Hard Candy

July 31st, 2012 · 63 comments

“My best friend works at a hospital as a RN,” Jesse writes, “and one day, after a ridiculously long shift, she reached into the breakroom candy dish expecting, well, candy, and got a handful of pushpins instead. She wrote this note because a) she’s a smartass and b) to warn others.”

Jesse continues: “Minutes later, a doctor came in, reached into the candy dish, and popped one into his mouth. Then he spit it out, exclaiming, ‘This isn’t candy!’ My friend looked at him, and with a straight face said, ‘That’s why the note is there, Doctor.’ He looked down, read the note, and promptly left the room.”

This is not candy.

Adds Jesse: “But seriously, what kind of troll puts push pins in a candy dish?”


FILED UNDER: candy · hospitals & doctors · most popular notes of 2012 · smartass

63 responses so far ↓

  • #1   CRJ

    Anything is candy if you’re man enough.

    Jul 31, 2012 at 2:49 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #2   Becca

    Are people, even medical professionals, really that dumb?

    Jul 31, 2012 at 2:55 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.1   Michelle Grove

      Have you ever worked 24 hours straight? I have. Stuff gets weird.

      Jul 31, 2012 at 3:01 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.2   kermit

      Perhaps when you’re awake for 24+ hours – because that’s how long your hospital shift is – then you also may confuse colorful pushpins in a candy dish as being candy.

      Jul 31, 2012 at 3:03 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.3   Anna

      Excuse them for paying more attention to your health than what is in the candy dish.

      Jul 31, 2012 at 3:09 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.4   Annie

      What is really scary is that we routinely ask people who have been awake 24 hours, and who are so out of it they can’t tell the difference between pushpins and candy, to perform difficult medical procedures.

      Jul 31, 2012 at 11:26 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #3   E. Johnson

    To be fair to everyone that thought it was candy, most people don’t keep their push pins in such a decorative bowl, nor are they as colorful. Just glancing they do look like candy.

    Jul 31, 2012 at 3:03 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.1   prairielily

      On the other hand, you probably shouldn’t be popping unwrapped candies from a random dish into your mouth if you’re working in a hospital. Even people who don’t normally worry about germs should be a little more cautious.

      Jul 31, 2012 at 3:13 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.2   Morgan

      They could be jellybeans, m&ms, skittles or any other tiny candy like that…

      Jul 31, 2012 at 4:46 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.3   medusa

      I stopped eating unwrapped candies out of communal office candy bowls after watching our company’s attorney pick his nose while on conference calls in his office, then come out into the reception area and pick through the candies. So, no, sorry, no jelly beans, no m&ms, just NO.

      Jul 31, 2012 at 7:39 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.4   redheadwglasses

      Medusa, same here. One person tried putting a spoon into the candy dish. Nose picker ($300K/year earner) didn’t get the hint. We eliminated candy dishes after that.

      Aug 1, 2012 at 2:00 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #4   Dee

    Team Note-Writer! After having coworkers steal my candy (that is there for customers ONLY!)and never paying for any themselves…yeah, pushpins sound like a pretty good idea.

    Jul 31, 2012 at 3:07 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.1   Peter

      I get the impression this isn’t the first time you’ve been on team note-writer.

      Jul 31, 2012 at 3:19 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.2   kermit

      So you’re mad that people who don’t pay for your candy take some of it.

      But you’re not mad if customers – who don’t pay for any of the candy – take some.

      Alrighty then.

      Jul 31, 2012 at 3:37 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.3   JK

      Dee’s trying to make a good impression on customers who might end up taking 1-2 pieces tops, and I assume they’re infrequently there. Mooching coworkers manage to swing by constantly, eating the bulk of the candy from my experience (having been a candy eating co-worker myself, oops). The stock gets depleted so that the people it’s intended for can’t have any. It does add up. Dee isn’t the office candy wench. Knowing the error of my ways, I don’t pinch more than the rare piece of candy if I ever do try any. I’ll bring my own and keep it in a drawer if I want it badly enough.

      Jul 31, 2012 at 3:51 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.4   kermit

      Here’s the problem I have with that line of thought, JK.

      Does anybody actually ask Dee (or whoever else) to purchase this candy with their own money? Probably not. If candy is deemed a requirement, then the employer pays for it out of the petty cash fund.

      So, if nobody is asking for this candy to be ever-present, and it’s there so people can take it, what’s the difference if it’s a customer taking it or an employee?

      I agree that it’s rude to take anything more than one or two pieces. But to complain specifically about non-customers taking it seems silly to me.

      Jul 31, 2012 at 6:40 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.5   Stating the Obvious

      Except that the customers are the people she INTENDED to have the candy for free. By your logic, anyone can take that birthday present I bought for my coworker, since he was going to get it for free anyway. You’re the one not making any sense.

      Aug 1, 2012 at 5:51 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.6   Wait..what?

      I can bet your skittles rainbow colored panties that the employees get irritated when the dish is empty and either ask where the candy is OR put in suggestions on what they would like in the bowl. Because of course the skittles fairy comes by nightly and magically fills the bowl.

      Aug 1, 2012 at 9:14 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.7   kermit

      Stating, maybe you need a better analogy. Last time I checked, when a person (or a group) buys a birthday present they stick a label on it to say who it’s for. Or they leave it out of sight of the general public.

      Do you also stick signs in front of your house that the stuff you leave there is only for the homeless or the refuse? And that recyclers are not allowed to take it?

      The point is that if you mind the general public taking stuff that’s out in the general public, stop putting it there. If the candy is for customers only, then the receptionist should offer the dish to the customers when they come to pay their bills. And the rest of the time it should be out of sight.

      Aug 1, 2012 at 10:40 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.8   Qwerty

      The candy is there for customers in order to encourage the customers to come back.

      Fellow employees do not need to be encouraged to come back – it is their job to be there.

      If the co-workers steal the candy it isn’t there as a lure to attract the customers. Is this really so hard for you to understand?

      Aug 1, 2012 at 4:09 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.9   kermit

      The funniest part of this explanation is that you seriously seem to believe that candy acts as a lure to customers to patronize a non-candy related business. And that it’s the candy makes them come back, not the quality of the service they received (something which the receptionist has little to no control over).

      Aug 1, 2012 at 6:30 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.10   JK

      The candy is part of the overall experience along with “how are you,” “have a nice day,” “would you like some water?” and timely/excellent magazine selection in the waiting room. Little things add up. Candy won’t bring in customers, but it makes up part of what folks subconsciously think of when they go ‘I enjoy coming to that place. They really think about their customer.’ Everybody likes free stuff. PS. And let’s face it, if it’s a mint-like candy, it probably improves their breath for the poor receptionist. Win-win.

      Aug 1, 2012 at 10:18 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.11   kermit

      Perhaps I don’t frequent enough businesses, but all of the ones I’ve been to have these “perks” have had appallingly poor service and/or a rude/incompetent front desk person.

      The damn candy / coffee / magazines didn’t make me come back, and I can’t think of why anybody would.

      The places that repeatedly get my business don’t have any of these “perks”. And personally, I’ve learned to steer clear of any business that does because it seems to be a sign that they’re trying to compensate for their incompetence.

      Aug 1, 2012 at 10:41 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.12   Dr_Know

      I’m going to back Dee up because, even thought it wasn’t exactly the same situation, I feel her pain.

      I once had a co-worker (who earned a lot more than me) come around to my desk regularly to steal my delicious salted macadamias. I wasn’t the receptionist and they were just there for me when I needed a snack but for some reason this guy thought it was cool to come to my desk and take things!!

      Aug 2, 2012 at 8:21 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.13   Jewsy

      Ugh, I stopped having a candy dish after an employee walked up one day and literally filled his pockets. I asked him “what are you doing?” and he said “just taking some snacks for the weekend.” I made him put them all back, save two.

      THAT is the sort of shit that coworkers do. Snacks for the weekend, my ass.

      Aug 3, 2012 at 1:03 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #5   GojuSuzi

    Maybe it was done as an awareness exercise? The local nursery is forever trying to teach kids not to swallow everything that looks like sweeties, because of how many kids are hospitalised or even killed because those “sweeties” were pills or harmful implements such as tacks. Medical professionals especially must be aware of what a danger absent-mindedly swallowing things can be, and it bears reminding that, no matter how sleep deprived you are or how familiar your environment, such mistakes can still be made.

    Or they might have just got sick of that pocketful of tacks stabbing them in the hip every other step. Hard to say.

    Jul 31, 2012 at 3:12 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #6   kathryn

    Lose the note, put a couple of candies in there with the pushpins and a 12 hr shift goes by much faster.

    Jul 31, 2012 at 3:15 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #7   Lisa

    I am torn. A former co-worker kept a candy dish on her desk that was for public consumption, but one particularly greedy QA Analyst would routinely grab giant handfuls every time she walked by, often emptying the dish daily all by herself. As a prank one day, we filled it with styrofoam packing peanuts. Sure enough, QA grabbed a wad of them and started stuffing them in her mouth as she raced past. She was half-way across the office before we heard her muffled voice shout, “VERY FUNNY!!” I never laughed so hard in my life. Pushpins wouldn’t have been quite as amusing.

    Jul 31, 2012 at 3:33 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #8   squib

    I’m kinda on team notewriter here, except that if the dish is usually used for candy, wouldn’t it have been more productive to take the pushpins out of the dish instead of writing the note?

    Jul 31, 2012 at 4:12 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #9   Kali

    why would you reach your bare hand into a bowl take something out and pop it in your mouth? wtf kind of doctor are you? who else has had their grubby hands in that bowl? what a dummy.

    Jul 31, 2012 at 4:14 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #10   wright1

    Scary that someone who works in a hospital pulled this kind of “prank”. Sure you can find nasty types in all workplaces, but not all workplaces have people laying around in varying degrees of vulnerability, from the very old to the very young…

    Jul 31, 2012 at 4:47 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #10.1   C

      It was the staff breakroom.

      Aug 1, 2012 at 3:19 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #10.2   wright1

      So presumably it was a staff member who thought it was appropriate / funny to pull it on other staff. Does that sense of humor stop at the breakroom door, or do they also think patients might appreciate it?

      Aug 2, 2012 at 5:27 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #10.3   Jewsy

      I think we can safely assume that the staff is secretly poisoning the patients, based on the bowl of thumb tacks.

      Aug 3, 2012 at 1:05 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #11   Laura

    I can’t believe any medical professional working in a hospital, or any healthcare facility, would eat unwrapped candy from a dish sitting out on the counter. Surely they know how illness is spread. Yuck, yuck and yuck!

    Jul 31, 2012 at 5:14 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.1   girl_with_all_the_yarn

      I have a friend who works in the disease labs of a hospital. It’s a little remarkable how much they stop caring about germs on their food there. He routinely eats in his lab. Where they have samples of all sorts of nasty diseases. That might get on his sandwich somehow.

      Jul 31, 2012 at 5:57 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.2   deprogrammed

      girl, you have nothing to worry about until your friend comes over , reaches into your closet with his fifth hand, tries on one of your dresses and asks “does this make my third butt look big”?

      Jul 31, 2012 at 6:26 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #12   Poltergeist

    I’m team nobody. I understand they’ve been working long hours, but they work in a hospital. Sticking your hand in a communal candy dish that probably gets washed only occasionally is bad enough, but doing so without even looking at what you’re taking before you pop it into your mouth?

    Having said that, you have to be a pretty big d-bag to keep colorful thumbtacks in a candy dish.

    Jul 31, 2012 at 8:02 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #12.1   kermit

      There’s nothing wrong with sticking your hand in a germ-ridden dish. Doctors and nurses wash their hands before seeing every patient no matter they touch – especially now that just about every health facility has installed sanitizer stations every few feet.

      Jul 31, 2012 at 8:09 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #12.2   Poltergeist

      Yeah, I wouldn’t take that chance anyway. Pieces of candy from a communal bowl in a hospital aren’t something I’d be jumping to get my hands on.

      Jul 31, 2012 at 8:18 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #12.3   glady

      Kermit — I wouldn’t be so dependent on the docs and nurses washing their hands every time they see a patient. Doctors are more notorious for not doing so even in some pretty nasty conditions, but nurses also are pretty bad about it. I’m a student nurse and some of the stuff i’ve seen in clinical have made me cringe. I try to avoid going to hospitals as much as I can for this very reason.

      Jul 31, 2012 at 10:37 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #12.4   DaveGI

      Regardless of whether they wash their hands before seeing each patient, you would expect hospital employees to know better than to eat unwrapped candy left out at work. To protect their own health.

      Hospitals are breeding grounds for drug-resistant bacteria, and you have no idea who else had their hand in that bowl before you or if they washed their hands.

      Wrapped candy would be different.

      Aug 1, 2012 at 2:35 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #13   zenvelo

    The push pin person has the BEST Halloween candy too! It’s (urban) legendary!

    Jul 31, 2012 at 8:50 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #14   hummer

    What kind of person pops something in his mouth without even looking at it? The note is probably also superfluous. The type of person who would read the note is probably the type of person who would notice that push-pins aren’t candy.

    Jul 31, 2012 at 9:22 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #15   Jonas

    Lol germaphobes. Candy from a candy dish will not kill you. not sure about the push pins

    You know what actually makes people sick? Drenching everything in bleach and disinfectant, thus creating resistant germs.

    Jul 31, 2012 at 9:36 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #15.1   Poltergeist

      Hey Jonas, remember the last time you took a fistful of loose M&Ms from that candy bowl? Well, I forgot to mention that I did the same thing minutes earlier, only I forgot to wash my hands after using the restroom first. But that shouldn’t be a problem for you since you didn’t die. Nobody is allowed to be skeeved by anything unless it leads to certain death.

      Aug 1, 2012 at 1:16 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #15.2   Ruth

      But if you do that every day, and he eats the candy every day, obviously it’s fine? The only problem is if new people eat your poop candy. It’s like when that article about washing machines being infected with e.coli!!!!! was doing the rounds – so what? Obviously our immune systems can deal with it, we haven’t all been going down with mysterious e.coli, have we?

      The overuse of disinfectants worries me, because they become less effective in hospitals and ill people’s homes which is where they’re truly needed. Use soap and water unless you really need more!

      Aug 1, 2012 at 6:06 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #15.3   DaveGI

      Bleach and disinfectants do not cause resistant bacteria! Overuse/misuse of antibiotics are what cause that.

      Bleach, ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, and alcohol (which is what’s in most hand sanitizers) are disinfectants, but not antibiotics. They are poisons that no bacteria can live in. They can also kill you if you’re not careful with them.

      But you can feel free to continue using disinfectants like that for cleaning, and hand sanitizers all you want without fear of creating drug-resistant bacteria.

      Aug 1, 2012 at 2:49 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #15.4   Jonas

      Keep on telling yourself that, douse everything in disinfectants and then wonder why allergies skyrocket.

      Aug 1, 2012 at 8:29 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #15.5   Poltergeist

      I just sneezed into my hand and wiped my ass without using soap and water afterwards. Won’t you please eat these M&M’s out of the palm of my hand, Jonas? You most likely won’t get life-threatening illness from it, so you should have no problem ingesting a small amount of my nasal mucus and feces.

      Aug 1, 2012 at 10:30 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #15.6   Nahhh bang

      Just a bit of oversharing: My father worked in IT for the DoD in a building that had formerly been a hospital. While running wires through the dropped ceiling, a chunk of the grid broke away and fell on him, cutting his shin. The resulting Necrotizing fasciitis infection cost him bone, muscle, and half his foot. That was from the CEILING of a former hospital. Imagine the kinds of bacteria hospital workers come into contact with — not just their hands — and imagine those germs settling on unwrapped foodstuffs left out on counters.

      I’ll pass, thank you.

      Aug 2, 2012 at 1:15 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #15.7   redheadwglasses

      I’m laughing out loud at “poop candy”!

      Aug 2, 2012 at 7:28 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #15.8   Noelegy

      @Nahhh!: Jebus, your story made me cringe. Your poor dad.

      I’ve been working in my current job for over two years–an office setting–and nothing surprises me anymore. Not even the day when I was training a new hire, and she was using my keyboard to navigate while I looked on. With hand sanitizer and tissues both within reach, I watched in mild disgust as she wiped her nose with her hand, and then with the same hand reached for the mouse. 8O

      I discreetly wiped everything down with disinfectant the next chance I got.

      Aug 13, 2012 at 1:28 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #16   Lil'

    I think the person who put the pushpins in the dish is enjoying watching people who make the mistake of putting them in their mouths. Why not push the extra pins into the cork board? Or place the bowl into the top desk drawer? She’s probably sick of people taking things off her desk. I had fun watching everyone get ink on their hands when they were “borrowing” ink pens from my pen cup after one leaked like crazy. I knew who they were because their hands stayed purple all day. One had the nerve to snap at me later that I needed to “throw that thing away!” I replied that he should probably get his own pens from the mailroom and stop taking things from my desk. He got mad but he did leave my desk alone. Now everytime I reach for a pen, or my tape dispenser, or my stapler, I have it because people stopped taking from my desk. A candy dish is different though. A candy dish on a desk is an ivitation, so do the right thing. Don’t use it to store dangerous pushpins…fill it with your kids’ Halloween candy.

    Aug 1, 2012 at 8:12 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #16.1   merkin4

      Just a few basic rules.

      1. Don’t keep your super glue where you normally keep the eye drops.
      2. Don’t keep the Preparation-H where you normally keep the toothpaste.
      3. Don’t keep the Liquid Nails where you normally keep the Preparation-H.

      That being said, I’m toally Team Note Writer on this one. I keep candy at church to fill the pastor’s candy dish. Once took in five bags of good stuff, stuck it in a filing cabinet, and returned two minutes later to find that the bags had already been opened and looted.

      Aug 1, 2012 at 1:17 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #17   Bill

    So, since the person didn’t look at to what was in the bowl and merely assumed that it was candy, it’s the person who filled the bowl’s fault? Sheesh.

    One woman I work with has a couple of communal mugs filled with candy and they both have a plastic spoon in them for people to use, and guess what? We all use them!

    The only ones to blame for a problem are the person who grabbed without looking and the doctor who just grabbed one and put it in his mouth. Next time, look before you leap.

    Aug 1, 2012 at 10:51 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #18   N0b0dy

    How to get out of a … spiky situation! :)

    Aug 1, 2012 at 12:09 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #19   The Gray Adder

    I was tempted once to put a bowl of chocolate-covered cigarette butts on my desk at work, after getting rather tired of people helping themselves to the candy on my desk. But I like the idea of brightly-colored pushpins better.

    Aug 1, 2012 at 1:55 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #20   Bella

    That’s not even a candy dish, it’s the bottom portion of a Lady Love Lamp from Home Interiors. Will the fakeouts never stop?

    Aug 1, 2012 at 2:34 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #21   IamFuckingDelish

    oh please you know the push pins were fucking delish to the doctor that rammed them down his gullot…

    Aug 2, 2012 at 12:29 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #22   Mantis bang

    That candy tastes like ouch. And blood.

    Aug 3, 2012 at 7:16 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #22.1   IamFuckingDelish

      Ouch and blood… My favorite!!!

      Aug 3, 2012 at 7:27 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #23   Kathy

    A professor in my building keeps out a giant bowl of M&M’s, along with a little serving spoon. Of course, the availability of the spoon doesn’t necessarily mean people use it, but I do. Over and over. Loves me my M&Ms.

    Aug 4, 2012 at 5:50 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up


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