Monday, March 30, 2015

Timing Time Off

I do like having off every weekend.  Having two days off, back-to-back, is a nice period to rest and to accomplish projects.

Unusual in my profession.  In the past, I had off every other weekend and one day during the week.  Having a weekday off is nice for appointments.

I'm adapting either way.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Labs and Labels

I was quietly sitting in my office when one of the night shift nurses came through.  The term that best describes her is "dingbat."  She happened to see me and said, "Oh, good!" as she changed course to come directly at me.  "I believe this is yours," she declared, as she thrust a cup of some liquid at me.  Probably urine.  But you never know.

"Where do you want me to put it?" she asked, as if I should be providing her with direction.

"I don't know what that is, but whatever it is, it does not belong anywhere near me," I answered.

"It's urine," she stated.

"I didn't ask what it is.  Please, get it out of here," I directed, again.

"But this is the lab," she continued to inform me.

"This is not a lab!  Does this look like a lab to you?  It's an office!"  I do not miss her daily morning stupidity that I used to endure.

"So what do I do with it?" she asked.

"You bring it to the pick up area, just as you have been doing for the last 35 years," I bellowed.  I was losing it.

"Well, I don't know.  I'm not in the lab like you.  I'm just going to leave it out here for you to take care of later," she said.  Indeed, she went into the hallway, placed the cup of urine on a ledge, and walked away.

I called after her.  "The specimen will be thrown out with no label!"

She kept walking.

You see why, when I worked the floor, I had to repeat every specimen collection she did.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Workplace Marriage

The dysfunctional couple has settled into their prior hospital routine.

When Wife isn't around, Husband is attention-seeking, calling out to women at the far ends of the hallway, trying to hug women, commenting on how great they look.

When Wife is around, which is rather often for someone who is not assigned to work the same area as her Husband, he ignores everyone.

I get to watch their marriage implode.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Escapist Logic

A friend of mine told me that he thinks that his boss is "up to something," and since I have far more experience with calculating coworkers, he asked my opinion.

His boss send him a text telling him to make sure he left by 4 pm on Friday.  Normally, the boss expects him to be at the office every day until at least 5 pm.  Was his boss up to something, and if so, what was it?  Is he going to be fired?

I said that the boss could be setting him up- he would leave work "early," and then the boss would look for him at 4:20 pm, not find him, and then write him up for leaving early.

He said that the text message is proof that the boss told him he could leave early at 4 pm.

So I had to explain how the boss could get around that.  This is what I've learned in Logic from my current place of employment.

How to Wiggle out of Anything

The boss does not deny typing 4 pm; however, he did not mean 4 pm.  He meant 6 pm.  He typed the wrong number.  The employee should have realized that 4 pm was early and sought clarification instead of taking advantage of an innocent typo.


The boss was extremely busy when the employee called to ask when he should leave the office on Friday.  To appease the employee, the boss quickly typed the text message and messed up one little number.  The employee knew the boss was besieged at the moment and should not have asked a question he knew the answer to.  The employee did not call the boss?  Well, someone called the boss and inquired about quitting time and the boss was so busy that he must have texted the wrong employee.  The employee who received the text should have alerted the boss that he texted the wrong person.


The boss texted 4 pm, realized the error, and sent out a text message with the correct time.  The employee, who seeks to make trouble for the boss, has suspiciously provided only the first text message and not the second as his evidence in defense of his early departure from work.  The boss cannot produce the second, correct text message because the boss is not good with texting and does not know how to retrieve text messages, which the employees knows, and is taking advantage of.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Not found: Politeness

Not here
One of the first behaviors that struck me at this hospital is that nobody waits to burst in and make demands on someone.

It doesn't matter if I'm on the phone or in an exam room with a patient.  The other person comes right at me, shoving something ON TOP OF whatever I'm doing, and then gets upset that I haven't completed this new task ten seconds ago.

Keep in mind that NOBODY listens to a damn thing that I tell them to do.

And the infamous, "I didn't mean NOW.  When you are finished with what you are doing."

Well, when I am finished, I have already lined up dozens more tasks that came in before you did.  Plus, watching me continue with my task and then erupting with "You're finished!  Now this!" before I'm finished is really quite rude.
For example, if I'm dressing a wound, I'm not DONE when the final piece of tape is applied.  I still have to clean up, wash my hands, and then document.  Stopping the task in the middle to do your bidding sets me up to omit cleaning and documentation, especially since someone else will fly at me while I am performing your task.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Plot and Evidence

"I'm only trying to help you," the nursing supervisor said.

I don't believe anyone when they say this to me, not at this hospital.

She had stopped in to my office and told me that another nursing supervisor, who is Pure Evil, was going to a meeting "with the Big Wigs" and telling them that I do no work and should be back on the floor, if I am to continue employment with them at all.

[I don't think that my office position falls under the purview of the nursing supervisor.  Nobody can provide me with a chain of command diagram, though.]

"No rational person would believe that I do nothing.  How do all of these patients get seen by all these doctors if I haven't arranged it all?" I countered.

"Listen, I've seen this kind of thing before," the supervisor continued.  "Keep a notepad with you and every five minutes, write down what you are doing.  It's the only way to prove that you do any work."

"I would spend more time writing what I am doing than I would actually doing anything.  I think that the volume of appointments, billing, and reports that I generate should speak to the volume of work that I do," I tried again.

"I'm retiring in two years, so I don't care what you do," the supervisor responded.  "But that woman is out to get you and when someone above her finally listens, you are out of here."

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Best Part of a Job is not at Work

For most people, myself included, the most important aspect of a job is the freedom it gives you to live your life outside of your job.

The job itself is not too important.  What is important is how many hours you have away from your job, and if you have enough money to do as you wish.

That is how I have to view my current job.  I have an eight hour workday, off on holidays and weekends, and just enough money to cover expenses.  Plus, I have pretty good health insurance.

In the poll I pictured in this post, more than half of the participants voted that the most important factor in their decision to try to become a vice president in the banking industry is "The ability to have a life outside of work."  We may think that investment bankers have dream jobs- full of money and perks.  But this job does not come with a dream life- the free time needed to enjoy this money.  What good is a beautiful mansion if you only use it to sleep in?

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Germ-Free Pet Therapy

The hospital is trying to arrange Pet Therapy for the patients.

The infection control nurse's objection:  How will the dog be disinfected in between each patient?

Isn't that a bizarre question?

Most employees of this hospital do not have pets.  And if they do, it's sad.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Computer Illiteracy

Keyboarding Level:  Beyond this hospital
This is another reason why this hospital can't become electronic.

One of the ladies in the office does not use the space bar.  If she thinks that the run-on word is getting too confusing, she'll use a comma or a dash to separate some words.

I tried introducing her to the space bar.  She could not grasp the concept.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Who is in Charge?

After a vacancy of two years, a manager has been appointed to my former ward.  This nurse has done such a good job running her ward that they are rewarding her by transferring her to a ward from hell.  She'll be battling Nurse Fortune who is not only a terrible nurse and employee, but who is also jaded because she did not receive the manager position herself.

In typical fashion for this hospital, this situation will be disastrous for many reasons.

First and foremost, the nurse manager will not actually start next week as appointed because she begins maternity leave that week.  She told me that she diligently saved her sick days for the last several years so she can be out for the rest of the year with pay.  (The company lets you do that, I am told.  I haven't personally tried it.)  She also said she will take unpaid leave "the most they will let me."

If she is out on maternity leave or family leave, the company will not replace her.  They will also not appoint a temporary manager.  So Nurse Fortune will still be unofficially running the ward with her non-stop complaining and accusing.

Second, don't forget that another nurse was promoted to nurse manager, but was dropped when Nurse Fortune complained.  The open manager position will go to Nurse Belle who is known for her lack of work, lack of understanding of anything medical, her ability to go missing for hours, and her tight little outfits and high heels that "prevent" her from working.  Her promotion comes without advertising an open position.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Stop the Madness

At this point, most orderlies maintain that their only job function is to escort patients from one location to another.  They don't have to get the patients ready, nor do they have to encourage the patients to go to the destination, whether it be recreational or health-related.

One of the nurses called me because a patient in a wheelchair was supposed to see a specialist off hospital grounds and no orderly would take the patient "because she might need help getting up a ramp."

"Isn't that why the orderly goes with the patient- to help the patient?" I responded.

"No," the nurse replied, "Their job does not include pushing wheelchairs.  They could get hurt."

(The patient in the wheelchair is not heavy and propels herself.  Though it is possible that she would encounter a wheelchair-unfriendly situation and require assistance.)

"I see," I responded.  "Well, if the nursing supervisor agrees with the orderlies' position, then I will cancel the appointment.  Just let me know."

The other nurse wanted to tussle.  "Can you come to the ward and explain to the orderlies why it is that you want them to put themselves in harm's way, just so you can get this patient to this unnecessary appointment?"

See how they turn their ridiculous laziness into an attack on me?  I don't decide what the doctor orders.  I merely facilitate the appointment.  Go or don't go.  Makes no difference to me.

"My days of trying to convince people to do their job are over," I answered.  "Just let me know if the patient goes or not."

Before she hung up the phone, I heard her yell, "Enid said she doesn't care if you break your back."

A short time later, a woman appeared in my office with the patient in the wheelchair.  "Hi.  I just wanted to explain something to you.  I know you don't care, but I have to say this for ME.  I have to get this off my chest so that I can go on."

I looked at her, figuring she was an orderly because I saw a name badge near her belt.  I couldn't make out a name.  The print is too tiny.

She continued.  "I am a human being.  You may not think of me as such, but I am.  And because I am a human being, I have feelings just like you do.  So when you come along and want people to hurt themselves and kill themselves just to please you, I am hurt.  Right here."  She pounded her chest.  "Now everyone else is saying it's because you are racist.  I don't disagree with that- maybe you are, maybe you aren't.  I don't know.  All I know is that you have to be stopped.  Okay?  This has got to stop."

The patient sat there in her wheelchair, nodding her head Yes and No, not grasping that she would miss needed medical treatment if this orderly got her way.

The orderly was being so illogical and misdirecting her malcontent.  Somehow I manage to shoo them out of the office as I said, "I have to hurry off to a meeting."  I shut the door and made it around the corner without them following me.  Out of sight, I ducked into a closet and locked the door.

Yes, this must stop.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Qualifications for the Job

Another office position has opened.  When nobody is in that office, I'm supposed to be covering the vacant position in addition to my current job.  I was really annoyed when the job and salary were posted:  $30,000 more than what I am getting paid.  So I am expected to do both jobs at quite a bargain price.

One of the nurses who sometimes works in the vacant office is an idiot.  (No surprise.)  "Jessie" doesn't know how to send email and keeps calling me to help her.  She has no interest in learning, just in getting someone else to do it for her.  I'm doing my best to avoid her.

Another woman who also has been covering that office (she also lacks email skills) stopped in and asked if I applied for the open position.

I told her no.  (I haven't.  With my luck, I'll get that position in addition to my current position, and without the advertised pay increase.  The hospital won't fill my current position, so I'll be stuck with two different jobs.)

I asked her if she applied for the spot.

She gave me an exasperated look.  "No," she squeaked, "I'm not like you.  I don't go around, stealing other people's jobs.  Everyone KNOWS that the position should go to Jessie.  I'm not taking it from her.  That's something that YOU do to people."

Oh.  So it's not just Nurse Fortune upset and angry that I got my current position.  People who have nothing to do with the advertised positions are also angry with me.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Too late

I was punching out at quitting time when I saw the Director and some security guards nearby.  The Director said to me, "Oh, you use this time clock?"

"Yes," I replied, not sure where this was going.

"Some people punch in at the start of their shift, and then leave," he explained.

"I see," I replied, hoping that he was going to accuse me of such behavior.  I have never punched in at the start of the shift and then left.

The Director explained, "So to stop this, we're going to de-activate this time clock, so you will have to use another one."

"Oh, okay," I said, and exited the building.

My first thought was that making people use a time clock nearer the wards, and farther from the parking lots, could stop people from punching in and then leaving; though I would be a bit inconvenienced by having to travel to the wards to punch in and out.

After I thought about this for a while, I was annoyed.  The people who punch in and then leave do so in front of everyone present, including supervisors.  When I worked on the ward, I had many an argument with staff who were extremely late.  Their defense was always:  "You can check my punches.  I punched in before the start of the shift."  There are employees who seriously believe that the requirement is to merely punch in on time- NOT be at the assigned work area on time.

Instead of punishing everyone for the actions of a few, the Director should wait by the time clock and issue verbal warnings to employees who punch in and then leave.  The next offense should be a written warning, and so on until they can be terminated.

But nobody in this place has the guts to go up against the punchers and dashers.

The Director can say that he tried to fix the problem, but employees were not in favor of shutting down most of the time clocks.  And he wouldn't have to directly confront any of the offenders.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Absence makes the heart grow colder

I've become better at avoiding people at work.  I arrive early and leave late, outside the crowd at change-of-shift.  A few days ago, I had the misfortune to run into an orderly I wouldn't mind never seeing again.

We were walking through the parking lot near the Reserved spots in the front.  I don't know how one gets to park in these spots.  I most certainly cannot.

The jerk said to me, "Is that your car, nurse?"

I was nearest an empty spot, so I answered, "Yes.  This invisible car is mine.  Cops can't see me speeding."

(One of the ladies in the offices taught me, by example, to answer stupid or rude questions light-heartedly.)

The jerk acted a little annoyed and said, "No, I mean the next car."

To which I replied, "Yes, this brand new Jaguar is mine."

The jerk continued.  "No, I mean that car.  The sedan."  He pointed in the general direction of several cars, none of which were mine, because I can't park in the Reserved lot.

I replied that none of the cars were mine.

When an employee of this hospital asks about my car, I get nervous.  Cars have been vandalized over the years.

The jerk explained, "I thought that you park in the Reserved lot because you think that you are so important now that you have a position off the wards."

I didn't bother answering him and quickly walked away.

I don't even see people or tell anyone anything and still they form these ridiculous and vicious ideas about me.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Princess Nurse

The shuttle service that takes patients to other locations for tests, procedures, and exams will call me when the patient doesn't show up to the pick up area.  Then I have to call the ward and find out why the patient was not sent.  Usually the person who answers yells something unhelpful at me, such as, "Why do you have to keep making all these appointments?" or "Nobody told us that the patient was supposed to go somewhere."

As luck would have it, the worst ward has the most trips.  They don't send a patient, if they send the patient at all, until they've been told repeatedly.  The staff member accompanying the patient carries on and on about how their rights have been violated and if they fall they are suing and staying home for two years with full pay.  If you watched from a distance, you would think that the staff person was the psych patient.

On this particular morning, nobody answered when I called and called.  This is not unusual.  I walked over to the ward and was met with the usual loud, chaotic screaming and objects flying through the air.  Several orderlies glared at me.  One orderly folded her arms and yelled, "Tell me again how you are not here to spy on us."  Eventually I found four nurses in a back room.

One had her head upside down, brushing her flipped hair.
One was applying blue eye shadow while peering into a mirror.
One was smearing lipstick on her already red lips.
And the other was plucking chin hair with a tweezer.

They didn't notice me standing in the doorway.  I left.

Back in my office, I told the shuttle service that the patient wasn't going.  I rescheduled.

Friday, March 6, 2015

You can't burn a bridge and then ask for a boat

Not in this place.
Step on someone's toes
and then expect the person to kiss YOUR ass.
Here's the part I don't get.

Most of the people I work with are jerks.  They eye me with suspicion.  They are downright rude and aggressive towards me.  They make up lies to get me in trouble.  Just in case you haven't read enough posts here to form that conclusion.

I would call that Burning your Bridges.

Yet my coworkers don't understand the concept.  They still come to me for assistance, as if nothing ever happened, and then are insulted when I won't help them.

I was delivering paperwork to a ward when an idiot of a nurse appeared, telling me to help her with "the medicine machine."  At this hospital, we are not computerized.  (I have no idea how they got out of the mandate to be electronic.)  However, there is computerized storage of the most common medications so that nurses can quickly (hah!) retrieve the medications for stats or new orders, as the pharmacy is located over two hours away (in good weather and no traffic).

Whenever I worked with this idiot nurse, she would criticize me non-stop.  "You can't put the garbage can there."  "You can't stand there."  "You are supposed to be filing."  "You are supposed to fax the order first, then give the pill."  Non-stop irrelevant non-sense.  Then she would get angry that I was ignoring her and her irrelevant orders.  She is not only stupid, but arrogant.

The other nurses on the ward also can't use a computer.  So this idiot came up to me and said, "I need this pill from the medicine machine."  The Medicine Machine.  Who the hell calls it that?

"So go get it," I said, and walked away.

She followed me.  "You know how to do it.  I don't know.  You know that.  I ask you for help and you are so rude."

She thought I was rude earlier?  She pushed, so I told her, "It's not 1992.  'I'm don't know the  computer' is not an acceptable excuse.  You have no business being employed anywhere when you lack computer competency."

She answered, "It is to help the patient."

"You can help all the patients by learning how to use a computer," I said, and left.

I was minding my own business and she came up to me, demanding my services in an area in which she is purposely lacking knowledge.  She and the rest of the staff have no problem screwing me over one minute, and then telling me to do their job the next minute.  This I don't get.  If I screw someone over, the bridge is burned.  You can't cross it later.  You most certainly can't ask the person you screwed over to do you a favor.  Yet they do.  They don't apologize or act shy about demanding work from me, as if my job is to take their verbal abuse and attempts to get me fired, and then do whatever tasks they tell me to.