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Old 03-01-2021   #901
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Putting The Wrong Person Under Pressure
HOSPITAL, IMPOSSIBLE DEMANDS, PATIENTS, USA | HEALTHY | APRIL 11, 2020
I work in an ER as a health unit coordinator, which means one of my many jobs is answering the phones. I’m not allowed to give medical advice over the phone, and neither is anyone else. The phone rings.

Me: “[ER], this is [My Name].”

Man: “Hey, uh, so, I’m sitting in [Other Local ER]’s waiting room. They just took my blood pressure and it seemed high; can you tell me if it’s high or not?”

Me: “Did you say you’re sitting at the [Other Local ER]?”

Man: “Yeah! So, my blood pressure was [a very normal and perfect pressure]; is that high?”

Me: “Unfortunately, sir, I can’t give you any medical advice over the phone, but since you’re sitting in another ER, you could ask them, or I could refer you to a nurse hotline number.”

Man: “Could I get that number, please?”

Me: “Uh, sure.”

He took the number and hung up. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why he would think to call another ER to find out if his blood pressure was high.
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Old 03-01-2021   #902
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A Grand Effort To Prevent Disease
CURRENT EVENTS, GRANDPARENTS, HEALTH & BODY, MEDICAL OFFICE, MICHIGAN, NON-DIALOGUE, USA | HEALTHY | APRIL 10, 2020
My aunt was about to become a grandmother and wanted to make sure she was clean of any diseases before visiting her daughter and newborn grandchild in the hospital. She had suspected that she had a cold and wanted to make sure it wasn’t anything worse, so she set up a doctor’s appointment.

When she went in for her appointment, the doctor came into the exam room in a full hazmat suit.

The doctor apologized and explained that it was a new protocol when seeing patients who might have a certain disease. My aunt was given a clean bill of health and will see her first grandchild soon.
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Old 03-01-2021   #903
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Weird Is The Word
HOSPITAL, IMPOSSIBLE DEMANDS, PATIENTS, USA | HEALTHY | APRIL 9, 2020
I work in an ER as a health unit coordinator, which means one of my many jobs is answering the phones. I’m not allowed to look up patients’ medical records except for in certain circumstances.

The phone rings.

Me: “[ER], this is [My Name]; how can I help you?”

Man: “What’s this word?”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Man: “This word in front of me; what does it mean?”

Me: “Sir, I can’t see what’s in front of you. Could you spell the word out for me?”

He spells out a word and I write it down; it’s not a word, term, or medication I’ve ever heard of before. I pronounce it how I assume the word would be pronounced.

Man: “What is it?”

Me: “I’m not sure. Uh… how can I help you?”

Man: “This paper here said to call this number for the pharmacy if I had any questions, so I did!”

Me: “Sir, this is the ER.”

Man: “Oh, really?! Can you, like, look up medical records?!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but unfortunately, I can’t do that.”

Man: “Really? You can’t look it up for [Man]?”

Me: “No, I’m sorry, I’m not allowed.”

Man: “Aw, man! Okay, well, have a good night!”

That was one of the weirdest calls I have ever gotten.
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Old 03-01-2021   #904
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Self-Isolate Before It’s Too Iso-Late
AUSTRALIA, CURRENT EVENTS, HEALTH & BODY, HOSPITAL, STUPID | HEALTHY | APRIL 8, 2020
This call takes place in mid-February 2020, just as the panic is starting but before any of the major lockdowns in Australia. My hospital has just opened up a testing clinic but is only accepting patients who meet certain criteria. I’m a switchboard operator, and we’re not medically trained and are not meant to give advice, but in this strange new world we’re in we are finding ourselves having to triage callers to help lighten the load.

Caller: “I heard you guys are testing for that Corona? Where do I go?”

Me: “Okay, first, I just need to check that you meet the criteria to be tested. Are you currently experiencing flu-like symptoms?”

Caller: “Yes, my husband and I have a fever and sore throat.”

Me: “Okay, and have you been overseas in the last fourteen days?”

Caller: “Yes, we just got back from Italy two days ago.”

Me: “Okay. It sounds like you do meet the criteria to be tested.”

I give specific instructions for how to access the clinic using a special entrance.

Caller: “Okay, thanks. We’ll come in soon. Oh, also, my aunty is admitted there with you guys at the moment. Might as well kill two birds with one stone and visit her while we’re there!”

Me: “Umm, no, please don’t do that.”

Caller: “Huh? Why not?”

Me: “Uh… They ask you to self-isolate if you believe you have it. I would not recommend visiting an inpatient.”

Caller: “What? Oh, yeah, I guess that makes sense. Okay, we won’t visit her, then. Thank you, bye!”

This is why it’s spreading!
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Old 03-01-2021   #905
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A Depressing Misunderstanding
CALIFORNIA, LOS ANGELES, MEDICAL OFFICE, NURSES, USA, WORDPLAY | HEALTHY | APRIL 7, 2020
I’ve recently started antidepressants, and a nurse calls me a few days later to check on me.

Nurse: “How are you feeling? Are the meds working for you?”

Me: “A bit better, but I’m still taking stock.”

Nurse: “What was that?”

Me: “I’m taking stock? To see if I feel better?”

Nurse: “You shouldn’t be doing that.”

Me: “What? Why not?”

Nurse: “You shouldn’t be taking anything not prescribed by your doctor.”

Me: “But I’m taking stock; it’s just an idiom. Because I’m not sure yet whether the medicine is working.”

Nurse: “Would you like me to have the pharmacy give you a call?”

Me: “That would probably help. Thank you.”
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Old 03-01-2021   #906
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America, Ladies And Gents!
BILLING, COLORADO, EDITORS' CHOICE, HEALTH & BODY, HOSPITAL, NON-DIALOGUE, STUPID, USA | HEALTHY | APRIL 6, 2020
My dad needed to get his physical done and went to our family doctor. The doctor’s office was located in a sort of strip mall setup along with other private practitioners and specialists. This building was, in turn, located directly adjacent to the actual local hospital, even sharing the same parking lot.

As part of the physical, my dad was getting blood drawn but the nurse had difficulty getting their needle into his veins, meaning he had a needle probing in his body much longer than usual. Eventually, his body decided enough was enough and he seized.

Worried for his health, they quickly loaded my dad onto a gurney and wheeled him across the parking lot to the ER where he was quickly diagnosed as being fine. After he recovered, the blood draw was rescheduled and he headed home.

Fast forward a few weeks: a bill from the hospital arrived. Since he’d gone to the ER, my dad was expecting a high price, but this proved to be even more than expected by several hundred dollars.

Looking through the itemized bill, it was mostly the expected expenses: ER visit, fluids, etc. What stuck out was the several-hundred-dollar ambulance service my dad apparently got from being wheeled across the parking lot on a gurney.

He fought the bill, saying he might have paid if they’d at least put him in an ambulance and let him turn on the siren.
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Old 03-01-2021   #907
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Finally, Someone With A Dose Of Sense
CALIFORNIA, PHARMACY, RECEPTION, USA, VET | HEALTHY | APRIL 3, 2020
CONTENT WARNING: This story contains content of a medical nature. It is not intended as medical advice.

There are certain medications that can be used in both humans and animals, but usually, the dosages are very different. One of these medications is Phenobarbital, a seizure medication. Our office doesn’t keep this medication in stock so we have to call it in to a human pharmacy.

One of our canine patients is on Phenobarbital. He has been stable on his dose for years, but they do not make a pill in the size he needs, so we prescribe him two different sizes to add up to the right amount. Apparently, this is not regularly done with humans, because every time we call in his medication we get a call from the pharmacy to confirm some things. So, we put a note on his file with what to say when they call back.

I am training a new receptionist and have just had her call in his refill authorization. Soon after. we get the expected call from the pharmacist. She has the pharmacy on hold and asks what to do, so I tell her to open his chart and read the script.

New Receptionist: “Hello. Apparently, I have to read this note to you. Yes, he needs both sizes. Yes, at the same time. Yes, we know this is a very large dose for a human, but he is a dog. He is a very large dog. He has been taking the pills like this for years now. Thank you.”

I am sitting there listening to her side of this, fighting the urge to facepalm, and thinking it was pretty obvious that those were meant to be the responses to questions she would be asked and not to be read straight through like that.

The pharmacist says something and she replies:

New Receptionist: “I’m not sure. Um, looks like the note was dated four years ago.” *Pause* “Um, I think so; let me check.” *Turns to me* “Hey, [My Name], have we been saying this every time we call his medication in?”

I nod and she turns back to the phone.

New Receptionist: “Yeah, we have.” *Pause* “Really? That’d probably save everyone some time. Thanks.” *Hangs up* “They are going to put a copy of our note on their computers so they don’t have to keep calling in every time.”

Me: “Wait, they could do that? I thought it was a requirement for them to confirm odd-sounding doses, and that the phone calls were just formalities so they could check a box saying they did it. How did none of them ever notice that we were having the same conversation every four months?”

We no longer get confirmation calls for that patient.
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Old 03-01-2021   #908
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Didn’t Pass The Think-It-Through Checkpoint
ALBERTA, CANADA, CURRENT EVENTS, HEALTH & BODY, MEDICAL OFFICE, PARENTS/GUARDIANS | HEALTHY | APRIL 2, 2020
It’s -17C, windchill to -19C, but the cutoff for “don’t take the baby outside unless the house is on fire” is -20 including windchill, so I bundle her three outfits deep under her snowsuit, mittens, toque, and bunting, and catch the bus to an appointment. She’s asleep by the time we get there, but I’m wide awake, cheeks frosty, steps quick. Stepping in, I find an antiviral checkpoint just inside the front door, manned by a guy in a white bodysuit and a blue mask.

My first thought: “Oh, no, zombies!”

I might be very slightly drunk on sleep deprivation.

Checkpoint Guy: “Hi, there! Just before you step in, can I ask you some questions?”

Me: “Sure.”

[Checkpoint Guy] asks about travel and a list of symptoms. I answer each question the same way.

Me: “Nope.”

Checkpoint Guy: “All righty, then. Let me just check your guys’ temperatures — or I assume you’ve got a passenger in there!”

Me: “Yup!”

I crack open one of the hoods, displaying a bundle of cloth that has two cheeks, two closed eyes, a nose, and no other visible skin.

Checkpoint Guy: “Awww! I shouldn’t have to wake her up. Just that little cheeky-cheek should be good!”

I think of my own frosty cheeks.

Me: “Her cheek’s going to be pretty cold.”

Checkpoint Guy: “Yup! Little cheeky-cheek!”

His remote thermometer beeps and shows 30.

Checkpoint Guy: “Okey-dokey! Now, I need to do you.”

Me: “Sure.”

[Checkpoint Guy] beeps my cheek.

Checkpoint Guy: “Yup! You’re good! Just have some hand sanitizer and you’re on your way!”

Me: “Sure.”

I use sanitizer, go through, and push the elevator button.

New Voice Behind Me: “Aren’t you cold?”

Checkpoint Guy: “Nope! I’m good! I’ve got long johns, extra shirts, and warm gloves under the medical gloves. Standing right by the door all day — I’m prepared!”

Pause.

Checkpoint Guy: “You know, everyone I’ve checked has read really low, like 30 degrees. Do you think it’s because they just came in from the outdoors?”

Yes, I mentioned this hitch to the doctor I saw.
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Old 03-01-2021   #909
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On April First, Trust No One
EDITORS' CHOICE, FAMILY & KIDS, HOLIDAYS, HOSPITAL, NURSES, PENNSYLVANIA, PRANKS, USA | HEALTHY | APRIL 1, 2020
My wife was in labor for about twenty hours before deciding to do a cesarean section. I am 6’8″ tall and about 300 pounds. During our visits through the pregnancy, I regularly joked around with the doctor. Even in the Lamaze classes, I would joke around, typically embarrassing my beautiful wife.

My oldest son was born via C-Section at 11:50 PM on March 31st. I was there, I watched, and I was exhausted. It was gruesome and awesome at the same time.

I was extremely emotional — had a son! I was crying tears of joy.

After he was extracted from his nine-month sentence inside of my wife, he was swaddled appropriately by the nurses in the operating room. We were both then whisked away: him to the nursery to get de-munged, and me to see my large family — brothers, parents,

Godparents, etc. — all of whom were at the hospital waiting in anticipation of the big event.

So, there I was, telling my family that we had a beautiful boy, and that everyone was okay. I was blubbering as tears were still streaming.

All of a sudden, in an over-the-top manner, a nurse came running around the corner and said, “Mr. [My Name], Mr. [My Name]! They need you back in the operating room! The second one just came out!”

Huh, what? What? WHAT?! Oh, my God! I started running down the hall to go back to the operating room. I’ve never been considered graceful, and it really wasn’t pretty to see me lumbering down the hall.

I heard the nurse call out again, “MR. [MY NAME]!”

My response was dramatic and immediate as I spun to look at her. “WHAT?” I exclaimed.

With a very calm demeanor and a twinkle in her eye, she said, very matter-of-factly, “April Fools.”

I could have been knocked over with a feather. I stammered and stammered. Meanwhile, my family, who witnessed the event, were in stitches enjoying the whole scene as it played out in front of them.

In the operating room, my wife was laughing (while being stitched back together). All of this was the doctor’s idea, II suppose a little of my own medicine after enduring me throughout the pregnancy.

It’s a story that I tell often, not only for the humor in it, but also because it was one of the greatest days of my life: the day I met a great person, my wonderful son.
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Old 03-01-2021   #910
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April Is A Nice Name
CALIFORNIA, CHILDREN, HOSPITAL, PRANKS, SONS & DAUGHTERS, USA | HEALTHY | APRIL 1, 2020
It is April Fool’s Day. I go into the hospital for a scheduled cesarean for my third child. Thanks to both a blood test and an ultrasound, we know we’re having a boy. The surgery starts, and it doesn’t go as expected.

Doctor: “Oh, wow, look at that!”

Surgical Tech: “Oh, my gosh.”

Me: “What?”

Doctor: “Okay, it’s a girl.”

Me & Husband: “What?”

Husband: “Did you say, ‘girl’?”

I just started laughing. And that’s how our daughter entered the world — by conning us into thinking she was going to be a boy, and revealing her true nature on April Fools Day. Well played, baby. Well played.
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Old 03-01-2021   #911
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At Least The Names They Picked Had Letters In Them
CALIFORNIA, EDITORS' CHOICE, FUNNY NAMES, PETS & ANIMALS, SILLY, USA, VET | HEALTHY | MARCH 30, 2020
I work for a vet, and I’m checking in a new patient. She was adopted from a shelter about a year ago and is now due for her annual exam and vaccines. Her entire family comes with her: Mom, Dad, and three pre-teen or teen children.

Me: “The shelter paperwork says her name is Princess. Is that still her name?”

I get five very clear negative responses.

Me: “So, what is her new name?”

Simultaneously, each from a different person, I hear the names Molly, Fluffy, Annie, Coco, and Jessie. They then fall into a several-minute-long discussion of names where they actually end up adding at least three other options. I let them continue until an exam room is available and then lead them in and put the chart on the doctor’s ready pile. When the doctor grabs her chart, he gives me a look.

Me: “It’s the only thing they all agreed on.”

The doctor shrugs and walks into the room.

Doctor: “So, this is the dog formerly known as Princess?”
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Old 03-02-2021   #912
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Being A Pill About The Pills
CALIFORNIA, PATIENTS, PHARMACY, STUPID, USA | HEALTHY | MARCH 12, 2020
(I work in a community pharmacy. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard this story in some variation, as have my staff and coworkers in this field.)

Patient: *comes up to the counter* “Hi, I need to fill my medication.”

Clerk: “Oh, of course. Which medication did you need today?”

Patient: “I don’t know; it’s on my profile.”

(The clerk reviews the patient’s profile, which has more than 25 prescriptions dating back years.)

Clerk: “Do you know which one? There’s a bit of a list on your profile.”

(At this point, they will usually say one of two things

Patient: “I don’t know. Just fill all of them.”

(Or…)

Patient: “It’s the white pill.”

(This is where the clerk will grab one of the pharmacists.)

Pharmacist: “I’m sorry, sir, but we can’t just fill everything on your profile, as we don’t know which of these medications you take or have stopped taking.”

(Also, the staff hate having to fill a dozen or more prescriptions, only for the patient to say they need one or two of them; the rest we have to put back, wasting all the time and effort we needed to fill.)

Pharmacist: “Do you know what you take it for? Diabetes? Blood pressure?”

Patient: “I don’t know. It’s the white pill.”

Pharmacist: “Most of the pills on your profile are white. Do you know how many times you take it? Was it big or small? The first letter of the name or the doctor who wrote it?”

Patient: “How am I supposed to know?! You’re the pharmacist! You should know this! IT’S A WHITE PILL! I KNOW IT’S ON THE COMPUTER!”

Pharmacist: “Sir, I need a little more information to go on than just the color. Here’s our card; you can go home, find it, and then call it in. Or bring the bottle with you next time and we can help you more.”

(The patient stomped off. Seriously, if you come to the pharmacy, please know something about what you want to pick up. The vast majority of all the pills on the shelf are white. Bring the bottle, take a picture of the bottle, write down the name. Something!)
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Old 03-02-2021   #913
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This Doctor’s Stubbornness Runs Deep
DOCTOR/PHYSICIAN, HOSPITAL, IGNORING & INATTENTIVE, LAZY/UNHELPFUL, MILITARY, USA | HEALTHY | MARCH 11, 2020
(Whenever I start coming down with any sort of respiratory infection, my voice gets deeper. The deeper the voice, the worse the illness is. I am stationed overseas in the nineties when a couple of coworkers notice that my voice is getting deeper. I go to Sick Call the next morning, and the corpsman, familiar with my history of pneumonia, sends me to the nearest US military hospital about 100 kilometers south to get seen by actual doctors.)

Doctor: “What brings you in today?”

Me: “I’m coming down with some sort of chest bug. Every time my voice gets deep, I get sick a few days later.”

Doctor: “What sort of symptoms are you having?”

Me: “At the moment, just the deep voice.”

Doctor: “That could mean anything. It’s probably acid reflux.”

(So far, the doctor has not examined me in any way.)

Me: “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? Sir?”

Doctor: “I’ll prescribe you an antacid for a week or so. You should also prop up the head of your bed just a bit, to help control the reflux.”

Me: “First, I’m not here for acid reflux. I’m coming down with some sort of twitching awfuls, because my voice is getting deep. When I start sounding like James Earl Jones, I always get pneumonia or bronchitis or some other chest ailment within a couple of days. Every time. Since the deep voice just started being noticeable, I’m trying to get ahead of the disease. Second, I have a waterbed. Propping up the head of the bed will have no effect.”

Doctor: *frowning* “Sure, it will work. Just put a boot under the corners of your headboard. This will raise your upper body slightly and help prevent acid reflux from irritating your larynx.”

Me: *sighing internally* “With all due respect, sir, you cannot tilt water. It always stays level.”

Doctor: “Just raise your headboard a couple of inches. You’ll see.”

Me: *sighing out loud this time* “Sir, it’s a waterbed. Here’s a demonstration: run a little bit of water into that portable basin next to the sink.” *pointing at the small metal basin*

Doctor: “Okay.” *runs water into the basin*

Me: “Now, tilt the basin up on one end.”

Doctor: *lifts one end of the basin slightly*

Me: “Notice that the water stays level, no matter how high you raise either end of the basin? That’s why raising the head of my waterbed will be less than useless.”

Doctor: “Oh. I guess you’re right. I suppose we’ll have to get you an appointment with the gastroenterology clinic to cure your reflux.”

Me: *facepalm* “Sir, I don’t have reflux. Could you please listen to my chest?”

(I was given a prescription for antacid and told to go back to work, all without the doctor conducting an examination. Three days later, I was back in the hospital as an inpatient… with pneumonia.)
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Old 03-02-2021   #914
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Green With Envy Over Your Ability To See Color
ART/DESIGN, COWORKERS, HEALTH & BODY, RETAIL, USA | HEALTHY | MARCH 10, 2020
(I know my coworker and his wife pretty well — I went to their wedding — and they’re often in the store either helping with or participating in events when they aren’t working. They’ve finished both of their events this day and are going past the counter to leave, and they walk by me. I overhear their discussion, and they rope me in.)

Coworker: “It’s brown!”

Coworker’s Wife: “It is not! [My Name], what’s the color of my shirt?”

(Because she is wearing a BRIGHT RED JACKET, it’s pretty obvious what color the shirt is; however, if you just glanced at it, it might be misconstrued as brown.)

Me: “Uh, it’s green?”

Coworker: “Is it? But it’s brown!”

Me: *peering at it* “No, it’s green; it’s a dark green.”

Coworker’s Wife: “It’s emerald green.”

Coworker: “Well, it had better not be olive green, because that’s a color that doesn’t exist.”

Me: “But… What?”

Coworker’s Wife: “What color are [My Name]’s bracelets?”

(On my wrists are a paracord bracelet and a FitBit band, respectively.)

Coworker: “Well, I know that one is bright green and purple, and that one is… well, I dunno.”

Me: “[Coworker], it’s green. You’re colorblind.”

(I guess you learn something new every day — and this came as a bit of a shock to him, too!)
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Old 03-02-2021   #915
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Paging Doctor Cymbeline
AUSTRALIA, FUNNY NAMES, HOSPITAL, WORDPLAY | HEALTHY | MARCH 9, 2020
(I work on the switchboard for a major hospital. We take a lot of calls, have a lot of options to put callers to, and are, unfortunately, very used to callers giving us very little information so we have to guess the rest.)

Me: “Good afternoon, switchboard.”

Internal Caller: “Yeah, can I speak to Imogen?”

Me: “Imogen who?”

Internal Caller: “I don’t know.”

Me: “Uh, okay. Do you know what Imogen does or what department she works in?”

Internal Caller: “I don’t know; the doctor just wants a copy of an X-ray.”

Me: *light-bulb moment* “OH! You want to speak to imaging!”
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Old 03-02-2021   #916
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The Most Relatable Toddler
ADORABLE CHILDREN, DOCTOR/PHYSICIAN, MEDICAL OFFICE, USA | HEALTHY | MARCH 8, 2020
(On the morning of my son’s two-year-old “well-child” checkup, he wakes up unusually grumpy. Shockingly, the news that he has to go to see the pediatrician does not improve his mood, so in an effort to get him to stop whining in the back of the car, I make an absolute rookie mistake. I promise him that after his appointment, I will take him on a trip to his favorite place. I then discover that I have the kind of two-year-old who neither understands nor accepts the concept of “after,” and as such, the following interaction happens at least six times in the next 45 minutes

Son: *wordlessly bawling at the top of his lungs*

Nurse: “Oh, no, what’s the matter?”

Son: “I WANT TO GO TO TARGET.”

Nurse: “Me, too, honey. Me, too.”

(At least he did not scream at the doctor. Instead, he gently wept and whispered, “Please. Target.”)
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Old 03-02-2021   #917
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A Would-Be Thief Has His Eyes Opened
CRIMINAL & ILLEGAL, MEDICAL OFFICE, OPTOMETRIST/OPTICIAN, SOUTH CAROLINA, USA | HEALTHY | MARCH 7, 2020
(I work with patients at an eye specialist, checking vision and administering eye drops. One day, one of my newer coworkers comes to me about a patient.)

Coworker: “He’s complaining about his eye being sore, but he’s asking way too many questions about [expensive temporary numbing agent for office use only].”

(I trust his judgment, so I ask another technician to casually restock something in the exam room where the patient is waiting for the doctor and take the numbing drop with him when he’s done. Not ten minutes later, when the doctor goes to see him…)

Patient: “Hey, Doc, why can’t you give me some more of those numbing drops?”

Doctor: “Because too much is toxic for your eyes. A patient stole a bottle years ago and used it non-stop for days; it really damaged their eye.”

Patient: “Good thing you said that, Doc, because I was planning on stealing that bottle!”

(He said this without any embarrassment whatsoever! I only hope he learned not to mess around with that sort of thing.)
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Old 03-02-2021   #918
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A Very Expensive Taxi
EMERGENCY SERVICES, LIARS/SCAMMERS, NEW JERSEY, PARTY, USA, WEATHER | HEALTHY | MARCH 6, 2020
(I worked in volunteer emergency medical services for years. Without charge to anyone, a person would call 911, which would then send me and a crew with an ambulance to provide emergency medical care and transportation to the hospital. Unfortunately, our experience was that during a blizzard, some people would call 911 with a fake medical emergency and then decline transportation to the hospital. This was done because they had learned that a snowplow would be dispatched in front of our ambulance to make sure we had a clear route to the house in question. This way, the person would have their street plowed before others. The request of the woman in this story, however, blows my mind. We arrive at the location following the snowplow that is clearing 18 inches of snow on the road. I trudge up to the door and ring the bell. A young woman with an alcoholic drink in her hand answers. There is loud music playing. This is obviously a “blizzard party.”)

Me: “[Town] EMS, who is having the emergency?”

Woman: “Yes, that’s me. Um, I have diabetes.”

(I know that anyone with diabetes should not be drinking an alcoholic beverage.)

Me: “Okay, let’s sit down and check your blood sugar. Are you feeling badly?”

Woman: “Oh, no, I don’t need anything like that. I already checked my blood sugar. It’s [number that’s a bit high, but not an emergency]. I need my insulin from my house in [Next Town Over]. I was wondering if you’d drive me to get it?”

Me: “Ma’am, we are an ambulance for medical emergencies. We cannot transport you from one house to another. The policeman over here, however, most likely will.”

Woman: “Oh, that’s great. But, um, after I get my insulin, could he bring me back here to the party? I’m having such a great time!”

(I just facepalmed. The policeman did give her a ride home to her insulin… but not back to the party.)
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Old 03-02-2021   #919
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Science Flu Right Over Their Head
HOSPITAL, ILLINOIS, MATH & SCIENCE, PATIENTS, STUPID, USA | HEALTHY | MARCH 6, 2020
Nurse: *to a patient* “Do you want a flu shot while you’re here?”

Patient: “No, I don’t get flu shots.”

Nurse: “Oh. Have you had an adverse reaction to them?”

Patient: “No. Vaccines cause cancer. I know that because I’ve been to Japan. People there aren’t vaccinated, and no one gets cancer in Japan.
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Old 03-02-2021   #920
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To Censor Or Not To Censor: The Editors’ Dilemma
DOCTOR/PHYSICIAN, NON-DIALOGUE, PENNSYLVANIA, PUNNY, SILLY, USA, VET | HEALTHY | MARCH 5, 2020
Our English Setter has had surgery to repair an ACL injury. She chews on her stitches and manages to pop one. We load her in the car to make the 45-minute drive to the vet, calling ahead to make sure they know we’re coming, as we know we’ll be pushing closing time for them.

We get there a few minutes before close and our vet comes into the waiting room to greet us. He picks up our girl and proclaims dramatically, “What did you do that for, you b****?!”

His vet tech (and we) totally lost it.

And he replaced the stitches with staples for us!
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Old 03-02-2021   #921
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Nancy The Needler Strikes Again!
BLOOD DONATION, JERK, USA | HEALTHY | MARCH 4, 2020
(While I am very squeamish about needles, I like to give blood often because I am a universal donor. I have family that have needed transfusions, so I like to donate in honor of the people who have helped them. Volunteers are usually very nice and ease my needle anxiety throughout the process. Not this time, though.)

Volunteer: “Lay down here.”

Me: “Okay. Just so you know, I’m kind of scared of needles. It would really help if you could just count down before you prick me.”

Volunteer: “No. I’m not doing that. Lay down.”

Me: *getting nervous now* “Wait. Why can’t you just count down to let me know when you’re putting the needle in?”

Volunteer: “You’re a big girl; suck it up.”

(She grabs my arm and quickly uses a wipe to disinfect the area. I’m a wreck, so I jump when she does this, even though I’m not in pain. I’m just so anxious about this needle now.)

Volunteer: “You can’t jump like that when I put the needle in! I’ll have to do it over if you jump like that!”

Me: “I won’t jump if you just count down or let me know when you’re putting it in!”

(I’m shaking at this point and close to hyperventilating.)

Volunteer: “What’s the point of giving blood if you’re going to be so jumpy?!”

(Eventually, I calm down enough for her to prick my arm quickly. A few months later, I’m giving blood again and am relaying this story to another volunteer, who was kind enough to count down before putting the needle in.)

Nice Volunteer: “Was she skinny, tall, dark hair…?”

Me: “Yes! That was her!”

Nice Volunteer: “Oh, that was Nancy. We got a lot of complaints about her. She doesn’t come to blood drives anymore”

(Thankfully, I never saw her again.)
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Old 03-02-2021   #922
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We’ve Heard Of Child Soldiers, But That’s Ridiculous
BLOOD DONATION, COLLEGE & UNIVERSITY, STRANGERS, STUPID, USA | HEALTHY | MARCH 3, 2020
(It’s circa 2009 and there is a blood drive going on at our school. I am sitting with a worker, doing the health screening questionnaire to rule out anything that would disqualify my blood. There are some questions that definitely shouldn’t apply, such as whether or not I’ve been in various parts of the world a decade before I was born, but I understand they need to be asked. Then, we get here

Worker: “Between 1988 and 1995, were you in the military or the dependent of someone in the military?”

Me: “Yes.”

(There’s a long pause.)

Worker: “So… you were a dependent?”

Me: *pause* “Yes.”

(Granted, I could have been more specific. But given that this blood drive was being held at a college, primarily with young adults who had only reached the age of conscription in the last five years, AND given that she had my birthdate of 1990 right in front of her on my paperwork… I didn’t think I needed to!)
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Old 03-02-2021   #923
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That’s The Spirit?
BIZARRE, RELIGION, USA, VET | HEALTHY | MARCH 2, 2020
(I work for a vet. The phone rings.)

Me: “[Clinic], this is [My Name]. How can I help you?”

Client: “Hi. I got a card in the mail that my cat is due for a checkup, so I’d like to schedule that.”

Me: “Certainly. May I have your last name?”

Client: “It’s [Last Name].”

Me: “Okay, and is this for [Cat]?”

Client: “Yes.”

Me: “Okay, according to our records, it looks like [Cat] is overdue for her upper respiratory and distemper vaccine. Would you like to have that boosted?”

Client: “Oh, I don’t know. I’ll have to talk to my husband about that. Can I let you know when I come in for the appointment?”

Me: “Of course.”

Client: “We’ll have to pray about it and dowse to decide.”

(As far as I know, dowsing refers to holding sticks to try and find groundwater. I have no idea how the client intends to use it to decide whether to vaccinate her cat.)
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Old 03-02-2021   #924
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One Catty Pharmacist
CALIFORNIA, IGNORING & INATTENTIVE, JERK, NON-DIALOGUE, PETS & ANIMALS, PHARMACY, USA | HEALTHY | MARCH 2, 2020
I work as a veterinary assistant at a cat clinic and know basic information about feline pharmacology. My friend’s cat takes 5 mg of a medication every day to control stress-mediated urinary crystals. His prescription is for 45 of the 10 mg tablets, with directions to give half a tablet each day.

My friend went to pick up the cat’s prescription from a large corporate pharmacy after work and did not think to check the prescription until she got home. What the pharmacy gave her was 90 of the 10 mg capsules, which cannot be cut in half, with instructions to give one capsule each day, which would be a double dose. The margin for error in many cat medications is pretty small, and a double dose could well cause serious harm. They also charged her about three times what that particular drug should cost from that pharmacy.

My friend called the pharmacy to complain and was put on with the pharmacy manager, who angrily insisted she had called the vet, the vet had changed the prescription, and the pharmacy had filled it according to the vet’s instructions. My friend knew this was nonsense but couldn’t prove it at that time because the vet clinic had closed for the evening.

The next day, my friend called the vet, whose receptionists confirmed that the prescription hadn’t changed and the pharmacy had never called them. My friend went back to the pharmacy after work with the information from the vet clinic, and they refunded her money and filled the correct prescription so fast she didn’t even get to ask for a manager. Another friend and I are encouraging her to make a formal complaint with corporate, as the mistake of instructing a patient to take a double dose could get the patient killed if the drug was, say, heart medication or a sedative.
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Old 03-02-2021   #925
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These Trainees Will Have You In Stitches
HEALTH & BODY, MEDICAL OFFICE, MILITARY, NEW HIRES, NON-DIALOGUE, USA | HEALTHY | FEBRUARY 27, 2020
CONTENT WARNING: This story contains content of a medical nature. It is not intended as medical advice.

The first time I have to have stitches is during annual training for the military. My unit is required to participate in an exercise across the country. However, there is a prep period of about a week to two weeks depending on the size of the unit for this particular exercise, where we are required to be present and mostly do checks of equipment.

During this time, I am messing with my knife while by my bunk. I go to close the blade and nick my finger pretty bad, about half an inch deep on the tip of my index finger, right to the side of the nail to about the middle of the finger pad. I immediately go to my first aid kit to get gauze, thinking I’ll be able to stop the bleeding with direct pressure. I manage to reduce the amount of blood pouring from my finger a little, but after about an hour it hasn’t stopped so I am escorted to the aid station.

It isn’t during sick call hours, so it’s pretty slow and I’m admitted quickly. Despite reserving non-sick call hours for life, limb, and eyesight situations, they agree to see me. The major who is the equivalent of a surgeon or doctor comes in and analyzes the wound. It’s still bleeding and the flesh is separated, so he determines that I’ll need three sutures to keep the wound closed. I’m asked the question that would lead to me having the worst pain I have experienced in my life.

“Since it isn’t a life-threatening wound, would you mind if we let a few trainees inject the novocaine apply the stitches?”

Ever so ignorant, I agree; besides, my mistake can be another person’s learning opportunity, so why not? I agree and I meet the two trainees who are my rank, and a nurse who is a non-commissioned officer walks in to supervise as well as the major.

As a boy, whenever I got nervous or fearful around needles and the like, my father taught me to overcome these fears by looking at the procedure and concentrating on the pain level and how the fear never really justified how much it actually hurt.

As they prepared the numbing agent and stuck me once, I felt nothing; the major concluded that they’d missed and had them do another dose. My finger felt numb at the base but the tip where they would be working still had full feeling. After triple the normal dose and six different tries, my finger was now swollen from the local anesthetic and I could still feel my fingertip. I could not receive any more medication, so they decided to continue anyway.

I’ve dealt with needles. They didn’t hurt too much except that the trainees weren’t smooth on the exit and tore a bit while removing the needle. That’s not too bad; I give blood regularly and I’ve experienced it before. However, I saw the hook that was about to be sent through my body three times and I shuddered. These trainees had likely never done this before on a live subject. Granted, it wasn’t that bad of a wound, but it was still in one of the most nerve-rich centers on the body.

I tried to look at the procedure as the hook was pushed in for the first time and I nearly teared up from the pain. The NCO saw this and went into what I later learned was trauma nurse practices of distraction and breathing exercises. We talked about family and other subjects and when the pain got worse, she had to remind me to breathe. Twice more, they put the string through the skin while I forced myself to hold my hand as still as possible. The first two were done by the trainees and the last by the major. The major had experience so it wasn’t as terrible and took considerably less time.

When I was done, they wrapped it up and sent me back to my tent with no meds or painkillers — which I sort of understand — just with training, gauze, and other medical supplies to change the bandages every 24 hours.

I still had to go through the week-long exercise, and my bandages were removed in the field with a pair of scissors a week later. I still have the scar from the uneven stitching and I shudder whenever I think about having inexperienced medical staff perform stitches without effective anesthetic. To this day, I don’t trust local anesthetic by anyone, and I had to be put under general when I had my wisdom teeth removed about two months later.
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Old 03-02-2021   #926
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This Story Will Take Your Breath Away
CALL CENTER, GERMANY, HEALTH & BODY, IMPOSSIBLE DEMANDS | HEALTHY | FEBRUARY 23, 2020
(I work in an inbound 24/7 call centre while studying. We take calls for over 150 different companies and can rarely do more than take their details and have them be called back, but we are not supposed to let the callers know that. On one of my last Saturday night shifts, my coworker receives a call from an elderly man for a company that sells and waits on equipment for patient care, including oxygen tanks for private use. Extra note: on weekends we rarely get any calls, so there are only two people in the office at a time.)

Coworker: “This is [Company]; how can I help you?”

Old Man: “My oxygen tank isn’t working. Please send someone to help me.”

Coworker: “I’m sorry, but we are already closed. I can make a note for support to call you back, but they will only see it on Monday. Do you require the oxygen supply constantly?”

Old Man: “I need my oxygen tank and it isn’t working. Please help me.”

Coworker: “I am really sorry, but there is nothing I can do until Monday. Please hang up and call emergency services; they will be able to help you until we can get your oxygen tank fixed.”

Old Man: “No! These are your oxygen tanks! You have to help me! Please help me!”

(They keep going in circles like this for almost 15 minutes, with the man repeating the phrase “please help me” until he hangs up on my coworker, but not before she has convinced him to tell her his name and address.)

Coworker: “I don’t know what to do. I don’t think he’s going to call an ambulance. What if something happens to him?”

Me: “Maybe we should call an ambulance for him to be sure? You got his address, right? Lack of oxygen can make people very confused, I think.”

(My coworker called our supervisor, because we are not technically allowed to make external calls. He said he didn’t know, either. We could call emergency services if we wanted to, but if the man decided to sue for breach of privacy, it would be on us. I decided to call the non-emergency line instead of my coworker, since they couldn’t fire me, anyway. The operator seemed more than a little weirded out by me calling an ambulance for a stranger I had never seen or spoken to but had an address and a name for, but he thanked me and my coworker for the effort. I never found out what happened to the old man, but I hope he was okay, whether he needed that ambulance or not. Emergency services are completely free here, by the way, for you concerned US citizens out there. PSA: At least around here, if you suspect someone’s life is in danger, you are totally allowed to disregard any data protection slips your workplace had you sign.)
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Old 03-02-2021   #927
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That Takes A Lot Of Balls
EDITORS' CHOICE, HARASSMENT, HEALTH & BODY, HOSPITAL, TEXAS, USA | HEALTHY | FEBRUARY 21, 2020
(I have to visit the hospital due to a wave of nausea that was bad enough to keep me from going to work. The doctor decides to have an ultrasound done on my abdomen to check for anything that may be causing it. The radiologist doing the scan is a rather gorgeous girl that looks like she’s in her mid-20s.)

Me: “I have to ask. What’s the weirdest thing anyone’s ever asked you while you do this?”

Radiologist: “You’re not gonna believe this. Sometimes I have to do ultrasounds on guys’… um… testicles, and in the middle of it, they start asking me if I’m seeing anyone, or if I wanna go out, things like that.”

Me: “Wait. They’re having ultrasounds done on their balls and they think they have a shot?”

Radiologist: “Yeah. And it’s always the ones who need them scanned, too. It’s never the ones who need their chest or anything else scanned; it’s always the ones who need their testicles scanned. Maybe it’s because my hand has to be… you know, down there to do the scans.”

Me: *laughs* “Ever been tempted to tell them, ‘You know I’m taking pictures of something that might not be working, right?’”

Radiologist: *bursts out laughing*
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Old 03-02-2021   #928
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What Part Of “NO MORE” Do You Not Understand?
HEALTH & BODY, HOSPITAL, IGNORING & INATTENTIVE, NURSES, USA | HEALTHY | FEBRUARY 19, 2020
(I go into labor with my son. My mother-in-law drives me to the hospital and they admit me right away as I am dilated enough that the birthing process can begin. I should note that the pregnancy has not been the best as I was a super sick one and had additional complications that necessitated ultrasounds — the invasive kind — every week after the first three months of pregnancy. I already decided long before we had our child that this would be my first and last child, as I have four stepkids, all of whom fulfill my life. Skip ahead to the labor. I ask for an epidural as my pain tolerance is low. The epidural has to be administered three times due to an unknown condition with scoliosis. The first time, nothing happens but lots of pain. The second time, only a portion of my body is numb but not the parts I need. Finally, the third time, it is bliss. I no longer feel pain, only enough pressure to get through the task. Everything goes smoothly from there. Then, I ask to be put back on the depo shot as I do not want to ever get pregnant again. I joke that I would get a hysterectomy if I could.)

Nurse #1 : “Oh, honey, don’t worry. Let’s give you some time to let the pain meds wear off and think about birth control later. You are just scared because of your recent pregnancy.”

Me: “No, thank you. Can you please put me on the shot ASAP? It’s not because I disliked the experience; this was a decision made long before I became pregnant. I only want one child, as I am happy with our home dynamics as they are.”

(The next day, I ask another nurse for the depo shot.)

Nurse #2 : “Okay, I’ll look into it.”

(Nothing ever happens. The next day, with another nurse…)

Me: “Hi. The pain medicine has worn off, which I know was a concern for the first nurse, and I would like to receive my depo shot now, while I am still admitted in the hospital.”

Nurse #3 : “Okay, I will look into it and see what we can do, but you are still very emotional from just having a child. Maybe give it a while before you decide to go back on birth control.”

Me: “Thank you, but I am certain I do not want to have any more children, and it’s not because of the labor experience I had.”

(Quite a time has passed, and I realize they are not looking into it for me. My final and last day in the hospital, I ask yet another nurse who is still skeptical, but finally, I get the shot and am happy to leave. Fast forward to my regular gynecologist appointment. The nurse asks me to take a pregnancy test and I say I will, but there is no need as my spouse has gotten a vasectomy. Only then do I realize she is one of the nurses from my time in the hospital; my gynecologist office is a part of the hospital that specializes in complications so for some things, the staff is the same.)

Nurse #3 : “Oh, I thought you were kidding about not having any more kids.”

Me: “No, I wasn’t, and since it is easier for men to get a vasectomy… that’s what we did. The depo shot now is to keep my endometriosis under control and a backup in case the vasectomy ever reverses itself.”

(Needless to say, I stopped using them as my doctor’s office and found a different one.)
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Old 03-02-2021   #929
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A Most Unreceptive Receptionist
JERK, MEDICAL OFFICE, RECEPTION, USA | HEALTHY | FEBRUARY 17, 2020
(I have a potential diagnosis of a rare and extremely painful neurological disorder. I have to schedule with a neurologist, who lives a four-hour drive from where I live. By this point, I’ve been in severe pain for several months, and my patience for rudeness is admittedly running a bit thin.)

Me: “Hi, I’m calling to see if I need an MRI before I come down.”

Receptionist: “The doctor will inform you if you need that at the appointment.”

Me: “Yes, I understand that, but it’s a four-hour drive to see this doctor and I have to stay overnight and I’d rather not have to do it more than once.”

Receptionist: *much more snippy than is necessary* “Well, that’s not my problem, is it?”

Me: “Pardon me, but I’ve been in fairly serious pain for a while and that’s why I’m calling your office — to make sure that the appointment to get rid of my pain runs smoothly.”

Receptionist: “There’s no reason to take that tone.”

Me: “Are you f****** kidding me?!”

Receptionist: “Young lady, if you insist on using that language with me, I will disconnect the call and inform [Doctor] of your attitude, and we’ll see if you see another neurologist in this hospital.”

(I disconnected the call, had a panic attack, and then cried with my mom for an hour. No one is making a first appointment with a specialist for happy fun times. If you don’t understand that someone is probably calling because they’re in pain or sick, maybe you shouldn’t work in healthcare.)
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Old 03-02-2021   #930
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Their Brain Is Fried From All That Reading
FRANCE, LAZY/UNHELPFUL, MEDICAL OFFICE, PATIENTS | HEALTHY | FEBRUARY 15, 2020
(I have a health issue which means I have to stay for a few months at a medical facility specialized for this problem. As it is not a hospital, meals are not served in the patient rooms but in a communal space. It works like a standard cafeteria, where most of the food is easy to see, but fries and some others are made at a different station a bit removed from the counter — but still very easy to see. On top of that, there are multiple menus, including on the counter, spelling out what dishes are available on any given day. This is an example of a conversation I’ve had multiple times.)

Other Patient: *seeing my plate* “How did you get fries?!”

Me: “I just asked for them.”

Other Patient: “But how was I supposed to know they had fries? It’s not very clear. Are there fries every day?”

Me: “No, only on the days where it’s on the menu.”

Other Patient: “And how do you know what’s on the menu?”

(I point to the menu right above the counter, written in big enough letters to be read from afar.)

Other Patient: *absolutely serious* “Well, if I have to read…”

Me: *facepalm*
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Old 03-02-2021   #931
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What A Pain In The Foot
BELGIUM, DOCTOR/PHYSICIAN, HOSPITAL, JERK | HEALTHY | FEBRUARY 13, 2020
(I trip and somehow my foot doubles up under me. At the ER, though, the doctor tells me the acute pain is not from the fall but a consequence of me being overweight — which, admittedly, I am. However, the pain persists with no show of diminishing and I decide to go back to my GP. He acknowledges that the x-ray taken at the ER was not conclusive and decides I need another kind of picture, one with radioactive isotopes. Note: I’m thirtyish at the time and I’m with my parents as, clearly, I’m unable to drive. Waiting for my turn, I overhear the following

Doctor: “I don’t care what she says. She is sixteen and she is here with her mother. Of course, she is not going to admit to being pregnant. I’m not going to inject her–” *with the isotopes* “–without a negative pregnancy test.”

Me: *quietly, to my mother* “They didn’t force me to do a test and I’m here with my mum, too.”

(I didn’t find out whether the teenager was pregnant or not. When reviewing my pictures, the doctor told me, “Ma’am, one thing is sure: you are in pain.” As it turned out, I had injured my foot during the fall and had to wear a cast for six weeks.)
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Old 03-02-2021   #932
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OBG! Will You Listen!
MEDICAL OFFICE, USA, WORDPLAY | HEALTHY | FEBRUARY 11, 2020
(I am a female veteran and need to make an OBGYN appointment. I call the appointment line to schedule. To help with understanding, I have a female primary doctor, “Julianne Smith.” For my OBGYN, I see another female doctor, “Rita Wilson.”)

Me: “Hello, I need to make an appointment for the women’s clinic.”

Scheduler: “Okay, you need an appointment with your primary provider?”

Me: “Yes, for the OBGYN.”

(In VA hospitals, the women’s clinic is not just for OBGYN, but other health-related issues, where the staff and patients are all female. I see both my doctors in this space.)

Scheduler: “Okay, so that’s with Julianne?”

Me: “No, not with her, the other one.”

Scheduler: “Oh, you meant your primary provider, Dr. Smith?”

Me: “No, please, I need the OBGYN.”

Scheduler: “Yes, Julianne?”

Me: “No, I need an appointment with Dr. Wilson.”

Scheduler: “Yes, Julianne?”

Me: “No! I need… Wait, are you saying Julianne or OBGYN?”

Scheduler: “OBGYN!”

Me: *now half deaf* “Okay, yes, the OBGYN. That’s the doctor I need to see.”

(The rest of the call went more smoothly after that!)
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Old 03-02-2021   #933
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Wait A Minute…
MEDICAL OFFICE, NURSES, USA, UTAH, WORDPLAY | HEALTHY | FEBRUARY 9, 2020
(I am a female. I wake up one morning and feel the indications of a flare-up of my Bell’s Palsy. When I get into work, I decide to call my doctor’s office to see if I can get in today to be checked out. They are able to squeeze in an appointment this morning for me. I arrive at the clinic well before my appointment time and find the waiting room quite busy. Knowing I am fortunate to even get an appointment this morning, I settle into a chair and wait to be called back to the exam rooms. Nearly an hour later, I am called back by the nurse. As she leads me to the exam room, we stop off at the scale to get weight and temperature. As I step off the scale, disappointed at the number, the nurse leads me on to the exam room and says to me

Nurse: “Sorry about your wait.”

Me: “Umm, yeah. Me, too.”

(My mind, still on the scale results, thinks she meant “weight” and now I’m wondering if I should be offended. Had she said, “Sorry about THE wait,” I probably would not be so confused.)

Me: *finally realizing what she meant* “Oh, you meant the waiting room.”

Nurse: “Yes! I would never…”
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Old 03-02-2021   #934
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We Need To Quarantine Up All The Stupid
ASSISTED LIVING, IGNORING & INATTENTIVE, MICHIGAN, STUPID, USA | HEALTHY | FEBRUARY 7, 2020
(I work at the front desk of an assisted living community and at this time, a nasty norovirus is making its rounds of our residents and staff. We’ve been on a “visitor restriction” and quarantine for the past week, meaning unless your visit is mandatory for the continued well-being of the resident, you don’t come in. We’ve emailed all of the family, friends, and health care companies about the restrictions, asking them to call if they’re thinking about a visit, and I’ve posted a sign on the front door, with bold, black lettering highlighted in florescent orange, right at an average eye-level height.)

Visitor #1 : *walks in, oblivious to the sign* “Hello!”

Me: “Hello! Before you sign in, I have to let you know we’re under quarantine at the moment, so all visitors are restricted.”

Visitor #1 : “Oh? What’s going on?”

Me: “Well, like the sign on the door says…” *goes on to explain and they leave*

Visitor #2 : *waltzes in, ignoring the sign* “Good morning!”

Me: “Good morning! Just so you know…” *explains quarantine again*

Visitor #2 : “Huh! You should really post a sign or something!”

Me: *glances between her and the sign* “Yeah…”

Visitor #3 : “What do you mean, you’re still under quarantine?! I drove [amount of miles] to visit [Resident]! I’m her daughter!”

Me: “We called, emailed, and posted signs asking visitors to call before they come. I see you’re on the list that we called. Is [number/email] your correct phone number and email?”

Visitor #3 : “Well, I got the call, but I didn’t think it applied to me!”

(I will never, in my years of working with the general public, understand why people are so g**d*** stupid.)
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Old 03-02-2021   #935
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Unable To Digest That Women Have Other Parts
BIGOTRY, FRANCE, HEALTH & BODY, JERK, PHARMACY | HEALTHY | FEBRUARY 5, 2020
(My aunt wakes up one day with very bad stomach pain and gas. My uncle goes to the pharmacy for her and has this conversation with the pharmacist at the counter.)

Uncle: “My wife has stomach pain; what kind of medicine should she take?”

Pharmacist: *in a nonchalant tone* “It must be period cramps. Don’t worry.”

Uncle: “My wife who’s menopaused for two years? I don’t think so.”

Pharmacist: “Then it’s her menopause. Again, no worries.”

Uncle: “I didn’t know menopause could cause stomach pain.”

Pharmacist: *now with a more pedantic tone* “Well, you see, it’s not her stomach. Don’t worry about it.”

(By now my uncle is getting a little pissed off by the pharmacist’s insistence, so he puts his hands on the counter and speaks slowly.)

Uncle: “Listen here. My wife wakes up with stomach pain. The upper part of her belly is swollen; that’s where the stomach is. And she has gas coming from her digestive system, where the stomach is connected. Can I have a medicine for that or not?”

(The pharmacist went to his manager, who found the correct medicine in one minute. We don’t know why he was so insistent with his false diagnosis.)
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Old 03-02-2021   #936
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Proving These Things Can Be A Real Pain In The Butt
ELEMENTARY/PRIMARY SCHOOL, HEALTH & BODY, MALAYSIA, NURSES | HEALTHY | FEBRUARY 3, 2020
(The vaccine for tuberculosis is called BCG and it’s given to newborn infants in many countries. It leaves a small scar that proves you have been vaccinated. In Malaysia, it is administered on the left shoulder. Up until the ’90s, kids used to get a booster shot in year six of primary school, around age 11 or 12. Since it’s reputed to be a rather painful jab, my entire class is already quite apprehensive when we’re lined up in front of the school nurse, and then this happens

Nurse: “Where’s your original BCG scar?”

Me: “It’s on my backside.”

Nurse: “What do you mean? How come you don’t have it on your shoulder?”

Me: “I was born in Singapore! In Singapore, they jab babies on the backside!”

Nurse: “I have to check.”

Me: “Can’t I just phone my parents and have them talk to you?”

(After arguing with her for a few minutes, I was so scared that I would have to lift my skirt and show the nurse my buttocks that when she finally gave in and just gave me the jab, the pain was actually a relief.)
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Old 03-02-2021   #937
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Have A Bad Feeling In The Back Of My Throat About This
AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY, CANBERRA, HOSPITAL, IGNORING & INATTENTIVE, NURSES | HEALTHY | FEBRUARY 1, 2020
(I am scheduled for a tonsillectomy in the afternoon. My mother gets a call in the morning.)

Nurse: “Is [My Name] all ready for her big surgery?”

Mother: “I guess so; I haven’t heard from her today.”

Nurse: “She hasn’t eaten in the past twelve hours, has she?”

Mother: “I wouldn’t know.”

Nurse: “You should know. She may not be able to have surgery if she ate; it’s too dangerous!”

Mother: “Given that she’s a twenty-seven-year-old woman, why don’t you call her mobile and ask her whether she ate?”

Nurse: *embarrassed silence*

(Most people having this surgery are children, and it’s protocol to call their parents and confirm the surgery. Why they didn’t check the age of the patient before calling my emergency contact is beyond me! It was funny at the time but also a breach of my privacy.)
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Old 03-02-2021   #938
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This Doctor Is Not The Antibiotic Cream Of The Crop
DOCTOR/PHYSICIAN, HEALTH & BODY, LAZY/UNHELPFUL, MEDICAL OFFICE, UK | HEALTHY | JANUARY 30, 2020
(I go to the doctor due to fainting.)

Doctor: “Have you ever had eczema?”

(Eczema is a dry skin condition and cannot cause fainting.)

Me: “Yes, but not for years and I don’t currently have it.”

Doctor: “It’s just eczema; take cream and you’ll be fine.”

Me: “But why am I collapsing?”

Doctor: “You’ll be fine; just put antibiotic cream on.”

(Three hours later, I collapsed and hit my head, ending up in A&E. It turns out I’m epileptic.)
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Old 03-02-2021   #939
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The MRI Is Not A Time Machine
IMPOSSIBLE DEMANDS, MEDICAL OFFICE, USA, WEATHER | HEALTHY | JANUARY 28, 2020
(I work in an outpatient radiology facility. We have normal operating hours of 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, with the exception of MRI, which is open until 9:00 pm due to demand. On the day this story takes place, we have been having terrible winter weather with lots of snow and wind. Many sections of the freeway have been closed, but not all. I answer a call from a patient scheduled for one of our evening appointments.)

Patient: “I have an appointment tonight at 5:30, but I was wondering if I could come in earlier?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but our schedule is completely full. I don’t have any earlier spots I could move you to.”

Patient: “But I have another appointment tonight and I’m afraid I won’t be out in time.”

Me: “I can move your appointment to another day if you need.”

Patient: “No, I really need to get this done today. Are you sure you don’t have anywhere you could put me?”

Me: “No, I don’t, I’m afraid. There is someone scheduled right before you and our appointments are back to back.”

Patient: *hems and haws in an irritated way* “Well, what if I come in earlier anyway?”

Me: “You can, but it would just be that much longer you have to wait for your scan.”

Patient: “Why? What’s your logic?”

Me: *thinking, seriously?* “Because the person ahead of you will still be in the machine and it won’t be ready for you yet.”

Patient: *hems and haws some more* “Well, can’t you just switch me with them?”

Me: *knowing the person ahead of him is coming from over an hour away on terrible roads, but of course, I can’t say that* “No, sir, I can’t do that. Again, I can change your appointment to another day if this evening won’t work.”

Patient: *hems and haws even more* “No, I’ll just see you tonight.”
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Old 03-02-2021   #940
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They Need Brain Drops
FINLAND, IGNORING & INATTENTIVE, INSURANCE, PHARMACY, STUPID | HEALTHY | JANUARY 26, 2020
(I work in a pharmacy. The national Finnish health insurance covers certain medicines — insulin, medicine for glaucoma, etc. — almost 100%; you only pay 4,50 euros for three months’ use. But there is a price range the insurance covers and if there are less expensive generic alternatives, the insurance covers only the cheapest for 4,50€. You can still have the more expensive brand, but you have to pay the price difference yourself. Some medicines don’t have generic alternatives for years, but when they eventually come available, this is often the discussion

Me: “This eyedrop used to be 4,50€ but now there’s another brand that is 19€ cheaper so the health insurance covers only the cheaper one for that price. If you don’t want to change brands, you have to pay 4,50€ plus 19€; that is 23,50€.”

Patient: “Okay, I don’t want to change brands; I want to talk with my doctor first. I’ll take the original.”

Me: “Yes, that’s fine. You can have either one, but for the original, you now have to pay 23,50€.”

Patient: “Yes, but I don’t want another brand. I’ll just take the original today and talk with my doctor about the generic alternative. I’ve always used [Brand]. I’ll take that one.”

Me: “All right. I understand the situation. There used to be only [Brand] but last month [Cheaper Brand] became available and they set their price much lower. That is why the health insurance doesn’t cover the original [Brand] anymore, even though it used to cost only 4,50€. But you can still always choose the original one if you want. It’s just a bit more expensive now.” *enters the original brand on the computer and sends the customer to pay*

(An hour goes by and the telephone rings

Patient: “Yeah, I was there earlier and bought my glaucoma drops. They should be 4,50€ but it says on the receipt that I paid 23,50€ ! Why was it so much?”

Me: “…” *loses a little bit more faith in humanity every time*
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Old 03-02-2021   #941
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Make Cheesy Choices, Suffer Cheesy Consequences
CONFERENCE, DOCTOR/PHYSICIAN, FUNNY NAMES, SILLY, USA | HEALTHY | JANUARY 26, 2020
The healthcare organization where I work is setting up an educational conference for our members, who are mostly doctors and nurses. When people register for the conference online, they have the option of customizing their name badges with nicknames and Twitter handles.

My coworker is preparing attendee name badges and notices something. An attendee, a doctor whose last name includes the word “cheese,” has customized his nickname to “The Cheeseman.” After much deliberation, we decide to print the name badge as-is.

At the conference, my coworker meets the attendee, hands him his registration packet, and shows him the name badge.

Doctor: “Wow… I don’t remember doing that. I must have been s***faced!”

Coworker: “We can print you a new one, if you’d like.”

Doctor: *Solemnly, and a little sadly* “No… No, I deserve this.”

He took his badge and wore it for the entire conference.
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Old 03-02-2021   #942
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The Fall (And Rise) Of Medical Care
ASSISTED LIVING, DOCTOR/PHYSICIAN, EDITORS' CHOICE, LAZY/UNHELPFUL, THE NETHERLANDS | HEALTHY | JANUARY 24, 2020
(About ten years ago, I worked on an island off the Dutch coast in a nursing home. This happened on one of my night shifts. Note, at that time there were no helicopters allowed to fly at night. It’s just after 12 when I get a call from a resident. I can’t hear her, so I run as fast as I can to her to see if she needs help. The moment I step through the bathroom door, I can see she’s broken her hip. As she’s quite a big woman, my coworker and I can’t get her off the ground, so we call the local GP, who sends the ambulance to help us out. I ask him what medication she should be given, as she’s already in a lot of pain. The GP replies that I can give her paracetamol and call him if it’s not enough. Ten minutes later, the ambulance is onsite and they lift the resident into her bed. I give her 1000 mg paracetamol and cross everything in hopes it’ll at least do something. Forty-five minutes later, it’s clear it didn’t do anything — not surprising, really — and I call the GP again. He tells me to give her another dose of paracetamol and he says she’ll be transported off the island on the quick ferry around 8:00 am. I tell him that I don’t think paracetamol is going to cut it, but he insists. Another 45 minutes later, I call him again, saying it didn’t help and her condition is worsening due to the immense pain she’s in. I can see her getting a fever, amongst other things. He tells me to give her paracetamol again. By this time, she’s had 3000 mg in just over 90 minutes! It’s not good, but I’m not allowed to give her anything else, nor do I have the right papers to decide on anything else. I’m really frustrated and get the feeling the GP is not listening to anything I say. I go and have a look at the medication cabinet and find an unopened bottle of morphine that was described to a resident that died two weeks ago. I call the GP again and ask him to allow me to give her morphine, instead. He says yes, go ahead. Then, the following conversation takes place.)

Me: “All right, if you’ll send me the prescription by fax I’ll get right on it.”

GP: “Yeah, just give her [dose]; I’ll write the prescription in the morning.”

Me: “No, you know I’m not allowed to do that; it’s morphine. I need that prescription.”

GP: “In the morning!” *hangs up*

(I call right back.)

Me: “[GP’s First Name], I’ll give you exactly five minutes to write and fax that prescription, before I’ll head over to your house, grab you by the hair, and drag you out of bed to write it. Understood? Your time starts now!” *hangs up*

(It’s not nice of me, I know, but I’m really tired and I feel unheard. I walk over to the fax and within three minutes, the prescription has arrived. My coworker — who’s been doing all the work I should have been doing in the meantime — and I give the resident the morphine and within ten minutes I can see it’s finally working and the pain gets a bit less by around three in the morning. I start doing some other work, like writing a report for the hospital and packing a bag for the resident. At around five, I get a phone call.)

GP: “Hi, [My Name], since you haven’t called again I gather the morphine has started working?”

Me: “Yes, it has. She’s doing a bit better; she’s still in pain, but the edge is taken off.”

GP: “Yes, well, you know I said she’d be getting on the quick ferry? I’m having a problem as I need that spot for a woman in labour.”

Me: “So… she’s flying at dawn?”

GP: “Well… no. The helicopter is standing by for a man with heart problems.”

Me: “Right. So, normal ferry it is?!”

GP: “You see, that’s the problem. There’s nobody at the ferry headquarters who can accompany her. I can’t do anything other than hope to get her on the next ferry at noon.”

(That would be over 12 hours after she’s taken the fall and I know she’ll get worse if this takes too long.)

Me: “You know, I’m on the normal ferry this morning. I can accompany her.”

GP: “Really?”

Me: “Yes, if [Ferry Company] allows it, I can do it.”

GP: “I’ll call them and let them know.”

(They did allow me to accompany her; they even reimbursed my ticket and gave me breakfast! In the end, I did report my behaviour to my boss and told her what I’d said to the GP. She laughed it off and told me not to worry, as she thought it was hilarious.)
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Old 03-02-2021   #943
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The Tooth Of The Matter Is, They Suck
DENTIST, DOCTOR/PHYSICIAN, JERK, LAZY/UNHELPFUL, PENNSYLVANIA, RECEPTION, USA | HEALTHY | JANUARY 22, 2020
Around mid-October, I begin to feel pain on the upper side in the back of my jaw. I didn’t have my wisdom teeth out as a teen, so I know I’ve waited too long to have them removed. At this point in my life, I’m on state Medicaid; I find a dentist who takes my insurance and see them in early November. The dentist confirms it’s my wisdom teeth coming in and refers me to an oral surgeon, as the X-rays indicate that all four are bone-impacted.

I call the oral surgeon’s office and get an appointment for December 28th. It goes well; they take another set of X-rays that informs us that the roots of my top wisdom teeth have grown into my sinus cavity. The bottom two are close enough to my nerve that he wants all four extracted, I will have to be anesthetized for it, and they need to come out ASAP. He assures they’ll submit the paperwork and the insurance will get back to me within two weeks.

I leave satisfied.

Two weeks roll around, nothing. I give calling the insurance an extra day, due to Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. They inform me that they have no record of any submission at all. They call the oral surgeon’s office and assure me that the office will resubmit the paperwork. I ask her how long it will take — by this point, one wisdom tooth has partially erupted; the other side of that tooth is pushing on my last molar — and am informed if the office submits online, it will take two days.

I then call the oral surgeon to find out how they might be submitting the paperwork, so I can find out how long I’m going to be in pain. I speak with a lovely woman who, in response to my question, replies, “I don’t know,” and hangs up on me. I call back immediately; it goes straight to the office message.

I call the insurance company back and ask if anything can be done. At this point, I can only wait for them to submit the paperwork, but I am urged that if they don’t, to contact state Medicaid and make a complaint.

I wait 24 hours and call the surgeon again. This time I get another woman, who is actually helpful. Surprise, surprise, no one submitted my paperwork. They also can only submit by mail, so there is at least a two-week wait. [Employee #2 ] assures me that she’ll submit the paperwork. She apologizes for her coworker with an exasperated sigh that tells me this isn’t the first problem [Employee #1 ] has caused.

Two weeks pass. I finally get a response from the insurance company in the mail: the extraction is approved, but general anesthesia is not. According to the paperwork, whoever submitted used the wrong code for the new year and it needs to be resubmitted, again.

It’s now Mid-February and I have been dealing with wisdom tooth pain since October. I can barely eat or sleep because of the pain.

I call state Medicaid and make a complaint about the way I was treated and how the situation was handled. I am told that my complaint is not valid because I did not receive services from the surgeon. They also will not approve the general anesthesia because I do not have any medical reason for it, i.e., fear of needles, anxiety, etc. To have all four bone-impacted wisdom teeth removed. At one time. No need. At all.

I find another dentist farther from my area and make the earliest appointment they have. They recommend me to another surgeon, even farther than the first surgeon. I get an appointment with the second surgeon within the week. He apologizes for the first surgeon and assures me that they’ll handle it properly.

It’s now the beginning of March. I get the paperwork from the insurance regarding the new surgeon’s submission; everything’s perfect. I have the surgery on March 27th, half a year after the pain started. It takes longer than expected, as my mouth is small; the surgeon has to take my bottom wisdom teeth in pieces to work around the nerves. I am advised to stay on bed-rest for the next five days.

Everything works out just fine — months pass and my jaw has healed completely. I end up getting a full-time job and dental insurance — different from state Medicaid — through them.

Sometime around August, I get a letter in the mail from my insurance, denying payment for an appointment from the very first dentist I saw about a referral to an oral surgeon.

I call that dentist and have my files transferred as quickly as I can.
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Old 03-02-2021   #944
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Try Dispensing A Little Information?
AUSTRALIA, PHARMACY, STUPID | HEALTHY | JANUARY 18, 2020
Me: “Can I help you find something in particular?”

Customer: “I’m looking for a box of medicine.”

Me: “Okay, is it for you?”

Customer: “No, my friend.”

Me: “What was it for?”

Customer: “I don’t know.”

Me: “Do you know what it looks like?”

Customer: “I don’t know.”

Me: “What do you use it for?”

Customer: “Err, I don’t know.”

Me: “Is it for stomachache, headache?” *pointing to these areas*

Customer: “I don’t know.”

(I pause to try and think of some way to help.)

Customer: “Can I go in there?” *points to the dispensary*

Me: “No.”

Customer: “Oh. I’ll ring my friend.”

(She went outside to ring her friend but she never returned! I never got to find out what box of medicine she wanted!)
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Old 03-02-2021   #945
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Some People Are Terrified Of Even A Sniff Of Gay
BIGOTRY, OHIO, PETS & ANIMALS, STUPID, USA, VET | HEALTHY | JANUARY 15, 2020
(I’m at a vet’s office for my pug when I overhear this

Receptionist: “No, ma’am, your dog is not gay. They sniff each other’s rear ends to introduce themselves. All dogs do it.
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Old 03-02-2021   #946
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The Dermatologist Will Determine That You Need Thicker Skin
IMPOSSIBLE DEMANDS, MEDICAL OFFICE, PATIENTS, TEXAS, USA | HEALTHY | JANUARY 12, 2020
(My doctor’s office is small, with only one dermatologist, a physician assistant, and a nurse practitioner. The doctor and nurse practitioner see daily, while the PA is only here Tuesdays and Thursdays. Even so, our schedule stays booked, and new patients have been calling all through the month to get on the schedule.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Office]; how can I help you?”

Patient: “If I walk in there today, can I be seen by the doctor?”

Me: “I’m afraid not. The doctor is out on vacation until the week after next, and our nurse practitioner has no openings currently.”

Patient: “Well, can I get on the schedule for this week?”

Me: “Sir, it’s Friday. We don’t have any openings today.”

Patient: “What about next week?”

Me: “We don’t have any then, either, because we’re only open Monday, Thursday, and Friday next week, due to New Year’s Eve and Day.”

Patient: “Really? You can’t just nudge someone for me?”

Me: “We don’t do that, sir. You can call each day to see if an appointment is available if you like, but I can’t promise we’ll have an opening for you.”

Patient: “Well, what’s your next available appointment?”

Me: “For the doctor, mid-February. To see the PA or nurse practitioner, it’ll be mid-January.”

Patient: “That’s too long! I have really good insurance! You’re sure there’s nothing at all?”

Me: *checks schedule, just in case, though I have looked at it extensively by this point* “No, sir, nothing has opened up. I can set you for January 14th with our PA, if you’d like.”

Patient: “I can’t believe this! What’s the point of having good insurance if you’re not going to fit me in?”

Me: “We only have one provider here today, and there’s only so many people she can see. The same goes for next week, as well.”

Patient: “So knock someone!”

Me: “I’m not going to do that, sir.”

Patient: “UGH! Forget this!”

(He called back forty minutes later to have a similar conversation with my coworker and then threw a large fit that she didn’t have anything until the end of January due to the influx of calls. The weird part is that there’s another dermatology office in the same city, and another in the next city 20 minutes away, so he had options.)
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Old 03-04-2021   #947
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Some People Are Terrified Of Even A Sniff Of Gay
BIGOTRY, OHIO, PETS & ANIMALS, STUPID, USA, VET | HEALTHY | JANUARY 15, 2020
(I’m at a vet’s office for my pug when I overhear this

Receptionist: “No, ma’am, your dog is not gay. They sniff each other’s rear ends to introduce themselves. All dogs do it.”
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Old 03-04-2021   #948
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The Dermatologist Will Determine That You Need Thicker Skin
IMPOSSIBLE DEMANDS, MEDICAL OFFICE, PATIENTS, TEXAS, USA | HEALTHY | JANUARY 12, 2020
(My doctor’s office is small, with only one dermatologist, a physician assistant, and a nurse practitioner. The doctor and nurse practitioner see daily, while the PA is only here Tuesdays and Thursdays. Even so, our schedule stays booked, and new patients have been calling all through the month to get on the schedule.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Office]; how can I help you?”

Patient: “If I walk in there today, can I be seen by the doctor?”

Me: “I’m afraid not. The doctor is out on vacation until the week after next, and our nurse practitioner has no openings currently.”

Patient: “Well, can I get on the schedule for this week?”

Me: “Sir, it’s Friday. We don’t have any openings today.”

Patient: “What about next week?”

Me: “We don’t have any then, either, because we’re only open Monday, Thursday, and Friday next week, due to New Year’s Eve and Day.”

Patient: “Really? You can’t just nudge someone for me?”

Me: “We don’t do that, sir. You can call each day to see if an appointment is available if you like, but I can’t promise we’ll have an opening for you.”

Patient: “Well, what’s your next available appointment?”

Me: “For the doctor, mid-February. To see the PA or nurse practitioner, it’ll be mid-January.”

Patient: “That’s too long! I have really good insurance! You’re sure there’s nothing at all?”

Me: *checks schedule, just in case, though I have looked at it extensively by this point* “No, sir, nothing has opened up. I can set you for January 14th with our PA, if you’d like.”

Patient: “I can’t believe this! What’s the point of having good insurance if you’re not going to fit me in?”

Me: “We only have one provider here today, and there’s only so many people she can see. The same goes for next week, as well.”

Patient: “So knock someone!”

Me: “I’m not going to do that, sir.”

Patient: “UGH! Forget this!”

(He called back forty minutes later to have a similar conversation with my coworker and then threw a large fit that she didn’t have anything until the end of January due to the influx of calls. The weird part is that there’s another dermatology office in the same city, and another in the next city 20 minutes away, so he had options.)
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Old 03-04-2021   #949
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Eye See What You’re Doing
JERK, LIARS/SCAMMERS, OHIO, OPTOMETRIST/OPTICIAN, PATIENTS, USA | HEALTHY | JANUARY 9, 2020
(I work in a fairly busy eye clinic. Despite having eleven doctors, spots for our regular eye exams are booked out months in advance. However, we keep emergency spots open for any patients that need to be seen immediately. Note that it’s also Christmas time, one of our busiest times of year because people have met their deductibles and want to be seen before the end of the year. I’m looking at the schedule one day and see a name I recognize. It’s a woman who’s called in several times wanting a regular eye exam with one and only one particular doctor, who happens to be the most popular doctor at our practice, whose schedule is the hardest to get into. But I see she’s coming in for an emergency situation, while said doctor is in the office, which should only take maybe half an hour — our regular eye exam patients are usually there for an hour and a half. Lucky me, I get her chart when she comes in. I walk her back to the exam room.)

Me: “So, what brings you in today? My note line states you’re having some new flashes and floaters?”

(We take these very seriously as they can mean a retinal detachment.)

Patient: “Oh, no, nothing like that. I just told them that because I knew I could get in. I just want my regular eye exam. You have to help me now that I’m here.”

Me: *dumbfounded* “One moment, ma’am.”

(I walk out of the room to talk to my doctor. She already has a completely booked schedule for the day and adding the extra testing would set her behind for all the other patients who had a legitimate appointment. Unfortunately, my doctor is also a super nice woman who tells me to go ahead and do the exam. I do the exam but inform the patient it will be a long wait due to the change in exam type because we now have different things we have to do and she’ll be placed in the wait box behind other patients who are already there — there were about three people in front of her. She says it’s fine and goes to wait in the waiting area. Ten minutes into waiting, she comes up to me complaining she still hasn’t seen the doctor yet. I tell her she will be seen as soon as it’s her turn. Apparently, that’s not good enough for her.)

Patient: “You dumb b****! I’m here for an emergency! I should be seen before all these people!”

Me: “Ma’am? You told me earlier you’re here for a regular eye exam, not the emergency you told them so you could be seen. My doctor was kind enough to let you stay in the schedule despite this. She will get to you as soon as she can.”

Patient: “That’s not my f****** problem. She needs to see me now!”

(My doctor heard the commotion as she was stepping out of her current exam room. She told me to just bring the patient in and she’d see her so she’d stop bothering everyone. The lady gave me a smug smile as she walked into the exam room. I hate when they reward bad behavior. Of course, that left me in a room with other patients who had actually been waiting their turns, glaring at me.)
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Old 03-04-2021   #950
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Pushing Buttons Is Not Your Calling
HOSPITAL, NON-DIALOGUE, NURSES, PENNSYLVANIA, PITTSBURGH, TECHNOLOGY, USA | HEALTHY | JANUARY 6, 2020
I am in the hospital after having emergency surgery on a dislocated ankle and a broken leg. It is the middle of the night and my post-surgery pain medicine has worn off. I locate the nurse call button and press it, but nothing happens. I do this multiple times, to no avail.

I grab my cell phone and use the flashlight to light up the room telephone so I can read the number. I call the number and let the phone ring. It is loud and doesn’t stop, because I don’t answer it. After about five minutes, a nurse comes to investigate why the phone is ringing, and I am able to tell her I’m in extreme pain.

She brings me pain medicine and tells me that they’ve had issues with the button in the past. It wasn’t unplugged or anything; it just flat out didn’t work! Why they’d still use it completely mystifies me!
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