Thursday, July 5, 2012
It's a legitimate question in a job interview or from a supervisor during a review. But in my workplace, given my persona-non-grata status, I had to be careful.
This particular nurse seems knowledgeable and she is well-spoken. She also tends to disappear.
"To not get fired," was my reply. This is not a very good goal. The truth is that I have no other goals at this point at this facility. I need a paycheck and I get a [meager] one every two weeks. I'm too honest. Revealing this goal may have sounded like a joke to the inquirer, or may have set me up as too vulnerable.
"No, really, did you want to go into administration?" she continued. She thought I was joking. I don't trust her. I can't trust anybody there. She has been training in the admissions office, where she screens referrals from hospitals for their potential to be rehabilitated at the facility. I doubt that I would ever be allowed to do anything other than floor nursing. I have applied for in-house transfers to other departments. So far, nothing.
"I don't think they would let me into administration," I said as flatly as possible. Based on my experiences as a nurse and a person, nursing administration is not appealing.
"You're probably right," she answered, studying me. "So what do you think is here for you?"
Suppressing the first response that popped into my head about the paycheck, I replied, probably too truthfully again, "I don't think that there is anything else here for me other than my current position."
"But didn't you have goals for working here?" she continued.
"I had vague notions, but until I actually got into the place and started working, I couldn't form concrete goals. I thought about participating in some of the research projects and about proctoring student nurses that do their clinicals here. My inquiries were shut down immediately. I can't even get to the special classes and presentations here because the other nurses have seniority and get to go while I have to stay back and cover the floor." Maybe I had said too much. I have to suppress my thoughts and opinions so much that sometimes they escape me.
The exchange mercifully ended when her cell phone rang and she scurried off.
I tried to think of some goals for me at this place. Successful people have goals and write them down. So here are mine. They will have to do for now.
1. Do not get fired.
2. Keep mouth shut.