Annoyingly Dumb Patients
Medicine is a difficult profession. Thanks to the wonder that is human nature, healthcare workers are subjected to incredible Darwin-award-winning scenarios daily, so it’s no wonder that many of them feel the need to go home and scream into their pillows at night. From self-inflicted injuries to dangerous prescription misuses, these Redditors revealed the most facepalm-worthy patients they’ve ever encountered.
But be warned: They’ll all leave you wondering how we’ve survived this long as a species.
There Is No Plan Cwhite and red cross signPhoto by Markus Winkler on Unsplash
I’m a pharmacist. One evening, I was working a relief shift (not at my usual pharmacy). A man comes in looking distressed. He tells me, “I had intimate relations with a woman I do not intend to pursue a long-term relationship with”. Yes, he said it just like that. I say, “Okay. I’m assuming there was an accident, or it was unprotected. How long ago did it happen”? He answers, “Last night, at 7 PM on the couch”.
Woah, TMI. I just needed to know the approximate time so I’d know if Plan B would work. I start to tell him, “We have this medication called Plan B, and since the incident happened within 72 hours—” but he interrupts me and I was thrown completely off guard: “Oh yes, I got that for her already yesterday, right after we finished. We want to know if there is anything we can do to know if she is pregnant now”.
I answer, “Unfortunately not. She’ll have to wait three weeks or so to see if she gets her period, and if she doesn’t, she can do a pregnancy test then. Theoretically, you could do a blood test for faster results, but that would also not be until a couple of weeks, at least”. He responds, “We’re just really anxious because she doesn’t want to be pregnant. Is there anything that she can take to prevent the pregnancy? Any multivitamin? Minerals? Food”?
I tell him, “She’s already taken it, which was the Plan B. There are some other options, but those are prescriptions. And no, there are no over-the-counter products she can take”. Then he asks, “What about me? Is there anything I can take now to prevent the pregnancy? Any multivitamins or minerals”? A little bemused, I just answer, “…No sir. There isn’t anything you can take now”.
Get A Load Of This Guy
I’m 73, and I’m a former clinical microbiologist from LONG ago. Still, I found myself all over the clinical lab at times, not just infectious diseases. So, one day, this 20-something guy (with his wife and mom in tow) walks in with a paper request for an analysis of his “swimmers”, pre-computer era. Okay, not the most comfortable encounter, but I’m a professional, and I’d done this drill many times.
It turned out he had not been briefed by the doctor and had no idea how establishing infertility in males was done. Well, okay—this would be a challenge, then. I took him aside and, using standard medical terminology, told him how a diagnosis is made and what he needed to do to provide a specimen. He couldn’t believe that I was asking him to “do it” into that container.
Astonished! Then he played dumb as if the concept was unfamiliar to him. We looped through the medical terms and procedure again, and I eventually resorted to every word I knew to describe the “act”. It was like a George Carlin bit! A half-hour later, he emerged from the toilet with two inches of urine in the cup. God almighty.
The report came back: “Patient provided improper specimen”.
This Is How The Elderly Get Their Wrinkles
I’m a paramedic. I had an elderly woman complain that her mouth was dry and she felt a bit dizzy climbing the stairs earlier. So I go through the whole rigamarole of getting a medical history, vitals, and more detail on her symptoms. Then I asked her what she’s had to drink today. Her answer? A cup of tea—ten hours ago. I asked, “Any water”? She says no.
Guess what fixed it within five minutes.
The Mother Got A Lot Of Heat For This
I was at the children’s hospital with my eldest when he was a toddler (ah, the day we found out he was allergic to penicillin) when a rushing team suddenly occupied the bed next to me with a limp, unresponsive infant. This happened on a hot day during the mid-summer. The baby was in a full Canadian winter-level snowsuit.
After they got the baby’s temperature down, I overheard the doctor losing his mind a little bit with the mother as she kept insisting she had to have her baby in the suit lest the baby risk feeling chilly. He explained that the minor discomfort of having to cry for a blanket did not trump the risk of it losing its life or the possibility of literally frying the kid’s brain.
He had to get quite nasty with his wording in that she had almost unalived her baby and might have given it brain damage.
Mr. Hot Shot
I had a buddy who was an EMT, and he was called out to a location for a GSW. What happened was a father was mowing his lawn when he accidentally touched a part of the mower near the engine and burned his hand. He got mad at the lawnmower, pulled out his pistol, and shot it. The shot ricocheted and hit his son in the leg.
Now, He’s Gonorrhea-Valuate All His Conditions…a woman holding a stethoscope in her right handPhoto by Eben Kassaye on Unsplash
I worked in ED for 10 years. Every day. Every day people come in, and it shocks you how they’ve managed to evade unaliving themselves for that long. One of the worst was when we had a guy come in. He was a twin. He told us he needed to get checked for STDs because his sister just got one. We, of course, had to ask if he’d had intimate relations with her, and he said no, but they were twins, so whatever she has, so does he.
After a collective sigh of relief that this wasn’t some weird Alabama, your-my-sister scenario, we had to educate him on how that’s not how it worked at all.
It Was An Arm of Intervention
I got told to go introduce myself to a patient to get vitals, history, and more info on their chief complaint, before starting an IV and drawing blood for labs. She came in for arm pain, and it looked like she had a nasty bug bite on her arm. So her story was she was an exotic dancer, and her Adderall prescription wasn’t doing the trick. So, she had an idea of how to make it more potent.
She heard from a friend that if you crush it up, suspend it in water, and then inject it, it would be more effective. Except she used tap water to dissolve the Adderall before she injected it. This ended up causing a huge abscess and infection at the site of injection. She ended up losing her arm at the elbow...So now she’s a one-armed exotic dancer.
They Must’ve Gone Ballistic
I had a patient who had a bullet lodged in her leg. We had the surgeon come and assess her. Based on its placement, he suggested leaving it because removing it could cause even more danger. We discharged her. She immediately walked to the ER in the same hospital to complain of leg pain. She had prescriptions and wound supplies in her hand.
Still, they brought her back, discovered her injury, and called for a surgical consult. The same surgeon was on-call and came to assess her. Guess what?! The surgeon made the same suggestion to leave it. Then we educated her EXTENSIVELY about never getting an MRI or the metal will fly out of her skin. Eventually, she left.
She returned a few months later to a sister hospital complaining of a headache. She got inpatient admission, and you guessed it: They did an MRI. The slug ripped out, and the MRI machine was down for almost a week!
She Just Couldn’t Seem To Grasp The Conception
I had an 18 or 19-year-old girl come into my ER with some complaint that required an X-ray. It’s standard that we do a urine pregnancy test before imaging on any female of childbearing years. She insisted she’d never “done it”, and there was zero possibility of pregnancy. We did the test anyway, and it resulted that she was pregnant. We then did a blood pregnancy test to confirm the result since she insisted she couldn’t possibly be pregnant because she’d never had intercourse.
That was positive too. We gave her a few minutes to herself to figure out what the heck happened, and when I returned to check on her a short time later, she asked me if she could get pregnant even though her boyfriend “didn’t go all the way in”. She 100% believed that as long as he wasn’t entirely inside her, it didn’t count as intercourse.
It took nearly a half hour of explaining reproduction for her to understand that, whether it’s halfway in or in, sperm travel.
It Ultimately Wasn’t Very Fun-Knee
I overheard a conversation between a nurse, a doctor, and a patient in the ER. They were trying to figure out whether the patient was very stupid or had a head injury. It was both hilarious and sad. He kept telling them that he was there for a hurt leg, but he couldn’t explain why his leg was hurt, how it was hurt, or how he got there—nearly anything.
I heard them talking in a hallway to each other. The nurse was convinced the patient hit his head. The doctor, without skipping a beat, dropped his unexpected diagnosis: “No, he is just an idiot.” It turned out the doctor was right. They got ahold of the guy’s wife. She told them in the hallway he’s always this dumb, and if she left him, he would get lost in his own house and starve.
It sounded like the patient’s leg was visibly injured or swollen. But when asked what happened or how it felt, he gave nonsensical idiot answers. He wasn’t slurring, but answering in a regular idiot voice, saying things like, “It feels hurt”, and “I was talking to Jimmy, and we were doing our usual work, and my leg hurts”.
The doctor would ask, “Did something happen? What is the work”? But the patient kept responding, “Something always happens; you know how it goes”, or “I just want my leg fixed”.
An Change Of Heartman in white dress shirt wearing black framed eyeglassesPhoto by Usman Yousaf on Unsplash
This one came from a colleague of mine. So, this 60-something-year-old suffered from an acute complication and got a pacemaker to solve the problem. Everything went normally, and as planned, he recovered. Every care and medication that he needed to take got prescribed and explained and his medical appointments with a cardiologist/arrhythmologist were scheduled so he could get the follow-ups he needed. The man then proceeded to never show up to any appointments and never answered any calls from the hospital to know of him and reschedule.
This went on for around three years. Then one day, he showed up without former warning and asked to talk with the doctor who did the procedure to put in his pacemaker. People were weirded out, but since the doctor was present that day and this patient was in clear distress, they talked to him and managed to find a couple of minutes to have the doctor check on him. Inside the appointment room, the doctor noticed that the man was wearing a bra inside his shirt.
The man explained he’d been wearing his daughter’s bra for three months after his “problem” got worse. So the doctor asked that he take off his shirt…and there he stood, this shirtless man wearing his daughter’s bra, showing off the pacemaker that should’ve remained inside his body. It was now dangling outside of it, being held by the left bra cup, with a big infected open wound above it with the pacemaker leads still inserted into his veins and connected to his heart.
Nobody had any idea how the man let that situation come to be or how he didn’t pass from sepsis or any other health problem that might’ve appeared, for that matter.
The Parents Were The Real Suckers
While working the midnight shift in the ER, a family brought in a four-year-old at 2am-ish. I asked them what was wrong. They said, “Ask him. He said he needed to see a doctor”. I further pressed, “Did he say anything was wrong”? They answered, “No. He said he needed to see a doctor, so we brought him”. A quick back and forth firmly established that they actually showed up to the ER at 2 AM, purely because the four-year-old said he needed to see a doctor and that they didn’t know why.
So I asked the child, “Why do you need to see a doctor”? His answer made me shake my head in disbelief: “The doctor has suckers”. To be clear, it was the parents who lacked sense and not the kid.
A Very Delicate Condition
I’m a social worker, and one of my clients kept getting pregnant over and over after having kids. I had a frank conversation with her about birth control or getting her tubes tied because she kept going through horrific births only to get her kids taken away, and she said to me that she didn’t know that birth control or safe intercourse would save her from getting pregnant.
She didn’t realize that intercourse = pregnant because she was mistreated as a child, and her father told her that she could only get pregnant when she fell in love, and she had never been in love, so she didn’t understand why she kept getting pregnant. Intercourse was only a pleasure for her, so she didn’t realize that was what was getting her pregnant.
The Answer Was At Hand
I am a dermatologist in India. As is the culture here, people eat with their hands, and almost all of our curries or even other dry side dishes have a lot of turmeric. It is common knowledge to anyone born and brought up in India that this means the nails of your dominant hand (statistically, the right hand) will be yellow-stained because we have seen this happen since our childhood.
Usually, this wears off in about a day and a half if you wash it a couple of times. Cut to the first patient in my OPD, a young girl in her early 20s, very anxious. I ask her, “What brings you here today”? The patient says, “Doc, my right-hand fingernails keep getting yellow-discolored”. I take a look and confirm, “Only your right hand”? She answers, “Yes, and only after meals”.
So I ask her, “Erm…do you eat with your hands”? The patient confirms, “Yes, always”. I then explain to her, “So...you know it’s just turmeric, right”? And she goes, “Yes, but can you make it stop happening”? Perplexed now, I just tell her, “For God’s sake, use a spoon”! But she’s still not quite getting it. Surprised, she asks, “So you mean there is no medicine to make it stop”?
I just stared at her while she looked at me expectantly. “NO”! This might hit home more with people of South Asian cultures or people who habitually eat turmeric-cooked food with their hands. Anyway, for a grown person to complain about this was just…well, surprising and a little ridiculous.
This Guy Wasn’t Very Treat Smart
I work in emergency medical services. I had a diabetic in his 30–40s who refused to take insulin since 2012. It was 2020 at the time. When I took his blood sugar, it only read as “HI”, meaning it had to be over 700 for the glucometer not to read it. Upon seeing this, he asked me if that was high and then went, “Is this because of all the ice cream I ate”?
He was playing a Facebook Messenger video with his girlfriend the entire time. I met him later on in the parking lot after he got discharged, and it took this man less than fifty paces from the ER door to rip off the bandage covering his IV and play with the IV wound until it started bleeding all over the place again.
He then knocked on our ambulance door and asked for a bandaid to fix it. We had to walk him back into the ER and bandage his entire arm with gauze so that, hopefully, by the time he got it off, it would’ve clotted enough for him not to end up exsanguinating himself.
Rubbing Salt In The Woundbrown and white shell on orange round platePhoto by Arnold Antoo on Unsplash
My sister told me a story of a woman with chronic blisters and lesions on her lips. They couldn’t figure out what it was for weeks. It would heal and come back, heal and come back. The truth was disturbing—it turned out she would jam out on like three bags of salt and vinegar chips a day for weeks at a time until the sores hurt too bad to continue, then she’d go to the doctor.
Details Make A Difference
This was one of the funniest yet cutest ones from when I was a student doing a shift in andrology/reproductive health. Doctor: “So, you’re trying to have kids but not managing to. Do you have any other kids”? Patient: “Yes, Doc. I have one”. Doctor: “Okay, so we need to do [this and this and that]”. Patient: “Okay, great”.
Then he proceeded to visit him and stuff, after which he went away. But after a couple of seconds, he knocked on the door again, saying: “Hello, Doc. My wife told me that it would be relevant to you that the son I have is adopted, but that makes no difference to me. I’ve always considered him my son”!
Do No Farm
I’m a physiotherapist. For those who don’t know, after a total knee replacement, you have a six-week window after the surgery to regain the range of motion. If you don’t regain the range in those first six weeks, it ain’t coming back. I had a patient who was a farmer who was very enthusiastic about regaining the range because he needed to be mobile for his work. I saw him for the first time about five days after his surgery.
I showed him all the basic exercises, told him not to do any farm work for at least six weeks, and told him to come back to see me once a week for the first six weeks. He disappeared and came back about eight weeks later. His range was non-existent, maybe 30 degrees of range in total. He was visibly mad at me as if it was my fault. He was shouting and calling me incompetent.
Our conversation went something like this: Me: “Have you been doing the exercises”? Him: “No”. Me: “How often are you doing farm work”? Him: “Every day”. Me: “Why haven’t you come back since the first appointment eight weeks ago”? Him: “Too busy with farm work”. Me: “So, to summarize here, you did absolutely nothing that I told you to, and this is somehow my fault”?
I never saw him again.
A Jaw-Dropping Encounter
As a pharmacist, I often encounter a lot of people who lack common sense; namely, everyone who comes in to buy homeopathic stuff, especially for serious things. Once, a lady came in with a prescription from the dentist for some heavy antibiotics and painkillers due to an infection that threatened to damage the jawbone.
When I asked if she knew how to take them, she went: “Oh, I’m not gonna take those; they’ll go right into the garbage. But I gotta buy them so that my dentist is happy. I’d rather stick with [insert name of homeopathic stuff here] instead of harming me with some devilish chemicals”!
Throughout the years, I’ve learned to just shrug and accept those Darwin-award candidates instead of arguing with them. It just infuriates me when I see that they’ve got children or/and pets…
That’s Never Gonna Heel Now
This was circa 1983, and I’m a nurse (retired). I had this one guy in his early 20s who went swimming hammered in a notoriously nasty lake in our area. It was a “don’t drink the water” kind of lake, and he went in without shoes, stepped on an old booze tab, and cut his foot open. He didn’t go to the hospital or try to clean it at all for about a week. His girlfriend said he kept saying, “It’s fine, it’s just a cut”, when she pressured him to get it seen, so of course, he showed up in the ER with a foot that blew up like a balloon.
Healing it took two and a half months in the hospital, with his foot completely laid open in surgery, doing debridement and packing, which I can honestly say after over 30 years in healthcare stands as one of the nastiest jobs I have ever had to do—and I had been dealing with things like bedsores and open wounds from radiation treatments and cancer for about seven years at that point.
It was bad, but that's not all—on top of this, he was obnoxious, disrespectful, and, when the opportunity presented itself, cruel. Other nurses, you know the type, they’re everywhere. Hopefully not as open about it these days, but yeah. I had a student nurse I was training come running out of the room in tears and refused to go back in and would not tell any of us what he said, but I can imagine.
Eventually, we finally got it cleaned out, and it’s responding well to antibiotics, and the tissue is granulating well. He gets sent home with antibiotics and strict instructions on how to care for it and to keep it clean and dry. THE DAY he left the hospital, he went back out to the same lake, got inebriated, put on some nasty tennis shoes, and went swimming.
He showed up on our floor again a week after being discharged. He lost the foot. His girlfriend left him.
Fortunately, They Caught Him Red-Handedman in blue scrub suit wearing blue stethoscopePhoto by Bruno Rodrigues on Unsplash
I don’t know if a cleaner in a hospital counts, but this one time, I got to work early on a Saturday morning, and we immediately received a request for help from the ER and got sent over by my boss. When I got there, the first thing I heard was yelling from this guy behind one of the curtains. He was shouting at the nurses, “Don’t touch my downstairs”, and “I didn’t use any substances”!
Then I smelled iron in the air, and then I found out there was blood all over the hallway, with hand prints in blood against the wall. Almost the entire floor was covered in blood, with actual puddles in some places. What happened? The guy pulled out his catheter, causing arterial bleeding, and he decided to run away from the nurses who were trying to help him.
It seems like he lived through that. I had never seen that much blood before that day, nor after.
Thinking Against The Grain
I am a medical professional, but I have two really good ones about my ex-fiancé. Laugh at me all you want; this relationship was not my proudest moment. For starters, at our baby shower for my son, he asked if we were going to pick “innie” or “outie”. I looked at him like he was insane, and he started getting angry and just repeated the question louder until I shushed him and took him aside to explain to him that we don’t choose how the belly button looks; it just happens.
Another time, he had really bad eczema and went to a doctor who suggested oatmeal baths during flare-ups. He bought a couple of boxes of Quaker Oats Maple & Brown Sugar and would dump the entire box packet by packet into the tub. It was a couple of weeks before I found the wrappers and questioned him about it.
He told me (angry again) that he wondered why he was so sticky after getting out and why the freaking literal brown sugar was making his open wounds fester. I explained that an oatmeal bath is not flavored oatmeal and that he had to buy either plain oats or actual oatmeal bath packets. He was furious that I expected him to just know better.
When I asked him why he picked maple and brown sugar, he said he didn’t want to smell like strawberries or peaches after his bath. After our son was born (and we had broken up, thank God), my son also had some occasional eczema, but not nearly to the same degree. The pediatrician recommended oatmeal baths, and GUESS WHAT THIS FREAKING GUY BOUGHT?
He said he only remembered what happened the last time when he picked my son out of the sink, and the towel stuck to him. When I started to scold him for being so stupid, he looked at me like I was an idiot and told me he only used one packet since we were still bathing the kid in the sink instead of in an entire tub.
The Patient Had A Med-ley Bag
I’m a pharmacist. I had a woman bring in a literal sandwich bag that she kept all her meds in, unseparated. She needed help seeing which meds she was low on or out of and was asking different questions about the medications. When she pointed to an Apoquel and stated it was her blood pressure medicine, I immediately became concerned as to why pet medicine was in her bag (and also why she was mixing all her meds in a bag in the first place).
It was then that I found out that she had been throwing her pet’s meds inside her bag of medicine, too. So Lord knows what she’d been giving her dog or taking herself. I immediately stressed how important it is to keep medicine in its original container to protect both the medicine and herself and to know the directions of how to take it.
I’ve seen her a few times since then, and I’m glad to see she has since taken my advice. But how any pharmacist or doctor hadn’t advised her on this before is beyond me.
They Didn’t Air On The Side Of Caution
I used to be a medical oxygen tech, mostly doing in-home work. One guy was on such a high concentration that he would have drawn nearly zero oxygen from breathing regular atmosphere. This required two heavy-duty machines hooked up in tandem just to keep him barely alive. This was explained ad nauseam to him and his wife with fully signed documentation of every conversation.
What they did was absolutely ridiculous—they’d shut one machine off because they decided it was too loud. He’d take his mask off because he decided it was too cold. She would unplug the hose if she decided it was in the way. So on and so on. They did everything you could think of that would restrict or cut off his oxygen intake. Then they would panic and call our emergency service when he started to react to no oxygen intake.
I lived not even five minutes away, right beside our EMS station, and calls would always come for me to “fix” the machines at random times of the day and night, 3–7 days a week. They refused to call 9-1-1 because they “didn’t want to make a scene”. This went on for ages, well over 18 months, until he was having trouble sleeping one night, and they shut the machines off before going back to bed.
It’s been years, and I still see the wife around town. She always glares at me as if I’m the one who unalived him.
She’ll Just See Herself Out, Now…
I’m an ophthalmology surgical technician. A glaucoma patient in her late 50s was going blind despite her drop therapies for the past six months. Her pressure was consistently in the 30s and 40s. I asked her if she was using her drops regularly (twice daily), and she said yes. I asked, as politely as I could, if she’d missed any doses in the past month. She said no. I asked if she was using them properly, and she got super offended.
She asked me very rudely, “Do I look like an idiot to you”? I said, “No, but I just need to be sure. Sometimes patients think they’re doing it right, but they can easily miss it. Can you show me how you use your drops”? So she took out her drop bottle, gave it a good shake (so far, so good), looked up at the ceiling (also a good sign), opened her MOUTH, and swallowed two drops.
I got in trouble, but my OD backed me up and told her that’s the stupidest thing he’s ever seen in 25 years. She cried and said we were being mean to her and that the drops burned her eyes, so she didn’t want to put them in there, and since the eyes, ears, nose, and throat are all connected, why did it matter where she put them?
That’s not how glaucoma therapy works. She needed a shunt implant, and we were able to save about 30% of her visual field. But yeah, she was drinking her drops and going blind.
That’s Ill-Adviseda woman in a white shirt holding a stethoscopePhoto by Alexandr Podvalny on Unsplash
I used to volunteer at a free medical clinic to take vitals and histories. A woman came in with pneumonia and wanted to know why her normal treatment of drinking half a bottle of Listerine and inhaling a pack of cancer sticks a day wasn’t working. I asked why she thought ciggies were a good treatment for a lung infection, and she said, “Indians used to purify the ground by burning all the weeds away before planting, so I’m puffing to purify my lungs”.
I left that one to the doctor.
I’m an optometrist. I had a patient booked in for an emergency appointment with a raging red eye. It was very painful. So I looked under the microscope, and the cornea was not happy: wobbly reflexes, haziness, the works. So I asked, “What happened”? The patient said, “It’s my niece’s wedding this Saturday, and I wanted to tint my eyelashes to match my hair, and the color scheme of the wedding is light blue, so I used the same dye for both to match the color”.
I inquired, “Does that hair dye contain ammonia, by any chance”? The patient answered, “I think so. Do you think my eye will be better by Saturday? Will it match the color scheme”? I just responded, “Unless you can convince them to change the color scheme to red, no”.
This Grave Mistake Takes The Biscuit
I heard this story from a sibling; I don’t think he’d mind me sharing it just on the off chance it prevents someone else from making this mistake. Lots of surgeons have a similar story, but thankfully this one doesn’t end in someone’s demise. According to my brother, these parents claimed that their child hadn’t eaten anything before surgery, as they were carefully directed. But it turned out they thought the surgical team was just being cruel to their child.
So when she said she was hungry that morning, they detoured on their way to the surgical center and got her a full Southern breakfast. The result was triggering—she dang near passed from aspirating biscuits and gravy. I’ve rarely seen my brother so angry and disgusted (somehow, biscuits and gravy look even more nauseating the second time around) as he recounted what had happened.
I do not doubt that he tore a strip off the parents once their five-year-old was stabilized, and they probably still felt justified and angry at the surgeon for telling them what they could and could not feed their child right before anesthesia. The parents did feel justified and hard-done-by, although, as far as I know, they didn’t express anger at my brother (knowing him, they didn’t get a word in edgewise).
There was no acknowledgment or realization that they could easily have unlived their own child or that they’d made a bad decision. I remember they were annoyed by her whining for food.
The Outcome Suited Them Just Fine
I’m a pharmacist. One time my coworker, another pharmacist, got served with a lawsuit while I was there. The patient suffered a fall resulting in a concussion, and she claimed it was because her Lisinopril (blood pressure medication) got increased from 10mg to 20mg and that she’d not been informed and passed out as a result. She was suing the pharmacist, the pharmacy, her doctor’s office, and the doctor.
It eventually came out in early discovery that she was at a rave and had a BAC of 0.18, THC, and MDMA in her system. The case against the doctor’s office, doctor, and pharmacy fell apart right away, so she decided to go all-in on trying to sue the individual pharmacist. The pharmacy’s POS system confirmed that she checked, “I decline pharmacist consultation at this time”. So the case was eventually dropped.
He Had To Take A Pregnant Pause
I work in the ER. I have so many stories. The one that left me dumbfounded was a woman who was brought in by her sister for pelvic cramps and amenorrhea for three months. Lo and behold, she’s pregnant. The sister informs me that she sleeps with the Brazilian construction workers building the condo complex next door. I ask if they have any questions.
The patient then asked me if her baby would come out speaking Spanish. After a long pause and her sister staring at the ceiling, I told her, “No, because they speak Portuguese in Brazil”. The patient seemed relieved, and the sister hustled her out of the ER before I could discharge her.
It Cost Them An Amen And A Legman in white dress shirt holding black tablet computerPhoto by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash
I worked in cancer research/surgery a couple of years ago. There is a good amount of people who will refuse to have a small removal/surgery because they think holistic medicine or praying it away will work. They always come back, and we always have to remove so much more. One time a patient had melanoma on their calf, and the doctor wanted to do a simple wide excision, but they left because they wanted to pray it away.
They came back a couple of months later because it got bigger, and we had to amputate their leg. I’m pretty sure they had positive lymph nodes at that point too.
They Gave Her A Herbal Warning
A lady brought her baby into the ER with a rectal temp of 103. The kid had tachycardia (i.e. a fast heartbeat) and looked awful. The worst part? The lady refused all medications. She said she didn’t believe in them and wondered why her herbal tea (she brought a jug of it) wasn’t working. She wanted us to just check her out. She thought a children’s emergency room just checked them out. I tried to explain why the kid needed an NSIAD. She kept refusing. She said she didn’t know what was in it.
I brought up the fact she had her kid in a hospital and that she received medication herself (IV, epidural, etc). The lady didn’t budge. Only concerned for herself, I told her that when the kid has a seizure or goes unresponsive and she calls 9-1-1, she can expect the medics to give the kid everything it needs regardless of whether she likes it or not.
Desperate times called for desperate measures, so the doctor threatened to contact social services for child endangerment and mistreatment. Only then did she start to listen…for, like, five whole seconds. She then left against medical advice. People like this exist.
Words Cannot Expresso How Ridiculous This Call Was
I’ve been a firefighter for 18 years. People call 9-1-1 for the dumbest things ever. But the one that takes the cake? It was a guy who called 9-1-1 to say he was choking. He answered the door as high as a Georgia pine with a lit joint in his mouth. I asked him who was choking. He calmly said that he was. He said he swallowed an ice cube, and now he couldn’t breathe.
Just to be sure and partly out of morbid curiosity, I looked in his mouth and then asked him to take a few deep breaths...which he was able to do easily. He still insisted he couldn’t breathe. So I told him to make some hot coffee and then drink it. He asked me, “Why”? I told him that the coffee would melt the ice cube, and he’d be able to breathe again. “Oh, cool. Thanks, man”.
Then I left.
I work in clinical research at a hospital. Basically, for patients who have cancer but don’t have other standard-of-care options, clinical trials, or “experimental treatment”, are a viable option for many. Some people have a negative view of research, but it’s highly regulated and not as scary as it sounds. Anyway, we went through the consent form with this one patient who had a history of substance use.
We don’t know everything about this new medication, but one thing we DO know is that using coke while taking this drug will make your heart “explode”, in layman’s terms. This patient “promised” they were off the sauce and that they “totally wouldn’t do coke while they’re on the trial”. Two weeks later, they relapsed, and well…You can figure out the rest of the story.
Wrestling With Logic
My brother did a rotation in an ER before med school. Paramedics brought in a man with a lacerated neck. He was inebriated and fell into a fish tank. His equally inebriated buddies called 9-1-1. When the paramedics arrived, they realized his friends had put a very tight tourniquet around his neck to stop the bleeding. It turned out that the guy and his buddies had been playing a boozy game of WWE.
He had a two-inch glass shard stuck in his head in addition to the neck laceration, but the dude came into the ER with no idea the glass was there. Four different firefighters had to hold him down as he screamed prejudiced remarks at the female doctor. My brother said that when they removed the glass, blood shot out about 10 feet in the air.
My brother, at that point, silently “noped” the heck out of medicine. He went on to attend Berklee Music School and is living his best life as a musical producer and engineer, and is not arguing with rednecks about whether or not there is a glass shard in their head….
Shear Stupiditya close up of a person laying in a hospital bedPhoto by César Badilla Miranda on Unsplash
I’m an ER nurse with seven years of experience. The list of dumb things I’ve seen is nearly endless. People coming in with massive burns because they smoked in bed is not as rare as you’d think. But the one that got me the most was a guy who came in for chest pain and fatigue. An EKG revealed he was having a really bad heart attack.
We activated the cath lab for emergency stents to hopefully save the guy’s life. They almost always access the patient through the groin for the procedure, so one of our jobs in the ER is to shave the patient’s groin to prep them for the cath lab. We got the clippers out, as we don’t use actual razors anymore, and informed the guy we needed to shave him. This is when things got annoying.
He refused. No problem, we figured we woul adjust let the cath lab do it once he’s knocked out. Nope, the guy refuses to sign the consent for the stents because he doesn’t want his downstairs shaved.
After trying to educate him, pleading with him, and contacting every goddang lawyer the hospital had, the guy signed himself out of AMA and went home.
He would rather die than have his curlies shaved. We looked up his address, and we weren’t the closest hospital to him, so if he passed at home, the medics would have to take him to a different hospital. I doubt he survived the day.
Paws For Thought
I’m a vet. A few years ago, I had a client bring his young cat in complaining of lethargy. Besides being a bit underweight, the physical exam was unremarkable, so I asked more questions about the cat’s diet. I asked him, “What do you feed the cat”? The owner answered, “I feed him [online trendy raw food brand]”. I asked, “How is his appetite? Does he finish what you feed him”? The owner replied, “Yes, he always eats everything”.
Pressing further, I asked, “How much do you feed him”? The owner said, “Half a cup”. For clarification’s sake, I then asked, “Once or twice daily”? What he said next absolutely floored me. He answered, “Once every three or four days”. Shocked, I replied, “…You only feed your cat twice a week”? The owner explained, “I believe in a more natural feeding approach, and based on my research, that’s how often cats eat in the wild”.
This owner was slowly starving his cat into oblivion based on some cockamamie idea he’d made up while watching National Geographic. I had to explain to him that domestic cats are not tigers and that small wildcats eat 10–20 small meals daily. Surprise, surprise, the cat’s lethargy and weight improved with regular feeding.
I once heard a story about a particular patient receiving radiation therapy. It was impressed upon her that she couldn’t miss her fractions of radiotherapy, even if she were busy, so she needed to inform us if she really couldn’t make the appointment. Well, one day, she couldn’t make it. But instead of just informing us, she sent her twin sister to receive the radiation therapy in her place.
Of course, the twin answered yes to all the ID questions and had the same birthday, etc. She was only found out when the radiographers had trouble matching her to the CT. The CT was of a person who had undergone a mastectomy, while this “patient” still had both her mammaries. This story, many years later, is still told to new staff during training to reiterate the importance of ensuring correct identification.
You would be stunned by the number of people who try to skip the queue. The number isn’t high. But it isn’t zero.
It Took Some Arm Twisting
I work in orthopedic rehab. I had a patient with a common fracture of the wrist that a doctor sent over because she was inexplicably getting stiffer and stiffer. I spent 17 sessions with her one on one, 40ish minutes each. But nothing I did worked. For whatever reason, instead of just bending her wrist, she would contort her entire body.
She was married, raised kids, had a career, and was a seemingly functional adult. I tried everything to get her to actively use her muscles to move her wrist. I put her in front of a mirror, filmed videos of myself doing the exercise or her doing it, and tried to get her to spot the difference between moving your shoulder versus moving your wrist.
The last time I saw her, I even strapped her arm to a chair, and she still didn’t understand that she should’ve only been trying to move her wrist. I will never understand it.
There Was No Sugarcoating It
I work at a vet clinic. We get a lot of this sort of thing, oftentimes with diabetic patients. One of the worst I’ve seen was an older owner come in with an extremely overweight, diabetic dog. The owner says the dog has been slow, tires easily, and has been “flopping around”, which is odd for her. The doctor checks the dog’s blood glucose, and it is so high it is literally off the charts.
Normal blood glucose for a dog is around 100 or so. The dog's reading was shocking—it was beyond 1000. We asked the owner how it got so high. Was she eating? She was because she was obese. Were you giving her the insulin? The owner then proceeds to say that they think she’s probably fine without it since she’s a “strong and hardy dog”.
Ma’am, your nine-year-old 80-pound Dalmatian is currently half-alive on the floor because you don’t give her insulin. How they kept that poor dog alive for that long was astounding.
Are You Kidding Me!?a person is holding a picture of a babyPhoto by Amr Taha™ on Unsplash
When I was an intern posted in the obstetric department, I saw a 42-year-old pregnant woman who came for an antenatal checkup. This was her seventh pregnancy, and she had only one living child. So she had five pregnancies previously, which failed (three spontaneous abortions and two stillbirths). The sixth one had been high-risk too, and she’d needed to get a cervical cerclage done (they stitch the cervix because it is too weak to hold a baby in until term).
When the OBGYN asked her why she would put herself through pregnancy again instead of being content with her daughter, she replied, “My in-laws want us to have at least two children”. It was the biggest Pikachu-face moment of my life.
Jesus Took The Wheel Years Ago
I’m an optometrist. I had an elderly patient come in surrounded by concerned family members because the patient ran over one of those pop-up tents on the side of the road that the telephone engineers use to protect themselves from the rain. Luckily no one was hurt as the worker was on lunch. Worried as to how the elderly driver missed seeing a large, red, and white tent in the middle of the day, it was then that the elderly relative admitted to having spent the last three years driving from memory.
Trying Hard To Be Patient
I had a patient come to see me in the clinic on a Monday; everything was fine. By Tuesday morning, she’s on the hospital census with a pending consult for me. When I see her, she says she’s fine and doesn’t know why she was admitted. She then walked out of the clinic, called an ambulance from across the street, and got taken to a different hospital.
She reported her problems were uncontrolled, and nobody was taking her seriously. They transferred her back overnight because I don’t work at that other hospital. She then gets discharged Wednesday morning. On Friday morning, she is again back on the census with a pending consult. I go to see her, and once again, she says she’s fine, and she’s not sure why she’s there.
This time she had a friend pick her up from the hospital and drive her to a small outlying hospital without the services she needed. She walked into the ER and said she was in distress but that nobody was taking her seriously. Yet again, she gets admitted and transferred back to my hospital overnight. She gets discharged on Friday afternoon.
Sure as heck, she came back on Saturday morning. I asked her, “Why do you think you keep getting admitted to the hospital”? She has no clue. Completely baffled. I tell her it’s because she keeps going to hospitals and telling them she needs help. No lights come on. I ask her, “Why do you keep going to other hospitals”?
Finally, she tells me, “I didn’t know what else to do. My apartment is a complete mess. My caretaker won’t clean my apartment because I’m supposed to learn how to do it, and I just don’t want to do it”. Please note that she is not a ward of the state but still gets most of the services, like coaches, guardians, drivers, etc.
So, I follow up with, “But why do you keep telling them that I’m not taking you seriously”? What she said next is forever burnt into my brain. “If I don’t, they just send me home in a cab”.
I’m a dental nurse. My favorite story involved a 30-something-year-old woman who came in for a checkup at the low-cost emergency clinic I worked at. Her teeth were broken and almost black, and her gums were angry, swollen, bright red, and bleeding by just moving her tongue against them. She needed multiple scaling and hygienist appointments and a debridement.
An X-ray showed she needed work on all but her wisdom teeth, and the results made me raise my eyebrows—she needed 10 fillings. She also needed root canals to try and save some teeth and extractions for, I think, three teeth or possibly more if the root canal treatment didn’t work. I explained everything and did the usual explanation of proper oral hygiene.
I then asked her if she had any questions, to which she said, “It’s okay if I lose this set of teeth; my others will come through”. The dentist and I just looked at each other, probably a lot longer than we should have. No words. I couldn’t think of anything to reply to that comment. I had a lot of weird and disgusting things happen at that clinic. I miss working there.
When You Just Can’t Sulfa Fools
I’m a paramedic, and I had this call while working on a rural fire/EMS service. A call came in for an allergic reaction. I arrived at a rural farm and found the patient in the kitchen on the ground, wheezing. Her husband said she took sulfa, which she’s allergic to, and after grabbing her blood pressure, we hit her with epinephrine (which is the same as an EpiPen) and Benadryl.
Her breathing improved, and she started to be able to answer my questions. First, I confirmed her allergy by asking, “So, you’re allergic to sulfa”? The patient says, “Yeah”. I reply, “And you took sulfa”? Again, she goes, “Yeah”. So I asked, “Was it mislabeled or in the wrong bottle”? She answers me with a simple “No”. Okay…
Needing more information, I inquired, “Was it your husband’s prescription”? And unbelievably, she tells me, “No, it was for our horse”. Huh? Feeling a lot more confused, I respond, “Was...Wait, did you say a horse? You took sulfa prescribed for a horse”? She then clarifies, “Well, I only took half”. Sure, that makes it better.
Still trying to follow her logic, I guessed, “...You only took half because a horse is much larger than a person”? The patient confirms, “Yeah”. Uh-huh…I’m still not fully understanding, so I respond, “...Okay. Were you intentionally trying to hurt yourself”? And the patient indignantly answers, “No, of course not”. Exasperated now, I pressed, “But you know you’re allergic, right”?
And she goes, “Yeah. I just have a cold and thought it would help me breathe better”. I couldn’t believe it. Incredulously, I then summarized the situation back to her: “So you took horse sulfa—which you’re allergic to—because you had a cold and thought it would help your breathing”? “I took half a horse sulfa”, the patient corrected me. Good Lord.
I just responded, “Sorry, half. Gotchya. Let’s go to the hospital”.
This Patient Was In A Jamopened white and orange travel trailerPhoto by Muhammed Abiodun Mustapha on Unsplash
I’m a paramedic and was called out for a stroke. The man was having a stroke; upon doing a stroke screen, it looked like the patient had something large in his mouth. Thinking maybe this guy had some sort of oropharyngeal cancer or mass, I asked his wife if this was indeed the case, and she looked at me with a very puzzled look.
She said no, and then I asked, “What is in his mouth”? His wife then says it’s a peanut butter and jelly sandwich that she shoved in there. When her husband’s symptoms started, she thought it was just that his blood glucose was low, so she tried to force-feed this poor man an entire sandwich before she called 9-1-1. Ah, job security.
It Was An Oxidant Waiting To Happen
There was a 24-year-old patient who was brought in from a prison in a rural county. He was working roadside cleanup when he found a bottle in a ditch that he thought contained booze, and he quickly chugged it down. To be fair, it did look like booze. It wasn’t. It turned out it was a substance that contained sulfuric acid. Its pH was less than 2.5...It just ate up the litmus paper. So shortly afterward, he gets to the ICU, and he is in excruciating pain and vomiting blood.
The gastroenterologist took him to do an EGD (basically a procedure where they can look at the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum with a camera attached to a flexible tube), and the pictures were horrendous. You could see his stomach and esophageal mucosa eroding. He had to be sent off to another hospital where they had an esophageal surgeon who could repair the mess.
He, of course, needed multiple surgeries and had a very long hospital stay. I saw him a few months later when he was admitted for another issue. He was down to 90 lbs (from about 150) and was getting fed through a PEG tube. He was very lucky to be young and otherwise healthy (but not very smart).
A Rash Decision
I’m a pharmacist. This story comes to mind, although I’m sure there are plenty more I’m not remembering. A woman came in, claiming that her medication was making her vomit. She said she couldn’t remember what it was called. So, I looked up her profile, but there was nothing recent, just some one-off antibiotics and an anti-fungal from almost a year ago.
I asked her if her medication was over the counter, and she said that it was and pointed me to the Monistat cream. I thought it was incredibly strange that a cream meant for “lady parts” had made her vomit, so I asked her how she had been using it. That’s when I learned the disgusting truth—much to my surprise, she’d been taking it by mouth.
She explained that she would fill the plunger with the cream, shoot it to the back of her throat, and swallow it so she wouldn’t taste it as much as putting it directly on her tongue and swallowing.
What A Meathead
I’m a rural ER doctor. A 35-year-old female walked in with right-sided jaw/neck swelling. She says, “I think it happened because I ate some meat yesterday that my body is reacting to…” Then suddenly, 10 minutes later: “Oh yeah, and I accidentally swallowed a bee, and it stung me in my mouth right before this happened. Sorry, I forgot to mention that”.
When Urine Need Of Some Whizdom
I had an adult male patient who needed a Foley catheter. His mother was in the room, and they both lived together in the backwoods of Tenessee. I informed them both of the order for a catheter, how it worked, and why it was needed. His mother stated, “Well, he’s still a virgin, and I’m not sure I’m comfortable with his virginity being taken in a hospital”.
Reddit user WeirdJawn asked: 'Older Redditors, what do young people get completely wrong about past decades?'
I have no aesthetic or emotional issues with getting older as it certainly beats the alternative, so I freely admit I have reached a certain age.
It's the age of sound effects when I get up from a chair and asking younger people to pick things up off the floor for me.
It's the age of having to use Urban Dictionary daily to understand messages I get from younger friends and relatives.
But as much as I don’t understand their language, music or hobbies, there's a lot they'll never understand about my childhood and adolescence.
I was reading an article by writer Eric Chilton who pointed out Gen X—the generation born between 1965 and 1980 of which I'm a part—was the last to live in a world without the internet, cellular phones and social media.
And those are only a few examples of the paradigm shifting innovations in our lifetimes.
Reddit user WeirdJawn asked:
"Older Redditors, what do young people get completely wrong about past decades?"
As a young person, I was fascinated with the idea my maternal Grandmother lived through the transition from horses to combustion engine vehicles, the inception of commercial air travel, the creation of the motion picture industry and the invention of television.
But I've lived through vinyl LPs and 45s, 8-tracks, cassettes, CDs and digital music players.
If I wanted to see a movie as a kid, I went to a theater—or drive-in—or waited for an often heavily edited version to air on TV. Then cable movie channels were introduced, followed by LP size video disc players, then Betamax and VHS, DVDs, HD and Blu-ray and now?
Digital downloads and streaming services—I haven't been to a theater in years.Giphy
"Up until video rental stores in the early 80's, at school the next day every kid was talking about what was on TV the night before, as every single family was watching tv together every single night."
"With some exceptions, most people watched the same thing as their schoolmates or co-workers, just to be a part of the conversation."
"There's something very isolating about modern media.
"You can be into a TV show, or YouTube series, and nobody else you know has heard of it."
"I'm a fan of aYouTube series—RedLetterMedia—that's pretty popular and very well regarded amongst its fans, and only one of my friends has heard about it.
"Probably just how often you had to accept that you couldn't find out the answer to something."
"If you had a question you could ask your family, maybe your friends, maybe your teachers, and your last chance was the check the library."
"But if the library didn't have the answer, then you just had to accept that you weren't going to get an answer (or you'd have to hope to come across that answer someday in the future)."
"Now you just ask Google and get 10 answers in just seconds."
One & Done
"How on-time you had to be for your favorite shows because there was little to no chance you’d see that same episode again until they (hopefully) did re-runs during summer."
"I remember waiting anxiously for the nightly news to be over so I could watch my favorite TV shows."
"Commercial breaks were just mad rushes for the bathroom, or to the kitchen to get something quick to drink."
"Once it was done, it was gone."
"The happy tears I cried when they finally released The Stand miniseries on DVD about a decade after airing."
"I feel I was in the last generation of this, even though channels were much more prevalent and reruns of everything was the norm."
"I remember rushing off the bus with all my friends because we were absolutely SURE Goku was gonna defeat Frieza this episode. And it was a crap shoot whether or not the driver would be fast enough for us to make it."
"Years later when DVDs started becoming more prevalent, they STILL didn't put shows on collectable media regularly. You couldn't just get an entire season of a show and binge it."
"At most you could find a 'best-of' compilation of five or six of the most popular episodes, and that was only if the show was incredibly popular."
"And what I am describing here was considered 'having it good' compared to older people."
"That it was incredibly common to just not have pictures of events or other things we see as important now."
"Not only did we have entire vacations where no pictures were taken, we could go months without a single picture being taken of any member of our family unless it was particularly notable."
"A trip to St Louis? No pictures. A trip to Disneyland? Maybe a picture at the entry gate or one of the souvenir pictures of us with a character."
"A trip to zoo? No pictures. An average day? Forget about it!"
"Frequently, the only pictures taken were at major holidays like Christmas or on someone's birthday."
"I explained that to my kids the other day."
"What if every picture you took cost a dollar?
"And you don’t know if it’s even good until probably weeks later, as long as the photo lab doesn’t f*ck up processing."
"Or your film or pictures don't get lost in the mail going to or from the developer or they don't send you someone else's photos by mistake."
"You had to plan ahead to take a photo."
"'Did you remember the camera? Did you remember to buy film or flashbulbs?”
So Few Options
"It's an exceptional AMOUNT of media to consume now. In the 90s, you had 3-4 super popular channels, and 4-5 low rated channels. They all showed one show at a time."
"Now we have a dozen streaming services with infinite media options."
"It's becoming increasingly difficult to engage in office conversation because so much content is available, people do not have to stray as far from their interest to consume content they want to consume."
Smoking Or Non?
"They understand restaurants had 'smoking sections' and that bars & clubs were filled with cigarette smoke. But I don't think many understood how pervasive smoking was."
"Non-smoking areas or sections didn’t exist before the 1980s. There were ashtrays and people smoking literally EVERYWHERE."
"Jury boxes had ashtrays in front of every juror. Judge smoked, lawyers smoked, the gallery smoked."
"You smoked on planes, trains, busses, taxicabs, and in all transportation centers."
"You smoked at the library, the PTO meetings at schools, the town hall and all city offices. Hell, you could smoke at the courtyard at my High School as a student."
"You smoked in the elevator and on the escalator. The mall. The grocery store. Sports venues. Doctor's offices. Hospitals. Sitting at your desk at work even if you were in a cubicle or open area."
"The movies. The plays, opera, concerts and every other public performance, people smoked."
"A non-smoker would come home often smelling like smoke. One was constantly surrounded by smoke. It was insane."
"You literally made ash trays as a grade school art project, that’s how common it was."
"Probably under estimating how few choices there were."
"Today, it seems like everything imaginable is available in a variety of sizes, delivered to your door over night."
"Catalogs and mail order had 4-6 week delivery."
"Malls were the best thing ever—all the stores in one place, a wide variety of products and sizes and not downtown."
"And also just how little people knew they were missing out. If it wasn't on network evening television (Channels 2, 4, 7, 9, and 11), or on a store shelf in your town, or in the Sunday newspaper... it simply didn't exist for you."
"If you had an inkling something existed—say, tin foil that comes in sheets instead of one giant roll—you could go around asking people, if you wanted. But you were more than likely to just get a shrug and, 'Why would you want such a thing?'."
"Let's say you were particularly enterprising, so you dial '0' and ask the operator for the number for corporate headquarters of Reynolds Aluminum Foil, if you knew the city it was in. Because there was no internet, and the only way to find a number was by dialing '0' and speaking to a telephone operator."
"But even if you spoke to someone at Reynolds, they had no way to exchange money for goods at that level, and they probably would just tell you they sell it in the Ohio area, and that would be that."
"You went to the market. They have one brand of pancake mix, and no one had ever heard of anything different, and why would you want a different brand, anyway?"
"Then you go to the hardware store, and they carry one brand of paint, and no one had ever heard of any other brand of paint."
"And it was that way for a long, long time."
One For the Road
"How common drinking & driving was."
"Until MADD came along, people did this routinely."
"It's where 'one for the road' originated."
"Yes! When my friends and I had our 18th birthdays in late 1979, the thing to do was to celebrate by driving through Beer Barn, where you could literally drive-through to get beer, wine, wine coolers, whatever."
"Then open them up and drive while drinking. At 18. This was in Texas."
"It also was not uncommon for my dad to drive while drinking when he was taking us wherever at night."
"Zero education on why you should not do that."
Good & Bad
"I am definitely older (born in 1949 so Baby Boomer)."
"What today's young people don't appreciate is how, growing up, we had to invent our own sources of fun."
"There were no video games (which I enjoy playing), just 3 channels on a black-and-white tv (we didn't get color until 1967), and no real entertainment aimed at kids."
"All we could do is interact with each other and play established games like marbles or maybe an organized sport like Little League baseball."
"There was a baseball diamond, overgrown with weeds, across the street from us, but mostly we played in the woods that surrounded us, climbing trees pretending to be pirates or some such.
"I loved the bookmobiles that would visit my street, and I must have read every biography (all bound in blue covers) in my elementary school library."
"It was a different era with many fewer distractions and much more time for sustained imagination."
"Being a different place and time, we developed different skills for interacting with the world and each other than young people do today."
"Was it better? That's hard to say. We tended to have an insular view of our own little world, while today it is hard to escape what it happening everywhere on Earth."
"We had to wait days for a letter to arrive, and we shared a party phone line with our neighbor's phone. That is a far slower pace than today's instantaneous texting culture. (Yes, I do text.)"
"Some things have been lost while others have been gained. That's the way it always will be. Just wait."
In Chilton's article—referenced at the beginning—he stated:
"We [Gen X] will be the last generation to know the world without...
- Cable TV
- Cell Phones
- The internet
- Seat belt laws
- Remote controls for the TV"
What would you add to the list?
We've all gone into at least one business, store, or restaurant that left us completely dissatisfied, and we can understand that sometimes, that's how things work out.
But when we're disappointed by them every single time, we might wonder how that business is still even open to receive customers.
Ready to hear the tea, Redditor Square-Floor8879 asked:
"What company has you shocked that they have not yet gone out of business?"
"On a Wednesday at around 2:00 PM, I received a tap at my door from an elderly woman who wanted to show me a Kirby Hoover."
"Additionally, it appears that door-to-door salespeople will still exist in 2023."
"It’s surprisingly big in B2B (Business-to-Business) sales, as well. Cold-calling on the phone is almost dead, but if you know how to talk with people in person and aren’t afraid of in-person rejection, you can do very well with door-to-door sales."
Are They Really?
"That furniture store that has had the 'Going Out of Business' sale going on for the last four years."
"That’s a whole thing. People will open a store for a year or so and run this kind of going-out-of-business sale and make an absolute killing. Then they’ll dip out and someone else will do the same thing right behind them."
A Constant Reunion
"Classmates.com still trying to charge what you can get for free on Facebook."
"I'll get emails from them: 'John, Mike, Sarah, and Amber want to see what you're up to.'"
"Well, they can all see it on Facebook or Instagram."
A Fading Tune
"Guitar Center. I worked for them for 13 years, they were on the brink of death the whole time."
"I actually just bought something from them for the first time ever. A lot of workers in the store, like every dept had somebody in it. Not that many customers, though."
One Word: McAfee
"I swear, those motherf**kers installed the malware themselves."
"McAfee IS malware."
Physical TV Guides
"TV Guide still exists."
"I see big potential with TV Guide. They could get a lot of traffic and be an amazing source of information if their search engine didn't suck."
"These days, it's so annoying trying to find out what streaming service has that one TV show or movie you want to watch. TV Guide has a 'where to watch' button that will show you what subscription services have it and how much they cost."
"TV Guide, if you're reading this, fix your search engine. You can be the source of information of what and when we watch just like your golden age again."
Affordable Iced Tea
"I hope they don't but Arizona Iced Tea has cost the same my whole life. Good on them."
"They actually just reduced the size from 23oz to 22oz. Fortunately, the 99 cent price holds."
"I'm actually okay with this, to be honest, because I basically have to force myself to finish that last couple of ounces most times."
"All the mattress stores that are somehow across the street from each other and never have any customers but open new locations down the street all the time."
"It's actually crazy going to one. I was mattress hunting last week. While I was there for like two hours, two people showed up and purchased mattresses."
"One for like $2300, and the other for just over $3000. All were financed."
"I had no clue people paid that much for mattresses."
Cheap Claire's Jewelry
"It feels like they have been saying Claire's is on the edge of bankruptcy for 20 years."
"I found myself ordering something online from them a few years back and it still feels like a fever dream."
Sears' Serious Long Game
"Pretty sure Sears is still holding on?"
"Down to only 11 locations left, with plans to close five of them by 2025."
"One of them is near me! In a mall that feels like it has time traveled from the '90s, so that makes sense. It's right near an FYE, which also apparently still exists."
"Man, I absolutely LOVED FYE when I was in middle and high school. Haven’t seen one in a solid 20 years. Granted, I haven’t been to a mall in the better part of 10 years."
Maybe It's an MLM; Maybe It's Mary Kay
"Mary Kay is a MASSIVE business. I also wonder how they survive but there’s a ton of scholarships and research they sponsor in the cosmetic science community. They have a big pull, Mary Kay and Amway."
"Because it's basically a pyramid scheme and they sell their products to wannabe entrepreneurs who are stuck with unsold goods."
A Return Location
"Kohls. Don't get me wrong, I love my Kohl's. But every time I go in there, it feels like 90 percent of the shoppers there are just there to return their Amazon package. Kohls does have some pretty good stuff so I do hope they stay in business (mostly because they are just so convenient for returns)."
"The coupons have so many restrictions anymore that I think they may have doomed themselves. I went in with a 40 percent off coupon and could basically buy their Sonoma brand stuff and that was it."
Questionable Kids Parties
"Chuck E. Cheese’s had its hay day years ago, their business sucks, their shows aren’t that good, and the animatronics are mostly gone at this point. And debt. Lots of it. Surprised they’re still around even though they just filed for bankruptcy three years ago."
A Ghost Town
"One of my favorite stores, but it gets pretty depressing to shop there. You see maybe two employees on the entire floor. Products are often never organized and the fitting rooms are even worse. Clothes just dropped on the floor and no one ever checks how many clothes you go in with or what you truly do inside…"
"Some Macy's locations are better but many are really bad. It feels like a complete ghost town."
"Wells Fargo. Considering all the shady ways they try to harvest cash from their customers, I simply cannot believe anyone does business with them."
These accounts were really eye-opening. Most of these companies weren't on the list for potentially closing because of their business practices, but because of how they treat their customers.
It just goes to show how important it is to foster good relationships with customers, to value them, and to treat them with respect.
With the latest advancements in technology, consumers are faced with the challenge of narrowing their list of products to buy.
The anxiety is only fueled by FOMO–fear of missing out–when they see their friends on social media bragging about the latest gadget that supposedly makes life easier.
But some people can't be bothered with all the fancy gadgets that are at the top of consumer reports as the best product so far in whatever year we're in.
They just prefer sticking to the basics and doing things the old-school way–like clicking on the TV with a remote instead of dictating to it what you want it to do after fumbling around for that elusive mic button to activate the function.
Curious to hear from consumers, Redditor WaterWalsh asked:
"What product no matter how innovative it is do you refuse to buy?"
Some people could do without all the bells and whistles of tried and true basic appliances.
"Smart' Refrigerator. I just need something that keeps my food cold. I don't need it to show me advertisements or what foods I might be out of. I can look for myself."
"Unless it can remind me of the box of fresh spinach that I stacked the yogurt in front of and, therefore, forgot existed, I wouldn't even consider it."
Things Get Heated
"A stove also shouldn’t be connected to the internet and should just be a normal stove."
"My stove has an app so you can set the oven temperature from your phone, when I got it I thought 'ok this might be useful if I want to preheat the oven on my way home or something,' but alas, it proved itself useless, you have to touch your phone to the oven to give it the command, like wft?? I'm already here I might as well just turn on the damn oven."
Get The Picture?
"If I could, I wouldn’t even buy a smart tv. That’s what my Apple TV is for. I just need something to turn on and make a nice picture."
"I intentionally locked out my smart TV because I have a secondary device. It doesn't need to be connected to the mothership. My TCL television probably has zero security, and who knows how many backdoors to circumvent my router."
"All these IoT devices are just great "dumb" tools to use for DDOS attacks by unsavory nation states. Blackberry said this years ago."
Just because products are under a famous person's name doesn't necessarily make them top quality.
Clever Marketing, Poor Product
"I’m Irish and Conor McGregor’s whiskey isn’t really drank over here. It’s very average whiskey with a premium price tag. You could buy far superior whiskey for less. His branding is amazing though."
"It’s the same with his stout. No one in Ireland touches it... Again his branding is amazing and people all over the world are buying in to this sh*t."
Refusing The Socialite Family Brand
"Anything promoted by any kardashian… my curling iron broke so I stopped at target on the way home (This was years ago)… all they had were curling irons with Kardashians on the box - I refused."
These consumers just don't get the hype over these smart devices.
"Folding smartphones. They're expensive as all get out, and I've seen a lot of them develop weird screen issues just through normal use, that are prohibitively expensive to repair. I'll stick to my slab phone."
Personal Home Assistant
"My roommate has one and I f'king hate it."
"My girlfriend has an Alexa in our bedroom and it's the most annoying thing in the world. She uses it to set a morning alarm and it always start spouting the weather and playing sh**ty music that we both hate. She refuses to get rid of it because she comes from a third world country and always dreamed of having 'American-life tech.' Of course, I overlook it because I don't want to be an a**hole, but nevertheless I dread waking up in the morning and hearing the Bezos bot."
Undesirable Communication Partner
"As a general rule, I don't like talking to inanimate objects."
"We got one as a gift, put it in the kitchen."
"1. The little kitchen TV was on and had an Alexa commercial and then our Alexa started talking to the commercial because the woman on TV said "Alexa" and it kinda went back and forth."
"I thought some people broke into the house. Our Alexa (don't ask me how) was playing our neighbors having a fight next door through their Alexa."
"The device lasted about a week before it was donated."
People were getting nowhere fast with these cars of the future.
Out Of Touch
"Cars with touch screens."
"I could stand a touch-screen, so long as it was supplemented with buttons. A car with only a touch screen? Terrible."
"Have one of those at work. Just changing the heat while driving is a risk of traffic accident."
Some Drivers Musk Need This
"I rented a Tesla on my last trip. I have the electric Volvo as a company car, so I was curious what Teslas were like. What a piece of sh*t. Materials are cheap, fit and finish was like my 95 Saturn, and it took forever to figure out how to control everything. Almost every damned thing has to be controlled by the software. Even the wipers, which is really distracting while you're driving. The key card recognizes when you walk up and unlocks the door, however in order to actually drive you have to tap the card on the arm rest. It's so stupid. Oh, and the 'shifter' is where the wipers should be, on the steering column. It's like they went out of their way to make the whole car as different as they could just to do it. I was happy to get back to the Volvo as it's a normal car that happens to have a battery, and a much better product."
Maybe it's because I'm not a gamer, but I personally don't see the need for an iPad.
I love using my iPhone and MacBook Pro to get all my business and social needs in order. Introducing a third option for going about my daily tasks and interacting with social media will only make my head spin.
I've also seen people walking around with their iPads and taking photos with them, which looks ridiculous in my opinion.
I remember thinking to myself after witnessing the bizarre practice, "I will not be that person."
But hey, that's just me.
We all love our pets.
And be it a dog, cat, parrot, or turtle, we all like to think our pet is cuter and smarter than everyone else's.
Most of the time, that is purely owing to our unending love for them.
But every now and again, we might witness our pet do something truly extraordinary, leading us to believe that our pet truly is the smartest animal on earth.
Redditor CoreyMatthews was curious to hear about the times people were truly blown away by the intelligence of their pets, leading them to ask:
"Pet owners of Reddit, what are some examples of your pet doing something that made your realize how intelligent they are?"
Talk About Coordination!
"I watched both my cats sit in the hallway and roll a ball back and forth between them gently and on purpose."
"They both know how to open doors."- TurbulentStep4399
The Real Truth About Cats And Dogs
"I had a cat that learned to turn on my radio so I would think the alarm was going off and get up to feed him."
"He and my dog would also team up on me in various ways."
"The most memorable was when I had gotten a little water pistol to squirt the cat when he got on the kitchen counter."
"I always kept the water pistol in the very back corner of the kitchen counter."
"I got home one day, and the water pistol was chewed to pieces on the floor."
"It was too far back on the counter for the dog to have reached it by herself (and it’s not the sort of thing she would normally have liked to chew on), so the only explanation is that the cat climbed onto the counter, pushed the water pistol across the counter until it fell on the floor, and then convinced the dog to chew it up."- TheBat3
More Than Most People Can Say About Their Children!
"My 6 month old kitten will alternate bringing his mylar ball to me or my husband to throw--taking turns."
"He plays fetch better than my dog did."
"He puts his toys away at bedtime."
"I have a small basket that we keep his toys in."
"At bedtime, I'll tell him, 'Let's pick up your toys' and he will get any toys that hasn't been eaten by the couch and drop them in his basket."
"No hard balls/toys as he can't pick those up with his mouth."
"I pick up those."- Danivellecat playing GIFGiphy
The Female Of The Species...
"I had two Shelties and one large dog bed."
"The female Sheltie did not want to share the bed with her brother, so whenever he was lying on it she would go to the door and start barking like crazy at … nothing."
"He would leap up barking and race to the door to guard the house alongside her and as soon as he got out of the dog bed, she would run back and curl up in the middle of it."
"He never caught on."- NoNefariousness104
Always On The Lookout
"My dog greeted me at the garage door when I got home."
"He then had me follow him to my daughters room, then my sons room, then the front door."
"My mother in law had picked up the kids."
"He was telling me that 'this one and this one are gone and went that way'."
"Let’s go get them!'”- YourFriendInSpokane
Asking Permission Never Goes Unnoticed
"I had a blue heeled mix that was crazy smart."
"Two of many examples:"
"He was occasionally allowed to eat table scraps off of a plate but was never allowed to beg."
"He had to wait until the plate was put on the floor."
"One day I was caught up working on my laptop and had put the scraps from my dinner on the couch on a plate next to me."
"An hour or so went by and I saw him pick up the plate off the couch and put it on the floor so he was allowed to eat it."
"He slept in my room and was getting up in years."
"One night after I was settled in bed he let me know he needed to go outside, thinking an older bladder, I got up to take him out."
"Instead he went to the kitchen and turned to look at me."
"Curious I followed him."
"Same thing , he went to the family room and waited for me."
"When I turned on the light, he went to an end table near the TV where one of my teenagers had left an uneaten piece of fried chicken."
"He stood and stared and it and then turned to me and I swear he asked if he could have it."
"I laughed and took the meat off the bones and put it in the floor for him, after which we both went back to bed."
"How he knew that chicken had been left there is beyond me!"
"I could share dozens of stories like this."
"He was as smart as most humans I know."
"I will miss him forever."- JCKligmanndog human eating GIFGiphy
Peeing With Purpose
"My mom's cat had a urinary infection."
"So he peed a tiny bit in the bathroom sink and waited by it for my mom to see it."- HyliaSerket
Everyone Wants A Little Attention Every Now And Then...
"A small thing, but my cat will paw at my hand when he wants to be petted."
"The first couple times it happened, I didn't think anything of it, until I realized one day that he basically had me trained/conditioned to pet him whenever he nudged or pawed at my hand."- Square-Raspberry560
And You Thought All They Could Do Was Change Colors
"My chameleon will look me square with both eyes and make a chomping movement with his mouth when he’s hungry."
"He’ll also pat at the glass if he wants to come out."
"He’ll hold a grudge, calculate ways to go or get what he wants."
"One of my Boas will only look at me when hungry."
"She had a go at caudal luring whilst doing it the other day."
"Like 'look, dude, I know you bring the food'."
"I’m hungry, look I’m even trying to lure you to give me some food'."
"It worked."- UgglugGiphy
A Kind Gesture Is Never Forgotten
"My brother’s cat, Coconut."
"We live 2,600 miles apart."
"The first time I met her, I gave her a little pink fuzzy kitty toy."
"2-3 years later was the next time I was able to visit her again for the 2nd time ever."
"She immediately disappeared & came back with this filthy, dusty, brown toy that had obviously been hidden away somewhere."
"We dusted it off & it was the toy I had gifted her years before."
"She remembered me."
"My brother said he had never seen the toy again until that day."
"She’s also very precious with her toys & will leave them outside his bedroom door as bribes."- emilyyancey
"When she was a baby I said, 'Go get your toy!' in the same pitch I always do."
"Never trained her with that phrase."
"She went a grabbed her toy and came back."
"I tested her again the next day and the next day."
"She went to her toy pile and brought back a toy each time."
"She picked up the phrase by herself."
"She's also the first dog I've had that looks at planes in the sky when they fly overhead and recognizes dogs on TV even on mute."- Spare-Bread8416
Get The Tissue Ready...
"I have two cats and a dog."
"A little backstory about my dog:"
" I don't know anything about dog training."
"I wasn't even thinking about adopting a dog but it seems like it was one of those things that 'meant to be'."
"My sister found him on the street at a winter night."
"We thought he was lost and there is an owner looking for him."
"Because where I live we have so many strays and you wouldn't see many 'specific breeds', they are just strays and specific breeds have an owner 99% of the time."
"So we took him home and start to search for the owner but it was obvious that poor dog went through some sh*t."
"And we learned about his story from an animal society; that he had a few owners but all of them left him to the streets because he was barking a lot (we haven't heard him barking even once during that time), he was peeing everywhere (he did it once and that was probably because he was nervous of being in a new environment and that was it), he wasn't listening at all (we had 3 cats at that time and I said no one time when he tried to run at them and that was it, never did it again)."
"And we learned that he has been in the shelter twice with big wounds."
"And I said I'm not going to let him go through more, he stays with us."
"He learned how to let me know he needs to go out all by himself."
"He learned to pee on the pads all by himself on the days that I can't take him for a walk."
"He learned to give me my slippers when I come home all by himself because I wear slippers when I get home."
" He learned how to clean his face by watching cats doing it."
" I still don't know how to train a dog other than a few basic stuff."
"He just learns."
"That's been a really long comment."
"So I'm going to leave that how I know my cats are clever for another time."
"Thank you for reading my sweet dogs story."
"I'm glad to have him and I don't know who was lucky about all those; me or him."- LittleBitOff2Daydog pies GIFGiphy
Never underestimate your pets.
As sometimes you have no idea of the things they might see or notice.
Making it all the more important to give them the love and attention they deserve.