Friday, December 25, 2015
Lazy, clueless night nurse showed up. She dominated the meeting with the same question, "Why must I do something called COBRA when I retire from here?"
The answer is: When you don't work here, you don't get health insurance here. You are not 65 years old, so you don't qualify for health insurance through Medicare. For 18 months, you can purchase the health plan as permitted by a federal law popularly called COBRA.
I was thrilled to hear that she was retiring. But her non-stop questioning about lack of health insurance makes me think that she didn't plan this well, which is no surprise, and that she may ultimately decide not to "retire" because she will be without health insurance.
She had two other amusing stories to tell.
1- She pulled out baby booties from a large bag and showed off her craftsmanship. I cooed over them and then said, "But why did you bring them here? They can get food and stuff on them. Next time leave them at home and just show us a picture on your phone."
She clarified, "I knit them here."
"I don't understand," I continued, while the union members listened uncomfortably. "I thought you work here overnight. When do you find time to knit?"
"Oh, there is plenty of time. Too much time. There is nothing to do, so I use the time to knit stuff for my grandbabies."
I looked at the union president. Her face was a mixture of anger and panic. For years we battled that night shift doesn't do what they are supposed to do. Now night shift has no meds to give, no weekly reports, no treatments, no checking on anything. It's all dumped on other people.
2- This night nurse reported that the cold temperatures in the building overnight must be addressed. "I now have to sleep in a sleeping bag!" she added to emphasize the importance of her assertion.
"In your house?" I questioned.
"No, here at night. It's just so cold. How can I sleep? So I bring in a sleeping bag. I leave it upstairs, otherwise, I would show you."
"What do you mean, to sleep here?" I went on.
"You know, when I'm tired of knitting and reading, I sleep, but it's cold, so I slide into a sleeping bag first," she explained, with the union president glaring at both of us. "It's a fall risk, really. If I suddenly have to stand up and walk, I could forget that I'm in a sleeping bag and I might fall down. Then this place would have to pay my bills. So it's really better if they just turn up the heat."
The union people were displeased with both of us. I think I made my point. They dumped the work of night shift on me all those years and here is one of the culprits, convinced that her job duties are doing nothing and sleeping.