Friday, April 25, 2014

Necessary Precautions

No thank you.

I don't even use my real address at work.  This was accidental at first.  Whoever processed my paperwork put the hospital's street address instead of my home address.  Trying to fix it was such an ordeal that I gave up.  Many months into my employment, someone told me to not use my real address because too many people have access to my records.  Lots of vindictive people work at the hospital, so not revealing my true address is an added layer of protection.

Paychecks are available for pick-up in a little office.  The man places the piles in plain view, addresses visible to anyone standing nearby.  I myself have noted addresses of some people because of this set-up.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Self-defeating explosion

I was floated to another unit, which I hate, because I am always with at least one evil person from Hell on their turf.  This happened on Sunday.  It was overtime for me.  I chastise myself for needing the overtime and exposing myself to these poisonous people.  I ask myself why I didn't manage everything better so that I would not have to resort to this dreadful position.

Jess, a troublesome orderly, stormed in late, as usual.  She was screaming about a cop pulling her over.  "He gave me a ticket for speeding.  He gave me a ticket for driving this way.  He gave me a ticket for driving that way."  When she caught sight of me, she screamed, "Now this is truly the worse day of my life."  She ran to the desk phone and dialed.  "Tell the supervisor to get THIS WOMAN off MY ward.  I cannot work with such a rude and disrespectful person."  Keep in mind that Jess is an orderly and has no authority to tell the supervisor how to make the assignment.  In a normal hospital.  The setting of this story, however, is abnormal.

Jess disappeared after she hung up the phone.  I don't know if she officially left the ward or her shift for that day, or if she unofficially removed herself from working and returned at the end of the shift to punch out, or had someone do it for her.  It is a very real possibility that she left the building but was paid for the day as if she worked.  If anyone ever questions why she was not on the assignment roster, her defense will be that I hate her and left her off on purpose to make trouble for her.

The other nurse on the ward did not mention Jess, her outburst, or her whereabouts.  I know she and Jess have had run-ins.  I also know that I can't trust anyone.  I am glad that the drama created by Jess disappeared when she did and the other nurse did not waste my time or energy talking about it.

New per diem position?

I finally landed an interview (during Open Interview Day) at a hospital that I applied to last year.  The human resources person told me on the spot that I was hired for per diem on the psych floor!

The two requirements seemed to be:  1- I am a nurse and 2- I am willing to work on the psych floor.

The rate of pay quoted to me was the same I had heard about and is DOUBLE my current rate at my full-time adventure.  I am a bit nervous right now because I called twice to schedule my testing and have not heard back from anyone.

I need this extra money for now to pay down my crippling student loan debt.  I figure that I can tolerate the place for a few years.  A better move would be to a higher-paying, less nasty full-time job, but in lieu of such an arrangement, this per diem gig will have to do.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Different setting, different behavior

Something interesting happened After Work.

I was in a local store, when who walks in- Dina.  As background, At Work she puts on a loud show for everyone, screaming profanities at me because I am after her boyfriend, or so she claims.

Now I wouldn't have really noticed Dina if she kept walking like a normal person.  As soon as she caught sight of me, she spun on her heel and dove into a paper towel display.  That was hard to miss and convinced me to go in closer to confirm that it was her.

I rounded the corner and found her upright, analyzing the price sign, all three words of it.  She read it over and over as I stood about ten feet from her.  I stayed about a minute and then approached.

She ran away!  Ran.  No screaming.  No allegations.  No cursing.

Wow.  Her behavior is quite different when she is not surrounded by her supporters.  That shows the level of bad behavior that the Hospital accepts from certain employees.  On some level, Dina must realize in some part of her little brain that her hissy fits over me are despicable behavior.

She's probably already texted boyfriend that I am following her.

Disappearing into the Silence

"We know she's bullying you.  The problem is that you talk.  When you say something, then she has something to take and twist to make you look like the bad person.  You have to stop speaking."

This is what my union rep told me about the evil supervisor who just won't stop.  I've had it.

When this all started happening, I was supposed to put it all in writing because "we can't do anything if you won't put it in writing so we can show people."  The result:  Proof that I am the troublemaker and cannot get along with others.

The second tactic was that I was to defend myself and not "let her walk all over me."  Well, here we are with the result of standing up for myself:  I am the bad person, not her.

So onto tactic number three:  I am not to speak.  This is ridiculous.  I thought you are supposed to stand up to bullies.  The union rep said that by my not speaking, all people will see is her being a bully.  Who is going to see this?  The union already agrees that this is what is happening.  Directors don't pass through the ward to catch a glimpse of her in action.  She knows to stop when they are near.

Since I have already decided to leave the job, I didn't speak all afternoon.  Yet the evil supervisor was still able to twist things around to make me out to be the bad person.  For the "other nurse," she had her brother-in-law come in, two and a half hours into the shift.  I said nothing.  When I returned from lunch, he had already reported me for being late when I was not.  I arrived to find him and evil supervisor waiting for me, with a long list of other transgressions.  I said nothing.  My partner nurse then left for his lunch break, and returned an hour late.  I said nothing and neither did evil supervisor.  When the other nurse returned, evil supervisor gave us the same task:  overdue progress notes on discharged patients, but sent the other nurse to work in the medical library because "It's too noisy and hectic around here to expect someone to be able to get any work done."  I continued working on the stack of new orders that didn't seem to stop.  Right before the end of the shift, the other nurse appeared with the supervisor to inform me that he had completed his task, but I had not.  I said nothing.

In spite of not speaking, as advised by my union rep so that my words would not be twisted, the evil supervisor managed to twist the entire day into an Account of Incompetency and Insubordination:
1-  In spite of having an additional nurse to help me all day, I failed to complete the simple task of catching up on progress notes, which exposes the hospital to sanctions if inspected.
2-  I was late returning from lunch.
3-  It took me over an hour to carry out simple orders.
4-  I did not answer several phonecalls.
5-  I omitted pertinent information from my nurse's notes.  For example, when I wrote "bilateral hip radiograph negative for fracture" I did not specify which hip was not broken.
6-  The ward was in disarray, with several beds not made.
7-  Several attendants reported that I "hurt their feelings."
8-  Several doctors reported that I often appeared "too busy" and was unable to attend two patient/family meetings that were held simultaneously.

The union rep told me that it was "up to" me to get rid of evil supervisor.  I told her, "No, thank you.  I want her job here to be secure so I won't have to see her at my next job.  You can keep her with you.  I will be the one to leave."

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Time to leave

I have the sign that I need to leave.

An orderly has filed a Sexual Harassment Complaint against me.  Me.  WTF?  This guy has been trying to get into my pants since I started working in this Snake Pit.  There's nothing attractive about him.  Nothing that would indicate that he's "my type" and that I would have any interest in him.

He set the stage over a month ago when he went to the supervisor over an assignment.  Over the last several weeks, I noticed that he asked other nurses to write extra things on his assignment that he claimed he did.  The nurse is not a minute-taker, writing every little task everyone does all day, but they indulged him and wrote ridiculous things such as, "Helped patient dial telephone" and "Held open door for lunch delivery."  The result, if you were to observe the daily assignment for all orderlies, was that this man was inundated with assignments, more than everyone else combined.  I knew something was UP.  I just didn't see this coming.

He alleges that because he rebuffed my sexual advances and refused to sleep with me, I am punishing him and abusing my authority, giving him a disproportionate amount of work.  [Not that he does any work anyway.]

This is such a transparent attempt by this sorry excuse of a human to try to get out of performing all work.  He has no problem taking me out of a job and possibly a license to accomplish his agenda.  He's not even trying to move up the corporate ladder.  He's trying to stay at the bottom rung and solidify his position that he has to do nothing to receive a paycheck.

He will not perform any work that "may bring him into contact with me."  To him, this means any and all work, so he does nothing.  I asked to be taken off the ward.  Management said no because "You are one of the only regular nurses left.  We can't send you somewhere else."  So I asked that he be sent somewhere else.  Management also said no because "It's his ward and you are the one doing something wrong, so it wouldn't be fair to make him move."

My union's response:  "We told you to be careful and you went and made another mess.  We can't fix everything."

I have yet to receive a copy of the complaint.  I'm hoping it's because the matter has been discarded, but it's probably because of their administrative blundering.

You may wonder what his proof is.  There isn't any, but that's not relevant.  From his viewpoint, as well as management's, I give him more work than everyone else, so a logical explanation is that I am a sex-crazed, vindictive maniac.  The "extra work" is something he created, and he has no proof of my sexual pursuits, but that will not matter in this situation.

I need to get out of there.

Nurses, be careful who you marry

"Make me a promise!" one of the emotional nurses implored of me one evening.  "Never marry a man who is not a professional!"  She sobbed.

"Okay," I agreed.  "Why?"

"Because he will send you to an early grave, making you work double shifts because you make more than he does, while he sits at home doing nothing.  Don't do it!"  She cried some more.

This may be some of the best advice I've heard in this psych hospital.

Poisonous people

I have stopped eating and drinking anything at work that was not under my sealed control at all times.

I think it's a reasonable precaution.

Scraping bottom

The amount of work performed by the staff has dwindled almost to nothing.

We'll start with the nurses.  Within the last year, half the nurses on my ward quit or retired.  They were not replaced.  Floaters fill in, usually a different one every day.  Their attitude, which is fully accepted by management, is that they are there to give out medication and that is all.  There is no follow-up, no notification to physicians if orders have expired, patients refused medication, orders are contradictory; nothing.  No notes.  Required forms are left mostly blank.

Who does the supervisor go after?  Me, because "You are the regular."  I don't know what to do.  I have tried:
"If another nurse failed to perform certain tasks, you need to speak to her.  I am not her boss, you are."
"I don't clean up behind other nurses."
None of these approaches work.  The volume of undone work and errors left by other shifts is daunting.  The response is, "You are always looking to blame people.  Just fix it and move on."  The problem is that certain people create these messes every time they "work."  I no longer have time to fix all of the errors from the prior shifts and still get to my work.

The orderlies:  They are done.  Literally.  Most have completed their required time on the job to retire with the old pension.  The problem is that the retirement age was pushed back five more years.  If they leave now, they collect nothing for five years.  So they are staying on "because we have to or they won't pay us."  They have informed me, "We aren't here because we want to be.  It's the president's or somebody's fault for saying that we have to work an extra five years.  Well, they ain't getting any extra work out of me.  That was not the deal.  I should be home now, collecting my pension."

They sit there, doing nothing.
Me:  "Ms Smith, please monitor the medication line."
Ms Smith:  "I didn't know that the medication line had to be monitored.  Nobody told me."
Me:  "I'm telling you now."
Ms Smith:  "You can't tell me what to do."
Me:  "Mr Thompson, please monitor the medication line."
Mr Thompson:  "I just did that two days ago.  You can't tell me to do the same thing so many times in one week.  You are supposed to look at all the assignments from the past month and divide up the assignments to make it fair.  That is how you are supposed to do things.  And you can't give me an assignment that you already gave to someone else just because she doesn't want to do it.  That is not right and you know it."

My supervisor from hell sides with the other person every single time.

I have had it.  I am done.

Is my job making me sick?

I think my job is making me sick.

I have headaches, nausea, and zero frustration tolerance on the job and almost everywhere outside the job.  I've been to multiple doctors in the last few weeks and nothing has helped.

I used to think that everyone's job caused stress and that you should deal with it and leave it at work.  I was trying to see the humor in my job and using it as an inspiration to write here on this blog.  But over the last several weeks, I wake up with a pounding headache that won't go away, or I get a pounding headache at the job and it won't go away even after I leave for the day.

I have been calling out and not even caring if I'm "abusing" my sick days.

Things have happened that have made the place unbearable.  I'll tell you in upcoming posts.