take too long. I’m just a bit nervous! Are you still okay?”

Me: “Um, yup, just do what you have to!”

(Trying to be helpful, I endure another ten minutes of him attempting to find the vein in my right arm, and missing every time.)

Young Tech: “It looks like this arm is useless, so I’m going to try your left arm!”

Me: “Um, okay?”

(The head technician wanders past and nods approvingly. The young tech gets my left arm set up. At this stage I’m not really into it, but feel like I’m committed, and I’m beginning to feel a little faint.)

Young Tech: “Here we go!”

(Here we do not go. After another twenty minutes of being used as a pin cushion, the young tech calls the head technician over.)

Head Technician: “Oh, well, it looks like we’ve exhausted both arms today! How much blood did we get?”

Young Tech & Me: “None.”

Head Technician: “Oh. Well, we can try again tomorrow!”

(As I am leaving, one of the nurses passes by and asked how things went. I explain, and she is aghast.)

Nurse: “It’s his first day!”

(I marched back to the head technician, who brushed off my concerns, even though all my paperwork said I had tricky veins and needed an experienced technician. The next day, I had deep blue bruises on both my arms from my mid-forearm to almost my armpit, which lead me to being spoken to by my managers about drug use. I didn’t go to give blood the next day!)
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Old 02-04-2020   #889
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I’m Your OBGYN; I’m Here All Week

Awesome, Doctor/Physician, Illinois, Medical Office, Silly, USA | Healthy | April 30, 2018


(For the better part of the last decade, I have been to one specific OBGYN for all of my reproductive system’s many faults. He is a very short and stout man with a Slavic accent, the bedside manner of an angel, and the most wisea** sense of humor this side of the Mississippi. Here’s some of my favorite quotes from him over the years

OBGYN: *during my first pelvic examination* “Are you flexible? You surely are! I must have a Cirque Du Soleil star on my table!”

Me: “You know, most men buy me dinner first before asking me that!”

OBGYN: “Oh, honey, I couldn’t afford you.”

(The results of my first exam

OBGYN: *bursts into the room, waving a packet of papers around* “Good news! It’s all in your head!”

(I am diagnosed with Vaginismus, a condition that has both psychological triggers and a physical response, which has been carefully controlled since the diagnosis through therapy and physical therapy. I am just happy it doesn’t require surgery.)

OBGYN: *after a two-year lapse where I haven’t seen him since I’d moved* “You’re still alive?! Gosh darn, I must be doing my job too well!”

OBGYN: *after explaining my problems with birth control* “Oh, that just means your body hates estrogen. It’s not terribly uncommon for this reaction, but considering your other allergies, I think there’s one last thing we can try, and I’m very hopeful for it!”

OBGYN: *after that fails, rendering me unable to use all conceivable forms of birth control* “Well, we’re f***ed. Well, mostly you, although probably not as much as you used to anymore. I’m not helping, am I?”

OBGYN: *after I come in with a history of cyst ruptures* “Don’t worry! All we have to do is get you on some hormonal birth control, and it should clear those right… Oh, yeah. Oh. Well, have you ever considered traveling back in time and being born as a man?”

OBGYN: “Please quit coming in; you are making me actually work!”

OBGYN: “Have you ever considered becoming a nun? It might go better for you.”

OBGYN: “Look, I know a guy who knows a guy, and I could get you a new uterus set up, but apparently that’s illegal, so instead, let’s just try managing the crazy.”

OBGYN: *five years after my first exam with him* “You’re still flexible! I still can’t afford the dinner bill, though.”

(Considering all the horror stories I’ve heard about terrible OBGYN’s, I am so blessed to have this crazy Slavic man in charge of my health with his humor and knowledge!)
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Old 02-04-2020   #890
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Fat Chance Of Being Taken Seriously

Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Doctor/Physician, Medical Office, Texas, USA | Healthy | April 27, 2018


(I have scheduled a doctor’s appointment because I finally have a job with health insurance. I am experiencing a relatively minor issue with irregular periods, which I also mention to the nurse. She writes my concern down and leaves the room. The doctor comes in a few minutes later.)

Doctor: “I hear your period is weird.”

Me: *surprised by her blunt introduction* “Yes. And I’d really like to know why.”

Doctor: “My first thought was that you’re probably fat, but you’re actually healthy. So, let’s run some tests.”

Me: “Wait. If I was fat, you would have just told me to go on a diet and not checked for something else?”

Doctor: “Well, yeah, that’s usually the reason.”

Me: “What if they had something serious?”

Doctor: “It’s never serious.”

(I was too nervous to say anything. After getting my blood drawn and an ultrasound, I asked the front desk if I could see a different doctor next visit. At least the nurse looked embarrassed the whole time.)



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Well, That’s A First (Name)

Colorado, Jerk, Medical Office, Nurses, Patients, USA |
Healthy | April 26, 2018

(I am in the waiting room at a large, multi-doctor medical practice, so there are many people in the room. A nurse enters and calls

Nurse: “Williams.” *a few people look up* “[First Name] Williams?”

(Everyone goes back to what they are doing. The nurse again calls out the name, but no one answers, so she starts to walk away. As she passes, a woman rises, tosses down the magazine she was perusing, sighs audibly, and hisses

Woman: “That’s me, but I didn’t give you permission to use my first name; you will address me as, ‘Mrs. Williams’!”

(In response, the nurse turns to address the room, smiles broadly, and calls

Nurse: “Mrs. Williams?”

(Two other women in the room stand and look at each other and the nurse quizzically.)

Nurse: “Mrs. [First Name] Williams?”

(Several people, having heard the whole interaction, audibly chuckled as two women sat back down and “Mrs. Williams” turned red, glared at everyone, and followed the nurse to the back.)
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Old 02-05-2020   #891
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Well, That’s A First (Name)

Colorado, Jerk, Medical Office, Nurses, Patients, USA |
Healthy | April 26, 2018

(I am in the waiting room at a large, multi-doctor medical practice, so there are many people in the room. A nurse enters and calls

Nurse: “Williams.” *a few people look up* “[First Name] Williams?”

(Everyone goes back to what they are doing. The nurse again calls out the name, but no one answers, so she starts to walk away. As she passes, a woman rises, tosses down the magazine she was perusing, sighs audibly, and hisses

Woman: “That’s me, but I didn’t give you permission to use my first name; you will address me as, ‘Mrs. Williams’!”

(In response, the nurse turns to address the room, smiles broadly, and calls

Nurse: “Mrs. Williams?”

(Two other women in the room stand and look at each other and the nurse quizzically.)

Nurse: “Mrs. [First Name] Williams?”

(Several people, having heard the whole interaction, audibly chuckled as two women sat back down and “Mrs. Williams” turned red, glared at everyone, and followed the nurse to the back.)
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Old 02-05-2020   #892
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Not A Healthy Conversation

Bad Behavior, Medical Office, Patients, UK | Healthy | April 24, 2018


(I work for the UK National Health Service. This particular branch receives referrals for patients, and my job is to phone the patients to offer our service and get more info on their health, lifestyle, etc. Because of the nature of the branch, most people I speak to are in their 70s to 90s — and a few older! — but I do get the occasional younger person. I can see from this particular patient’s file that she is in her mid-30s.)

Me: “Good morning. Is this Mrs. [Patient]?”

Patient: *deep, gravelly voice* “Yes.”

(I am shocked because she is in her 30s, but she sounds at least 89.)

Me: “I’m calling from—” *quickly explains service and what we offer*

Patient: *almost before I finish speaking* “Yes, please. Anything to help.”

Me: “Fantastic. I’ll just go through a few some questions about your health, and we’ll see what would be best for you.”

(I begin with the standard questions, and she tells me the medical conditions she suffers from, which include severe COPD and bronchitis — evidenced by her gravelly voice and breathlessness when she talks. She has several other conditions; in short, she’s generally not in good health.)

Me: “Do you smoke?”

Patient: “Yes. About 60 a day.”

Me: *bangs forehead against desk*

(The job required I ask if she wanted help in stopping, but I knew before she even answered that she was going to refuse. I guess she wasn’t as desperate about her referral as she said she was. I left that temp post two weeks later.)
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Old 02-05-2020   #893
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A Bad Joke, No De-Nile

Medical Office, Punny, USA, Washington | Healthy | April 23, 2018


(I schedule appointments at an OB/GYN office. One day, a woman calls in needing to be seen; she has just learned she is about three months pregnant.)

Patient: “I thought I had food poisoning or something from my trip to see the pyramids, but my symptoms lasted so long I thought I should take a pregnancy test. Positive! I’m so excited!”

Me: *hardly able to contain myself that I can use this joke* “Sounds like you did catch something on your trip. You have the Egyptian flu: you’re going to be a mummy!”
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Old 02-05-2020   #894
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Has No Idea What They Are Talking About

Call Center, England, Ignoring & Inattentive, UK | Healthy | April 22, 2018


(I am seventeen years old, and claim disability benefit. Part of my autism means that I cannot speak over the phone — I literally start shaking and have a panic attack if my phone so much as starts ringing. Usually this is not a problem, as my mum will talk for me if it’s an urgent call, and the words, “Does not speak on phone,” are plastered all over my documents and disability claim form. Unfortunately, though, we’ve had some variation of this conversation too many times.)

Caller: “Hello, this is [Disability Allowance]. What can we do for you today?”

Mum: “Hi, I’m calling on behalf of my daughter.” *explains problem*

Caller: “Okay, [My Name]—”

Mum: “No, I’m her mother.”

Caller: “You’re not [My Name]?”

Mum: “No.”

Caller: “Oh, okay. Who are you? Are you the power of attorney?”

Mum: “No, I’m just her mother. She can speak for herself, just not over the phone.”

Caller: “That’s not allowed. We have to speak to [My Name].”

Mum: “But she can’t—”

Caller: “We’re not allowed to have this discussion with you without her direct consent, even if you are a blood relative. Is she there?”

Mum: “Yes, but—”

Caller: “Please pass us over to [My Name], or I will have to terminate this call. All she needs to do is give consent for you to talk on her behalf.”

Mum: *giving me an apologetic look* “So, let me get this straight… You want my autistic daughter to talk to you over the phone, to tell you she can’t talk over the phone?“

Caller: “Yes.”
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Old 02-05-2020   #895
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No Need To Get Catty About It

Brazil, Drug Store, Jerk, Pets & Animals | Healthy | April 21, 2018


(I go to a human drugstore to get a new insulin vial for my diabetic cat, since his last one is expired. He’s been diagnosed and treated for four months now, and I have been handling his insulin shots every day, twice a day, ever since. I bring the old box with me, so I’m sure I’ll get the right one. In Brazil, you can have insulin over the counter, no prescriptions needed. Also, every drugstore has a fidelity card that offers discounts, and most of the health cares have partnerships that give you discounts; you just have to show your health care card. A third way to get a discount — a big one — is when you register with the manufacturer; it’s a long form you have to fill, with your doctor’s information, treatment details, etc.)

Me: “Hi, I’d like a small vial for this insulin.” *hands the box* “I also would like to check both fidelity and health care discounts.”

Employee: *cheerful* “You know, you could get the manufacturer’s discount for it.”

Me: “Yeah, I know, but it’s for my diabetic cat, so they couldn’t take us.”

Employee: *makes weird face*

Me: *uncomfortable, trying to be cheerful* “Yeah, unfortunately they didn’t accept felines for that. That’s a ‘humans-only’ kind of benefit.”

Employee: *goes to hand me the vial, backs off, looking at me as if I’m a child* “You know this needs to be kept on the fridge, right?”

Me: “Yeah, I know. I also need a ten-pack of syringes.”

Employee: *still making the weird face* “Syringes for what?”

Me: “Uh, insulin. I need the smaller ones, because he only takes two units at a time.”

Employee: *proceeds to teach me how to use the syringes, very patronizingly, ignoring the fact that I may know how to do it since I just gave her an empty box of insulin* “What gauge size you need?”

Me: “I never had to choose between gauge sizes, but since he’s a cat, I believe the smaller ones.”

Employee: “What size is he?”

Me: “Uh, cat size? About four kilos.”

Employee: *weird face*

Me: “Sooo, I guess I’ll take the small ones.”

Employee: *reluctantly gives me my stuff, still looking at me as if I was committing a crime
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Old 02-05-2020   #896
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Pressured To Squeeze Out Any Answer

Health & Body, High School, Students, Teachers, Texas, USA | Healthy | April 20, 2018


(I’m in anatomy and physiology class, self-grading a test we just did on the cardiovascular system. Since everyone’s grading their tests as a class, the teacher is going over the questions and answers aloud. As is the case on every test, some of the answers are flexible, as long as she can understand what you were trying to refer to.)

Teacher: “Numbers 52 and 53: what instruments are used to measure blood pressure? ‘Stethoscope,’ and I’ll take, ‘blood pressure cuff.’ If you said, ‘sphygmomanometer,’ I’ll take that, too.”

Student #1 : “I put, ‘blood pressure band.’”

Teacher: “Yeah, that’s close enough; I’ll take that, too.”

Student #2 : *somewhat sheepishly* “I put, ‘squeezy pressure thing’…”

(Everyone bursts out laughing, even [Student #2 ] and [Teacher].)

Teacher: *between giggles* “‘Squeezy pressure thing’! I’ll take that!”
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Old 02-05-2020   #897
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Looks Like They Already Had Their Drugs

New York, Pharmacy, Rude & Risque, USA | Healthy | April 19, 2018


(I have just started my first job at a local pharmacy and convenience store, and it is my third day of training. I am standing behind the counter with an older coworker of mine. We hear the door open, and look over.)

Customer: *quickly walks through the doors and to the other end of the floor, where the pharmacy is*

Me: *looking at my coworker* “Was she…”

Coworker: *taking a sip of an energy drink* “…not wearing any pants? Welcome to the job, kid.”

Me: “…”
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Old 02-05-2020   #898
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At Least He Told The Tooth

Bad Behavior, Dentist, France, Patients | Healthy | April 18, 2018


(I study dentistry in France, where you work at a dental clinic starting on your fourth year. Every half day, you’re in a different service. For example, on Tuesday mornings, I take care of cavities and the like, and on Friday afternoons I remove teeth. To remove a tooth, you obviously have to anesthetize the patient locally, and, for medical reasons, you cannot do that if the patient has taken drugs recently — especially cocaine — or you could cause them to have a heart attack. Although it is a rare occurrence and most likely wouldn’t happen anyway, we still can’t knowingly inject a drugged patient with adrenalin, which is part of our anesthesiant. A patient I know from a different service comes to have a tooth removed. Since I’ve already seen him and his file, I know he is a drug addict. On this particular day, he is acting very “twitchy.”)

Me: *after five minutes of chatting about the treatment I already performed on him while we set up the operation table* “So, have you taken any drugs lately?”

Patient: “You have to be more precise; I’ve been on drugs my entire life!”

Me: “Hm, how about that last week?”

Patient: “Sure.”

Me: “What have you taken?”

Patient: “A bit of everything, really.”

Me: “What about cocaine?”

Patient: “Oh, yeah.”

Me: “In the last three days?”

Patient: *more or less jokingly* “Are you the police? Why are you questioning me?”

Me: “Well, sir, I can’t anesthetize you if you’ve taken cocaine recently; that could cause you to have a heart attack. I personally don’t care; it’s for your sake. So, when’s the last time you’ve taken cocaine?”

Patient: “Hm… Half an hour ago.”

(I resisted the urge to face-palm and informed the patient that I could not legally or ethically remove his tooth. He told me that he had come plenty of times, been anesthetized and never had any issue, but I still refused and sent him away. I told him to come back clean after the weekend and wrote about the incident in his file, warning the next student to check whether he is clean or not. He will probably come back high as a kite and just lie about having taken anything, but at least it will not be my responsibility, then.)
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Old 02-05-2020   #899
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Ultrasound Taking Ultra Long

California, Doctor/Physician, Medical Office, Sacramento, Students, USA | Healthy | April 17, 2018


(I am 37 weeks pregnant and am having an ultrasound on my baby to monitor his kidneys, which are enlarged, but otherwise healthy. A very nice student tech is doing the ultrasound under the watchful eye of the attending OB/GYN and the supervising tech, who are viewing the video in the next room. The student is being very careful and thorough, trying to get good pictures of every structure, and is taking a LONG time. Finally, the supervising ultrasound tech comes in, cackling, and addresses the student.)

Supervisor: “Dr. [OB] says if you keep her in here much longer, she’s going to have to deliver her right on this table.”

(She wasn’t too far off; I went into labor shortly afterward!)
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Old 02-05-2020   #900
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Asking Some Fresh Questions

Food & Drink, Indiana, Medical Office, Nurses, USA | Healthy | April 16, 2018


(I have recently gotten pregnant with my first child, and am at my OB/GYN having an initial consult with a nurse practitioner who appears to be in her mid-50s. We are going over restrictions now that I’m pregnant. My family are avid fishermen, and my husband and I regularly eat the freshwater fish we catch.)

Nurse Practitioner: “Here’s a pamphlet on fish and seafood. Research has really helped recently, so there’s a comprehensive list of what types of fish are safe and which ones you should limit.”

Me: *looking over list, and noticing it’s only ocean fish* “Okay, but what about freshwater fish? Are there risks or restrictions on those?”

Nurse Practitioner: “It should be on the list; they have types listed there.”

Me: “No, I know, but these are all ocean fish: salmon, tuna, cod, etc. I’m talking about freshwater fish. My family and I catch and eat locally, and at our cabin in Minnesota:perch, bluegill, northern pike. Are those okay?”

Nurse Practitioner: “I’ve literally never had anyone ask me that.”

Me: “Really?”

Nurse Practitioner: “I guess I don’t get many patients who fish! I’d say it’d be okay to eat those as long as you ensure that they’re cooked thoroughly.”

(It surprised me that in a rural area, a nurse practitioner with that much experience wouldn’t have come across that before!)
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