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    Forward-Time Is Backwards-Progress

    | USA | Coworkers, Lazy/Unhelpful, Technology

    (I am a hospital lab scientist. During morning runs, the engineering department is running a generator test. Nurses send us lab samples through a pneumatic tube system in the walls; however, this is not on generator power as it is not essential to hospital operations. The generator test is scheduled to start at 4:00. At 3:50, there is a PA announcement to not put anything in the tube system, because anything in there when the generator test starts will not be able to get to its destination until full power is restored at 5:30. I get a phone call from a nurse at about 5:15.)

    Nurse: “Hi. I sent down some labs at 3:45, and I haven’t seen results, so I was wondering what’s happened.”

    Me: “I’m sorry about that. Let me see if I can see what happened. What patient and what labs did you send?”

    (She lists off some labs, one of which is EXTREMELY time sensitive. Because of that, they are always run immediately after arriving in the lab. I search around the lab for a bit before realizing that the samples are not in our computer system.)

    Me: “I am sorry. It seems that we haven’t received those samples yet.”

    Nurse: “Well, I sent them a long time ago.”

    Me: “Let me go check something.”

    (I go talk to our lab assistant who logs samples into the computer as soon as they arrive. She has not seen any samples for this patient.)

    Me: “Nope. They haven’t gotten here. Most likely, they didn’t make it out of the tubes before the power went down. So, we will get them when the power comes back but as one of them has a fifteen-minute expiration, that one will need to be redrawn.”

    Nurse: “This is ridiculous. I put it in the tubes. I saw them go up into the tube system.”

    Me: “I’m not arguing that they didn’t go into the tubes. I’m just saying they didn’t come out.”

    Nurse: “I need results.”

    Me: “I understand that. But the samples are in the tubes. And the tubes are much too small for me to climb into to retrieve the samples. We’ll get them when power is returned, however we are going to need a new [time-sensitive test].”

    Nurse: *huffs* “Well, I’ll get you some new ones. But this is ridiculous.”

    (I feel for her, and for the patient that will have to be redrawn, but know that it was probably her fault for cutting it too close to the time that the tubes would turn off and she hoped that they’d make in time so she didn’t have to walk to the lab with them. Sure enough, when the tubes come back on the samples pop out. Interestingly enough, the samples are labeled as being drawn at 0350, not the 0345 that she claimed, which means that either she was forward timing the samples to get them an extra five minutes on the time sensitive ones (which is STRICTLY against protocol), or she put the samples in the tubes AFTER engineering had warned her not to. At about 5:35 she calls back.)

    Nurse: “I still don’t have results.”

    (I frantically look around for the redraw, and realize with horror that we haven’t gotten those ones either.)

    Me: “I’m sorry, I don’t have them yet.”

    Nurse: “This is ridiculous! I don’t understand how you only lose MY samples. You are all against me. That girl who sounded like she has four more years in high school told me that the first ones got lost.”

    Me: “It was me who talked to you the first time, and though I know I sound young, I’ve been out of college for two years, thank you. And, they were not lost, they were simply in the tubes because they’d been put in there too late. I understand your frustration. I really do. However, I don’t understand how I am expected to give you results on a sample that I DO NOT HAVE.”

    Nurse: “You have a vendetta against me.” *I don’t even know her*

    Me: “I understand your frustration. But I don’t understand what you want me to do about this.”

    Nurse: “All right, I’ll redraw them again, but I’m walking them down this time.”

    Me: “That sounds like a good idea.”

    (Two minutes after this conversation, we receive the second set of samples, which are labeled 0500, but we still need a new one of the time sensitive ones. After this is all resolved, our lab assistant points out an important point.)

    Lab Assistant: “Wait. If she didn’t know that the samples were put in the tubes too late, then why did she redraw at 0500 when she hadn’t talked to you the first time until 0515? She back-timed them to make it seem like she had been waiting longer than she had!”

    (The next day, after the nurse complained to the lab manager, the lab manager asked me to relate the incident. The lab assistant is again there. When I said that finally the nurse decided to just walk the samples there, the lab assistant chimed in that she hadn’t. She had tubed them the third time as well.)

    Management: You’re Doing It Wrong

    | England, UK | Bad Behavior, Bosses & Owners, Crazy Requests

    (My boss knows I used to work for an inspection company and is trying to exploit that.)

    Boss: “Ring them up and get it done for next week.”

    Me: “Okay, I’ll try, but I know they are very busy and get booked up months in advance.”

    Boss: “Just get it done.”

    (I ring them up.)

    Me: *on phone* “Hi, it’s [My Name]. Do you have any spare slots for some work next week?”

    Receptionist: “Sorry, [My Name], we are booked solid for the next three months.”

    Me: “No problem; I figured as much. Please let me know of any cancellations.”

    (I hang up and go to tell my boss.)

    Me: “Sorry, boss, they are booked solid. They just don’t have anyone spare.”

    Boss: “No! You ring them up and tell them to do it.”

    Me: “Tell them to do it? They choose what work they want to do; they are a multi-million pound company. They won’t jump to my order.”

    Boss: “Just do it!”

    (I give up ring again and email all week. Thankfully, as I know the MD, he personally does the work for us despite everything.)

    Me: “Here are the results you wanted. They have colour-coded everything you asked for.”

    Boss: “Tell them to do this as well.”

    Me: “No.”

    Boss: “Do it.”

    Me: “No. The MD of the company did me a massive favour when they were exceptionally busy. If you want to order around someone far more senior than you, you ring him.”

    Boss: “I… err.”

    Me: “Besides, I happen to know he is off on holiday now.”

    Boss: *suddenly calm* “Okay then, [My Name], it doesn’t matter.”

    (And after that he was fine again, I’m still here nearly a year later, although I do have to have a go every once in a while when he blows up.)

    Pray There Is No Weekend Expansion

    , | Montreal, QC, Canada | Awesome Workers, Coworkers, Geeks Rule, Technology

    (A friend and I are chatting at work. Note that we met through ‘World of Warcraft.’ This happens in the morning when we both log in to chat.)

    Me: “Welcome to the world of work! WoW: boring edition!”

    Friend: “WoW, like you’ve never seen it before! Grinding (to keep your job). New skills: copying, scanning, and sorting mail. New quests: copying, scanning, and sorting mail. New dailies: copying, scanning, and sorting mail. BUY IT TODAY!! Bonus: PHONES! WoW:RLE (Real Life Edition). Play today!”

    (Awesome way to start a Monday morning.)

    Birthing New Stupid, Part 2

    | England, UK | Employees, Health & Body, Ignoring/Inattentive

    (I’ve previously suffered what can be classed as ‘nausea attacks’ previously and been tests for various ailments that have come back clear. I move to a new town and a few months later have another bout of nausea so go to my new doctor.)

    Me: “I’ve suffered from this previously and had [names of tests] done but they came back clear but I was told to return to a GP if the symptoms come back.”

    Female Doctor: “So what is wrong?”

    Me: “Well, I am feeling sick—”

    Female Doctor: “You’re pregnant.”

    Me: *rather shocked as although I am on the pill and have a long time partner I know I am not pregnant* “No, I’m not. I’ve had this happen before.”

    Female Doctor: “Well, you’re pregnant now.”

    Me: “I highly doubt that.”

    Female Doctor: “Go pee in a cup and I’ll prove it.”

    Me: “No, I know I am not pregnant and I don’t need the bathroom right now.”

    Female Doctor: “Well, buy a pregnancy test and stop wasting my time.”

    (I leave, amazed that she never listened or looked at my medical history. I did buy a test and it was negative and two years down the line I’ve still not given birth!)

    Birthing New Stupid

    That Look…


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