Thursday, February 18, 2016

Invisible Award

One of the social workers quit to move to another continent.  Some of the nicer people at this Snake Pit gathered at a local pub to see her off.

An older woman was there, talking to various employees.  I introduced myself.  She responded, "I know who you are.  We work together."

The lighting was on the dim side, which is not great for my vision acuity, but I really did not remember seeing her before.

She continued, "I have an office around the corner from you.  But I know how to hide, so people don't know I'm there."

One can never be sure if someone has one of those No-Show jobs or is just really good at hiding and not having to do any work.  So I asked her how she stays out of sight.

"I arrive a few minutes early, before the time clocks get busy.  I leave a few minutes late, after the rush is over.  I stay in my office for lunch.  I don't leave my office unless I absolutely have to."

I commended her on this ability to stay below the radar.

Trade Off

My supervisor lent me out to work on a ward.

"It's an emergency!" she shrieked.

Her definition of emergency differs from my definition.  She meant that because of her incompetence, she did not adequately staff the shift.  Once again she sought me out to cover her ass.

Enabling her.  That's what I'm doing.  It's not a role I relish.

The day was not too bad.  I did very little.  Another nurse gave out medications and another was in charge of the ward.  The orderlies were not feisty and argumentative; instead, they left me alone.  Working with low-key people makes such a difference in the flow of the day.  It keeps everyone calm.

One of the union reps passed through and asked what I was doing on the ward.  She was probably going to report me for trespassing.  "It's my assignment today," I answered.

"You shouldn't have to work on the ward!" she gasped, as if this was a new thing.  I just looked at her.  What was she going to do to help me out?  Nothing.

After the next shift arrived, I passed by my office to see my immediate supervisor frantically pushing papers.  "Bye!" I waved.

"I still have so much work!" she retorted.  "Who do you think does your work when you are not here?"

I shrugged my shoulders and left.

She makes no connection between getting rid of me and having to do my work herself.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Helping Others to Leave You Alone

"You have to help them leave you alone," an older and wiser coworker said to me.

"How?" I asked.

She had nothing concrete.  I don't know how to handle well-behaved people, nevermind the screw-ups at my job.

She told me to not do other people's jobs.  But when I refuse, I am refusing an assignment; being insubordinate; not being a team player.

But I am still mulling over her words, trying to find a way to enact the theme into my work life.  I think it's a good message.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Musical Chairs, Minus the Music

I was in my work area, minding my own business, when a shift supervisor came around with an entourage.  This is always trouble, so I ducked into a closet.

Yes, I am a grown woman, a professional, who hides in closets when her supervisor comes around.

The group focused on a locked office.  They banged on the door and in shrill voices exclaimed things like, "Oh my God!" and "This is unacceptable!" and my most feared, "Where is Nurse Enid?"

I didn't come out of hiding until I was sure they were gone.

Hours later, the supervisor found me.  "Who has that office?" she barked at me.

"I don't know," I answered truthfully.  There is no sign on the door.  Maybe twice a week I see a woman go in, shut the door, stay a few hours, then leave.  The important thing about her is that she has never bothered me.

The supervisor didn't care.  "There is confidential medical information visible on the desk in that office!" she cried.

"It's not my office," I answered.

"It is your responsibility to protect patient information!" she cried again.

"I protect the little information I have access to," I countered.  "I don't police the entire building."

Now she was annoyed.  Her whole face dropped.  "Listen, there is no need for you to be rude," the supervisor accused.  "HIPAA is everyone's responsibility.  I asked you a very simple question and you responded very rudely."

"I have no control over other people's offices," I answered firmly.  She probably thought this was rude.

"Well, you should have reported the HIPAA violation," the supervisor continued with this idea.  "I mean, the office is near yours and you have a responsibility to maintain your work area."

"That office is not my responsibility.  I don't even know who works in that office.  Plus, other people have offices next to that office.  Why aren't you telling them to monitor that office?" I continued to fight.  Useless.

"We're not talking about other people.  We are talking about you not protecting patient information.  We've been over this before," she insisted.

She's right.  I have no access to the few electronic services because I supposedly can't honor HIPAA.  At least I know how to spell it.  They spell it HIPPA.

So I was silent.  Whatever I say is wrong and rude.

The supervisor continued.  "And where did that chair come from in that office?"

I stared at her.  My prior assertions that I had no knowledge or access to that office did not suffice, so I wasn't going to restate them again.

"That is a nicer chair in that office than I have in mine," the supervisor continued.  "I want to know how it got there."

We stood there, looking at each other.

"Give me the key so I can remove that chair," the supervisor ordered.

She had not absorbed a word I said.  "I don't have a key to that office," I answered.

"Why don't you have a key?" she snapped.  "You lost it and didn't report it as missing?  This is not acceptable!"

"It's not my office," I enunciated again.

She huffed away.  How does this runaway train happen?

Soon she returned with someone from maintenance who opened the door for her.  From a distance I watched her remove the chair from the room and wheel it away.  She was not in there long enough to move the files that were supposedly exposed.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Twisted Reality

How do you handle a supervisor's twisted reality?
"While you were gone, a new doctor was hired, but stay away from him.  He broke the printer," my immediate supervisor told me.

"Why would he break the printer?" I asked, not believing her.

"Well, you jammed the printer with your airline tickets," she explained.

"Hold on," I interjected.  It had been so nice not being around her and her shenanigans.  "How did I jam the printer when I wasn't even here?"

She glared at me as if the answer was so obvious she shouldn't have to waste her precious time explaining it to me.  "I was trying to print something by pressing 'p' like you told me, but nothing came out, so I kept pressing it."

"Actually, it's 'control p' and you only need to press it once," I explained for the thousandth time.

"I kept going to the printer, but no paper was coming out, so I went back to my computer, told it to print again, but still nothing worked.  Then that lady from recreation appeared and opened up the printer.  That is how we found your airline tickets.  They were jamming the printer and preventing me from printing my work."

"They were not my airline tickets," I stated emphatically.  I don't need her circulating this ridiculous story of blame.

"If they weren't yours, then why did they print when I pressed 'p' like you told me?" she stated, as if she were stating logical insight.

"Because someone else was also printing!" I scolded her.  "It's a printer for this entire area.  Maybe the tickets were for the person in recreation and that is why she also went to the printer!"

"Yes, they were hers," the supervisor continued without missing a beat.  "But I told her to be careful because you were trying to steal them."

"What?  You told another employee that I was trying to steal their plane tickets?  Why would you do that?"  I was really pissed.

"Because the tickets appeared when I pressed the button you wanted me to press, but they were messed up so she couldn't use them and you could get them," she continued without any hesitation.  She wasn't grasping at straws.  This entire story made complete sense in her birdbrain.

I stood there, staring at her.  I have no idea what to do with this woman.  "So how did the doctor break the printer?"

"Oh, well, when the lady from recreation opened the printer and found the tickets you were trying to steal, the doctor came along and saw that we were having trouble.  I didn't know he was a doctor.  I mean, he has tattoos.  Only criminals have tattoos.  He said he could help and he started taking apart the printer.  I ran.  What kind of a doctor has tattoos and takes apart machines?  I called the computer lady right away and told her that the new doctor was breaking the printer."

She turns a non-event into a crime.  I spend more time fending off this ridiculousness than I do working.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Job Interview

During my leave of absence, I applied for many jobs in many fields.

I had one interview!

They didn't call me back, so I guess I did not get the job.

The interview went well for someone as unemployable as myself.  It was for a nurse to assist urologists with procedures in the office.  The practice spans five offices and over thirty physicians.  The people conducting the interview were human resource representatives.  No actual healthcare providers are involved in the beginning stages of the interview process.

Many phonecalls were received for travel nursing.  I'm sure I checked "no travel" on my applications, so I'm not sure why my resume triggered so many travel nursing inquiries.  I don't think I would do well with travel nursing.  True, I make enemies the first week, so moving along every twelve weeks would be good for my career for that reason.  But how would I pay for my home and a home away from home?  After the twelve week contract was up and my departing employer reported that everyone hated me, how would I secure the next position?  I can't find a new job to save my life.  Finding a new job every twelve weeks seems too jaunting.

Back to Work

This was supposed to be me.
Now I can't go to a doctor
because my employer may get a hold of the records.
I went back to work at the Hell Hole.

I hate it.

Is that too negative?

I tried to get another job.  The pathetic attempts will be in another blog post.

Medical clearance had to be issued first.  I overheard the doctor on the phone with a supervisor:  "She is going to say it's only arthritis and that it's a natural part of the aging process.  What else do you want me to do?"

Other than existing, did I do something so horribly wrong that they need to focus on me so much?

In the exam room, the doctor read some notes from one of my personal physicians.  I had not authorized any of my doctors to send my personal medical information to my job.  I was frozen.  I felt very stupid for ever telling anyone what doctors I had used for anything.  My supervisor or someone at this Hell Hole probably called my doctor and pretended that I was a patient at the hospital and that they needed my medical records.

Yes, I called my doctor's office.  They said that they would not have sent information from a phonecall only and require written consent.  I asked for a copy of the written request, as I had never signed consent.  They are ignoring me.

I'm sending emails daily to the doctor's office and human resources.  Nothing.

They are gathering information on me to try to justifiably fire me.

I was going to go back to the doctor for more aggressive pain management, but I canceled the appointment.  I'm now afraid to go to any doctor because my employer may get a hold of the records and use the information to fire me.  I remember the employee health doctor bragging about not letting people back to work if they were taking prescription pain medication.  I can't risk it until I find another job.