(This story takes place via email. I work for a healthcare technology company and am emailing back a client, a large hospital, who has requested some help auditing their records.)
Me: I would be happy to help you with that. I just need a spreadsheet or .csv files with the following (lists out what I need.) In order to protect your patients’ information and remain compliant with HIPAA, please don’t submit that by email. Instead, please use the following secure link to upload the file to an encrypted folder: (Link URL in bold, bright blue letters two font sizes bigger than the rest of the email.)
Them: Thank you so much for your help! The file was too big to send in one email, so I’ve broken it into chunks for you . . .
(Cue three emails with Excel files containing a complete list of patient names, birthdates, addresses, and social security numbers. So, not only did they make more work for both of us in taking apart and stitching together the reports, not only did they make me waste time filling out the HIPAA compliance report and making sure that the emails were completely deleted and scrubbed from both email servers, but they risked giving some criminal exactly the information they would need to commit identity theft on tens of thousands of individuals! All because they somehow “didn’t see” the giant blue link I sent them.)
One of my workers had to go get another vacuum to finish vacuuming. I went into the office where I see a detachable vacuum canister on the floor. Think nothing of it cause I hear the vacuum running, I walk to the front where she’s turned off the vacuum (it’s an upright one…so, there’s no reason she should’ve not noticed)
Me: “Ummm…you know it might work better with the canister attached?”
Note: her second job is as a professional cleaner.
I have a mild form of cerebral palsy and was told I needed an operation to make my legs the same length. Note: I was 11 and I had had the same doctor for years.
This time, she brought a trainee
Doctor:hello (My name) today (trainee) is going to be assisting me.
Me: Alright, that’s fine with me
The doctor took the measurements of my legs as usual.
Trainee: WAIT WAIT she cannot have cerebral palsy. She is a girl!
The doctor then had a lengthy discussion with said trainee about how gender doesn’t affect cerebral palsy
The following year, I was told I didn’t need the surgery after all.I still go to the clinic and Every time I go in for physio, I see the trainee. In the end, I think he decided to be a phsyio instead. He’s really good with young children
(A young boy who looks to be about 6 years old approaches the desk. He happens to be Asian.)
Boy: Excuse me? I can’t find my mom.
Me: Of course, let me just get my coworker to watch the desk.
(We walk around the store for a bit, and I chat to him to make him feel better. I find out his name is Shaun and his mother is Julia. Eventually we find her and I return to the front desk.)
Coworker: Was the mother Asian?
Coworker: They tend to not pay attention.
Coworker: I mean it’s more common that they don’t watch their kids.
Me: That’s a generalization you probably shouldn’t say out loud.
(My friend, her brother, and I decide to go to a popular fast food restaurant at almost midnight. We pull up to the drive-through speaker.)
Employee: Welcome to Jack in the Crack. May I take your order?
Brother: Uh, [order].
(We wait a moment. Silence. My friend’s brother starts to pull forward.)
Employee: Anything else?
Brother: (shouting back to the speaker) No, that’s it.