Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Party Invites

Another party.  A birthday celebration for a nasty clerk.  I didn't know about it, and I didn't want to attend.  I found out about it after the fact.

Here's the thing:  My immediate supervisor went to to the party, pretending that she was going for a walk.  Why pretend?  I would not have gone.  I can't stand that clerk.

Here's the other thing:  A nurse quit and I was invited to the party (at a restaurant, not inside the hospital).  I clued in my supervisor and even laid out the contribution for both of us.  I don't think she's truly evil like the others, so the goal is to have it weigh on her, make some ding on her conscience.  Still, I know she'll screw me over in a heartbeat.

I put in for a few days off.  She has to sign off on it, which she did, remarking, "I can work here all by myself, no problem.  I did it for years before you ever came along."  I didn't say anything.  The work has increased exponentially in the last few years and I was brought into the department because she kept pushing to add another nurse.

I don't know what her end goal is here, other than screwing me over.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Must increase Avoidance

"She feels insulted and offended, so you need to stay away from the wards," the nursing supervisor explained to me about one of the nurses whose start and end points are being insulted and offended.  "She feels that you are spying on her."

I have had it.  I really have.  I desperately need a new job.  "Because we are a paper-based entity, I have to physically deliver reports and documents on the wards," I tried explaining.  Fruitlessly.

"This is the second complaint in a row about you," supervisor emphasized.  She was right.  The day before, Nurse Fortune reported me for informing her about a patient's upcoming appointment.  "You can't tell her what to do," the supervisor admonished me.  I pointed out, to deaf ears, that my job is to inform wards of appointments, and what Nurse Fortune does with the information is up to her.  With the blessing of the supervisor, Nurse Fortune did not send her patient to a scheduled procedure to demonstrate that I am not in charge.  Yes, I explained this to the fuming doctor who ordered the procedure, but he has no power here either.

"You know, I have feelings and emotions, too," I said to the supervisor.  (Facts and published policies mean nothing here.)  "I am insulted and offended that another nurse would report me for doing my job and accuse me of spying on her."

"Well, see, I never knew about any of this," the supervisor bent a little.  "But you never reported your feelings, while she did, and she did it first and she is more upset, so just stay off the wards.  If something happens, you will get blamed."

I looked at her sternly.  "Nothing has happened, and I'm still being blamed and banned from doing my job."

"You still have to do your job," the supervisor said off-handedly as she walked away.

I really need a new job.  I would gladly stay in my little office all day and see nobody.  Better yet, let me work from home.  Impossible with this place- no computers.  Phonecalls, handwriting on paper, photocopying, and delivery.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Others Know Best

I attended a meeting of the nurses' union.  I had the idea that if I requested a job description for my office position, this would be acceptable evidence to refuse to float to a ward.  My immediate supervisor in the office will not go against the nursing supervisors to prevent me from getting pulled; in fact, she is probably glad to be rid of me.

This did not work out as I envisioned.  At least I finally secured a copy of the contract, for whatever it is worth.

The leader told me that my job title never changed from staff nurse on the floor to Office Nurse, so the nursing supervisor could indeed assign me to work on a ward any day.

I was perturbed.  "I still have employees come up to me, angry, telling me that I took a job that belonged to them, or to Nurse Fortune.  You are now telling me that I don't actually have that job?"

"Well," the leader explained, "We did this as a favor to you.  If your official title is not staff nurse, then you cannot work on the floor and get overtime."

"First," I countered, "The people in charge of giving overtime assignments told me that I am not eligible for overtime.  I have worked maybe two overtime shifts since I went into the office, and only because there were severe call-outs and the hospital was desperate for coverage."

"Well, they are wrong.  You can get overtime.  You should inform them of this," the leader said.

"Nobody listens to me.  This needs to come from a higher authority," I implored.  "If someone else, such as Nurse Fortune, were given this office job, you could not pull her to work on the floor.  She would go beserk.  Yet this is done to me."

The leader explained that pulling me to work on the floor was again part of the courtesy afforded to me.  "As per JCAHO regulations, a nurse cannot work overtime in a direct-patient care role unless she has worked at least two shifts per month on the floor at regular pay."

"JCAHO is not concerned with overtime rates," I protested.  I pointed out a provision in the contract that said that nurses who transfer or get promoted to another position with a higher pay scale will receive a raise in pay.  "Is this why I never got a raise with the move?  The guy in Human Resources told me that they were doing me a 'favor' by not putting me on the higher pay scale because I would have to start over at the bottom, which is less than I make now.  That is against the contract, but it differed from your prior explanation that the advertised salary was 'a mistake'.  Now, if my job title was never changed, that explains why I got no raise."

"It was a courtesy to you," the leader continued.  "We could have given you the new job title and raise, but then you would not have been allowed to work overtime on a ward."

"Why didn't you present this 'courtesy' to me and let me choose if I wanted thousands of dollars in the form of a raise for no extra work, or if I wanted to take my chances and try to earn more by working extra shifts?  As it turns out, I have earned less in overtime for the past year than I would have received in that raise."

I felt like a stupid pushover fool.  My own union knew I was being duped and went along with it.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

What a Day

It was a hell of a day, but I'm putting it in the Win Column.

An evil supervisor sent me to to work on a ward instead of my office.  Keep in mind that the place fell apart when I took a lunch break a few days earlier.

I was set for failure.  This ward is staffed by Nurse Fortune, who still maintains that I stole her job, and Charge Nurse Joy, who collaborated with the Evil Supervisor on duty today to fire a nurse a few months back.

As an added bonus, there were two Karma events happening:
- A surprise baby shower for someone who denies the baby
- A romantic breakup

Nurses Fortune and Joy were being the nasty, lazy people they are.  Nurse Fortune left mid-morning because I made her ill.  Really.  That was the explanation given to me by the supervisor and Nurse Joy.  It was a lie to cover her absence for the rest of the shift.

When Nurse Fortune returned near the end of the shift, she exploded on me because her work area was just as messy as she left it.  I had not cleaned up after her, a break from our days of "working" together.  Nurse Joy ordered me to clean up the mess, explaining, "It doesn't matter who made the mess.  We all help one another."

I responded, "When you thought I made the mess, it mattered.  Now that Nurse Fortune admitted it was her mess, it doesn't matter.  I already helped you both tremendously today by covering Nurse Fortune's workload so she could go missing, sanctified by our supervisor."

Nurse Joy shook her head and said, "Still, you can help out and clean.  You also need to stay behind to give hands off to the next shift."

I said, "Those days of both of you leaving me stranded on the floor while you bail before the end of the shift are over.  It's your floor.  You stay."

I hung out by the entrance/exit doors to the ward.  When Nurse Joy came through with her bags, I said, "Oh, we're leaving!  Bye everyone!" and walked out behind her.  Nurse Fortune picked up the desk phone and screamed, "Nurse Enid just left!" and not "Nurse Joy just left."  Supervisor paged me repeatedly as I walked through the building.  I kept going.

I wish that they did not pull this nonsense on me in the first place.  But I am glad that I did not give in to their demands.

"Mike," the new father, was very surprised by the surprise baby shower and quite uncomfortable by my presence.  I told people that I was embarrassed because nobody told me, so I had not purchased a gift.  I convinced several people that we should chip in for a large gift from his registry, only to be unable to find his name attached to any.  I stood by, smiling to myself, while people asked him where he was registered, while he tried to convince people that "Oh, we didn't register because we don't need anything."  Liar.  Her name is on the registry by itself.

Imagine my luck in working this ward on the same day as the baby shower.

The next bonus was Dina's emotional phone calls and crying in corners.  She and boyfriend/husband are no longer living together.  She is desperately trying to convince someone to take her dog, as her new place won't allow canine residents.  And the landlord keeps pestering her for rent, "even though only my stuff and my dog are in the apartment.  I don't sleep there, so why should I continue to pay rent?"

She kept giving me the Evil Eye every time I heard her phonecalls, but too bad.  She deserves it.  Plus, work is not the place to expect privacy.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Same Patterns

I returned from my lunch break to hear my name continuously paged all over the hospital.

Back at my office, I found a floor nurse waiting for me.  Helen.  She stupid and rude.

"Where were you?" she scolded me.

"You are not my boss," I enunciated slowly to her, and walked past her.  I am not trying to be rude and nasty.  Being polite does not work with most people in this place.  Helen is not in charge of me and the hierarchy must be laid out with every interaction.

The phone was ringing when I opened my office door.  Answering it provided another excellent reason to ignore Helen.  Unfortunately, it was a stupid supervisor.

"Oh my God!  Where were you?" she blurted.  "I've been calling and calling and calling and paging you!"

"I was at lunch.  What's going on?" I replied calmly.  The building was not on fire, so she was overreacting, as usual.

"The patient has refused the procedure!" she blurted.

Not unusual in psych.  Also, many patients had scheduled procedures, and she could not be bothered to specify which patient she was carrying on about.  Also, none of this has anything to do with me.

She carried on about consent, sedation, responsible parties.  I have other things to do, like my own work.  I had to redirect her.  "What exactly is it that you need for me to do?"

"Well, if you don't interrupt me, I am telling you," she retorted.


"Hello!  Are you there!" she exclaimed.

"I am here," I answered.

"Well, you didn't say anything, so I didn't know," she said.

"Hello!  Are you still there?" she hyperventilated.

"I am here," I answered calmly.

"When I don't hear anything, I don't know that," she said.

"If you could get to the part about what you need for me to do," I tried again.

"I was just about to tell you, when you interrupted me, again," she responded.


"Hello!  Oh my God!  Are you still there?  Why aren't you saying anything?" she blabbered.

This went on and on in circles of nothing.  Finally I said, "Hello?  Hello?  I can't hear you.  Is anyone there?" and hung up.

Helen was still standing there, mesmerized and confused.  "Well?" she asked, annoyed.

"Well, what?" I said.

"This is my patient, so I need to know," she said.

"Exactly.  So go back to your floor and take care of YOUR patient.  Always trying to push your work onto me, just like old times," I said to Helen.

Helen probably didn't comprehend what I said, but she got the flavor of it and fled.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Overestimating Abilities

Linette was vividly describing her latest writing inspirations when the Director of Nursing ("DON") came sludging along.  She does not walk well.  Someone decided that upper management has to record their time on the time clock.  Unfortunately for her, no time clock is located anywhere near the path from her handicapped parking spot to her office.

Linette vivaciously greeted the DON as she slowly made her way to the elevator, hunched over and panting.  The elevator doors opened right away and she disappeared inside.  Directly below in the basement area is a timeclock for housekeeping.  I guess she was cleared to use that time clock because it is physically closest to her parking spot.

Two minutes later, the doors for a neighboring elevator opened.  The DON was standing there, awaiting upward travels.

Linette exclaimed, "We just saw you!"

The DON replied, "I had to punch."

Linette said, "Oh!  You punch?  Like a boxer?  Oh, I see.  You went to the gym and worked out on the punching bag.  That is great!  Isn't that great that she gets a workout in before starting work?" Linette smiled as she turned to me.

The DON stood there, speechless over Linette's lack of capacity to understand the passage of time and the DON's inability to do anything physically exerting.

"That's your baby," I thought to myself.