Wednesday, October 22, 2014


About two years ago, when management started forcing people to use the computer to type certain documents, word quickly circulated to type with CAPS LOCK so you don't further struggle when you want to capitalize.

Not that most employees are familiar with when to capitalize a word.

Their explanation on why they were using caps lock was so idiotic that I couldn't even speak to them about it.

A nursing manager thought this was a good opportunity to show people not only how smart she is, but how much she wants to teach people to be better.  She brought in evidence that typing in all caps is like yelling at someone in type.

Nobody understood the analogy between typing and yelling.  After all, nobody was saying anything out loud, and they were being forced to typed.

Other managers seized the opportunity to appear more current on workplace standards.  They, too, demanded that anything typed on the computer not be in caps.

So how were people supposed to make a capital letter?  Not shift+the letter.  They press caps lock, then the letter, then caps lock again.  They type with one finger, so they can't press two keys at once.

I maintain my composure most days.  You are amazed, yes?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Dance of the Dead

I am snagging shifts in the office job that was taken away from me.  They really need help, but Nurse Fortune, who is not in charge, has decided to not allow me into that position.

Another nurse, "Belle," is very jealous of me when I work in the office.  She always has her phone plastered to her ear.  She wears a skirt and heals, which prevent her from walking, standing, or giving hands-on care.  She won't answer a phone call, help a doctor, or speak to a patient.  Most people don't bother with her because she is useless and usually nowhere to be found.  New patients sometimes try to engage her, but quickly learn to not bother.

Belle's only display of effort is when she finds out that I am working in the office and not on a ward.  Other nurses who work in the offices tell me that she passes through every morning and asks for me.  I myself see her walk by every morning when I am in the office and ask, "So, are you working in here today?"  A moment after seeing me, one of her buddies in the scheduling office would call me and tell me I was reassigned to Belle's ward.  So I stopped answering the phone when they called.  It would take a supervisor an hour or two to get to the office to tell me in person to move to Belle's ward.

I've worked with Belle in the past regularly and it was hell.  She made it so.  Dumped everything on me, disappeared, all sanctioned by her buddy supervisor.  If something was not done, it was my fault because Belle had delegated it to me.  Every person directed every concern at me because Belle is useless and would tell them that I was the person to go to.  She would go to lunch and then call after she was due back and say, "I'm not returning from lunch because I just realized that I never took my morning coffee break.  The supervisor said it was okay.  Oh, I did not do any documentation because I was going to do it when I got back, but the supervisor said it was okay for me to give that to you to do."

I reported her and the supervisor.  They both swore it never happened.  As for my proof, the documentation was all in my name and handwriting because I got to it first, just so I could complain that I did it all.

The next time we worked together, Belle would scream that I was trying to get her in trouble when she did nothing wrong while in reality, she was being so good to me because I took longer than I should to give out medication.

So anyway, I was working in the office one day, successfully avoiding Belle and her phonecalls.  At the close of the shift, she started calling.  I did not pick up.  Then she paged me overhead repeatedly to her location- STAT.  Eventually one of the doctors saw me with my bag, trying to leave.  The doctor told me I was needed STAT.  That's ridiculous.  I have no special skills or certifications that would necessitate my presence anywhere.  I decided to go over to Belle's ward to cover my ass.  Belle had on her jacket and was clutching her purse.

"There you are!" so scolded me.  "This patient is having chest pain right as I'm trying to leave, and the next shift isn't here yet.  Good luck.  Bye."

I was so pissed.  "You call a Code Blue if you need help.  How dare you try to dump your compromised patient on me."  I ran off the ward before she could.

I locked myself in the office with the lights off.  I didn't know Belle's next move, but I figured it would be to screw me over, and I thought that if I was there, I could help myself somehow.

Soon enough, a supervisor was banging on the office door.  "Enid!  Are you there?  We need help!"

I opened the door with my bag in my hand.  I decided to act like nothing was wrong.  "I was just leaving.  Are you okay?"

"Didn't Belle tell you?  A patient is having chest pain!"

"Medical emergencies happen all the time here," I responded.  "I'm not clear on why you are in the office section looking for help when there are nurses on the floor to deal with this exact situation."

"Just go over there and help them!" the supervisor quipped and ran away.

They could so easily spin this into a story about how I (not Belle) abandoned a patient, specially tailored for the Board of Nursing to revoke my license.

I walked back over to Belle's ward.  She was on the desk phone and did not see me approach.  "Enid is in her car.  She just left this patient to die.  I asked her for help and she acted like she is too good to help anyone."  Two other nurses, both with their jackets and bags in hand, saw me approach and were surprised, but said nothing.

When Belle turned around and saw me, her reaction was priceless.  She dropped the phone and her mouth.  "I . . . I . . . didn't know where you were," Belle stammered.

"Yet that didn't stop you from telling a supervisor that you knew that I was in my car.  How did you see through buildings and trees to see me inside my car?"

"I thought you left," Belle tried explaining.

"Well now that you see that I did not leave, are you going to call back the supervisor and tell him that you were mistaken and that I was actually standing right behind you the entire time?"

Belle stood there.

"Where is this dead patient you spoke of?" I asked Belle.

Another nurse giggled.  "He's right there, the one dancing to the music on the television."

I walked out.

I don't know what any of that was about, but it's not good.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Keep Applying?

One of the nurses at the hospital calls out sick to work at her per diem job in a nursing home.  At this point, she has run out of paid time off, but takes home more from the per diem job than from this hospital, so she says it's worth it.  The hospital does not seem to mind that she takes unpaid days.

She told me to do the same.

I told her I was having trouble finding work anywhere else.  "Trouble" is really an understatement.  "Snowball's chance in Hell" may be more accurate to describe my situation.

I would rather fold towels in a department store than work as a nurse.  It's just that nursing pays more, if only I could find a part-time nursing gig.  It's not that I want more work.  I need more money.

She said she got a new per diem position at a nearby nursing home.  I have applied there a few times over the years.  They never hired me.  It's a low-end kind of place.  I remember the patient load as heavy and the pay low.

She said that the nursing home "expanded" by building a brand-new building next to the existing disgusting nursing home building and branding the new place some kind of rehabilitation spa.  She said they are looking for good nurses for the better building.

I can envision the scenario:
Promise patients and their families the world, and then shift that burden onto one nurse, who is also supposed to be providing the world to her other 74 patients.  With three nursing assistants to "help" the nurse with 75 patients.

I applied online.  I also applied to another nursing home chain that would never hire me in the past.

I know I need to do something else.  In the meantime, I have bills to pay.  Is it crazy to keep applying to places that would not hire me in the past?  New people are in charge of hiring.  Nobody stays.  They may hire me while the past hiring managers didn't want me.

If I could work someplace else per diem, I would not have to worry about snagging overtime at the hospital, where I am usually paired with employees from Hell.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

How do I find a new job?

[Warning:  Do not take career advice from me.]

My latest job searching strategy is to look for/attend Open Interview Days or Job Fairs.  This way, I get an interview without wasting more time.

Wish me luck.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Where do you come up with this?

Nurse Fortune went into one of her rants.  This type of rant can be characterized as Jealous:  Nurse Enid has ___ [fill in blank] better than I do, which proves she receives undeserved favorable treatment.  Logic and facts are irrelevant.

Today's topic was the cost of health insurance.  Although she does not know what coverage I have and how much I pay, her rant was:

"I pay over $200 every paycheck for health insurance.  It never used to be that high.  Then, as soon as Nurse Enid started working here, my premium more than doubled.  Doubled.  Why?  Because she wanted to only pay a little for the same coverage I have.  So they let her pay what, $50 a paycheck, and then passed the additional charges on to me?  This is wrong.  This is so wrong, as soon as they come down on that little bitch, I'm going to get what's mine."

This is pure illogical nonsense.  But the point is that she is after me and blames me for her problems, real and imagined.

Another employee joined in, explaining that her car insurance doubled when I started working here.  She makes Nurse Fortune's argument seem a little more logical in that the health insurance cost is at least associated with the workplace.

The employee explained (and this is priceless!):

"My car insurance is so high now because I live in a bad neighborhood, the insurance company told me.  That is just another word for 'black.'  I have to pay so much more so that Certain Others pay close to nothing.  My brother got arrested because he was smoking marijuana in his car.  That's not even illegal, okay?  White people do it all the time and nothing happens to them.  Just to be on the safe side, I stopped smoking weed while driving.  When my car insurance renewal came, I checked off that I use my car for work.  The other option was 'for pleasure,' but I no longer smoke weed in the car because of what they did to my brother, so there is no pleasure when I drive to work.  And for that, obeying some made-up law that doesn't even exist, they doubled my car insurance rate."


And this is my fault how?

This is their rationale for taking action against me.  There is no future for me at this hospital.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Another Writer

"Linette" is an orderly who is crazier than most of the patients.  At least she wears scrubs to somewhat distinguish herself from the patients who do not have a key to leave.

On a related note, I bring in my old scrubs for the patients to wear.  Most have no clothes when they are picked up on the street.

Linette talks about her dreams of the prior night, which usually involve bad things happening to her family.  I am not sure if they were dreams or acid trips.  A ringing phone or even a television blip about A Developing Story will put her into a panic.  For the record, she has had to leave work many times to pick up her children from the police station.  So these scenarios about her son getting stabbed or her daughter getting kidnapped could really happen.

A few months ago, when she was probably high from smoking something, Linette babbled on and on about a party she would be throwing for her birthday/anniversary/some holiday I had never heard of.  She insisted I would be invited.  Please no.  I don't want to go and I don't know how to get out of it without setting off Psycho Linette.

Every few days, Linette mentions this future party.  The reason for the party has been expanded to include the completion of Linette's book, she informed me today.  What?  She's not capable of writing her own name, nevermind a sentence, a paragraph, a coherent thought, or a bunch of coherent thoughts strung together to form a book!

This is going to be good, I thought, and asked if it was fiction or non-fiction.

This question puzzled Linette.  After a moment, she replied, "It's more like a memoir.  Of my life.  Cause I have been through so much."

I said that I couldn't wait to see it.  Reading her creation would be too far-reaching a characterization.

If she actually conveys the rambles of her mind into print, that would be some incredible stuff.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Ignore Energy Drainers

I am at a point where I ignore most of my coworkers.  Thankfully, most reciprocate and don't approach me.

Nurse Fortune carried on all shift about me, how I was spying on her and out to get her.  We did not speak to each other once.  She screamed at the supervisor all morning for not supplying her with enough staff.  "You are doing this on purpose so you can say that I am incompetent and should not have the job that is mine.  Well, it's not going to work.  This is all YOUR fault.  I will write a letter about it."

There is no point in speaking to my coworkers.  First, they twist anything I say into a big mess.  Second, they have no useful and accurate information to provide.  If I asked an orderly if he brought a patient to an appointment, the orderly would answer, "That is my break time.  I am not the one who was in charge of the trip.  How can I do all of this that you have given me.  You forget, I had to bring the juice up from the kitchen all by myself yesterday."  It's a waste of my energy.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Full Moon

Are patients worse during a full moon?


I need to do my own studies.

I recall Full Moons when all was quiet, as well as nights of pure hell.  And I've had some horrific days with no full moon near.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Cats and Dogs

The lazy clerk asked about my cat.

This is strange because she never asks any nice questions.  Also, I don't have a cat.

"I don't have a cat," I answered.

"Yes, you do.  You have lots of them, actually.  You are always telling me about them.  So what happened, you got rid of them?"

"I have never discussed cats with you, ever," I answered her.

She replied, "Well, if you never stood there and told me story after story about your damn cats, then I must be going crazy."  Yup.  You are.

I told her, "I have no cats.  I watch cat videos on the internet like everyone else, but I don't have cats of my own."

She was confused.  "So your cats are in videos on the internet?"

I tried explaining to her the concept of cat videos and their abundance on the internet, but she had never heard of cat videos and was not grasping the concept.

Most of the people I've worked with do not have pets.  They verbalize their disgust when they hear about Americans allowing cats and dogs inside the home.

I don't like talking about animals with coworkers because someone tells the same sad story:  "My son brought home a little white dog once.  It was cute.  Damn thing cost me $700 to buy from a breeder.  I had to go with my son to some house.  Dogs were everywhere.  When I heard how much they get for a baby dog, I thought about going into the business.  But I can't have all them dogs up in my house, pissing.  It's better to have them in the yard, but my landlady would never go for that.  Anyway, this dog would throw up, it started limping, all while getting bigger and bigger.  Finally I had to put it out on the street.  Who wants some sick, nasty, big dog in their house?"

Nobody has ever heard of bringing a pet to the vet.  Multiple people chime in that they had to give their children's beloved cat or dog to the humane society "when it got sick."

Monday, October 6, 2014

Working in Scrubs

One of the best parts about being a nurse for me is wearing scrubs.

They are comfortable and cheap.  I don't have to worry about coordinating an outfit every day.  I just grab a top, a bottom, and some sneakers.  Done.

They hold up in the wash and can air dry.  Most don't need ironing.  When I feel especially put together, I iron.  That feeling unravels soon into my shift.

Someday I will work from home in real pajamas.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Skill of Gobbledygook

On the ward, I was leafing through a pile of papers, looking for something good, and I found it!  Nurse Fortune's letter explaining why she should have received the in-house jobs that she applied for.  The body of the letter took up half a page- and was ONE LONG SENTENCE.

The gist of Fortune's claim was that she has been employed at the hospital longer than the people who received the transfers and she has done nothing wrong; therefore, the jobs should have gone to her.

She did not address the fact that other nurses applied but did not receive the jobs- and most of them have seniority over her.  If the hospital agreed with Nurse Fortune's reasoning, that the jobs should be given to the nurses with the longest length of service, then Nurse Fortune still would not have qualified.

Aside from the misspellings, grammar atrocities, and illogical reasoning, the letter was most notable for words and phrases that made no sense.

"Absent a egregious commissions on the parts of the objecter . . ."

"In compliance and not irregularities of the standardize mechanism of the operations . . ."

"Outwardly projecting the governance of the matrix and by core competencies . . ."