In The Same Vein

YA and I gave blood last night.  I’ve been a blood donor for decades and YA has ponied up a few times herself.  Normally when I get an email from the Blood Center, I think “oh I should do this” and then forget about it.  However when they call me on the phone and I pick up, they’ve got me; I talked YA into going with me.

It was clear that the nurse assigned to me was at the end of a long shift – she had NO sense of humor.  I’ve been in a customer service kind of job for decades and I like to think that I’m pretty good at putting people at ease.  When I do encounter someone in a particularly bad mood, it normally doesn’t take much to get them in a better place.  But this woman was tough.  And it didn’t help that I could hear YA and her nurse in the next room, chatting away. 

I didn’t get frenetic about trying to humor this woman but I wanted to be myself, so I made small remarks when I felt like it.  Eventually, when we got to the “now’s the time to look away” and I told her I didn’t need to look away, she warmed up.  She never got really chatty like YA’s nurse, but she at least responded to comments and asked a few questions of her own. When she asked me what color wrap I wanted on my arm and I said “well, purple”, she smiled and said “of course, what other color is there?”  I felt I had scored a small victory.  I was her last appointment before they closed so I hope that I lifted her spirits a bit before she headed home.

Are you chatty at appointments?  Do people like me tick you off?

25 thoughts on “In The Same Vein”

  1. I am. My last blood draw for the Pfizer trial was neat. I recognized the technician, and there was a newbie with her. We covered the regular information stuff quickly. The regular person directed and corrected some of what the trainee entered into the computer record. I offered my right arm and reminded the first nurse about a good vein to stick. The team was thrilled when I suggested that the new lady do the draw.
    “Are you sure?”
    So she gave it a try but had some difficulty.
    “Hey! That was just a foul ball. Try again”
    “”Are you sure”
    “Absolutely. Try a little more to the right”
    I think they like me.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. That’s a new phlebotomist that is off on the right foot thanks to you. She’ll forever have more confidence in her abilities because you didn’t flinch and draw away from her. Good job, Wes.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I chat with my hair dresser, but I have known her for a while. I am kind of shy with people I don’t know well. I expect people to chat with me at their therapy appointments with me. It is kind of hard to chat with a chatty dental hygienist as they clean my teeth.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. The chattiest people I had at an appointment were these two gossipy electricians who were installing new lights in our bathroom and who were dishing dirt on the neighbors next door.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I think hair stylists and barbers are similar to bartenders in their ability to chat and counsel clients. This brought up a situation that caused me to feel so bad for Husband. He had the same barber, Steve, for 38 years. They became friends, discovering they had the same birthdate (month, day and year) so they were the same age and grew up 25 miles from one another. Steve died on May 4. He had cancer, but he told no one but his closest family. Husband called for an appointment last week and was informed that this had occurred via answering machine message. He was devastated because he did not know Steve was even sick. Apparently it was an aggressive cancer and it progressed quickly. He last cut Husband’s hair 6 weeks ago.

      Uff Da.

      Liked by 5 people

  4. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    Usually providers’ chattiness depends on my willingness to chat. I am pretty chatty unless I have a migraine or I am going through an insomnia episode.

    When I went in for my second Moderna vaccine my nurse was running through the required questions and informed consent spiel. She got to, “Do you give your consent for this vaccine?” I laughed, and said yes, then asked her, “has ANYONE said no after all of this pandemic crisis and vaccine shortages? “ She laughed and perked right up, saying, “Somebody who wanted the Johnson & Johnson/Jensen shot said no and left, but nobody else.” And that launched us into a fun conversation about all things COVID, including mental health.

    Our Kitchen contractor was always chatty and such a pleasant and interesting guy. He also has 5 kids, so he always had a story about something, including supply shortages and price increases for his upcoming jobs. That was a month and a half ago, and at that point he was calling in every favor he had ever done for any other contractor or supplier to get his clients their needed supplies. He did that for us regarding our new kitchen cabinets which meant our job was completed in a reasonable amount of time. Thank Goodness.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. LOL. I asked the exact same question of my nurse when I got my vaccine. Really? Someone jumps through all of the hoops to get into the room where the shot is going to happen and then says “No I don’t want the shot?

      Liked by 4 people

  5. I’m pretty chatty, unless there are clear signals from the other person to be quiet. My current hair stylist is fairly interesting, and we find things to talk about (she’s from Romania, I think)… But she says my name after practically every sentence… “you know, Barb…” It gets very wearing.

    One of my role models was a woman who could start up conversations with people on, say, an elevator – get people laughing before they got off. That’s my favorite – like VS – if you can get someone to laugh or smile before you leave.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I’ve told before about standing in line at the MSP Caribou, started chatting with, as it turned out, Sally Rogers – had an animated conversation about how our Song Circle group had sung Lovely Agnes just the night before… Everyone in that line enjoyed it. : )

    Liked by 4 people

  7. I’m even chatty in line at grocery stores. I’ve never had a bad reaction to comments about what the people in front of me are buying. I always keep it light. The other day, myself, the customer and cashier had a great time talking about our pets. I have birds. The customer had cats. The cashier had rabbits. Such brief interactions let’s me know humanity has redeemable qualities worth saving.

    Liked by 5 people

  8. I don’t know; some days I am and some days I’m not.
    There was a young man working at Fleet Farm the other day; he had a lot to say as he rang up my purchases. Mostly he appeared unhappy about the job and most of what he said was complaints or the quick, run of the mill ‘Did you find everything you were looking for?’ but then right into the line of people and no help.
    I didn’t like him so much and maybe it was the insincerity…

    Sometimes I’ll try to make small talk and you get nothing back… well… if we’re stuck there together for a while, like you mention VS, it would be nice to talk a little.

    A dental hygienist I had recently, mumbled to herself, of course asked questions while she’s working in my mouth, and halfway scolded me for not flossing well enough. I have a lot of dental anxiety in the first place; she wasn’t helpful.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. Your use of the word “chatty” is timely for me. I’ve been working for a new employer, and although I take a lot of phone calls, I also have to communicate with people in a chat box quite frequently. This employer places a lot of value on positive survey results from its customers. This means I have to figure out a way to engage with people without actually talking to them. There is a prescribed bit of language at the end of a chat conversation where you’re supposed to ask the customer to fill out the survey. It goes something like, “You may receive a survey at the end of this chat. Please take a few minutes to share your honest feedback. It’s one of the ways we measure performance, and will help us continue to improve.” I always think, but if you want somebody to respond to a survey, yammering on about measuring performance is not going to do the trick. So I always replace that bit was something more personal. I try to say something like, “I’d really love it if you would take a moment to fill out the survey. Surveys make my day!” I also think it’s important to alternate dry pieces of valuable information with more quirky asides. So after saying something like “Your return shows no errors, and you are ready for e-filing,” I’ll say “I’m declaring happy hour!” You have to kind of gauge whether the customer you are talking with is going to be open to that, but sometimes it works out really well. Sometimes people are fun.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I am very survey-averse. Some of this has to do with the fact that in this day and age everybody is sending you a survey. I really don’t need to be asked how satisfied I am with the fact that the Fed Ex driver left a package on my steps. And of course I work in an industry that is survey-saturated. I will say however that if you approached me like that, I would probably fill out tour survey. Last night I had to discuss something with WordPress, the problem did get solved but I only got three choices in the resulting survey. And I really needed another category in between “Just OK” and “great”.

      Liked by 1 person

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