Thursday, July 30, 2015

Meeting of No Mind

I was invited to a meeting of a group that has to do with spending.

I was a little excited- maybe I could add something financial to my resume.  Prospective employers want to see that you can positively effect the bottom line, right?

But then I remembered where I work.  There are no opportunities to get ahead.  Based on how everything else operates in this place, I don't think that anyone has any real control or insight into the financial aspects of the business.

I asked the woman who invited me for an agenda.

"We really don't have one," she replied.  I was not surprised.  This meeting was going to be a waste of time.

"I'm not sure what you expect of me at this meeting," I tried.

"Oh, I guess nothing at first," she answered.

"What is the purpose of this meeting?" I tried again.

"To discuss ideas," she answered.

"Ideas about what?" I queried.

"Ideas about issues," she answered.

This was going to be a useless meeting.  No surprise.

At the meeting, I was given about twenty stapled pages.  I was listed as a new member.  What?  I had not committed to anything.

For half an hour, someone read some of the twenty pages, including numbers from tables.  So unnecessary.  Five years of tables about admissions and discharges.  People were actually nodding their heads in pleasant surprise as the figures were spoken out loud for each month for the past FIVE YEARS.  As a patient was discharged, another was admitted.  Who hasn't caught on to this concept?

Finally the point of my presence was mentioned:  I will be submitting reports on the number and types of radiology exams.

"I have nothing to do with radiology," I quipped.  I will not have anymore work piled onto me.  Especially not for stupid tables and graphs for this committee.

Blank stares.  Finally the woman who invited/admitted me into the group said, "I thought you scheduled all that."

"No, I do not," I responded.  "Nurses on the wards call in the orders directly to radiology."

"Well, you could still get those numbers and present them to us every month.  We're trying to save the hospital money, which will improve patient care."

"Actually," I countered again, "the imaging company that services this hospital is computerized, so if you contact the hospital's account rep, she can give you those numbers."

More blank stares.  Determined to put something on me, the woman continued, "So you can call and get those numbers and report back to us in next month's meeting."

"No.  You can call her directly yourself and explain what you need and she can email you whatever numbers, graphs, and analysis you want."  I'm not increasing my workload and then making an easy target when someone has to be fired for excessive spending on radiology services.

In my view, I left the meeting committed to nothing.  They may think that I committed to cut expenditures in radiology in half.  Not that they know how much the hospital spends on radiology services.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Predicting Formal Complaints

One of the orderlies is great with the patients.  Not many staff members have this quality.  Nursing administration allocates one or two per ward to do all the work.

This particular orderly is some kind of Important Person within the labor union of the orderlies.  Yet he was unable to stop his transfer to a ward where a lazy nurse is in charge- the one who is good buddies with the worst supervisor.

She was yelling at him early in the shift (not first thing because she is at least half an hour late every day) about a list of stuff she wanted him to do with difficult patients, such as getting showers done, submitting to taking medications, and other stuff that ornery people don't feel like doing.  Stuff he would be helping the patients with anyway, without her unsolicited insight.  He yelled back, "You have a ward filled with other staff.  Why don't you ask one of them to do some work for a change?"

The nurse was perplexed for a moment.  She responded, "Because you know the patients best."

"Well, all of you could get to know the patients if you got off your freaking cell phones and got to work," he answered.

And buddy supervisor was called in for the formal write-up of insubordination.

I really hope he can accomplish something through his union because the union for the nurses will not go against these terrible nurses.

Friday, July 24, 2015

The Rescue

I was on one of the wards when a frantic new nurse asked me for help.

Supervisor from Hell had told her to send half her staff to another ward.  Every staff member refused to budge.  The nurse reported this to the supervisor, who told her that she would be written up for insubordination- not sending staff to another ward as directed; and inability to manage staff.  In addition, if anything happened on the other ward, she would be held responsible because it was her fault that the other ward was short.

I guessed which supervisor the first try.  I asked if the nurse in charge of the ward was present.  The nurse said, "She had just left on lunch when the supervisor called."  I explained that this was all part of the game that they play.

"Supervisor is best buddies with the charge nurse.  Neither goes anywhere without telling the other so that they can meet up.  Both of them planned this to mess with you.  It's no coincidence that hell breaks out as soon as the charge nurse leaves the floor, all caused by this supervisor," I explained.

I felt really bad for her.  I recognized the same stressful, mean tricks being played on her that were done to me for so long.

"So what should I do?" the nurse pleaded.

The phone rang- supervisor calling to ask why the nurse had not yet followed the simple instructions she was given.  I know these phonecalls.  The best solution?  I don't know.  But I offered one method that has worked, simply because the supervisor is lazy.

"Hang up," I instructed.  The nurse slammed down the phone out of frustration, then immediately regretted it.

"I just hung up on the boss!" she blurted.

"Deny it if ever asked," I advised.  They taught me well.

Supervisor has nothing better to do, so she kept calling back.  We let the phone ring and ring, stop, then start again.

"What if she comes here?" the nurse feared.

"She won't walk this far," I assured her.  There was also no chance that another staff member would answer the phone.  They don't answer the phone on a good day, nevermind when they are angry with the nurse.

And it worked, the nurse told me later.  No mention of the situation again.

Next time, supervisor will try harder, so she better be prepared.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

"Insane" Goal

This disturbs me.

"Insane" is used to describe learning a lot at once?

Why not just use a term such as "a lot" or "the most?"

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

FaceBook Drama

Some of the employees are on FaceBook.  I follow them with an anonymous account.  I think that if they can figure out how to be on FaceBook, they should be able to figure out how to use a computer.  Wishful thinking.

What they choose to post and share with the world is hilarious.

One employee posted to Serena's Williams' post about winning her 20th Tennis Grand Slam:  "Now that you're done with this silly tennis business, you can get on with doing your most important work, getting married and having children.  We have all patiently waited, but enough is enough.  It's time."

Another employee posts a picture of herself, then reposts the picture, then reposts the repost of the picture.  With every picture.

Others post pictures of their namesakes.  Some have more than one namesake.  "This is Jamal Jr and my Baby Mama Shaquana.  And this is Jamal Jr with my Baby Mama LaToine."

I block any of their profiles that pop up in my real profile.  Most of them are friends with one another.  The one who wants Serena to stop popping tennis balls in favor of popping out babies came to me, quite upset.  She explained that she had to delete the employee who posts and reposts her own pictures.  "She kept putting pictures of herself on MY wall.  I told her to stop, but she kept doing it.  So I had to delete her.  In case she comes to you, hating on me, that is why I did that."

I guess the staff can figure out some stuff with FaceBook, but still remain suspicious and clueless about it.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Highlight of the Day

Nurse Fortune is paired with another nurse who does all of their work.  Fortune still harasses her, of course.  The woman is quiet and has no recourse.

This woman used to highlight papers in different colors, not just the typical yellow.  "Important!" she would explain, but if everything is highlighted in rainbows of brightness, then nothing stands out as important.  Highlighting must have been this woman's outlet for stress.  Now the entire ward is highlighted: the useless notices on the walls, scrap paper, charts, the shift report, and so on.  Fortune yells at her for it, which just makes the coloring worse.

To show her my support, I gave her a little gift of bright highlighter markers in ten different colors.

Monday, July 20, 2015

I'm Back

Taking some time off from work was great.  Being sick was not.  But I had to get back.  One of the nurses I'm friendly with called me.  She said that she attended the monthly Meeting for Nurses.  (It's a monthly regular event?!?)

There is a new objector to my position in an office.  It's been over a year.  Nurse Fortune was the most vocal objector.  One year later, this one pops up.  She works the evening shift.  She keeps to herself, quietly mumbling into her phone, except when given work to do, which she loudly refuses with "No, no, that is not for me," as she shakes her head and walks away.  I've worked with her and it's not easy.  It's like working by yourself, except worse, because someone who is supposed to be doing half the work sits there contently watching you do all of it.  Going to the supervisor is useless.  "This ward runs fine every evening.  The one shift you're here to fill in, and suddenly we have problems."

Her argument for getting my position, without even applying, was:  She has seniority and so the position should have been handed to her.

Has she been harboring this ridiculous notion for over a year?  Who else is secretly plotting against me?

First, the haters need to make up their minds about who has seniority.  Everyone's argument cannot be that they each have the most seniority.  Only one person has been there the longest.  I don't know who it is because I wasn't there.  Then remember that seniority was not a requirement of the job.

Second, this was not a promotion.  I am not in charge of anybody or anything.  The real desire for my position is the notion that the job entails no work.  Well, that's not true.  Work is definitely required in my position.  But this doesn't matter.  The people complaining about not getting my position are people who do no work no matter where they are.  So they can continue doing nothing as nurses on the wards, getting away with it, while scapegoats do their work and still get in trouble.  Been there, done that.

Third, why don't they go after the inexperienced, outside people who get supervisor jobs that were never advertised, whose sole qualification for the invented position is that they are related to someone in administration?  That's an issue that needs vocal objectors, yet the mob chooses to focus on me.

So I'm going back before they can give away my position.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

None of your Business

I had a little procedure done and took some time off.  The patients made me a big card.  One of the nurses brought it to me.  Some of them are so sweet.

Inside, one of the know-it-all orderlies wrote, "I know exactly what you are going through.  I told you not to have this procedure because it wouldn't work and I was right, so if you want to talk, I'm still here for you, even though you didn't listen to me."

The nurse pointed this paragraph out to me.  "He's something," she offered.

Actually, this orderly does not know what procedure I had done, why I did it, and the outcome, other than I'm not dead.  My doctor and I know a lot more about it than he does, and that is why his opinion was dismissed when he came running after me one day and launched into a speech of why I should "do a laser instead."  What an a-hole.  Even though I defied him, I can return to him to apologize for not doing as he commanded and seeking forgiveness?

How do some people have so much nerve?

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Writing your own Sentence

The hospital churned out another writer!  This one was fired.

One of the doctors wrote an autobiography on his plight to become a successful medical doctor.  I think the problem was that he named names:  people who made his life difficult, from school until the present.


Yet the orderly who wrote an autobiography was not fired.  Hmm.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Nap Time, Always

"Embrace the workplace snooze," I have read often this week.  (Maybe I see links based on what I click.)  I cringed at first.  Most of the staff at this hospital, as well as previous places of employment, fall asleep as soon as they sit down.  Maybe I'm built differently, but I can't sleep sitting upright, with people moving and talking all around me.

Finally I read through one of these sleeping articles and was relieved.  Sleeping during official break times is encouraged- not sleeping while the employee is supposed to be working.  Supposedly productivity and all kinds of positive things will flow from these nap breaks.  Well, the staff already sleeps on break and during their duty, and there is no productivity.

One night when I was working in a nursing home, one of the aides told me that she did not get her break.  I said she was sleeping in a chair.  She replied, "Yes.  I was asleep, so I missed my break.  You have to give me a new one."  I told her no.  First, this was ridiculous.  Second, the aides eat whenever they want, so she wasn't going to starve.  Third, she was going to spend the rest of the shift asleep in the chair, which is like being on break.

She went to the supervisor and I was was wrong.  "It's in their union contract," the supervisor explained.  "Denying a break is very serious."

"Sleeping on the job is grounds for being fired according to hospital policy," I countered.  Unsuccessfully.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Nothing is Right

One of the nurses is high-strung.  She is very busy, but doesn't accomplish much.

I bumped into her in a breakroom.  She offered me some baked goodies she made.  They were kind of like a cross between a cookie and a muffin.

I said, "Thank you."

She said, "For what?"

I said, "For being nice to me."

That set her off.  She started to leave but was slowed by her ranting, "What do you mean, 'Nice to you?'  I'm nice to everyone, not just you.  You are not special.  I don't treat you different from everyone else."

People were staring at me, as if I had done something horribly wrong.  Again.