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    Category: Health & Body

    Very Bad Reception, Part 7

    | Adelaide, SA, Australia | Bad Behavior, Criminal/Illegal, Employees, Family & Kids, Health & Body

    (I am 16, and have a condition that I’m currently getting treated with ultra-violet light. I have to stand in a light box. On this day, I finish up and go to reception to pay my bill. There is no one there. I ring the bell, and end up waiting about 10 minutes. No one comes to the desk. I call my mum.)

    Me: “Mum, I’ve been standing at reception in the doctor’s office for 10 minutes, and no one is here. No other patients, no one. I don’t know what to do. Could you please drive past on your way home and pay the bill for me? If I stay any longer, I’ll miss my bus to work.”

    (My mother reported this next part of the story to me.)

    Mum: “Hi, I’m here to pay the bill for [My Name]. She was here earlier today and no one was around when she left.”

    Receptionist #1: “Oh, HER. We’ve been talking about that disgraceful girl all day. You should be ashamed.”

    Mum: “Excuse me?!”

    Receptionist #2: “Fancy running out without paying. She claims there was no one here? What a load of rubbish. I hope you are proud, raising such an irresponsible girl.”

    Mum: “I’m here to pay her bill. Now, how would I know to do that if she hadn’t have called me, upset, worried that she couldn’t pay?”

    Receptionists: “Um…”

    Mum: “That’s right. I’m here because, after waiting here for 10 minutes to pay, she called me, upset because she was going to miss her bus to work. I’m here because she did the only thing she could do. Would you like to rethink your accusations?”

    (The receptionists went about the rest of the transaction in an angry silence. What they didn’t know is that my mother was friends with one of the casual staff at the surgery. We found out later that the receptionists had gone out for lunch and forgotten I was there. The big speech about me doing a runner was so that the doctors wouldn’t know they’d left the desk unattended. Nothing says guilt like an aggressive overreaction!)

    Related:
    Very Bad Reception, Part 6
    Very Bad Reception, Part 5
    Very Bad Reception, Part 4

    A Toxic Work Environment

    | Seattle, WA, USA | Bosses & Owners, Crazy Requests, Health & Body, Theme Of The Month

    (I work as a janitor at a dairy bottling plant.)

    Boss: “Hey, [My Name], we found a problem, We need you to clean it up.”

    Me: “What is it?”

    Boss: “Someone graded the loading dock pavement wrong. Come take a look.”

    (I go and look. There is a pond of black sludge 30 feet wide by 40 feet long under where they until just that day had three semi-trailers as extra loading dock storage. The boss hands me a scrub brush, a garden hose, and a pair of the sort of rubber gloves you wash dishes with.)

    Me: “You must be kidding! I’d need a pressure washer, a hazmat coverall, and a respirator to go in there, The fumes alone are toxic and that sludge is an active biohazard! Call the City!”

    (It’s true: milk fat is an ideal bacterial growth medium. Fat and sugar runoff from tankers spilling both while unloading had been running down to feed the sludge for at least TWO YEARS.)

    Boss: “Legal says we shouldn’t let the City find out or it would be very expensive for us. As for the respirator, I’m sorry but OSHA regs say we can’t loan you a respirator you’re not trained on, the pressure washer hose won’t reach, and the hazmat guy took his suit home with him.”

    Me: “Look, I’ll buy a respirator out of my own pocket, okay?”

    (Boss goes away, consults with legal, and comes back.)

    Boss: “Sorry, it would be illegal to let you buy safety gear out of your own pocket. You’ll have to make do without it.”

    (That was the day, the very minute, I quit that job.)

    Give This Bedside Manner The Cold Shoulder

    | Australia | Employees, Family & Kids, Health & Body

    (I have recently had a baby, and am having a conversation with the nurse.)

    Me: “I’m a little terrified. I mean… what if I drop him or something?”

    Nurse: “Babies are relatively parent proof. You could drop him from waist height and you’d be fine! From shoulder height you may have a problem, though…”

    Me: *clings to newborn*

    Need To Keep Your Mouth Shut Too

    | UK | At The Checkout, Employees, Health & Body

    (I’m 15. My mum has just had another baby and I’m buying some more nappies (diapers) because we’ve run out.)

    Cashier: “You know these are for babies, love?”

    Me: “Yes, I know.”

    Cashier: “How old are you?”

    Me: “15.”

    Cashier: “Have you told your mum, love? When are you due?”

    Me: “These are for my mum… for my sister.”

    Cashier: “Teenagers these days need to keep their legs shut!”

    Me: “I’m not a bloody mum!”

    Cashier: “No need for that abuse now, dear. How is your schoolwork doing? How are you coping with the baby?”

    Me: “If you need to know, I’m a straight-A student, planning to applying to both Oxford and Yale.”

    Cashier: “And leaving your baby at home? Keep your legs shut, child!”

    Me: “You know what? I think I’ll just pop to [Competitor] for these instead, so that my Mum can change my sister.”

    Cashier: *as I walk away* “You need to keep your legs shut, girl!”

    No Cause For Concern Is A Cause For Concern

    | CA, USA | Employees, Health & Body, Ignoring/Inattentive

    (My gynaecologist works at a clinic where reviews generally say they love the doctors, but don’t like the rest of the staff. I am having an ultrasound in response to menstrual irregularities.)

    Me: “Are you allowed to tell me what you find, or do I have to speak to the doctor?”

    Tech: “If there’s no problem, I tell the patient, but if I find a problem, I leave it to the doctor to let the patient know.”

    (Then proceeds to give me no information whatsoever, making the implication quite obvious!)

    Me: “So can I talk to the doctor?”

    Tech: “He’s out today. You’ll need to talk to the receptionist.”

    (I go see the receptionist.)

    Receptionist: “The doctor is out today, so he’ll probably call you.”

    Me: “Probably?!”

    (Two days later, with no calls from the clinic, I decide to call and get onto the doctor’s assistant.)

    Assistant: “The doctor is out all week, You’ve got an appointment next week. Can you wait till then?”

    Me: “Of course I can wait, but I have abnormal bleeding. It could be nothing, or it could be cancer, or it could be anything in between, and it’s stressful to not know.”

    Assistant: “Let me see if I can talk to one of the other doctors, and I’ll call you back”.

    (The assistant calls back a little later.)

    Assistant: “So, they did find something, but it’s really nothing to be concerned about. They’ll have to do further testing to know if it’s cancer or not. That’s all they can tell you till you see the doctor.”

    (I tell my husband about this exchange.)

    My Husband: “Wait, so – nothing major, maybe cancer?!”

    Me: “Yep! I don’t think I’ll get anything intelligent out of them until I actually have the doctor in front of me. Forget this. I’m just going to enjoy the weekend and see what happens.”

    (Four days later, at the doctor’s, I fill the doctor in on the events.)

    Me: “… and funnily enough, I didn’t find these statements reassuring!”

    Doctor: “No; it’s not. Okay, let me go see that ultrasound before we go any further.”

    (No, it wasn’t cancer, and they could have told me that on the spot!)


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