Saturday, September 24, 2016

Job Interview

Job interview!

On the telephone.  Saved me from having to take a day off for nothing.

I locked myself in a bathroom for the interview.  Not the best environment, but there is no other private spot.

I was offered this rare interview because a friend put a word in for me at the insurance company where he works.  They were looking for nurse case managers for accident claims.

So I described my job as similar to case management, which it is.  It can be a lot of things, but this company needed to hear about my case management experience, so that is what I highlighted.

The deal breaker was this question:  "So why did you pick our insurance company to work for?"

Umm, my friend arranged for this telephone interview and that is how I "picked" you.  But I could not answer like that.  So I said I was looking for a more professional environment to expand my skills and that my friend said the atmosphere of this insurance company was what I was looking for.

Not good enough.  The interviewer, who was not a nurse by the way, wanted to know why I chose this particular insurance company over the other insurance companies in the state.

I didn't have a better answer.  I don't know how any of them treat their employees.  They probably all pay around the same amount and provide the same crappy health insurance.  There aren't a lot of choices for job seekers.  Most applications fall into a black hole.  Every insurance company in the state does not call me to interview.  Actually, this was the first ever.

At least the company sent a follow-up email stating that I did not get the job.

Update from a Retiree

An retired orderly visited the hospital.  He worked at the hospital for over thirty years and left a few months ago.

"Best thing I ever did," he said about leaving the hospital.  "I did not realize how stressful this place was, and all because of sheer nonsense."

We saw this theme before when I bumped into a social worker who quit.  She wasn't old enough to retire and collect a pension or social security, so she took a lower paying job with fewer perks just to escape.

I keep telling myself that it's not that bad.  There are paychecks and health insurance and paid time off.

It's the accusations and pettiness that gets me.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Delusions of Grandeur

Someone barged into my little section of the hospital and screamed at my supervisor for talking about her behind her back.  Talking about people is a common accusation and pastime around here.

My supervisor has a sharp tongue when she wants to.  She replied, "I called CNN about you, but they said that you aren't important and nobody cares."

The person stormed off.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Wrapped Around Her Finger

One of the women who works in the general vicinity of my office returned from vacation.  My supervisor was elated.  “My partner!  You are back!  I missed you so much!  I was lost without you!”

What the hell am I?

This woman doesn’t lift a finger to do her own work, never mind anyone else’s. My supervisor will actually do this woman’s work- answer her phone, help her patients, do her filing- while this woman sits on her phone or is missing entirely.  Another lack of judgment on the part of this supervisor, or does this woman have some connections?  She must be in personal favor with management to continue employment without ever doing any work, right?

Friday, August 26, 2016

Confusing Handwriting

Upon returning from a few days off, my supervisor told me that a woman named Ellie kept calling for me.  I have no idea who she is.

For the rest of the day, Ellie called for me, but always when I had just stepped out of the office.  Near the end of the day, I was in an exam room with a doctor and patient when I heard my supervisor frantically yelling, “You can’t go in there.”

A woman hollered back, “I have waited long enough!” and burst into the exam room, focused only on me.  She shoved a paper at me, which I did not take.

“Excuse me, you are violating patient privacy!” I snapped at her.  I remembered her clueless self lurking around a few months ago.

“YOU refuse to answer your phone when I call,” Ellie snapped back.

“Get out!” the doctor hissed.  Ellie stood there, just realizing that other people were in the exam room.  “Get out!” the doctor yelled this time.

Ellie huffed out.  She and the supervisor exchanged negative observations about me in the hall, such as, “I don’t know why she won’t do something as simple as answer a phonecall” and “She doesn’t normally take this long in the exam room.  She is making you wait on purpose.”

When the patient left, Ellie and the supervisor charged into the room, nevermind sanitation.  “Are you still too busy?” Ellie said sarcastically.  My supervisor was staring at me, half scared, half angry.

“What is it that you need?” I asked.

Ellie held out the paper in her hand and pointed to a spot.  “I can’t read this word.  What does it say?”

I craned my neck to look while holding out my soiled gloves, making Ellie jump.  She held a copy of a hand-written doctor’s note that had nothing to do with me.

“I don’t know.  What does it say?” I asked Ellie, smiling.

“I have to transcribe this, but I can’t if I can’t read it,” Ellie said in a nasty tone.

“Of course not,” I added.

“So what does it say?” Ellie blurted, annoyed.

“How would I know?  Why don’t you ask the doctor who scribbled it?” I suggested, still smiling at her, hoping to convey that she was acting like an idiot.

Ellie stood there with phases of confusion washing over her face.  “Isn’t that you?” she tried.
My supervisor was also confused.

I glanced at the paper again and said, “No, I am not Dr Michael Smith.  I am Nurse Enid Mueller."  I stood there, smiling, blinking.

“Is this why you’ve been calling so much?” my supervisor asked Ellie.  “Why didn’t you just tell me what you wanted and I would have told you that she has nothing to do with this doctor?”

Ellie mumbled and fled.

"What was that for?" my supervisor asked me.  I shrugged.

Completely normal in this place.  Think something weird and then get mad at others when acting on these bizarre thoughts.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Accept It or Leave

One of the newer hires is having a very tough time, very similar to my experiences.  She asked me to witness the conversation with a nursing supervisor.

The nurse mentioned that other nurses arrive late, don’t get shift report, push everything off onto her for the rest of the shift, and then leave early.  Same as my story.

The nursing supervisor pretended to not know any of this.  “You need to put it in writing, otherwise, I can’t do anything about it.”

“Can’t you come by on rounds and see them missing, or in the back on their phones, and say something?” the nurse pleaded.

“I’m too busy!” the supervisor quipped.  “You should go to your union if you have a problem with the people you work with.”

“How is this a union issue?” the nurse asked.  “I’m asking you to manage employees, which is your job as the supervisor, yes?  I’m telling you that certain employees are not pulling their weight and making it very difficult for others to do the job, and you want nothing to do with it.”

“Like I said,” the supervisor continued, “I didn’t know this and without these charges in writing from you, I can’t do anything.”

The nurse shook her head.  “Then I want to transfer to night shift.”

“Put it in writing,” the supervisor said.

The nurse pulled a paper from her pocket.  “Here it is.”

“Oh!” the supervisor gasped.  “I can’t accept this.  You have to bring it to the office and they have to stamp it.  Otherwise, it is as if it never existed.”  She paused.  “And it won’t matter.  I can’t let you go to night shift.  We are short on the day shift.  So you are stuck where you are.”

The nurse was surprised.  “I heard they are short on nights as well,” she tried.

“They are,” the supervisor responded.  “But I’m short, too, and you are part of this shift and are not going anywhere.”

After the supervisor left, the nurse turned to me.  “What am I supposed to do?” she asked.

I felt bad for her.  This was me when I started.  It’s still me.  “You have two options.  You either suck it up or you quit.  These same employees who are dumping all the work and blame on you with the blessing of the supervisor are the same people who did it to me years ago.  Nothing changes.  They will never be responsible and will never be held responsible.  When a good nurse is hired, they abuse her until she is fired or quits.  That is how it’s done here.”

“Okay,” she said softly and walked away.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Floating on a Cloud

My supervisor lent me out to another department.  I covered there in the past.  In this role, I facilitate movements from crisis to short term to long term placements.

The person I am covering does not want me near her department.  She wants her friend to cover.  The friend is an idiot, so management wants someone who can actually do the job.  Me.

The day was terrible, but I handled it so well.  The day was engineered to be one disaster after another, but I simply laughed and went on.  I am so proud of myself.

First, to get into the office, I have to convince security or maintenance to let me in.  My immediate supervisor happened by when security was about to lend me the key.

“But you have the key!” my supervisor chimed.

“I do not,” I answered.

“I saw it on your keychain,” she insisted.

“How would you distinguish any key from another by sight?” I asked her.  She didn’t follow this reasoning.  I convinced the security guard to let me in anyway.

Once in, I quickly discovered messes.  The director had set up transfers into beds that were not available.  The census would be over.  Tragically over.

When the main secretary arrived late, I was next door, trying to straighten a mess with a secretary in setting up new patient records.  As I walked back into the office, this main secretary was on the phone.  “Oh, she just walked in now,” she said.  “I’m transferring a call to you, Enid.”

I picked up.  It was the director.  “Why are you late?” she started.

“I’m not late.  I’ve been here for almost two hours,” I asserted.

“The secretary said you are just walking in now,” she insisted.

“She meant that I was not at the desk, but instead was at someone else’s desk on a work-related matter, where she saw me thirty seconds earlier,” I answered, annoyed at both of them.  Troublemakers.

“Enid, I’m getting calls on my cell phone.  You can’t put two patients in the same bed.  What are you doing?” she scolded me.

“You made these arrangements yesterday.  I am fixing the messes that you created in anticipation of my arrival today,” I stated.

I’m not pretending that her mistakes are innocent.  Let the Big Wigs see that she screws the hospital to try to make me look bad.

“I don’t know what you are talking about,” she defended.  “If you can’t handle a simple patient transfer, then you can’t cover for me when I am out.”

“You’re stuck with me until I’m promoted,” I said and hung up on her.  They won’t promote me.  But she fears they will, so I’ll feed into her delusions.

Massive confusion and anger ensued the rest of the day when doctors and social workers realized that their patients were not being transferred as the director had arranged yesterday.

I, however, felt fine.