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  • Not So Closely Guarded
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  • Dealing With Gross, Point Blank

    | Australia | New Hires, Pets & Animals

    (I work casually at a local vet clinic as a kennel hand, whilst studying to actually be a veterinarian. There is very little that grosses me out. We occasionally have work experience students come in and shadow the staff. It’s the weekend, so we are literally a skeleton staff: me, a vet, and a receptionist; no nurse. I arrive at work to be told there is a student coming to shadow me, because she is thinking about training as a vet nurse.)

    Me: “So what made you think about becoming a nurse?”

    Student: “Well, I really love animals, and I’m not smart enough to be a vet. The studying is just too hard. So a nurse is the next best thing.”

    (I’m a little taken aback, as training to be a nurse isn’t easy either. This girl also seems to have very little interest in what I am doing, duties often done by nurses. She seems to be squeamish about getting her hands dirty as we work, which includes cleaning litter trays and picking up after dogs. During the morning, the vet comes up to us to inform us that a dog has had a rather messy accident in the consult room, and needs us to clean it up. It’s the perfect opportunity. I proceed to go clean up while she watches.)

    Student: *who at this point still has not actually gotten involved helping me* “I don’t know how you do that, like touching it and stuff. I don’t think I could handle it.”

    Me: *biting my tongue* “This is fairly normal for a nurse or kennel hand to deal with. And it can be much, much worse. You get used to it pretty quickly.”

    Student: “So you really deal with a lot of stuff like this? Like, all this gross stuff?”

    Me: “Nurses deal with it daily.”

    (I then get her to hold open a bin liner so that I can throw away all the contaminated paper towels and other disposables. The smell of the cleaning chemicals we used is strong enough that you can’t smell anything else, but she is still gagging and carrying on about how she can’t handle it, and she’s doesn’t like blood, and so on. It takes all my self control to not say anything. By the end of my shift, I am exasperated and in disbelief, although I still suggest she come and shadow the trained nurses for a better idea of the job. After she leaves, I turn to the receptionist, who is well aware that I am annoyed.)

    Receptionist: *grinning* “You’re not sure she’ll work out as a nurse?”

    Me: “Oh, she’ll do great, if she can find a nursing position that involves cuddling puppies and kittens all day and deals with absolutely nothing else whatsoever.”

    Receptionist: “That bad?”

    Me: “Who the hell is squeamish about seeing blood and decides they want to work in a vet clinic?!”

    Expecting A Uniform Response

    | KS, USA | Bosses & Owners, Health & Body

    Boss: “Can you text [Coworker] about [earlier incident]?”

    (I pull my phone from my bra.)

    Boss: *awkwardly* “You really should keep your phone in a pocket instead.”

    Me: “I’d love to, but someone decided that women’s slacks are only allowed to have pockets if they are a pleated size sixteen, with a sky high elastic waist-band.”

    Boss: “…”

    Me: *shrug* “Hey, I don’t make the rules.”

    Third Time Is The Charm

    | Fryslân, The Netherlands | Coworkers, Health & Body, Overtime

    (Our nursing home has two floors. In the evenings one nurse is working on the first floor and one on the second floor. The third person is helping out on both floors. This happens after a very hectic morning.)

    Elderly Lady: *buzzing her phone* “Nurse, can you come help me? I need to go to the bathroom.”

    Me: *answering the call* “I’ll be right with you. One second, please.”

    (I call a coworker to help the lady, as I’m very busy.)

    Me: “Hey, can you help Mrs. [Elderly Lady]? She needs to go to the bathroom and I’m very busy.”

    Coworker: “I’m busy too; can’t you call [Coworker #2]? I’m up to my elbows in feces.”

    Me: “No, she’s getting someone ready for bed. What phone number does the third person have? She might be able to do it.”

    Coworker: “… Sweety, I know it’s been a hectic day, but this is ridiculous. You ARE the third person!”

    Me: “Oh, yeah…”

    A Heated Working Environment

    | South Africa | Bosses & Owners, Food & Drink, Health & Body

    (I am working a busy dinner shift at a steak restaurant. Normally steaks are sold without sauce, and we are encouraged by management to try and sell sauces with steak, obviously increasing the amount diners are spending. I am serving several tables at once, and starting to spin a little. My manager has been breathing down my neck all night about selling sauces. I finally manage to convince two diners to buy a sauce each. After serving the steaks to the couple, I leave their table, momentarily forgetting about the sauces. I am at the grill calling on steaks for another table, when the manager comes pounding towards me.)

    Manager: *in a lowered, but angry voice* “Where the h*** are table 30′s sauces?!”

    Me: “I’m sorry. I forgot for a moment. I will get them immediately.”

    (The sauces are kept in a bain-marie, and are extremely hot. In my rush to pour sauces into small ramekins, using a large metal ladle, I accidentally spill some of the boiling hot sauces on my hand. I’m in shock, and drop the ramekin, spilling sauce on myself and the general working area. The manager, standing on the opposite side of the counter, can see something is wrong, and rushes over.)

    Me: *thinking he is coming to help me* “It’s okay. I’m okay. I’ll just put my hand under some cold water.” *my hand is red and hurting*

    Manager: *glaring at me* “No! It is not okay! Your table is still waiting for their sauces!”

    (He pushes me out of the way, pours the sauces, and slams the ladle down.)

    Me: *stunned silence*

    Manager: *plucking cleaning rag from the pocket of my apron* “Clean this mess up, and get those steaks out you just called on!” *rushes off with sauces, smiling sweetly at customers*

    Unable To Process The Price

    | England, UK | Coworkers, Crazy Requests, Food & Drink

    (We are on our break and the subject of Christmas purchases come up.)

    Me: “I might pick myself up a new food mixer. My old one went up with a bang the other day.”

    Coworker: “Oh, I might have one. We just upgraded.”

    Me: “That’s great! I really didn’t want to spend a whole lot on a new one. Please bring it in with you when you can.”

    (The next day.)

    Coworker: “Here it is!”

    Me: “Err… thanks? How long have you had this?”

    Coworker: “It was a wedding present, so about 40-50 years.”

    Me: “… Okay. So, how much did you want for it?”

    Coworker: “I really wanted $200.”

    Me: “Really!? That’s as much as a new one! Are you sure you wouldn’t take less?”

    Coworker: “No, it’s a fair price. Take it or leave it.”

    (Not surprisingly, I bought the brand new mixer instead. I later heard that my coworker tried to sell it on to several of my other coworkers with the same lack of success.)

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