What you se is not always what you get

  1. When you see someone acting irrationally mean, think of the following story.

    Before becoming a nurse I worked at a high volume grocery store managing the dairy department. (I was taking pre-nursing courses with a vaque intent) Every morning I'd arrive at 4am to find the shelves obliterated from the busines the day before. It was always an uphill battle to keep the shelves stocked.

    One morning, a very well dressed, attractive 50 something year old women was umphing and loudly criticizing the yogurt section. I went over and cheerfully asked if I could help her. She crossly stated that there weren't any breyers strawberry yogurt. I explained that the ware house was out of stock but there were 30 other brands of strawberry yogurt to choose from. Well, let me tell ya, this lady EXPLODED. She literally started ranting about my lack of breyers strawberry yogurt and incompetence. She really hit a nerve. Usually I am able to calm irrational, demanding customers but this one hit a very....raw....nerve. The day before I had taken my Mom to the ER because of increasing sob. She had been diagnosed with advanced colon cancer with mets several months before. Chemo was ineffective and her prognosis nil. The Er doc was very sweet but blunt. I had to sit next to Mom while this Dr had to tell her that she will succumb to this disease at any time and sent her home with o2 and a hospice referrel. Mom was 54. I was in my 20's without any medical training whatsoever so I was blasted out of whatever denial I had been lost in in a matter of minutes that day.

    And there was this ***** c/o no breyers strawberry yogurt??

    Well now I exploded. "If you're only problem for the day is not having your damn breyers yogurt then your life must be unbelievably wonderful." Something like that. She was stunned. Then she started to sob uncontrollably and effusely apologising. I didn't know what to do. Is this lady mentally ill? She explained through her sobs, very difficult to understand her at this point, that her son was recently in a motorcycle accident, in a coma and suffered a c2 or c3 spinal cord injury. He had just emerged from his coma and his only request was for breyers strawberry yogurt. (apparently he could still swallow.) She had gone to every store in the area and everyone was out of stock. The one thing she felt she could do to help her son was maddenly out of her reach. Her aggravation building at each store.Well, I apologised back and started sobbing telling her about Mom. By now my manager was eaves dropping on this unusual conversation. I threw my marking gun down and took this woman out for coffee and we sat in a corner talking, laughing and consoling each other. It was JUST what I needed. She was a wonderful lady. I won't ever forget her.

    Just remember when you see someone acting mean, try to dig a little. You may find someone who is in severe psychological pain or simply and mean person. But please try to root out the suffering.
  2. Visit Furball profile page

    About Furball

    Joined: Oct '01; Posts: 2,293; Likes: 86
    poor nurse


  3. by   RNPD
    Thank you, Furball, for this thoughtful & timely reminder. (especially wth everyone so stressed out about what's going on in the world). We really never know what is happening in the lives of the people we interact with and need to remember that. Your story really got that point across. Thanks again.
  4. by   soundsLikesirens
    What a wonderful story!!!!

    Thank you for making my day.
  5. by   CATHYW
    Wow, Furbie!
    That is a heartbreaker, all the way around. I'm sure glad you were able to pull this one out of the bag without the lady lodging an official complaint, or something.
    You just never know what another person is going through, or what their motivation is.
  6. by   ERNurse752
    All I can think to say is...wow...
  7. by   debbyed
  8. by   Bozo180
    That's a really cool story. I just hope your boss didn't sack you for walking off the job.

  9. by   jayna
    what a lovely story ..(singing)..
  10. by   KellyandtheBoys
    Great story! Thank You
  11. by   Furball
    Originally posted by Bozo180
    That's a really cool story. I just hope your boss didn't sack you for walking off the job.

    No, he was wonderful. He picked up my marking gun and finished the rest of my stock. Thanks for reading!
  12. by   GPatty
    How true...
  13. by   mustangsally
    Just another thank you, I really needed a heartfelt story right now