I just don't tolerate being yelled at, especially on the phone.
Some old guy who had left the department with his wife about 10 minutes before I got there called, all agitated.
"I AM AT THE END OF MY ROPE! YOU PEOPLE CALLED ME AND TOLD ME MY WIFE LEFT HER SLIPPERS AND I COULD PICK THEM UP AT THE FRONT DESK! SHE HAD THEM WHEN SHE LEFT THERE IN THE AMBULANCE; NOW NOBODY KNOWS ANYTHING ABOUT IT! I NEED TO TALK TO LISA, SHE TOOK CARE OF MY WIFE TODAY! ARE YOU LISTENING? I CAN'T LOOK FOR SLIPPERS AND TAKE CARE OF MY WIFE TOO; IS THE DOCTOR THERE, I NEED TO TALK TO HIM!"
In the middle of his rant, I calmly but firmly said, "Sir I need you to stop yelling at me and calm down; I can't help you if you continue to raise your voice because I will be terminating this conversation; do you hear me sir? I need you to lower your voice right now and tell me that you understand"
The Talker rarely hears me use my Command Voice; he raised an eyebrow.
Meanwhile, the agitated old may continues to scream through my Noise Abatement Procedure.
Big sigh. "OK. I'm not yelling. My wife lost her slippers between there and the Mother Ship. I got a call from someone telling me I could pick them up at the front desk. I don't know which front desk, if it's at the hospital, or there, or at the ambulance. Can you find out"
"Sure, give my your phone number and I will try to find out. I can tell you that the slippers are not here (because I put the phone down and looked in the dirty utility room while you were busy trying to blow an aneurysm). I will call you soon"
I took down his number and called the ER at the Mother Ship.
I spoke to Katelyn, who went through the motions and was not very helpful, but she didn't have the slippers either. She said she would look out for them, though.
30 minutes later, I got a phone call from the Missus of Agitated Husband. She very calmly told me the same story. I explained that they were not in my department, nor were they located in the ER downtown. I gave her Katelyn's name and number though, because payback is a bitch.
ANOTHER 30 minutes later, Agitated Husband came to the ER and started yelling at Ellen. As always, trying to protect Ellen, I jumped up and ran around to the front desk; Julie was already on it. She takes no shit from anyone, but does it in a nice way. She told him to sit in the waiting room while she investigated, but he insisted on sitting at her desk.
Now I am all about helping people out, but come on; slippers? What is it with these slippers? What could possibly cause such angst? What the hell, are they the original Ruby Slippers? Diamond encrusted? Made of cats? Mink? Sheesh, take a chill.
By now I was bored with the whole ridiculous scenario so I took $10 out of my wallet, prepared to give it to the guy to buy the wife a new pair of blue fuzzy slippers to replace the old, worn out, filthy, stinky, cat hair laden, piss sodden slippers.
Julie, meanwhile, discovers an important piece of information that both the patient and Agitated Husband neglected to tell me; that the patient was admitted to the hospital as an inpatient FOUR DAYS AGO; her slippers are at the front desk on the 4th floor.
"Oh", says Agitated Husband, now mollified. "I'm not driving down there today".