Two Stories That Sum Me Up Pretty Well

Story Number One:

I send around a Christmas newsletter with our cards and I always have it printed at Staples, because we don’t have a colour printer.

This year I uploaded the file and sent it in to be printed and after I clicked to pay and everything, I realized it had been more expensive than it should have been. So I double checked my receipt and it turned out I had paid extra for “rush, same day print” service.

I totally did not need rush service, but I did not want to have to call and cancel, or talk to people on the phone, and it seemed like such a hassle to change it, so I just went with it, because a few dollars extra to avoid any kind of confrontation seemed worth it.

But then, several days passed by and I didn’t get my email saying the print order was ready, and then I was mad, because I’d PAID for rush service, and even though I cared not one whit for rush service, it was the PRINCIPLE of the thing.

So I called the Staples, and they apologized profusely. It turned out a trainee had printed my order on the same day I ordered it, but hadn’t realized she had to mark it as “complete” in the system to trigger the email, and so I hadn’t been notifed.

And because they were so sorry that I had missed my RUSH deadline, they refunded the cost of the printing.

So I call this a nice little gift from the universe – I got a great deal on printing through my own incompetence. The only drawback is that I felt obligated to drop everything and head over there to pick it up right away, because I had to maintain the fiction that I was desperate for those printouts immediately, rush rush, in order to justify my refund.

Still a win, though.

Story Number Two:

Several years ago I decided to stop having regular dental checkups because I did not like the hygienist in my dentist’s office.

My dentist actually had several hygienists and we had a system going where I’d take all three kids at once, and all four of us would go in for a cleaning simultaneously, which each of us getting a different hygienist. They would then re-book us for six months out with everyone with the same person they had had.

So I got into this locked down situation where I always got the same woman and I really disliked her. She was very aggressive with the cleanings and I always left her chair bloodied and bruised, with soreness for days afterwards.

But I didn’t know what to do about it. It felt so awkward to ask at the desk to please book me in with someone else. Plus, then, I’d either have to come back on my own at some point, or I’d run the risk of one of my kids getting her instead, which I did not want.

It just seemed completely insurmountable to complain about her work, or go behind her back to transfer to someone else. It was an IMPOSSIBLE SITUATION.

So I decided to just quit going to the dentist.

(Side story: the very first appointment we had after I quit, they gave Gal Smiley to the woman, as I had feared, and when Gal Smiley came out, she said, “That woman was…aggressive,” and I was like, “VINDICATION.” And also, “Oh shit, now I have to complain about her,” but that turned into a non-issue as we changed the day of the week we were going and then none of my kids ever had her again.)

Anyway, I was happy not going to the dentist and I took super good care of my teeth in terms of cleaning and all seemed well.

Then this year, we missed a set of appointments for the kids due to the virus, and I started having a weird feeling in one tooth, and I actually had to have another tooth extracted, so when our office reopened, I decided to make an appointment for all of us, myself included.

For the first time in ages, I was booking over the phone, instead of in-person at the desk with the hygienists hovering, so I was able to find the strength to (very quietly) ask the receptionist if I could be booked in but with a different hygienist from last time.

And then she checked the records – she had to go pull my paper records, because the last time I was there was before patient records were computerized, that’s how long it has been – and it turns out Aggressive Hygienist doesn’t even work there anymore!

So, WIN. Through total inaction and avoidance of conflict! My whole existence is now justified.

I was telling this whole story to Little Miss Sunshine after my appointment this week, which was 2.5 hours long because they had to update all my records, and also revealed that I have a cracked crown that needs replacing, two new cavities, a chipped filling, and three other older fillings that are pulling away from the teeth and need replacing, and now I have like, 10 dentist appointments over the next three months.

“But the hygienist was so nice,” I said. “So I WON.”

“Hmmmm….did you though?” she said.


3 thoughts on “Two Stories That Sum Me Up Pretty Well

  1. I am weak with loving laughter. “I just quit going to the dentist!” I had a hygienist I didn’t like too – it was her manner that was off-putting, and she was really shitty once when Angus was scared — but, and this surprises me a little knowing myself, I just told the receptionist to not book any of my family with her ever again. The one fun memory I have of her is asking Eve how old she was (Eve said “six”), and then babbling some more clearly not listening to Eve and then asking her again, and Eve saying “…siix?” as if the woman was really dumb.
    BOO-YAH on the Staples thing. MAJOR win.

  2. Your stories made me smile so much. I can relate to the inaction and avoidance of conflict. It’s a common theme for people and hair stylists, I think.
    So often, the avoidance thing leads to victory in the end – so often doing nothing turns out to be the best something!

  3. We left our dentist! It was awesome! Honestly, I dithered for so long, and didn’t want to leave bad feelings, and then when I finally did it, it was so liberating, and the new dentist is so great (and five blocks from our house). Best part of the story is that my husband stayed at the old dentist (?) so they can’t be rude about our family because he’s still a customer.

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