Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Silver Lining, Fortune Cookie Edition

Still alive here.  Still employed for now.

After many crappy weeks I have learned a few things about how people cope with situations over which they have no control.

I listened as all but one of my coworkers speculated fruitlessly about every aspect of the anticipated changes.  The mysterious changes.  Sooooo secret.   Very few details were shared and for months all we heard was "we don't know".  The most important,  the "when" has finally been settled.  I will be done soon, as will most of my friends.  Instead of the promised seniority rule and the same pay, every nurse was invited to apply for one of the few positions, without any guarantee, for fewer hours and benefits.  Oh, and to work 12 hour shifts.  Or take severance.  It's Plan B for me.

Most of my co-workers stayed in denial for a long time, trusting that the company would make good decisions for their employees and the community, "live the mission", do unto others, treat their people with honor, integrity, compassion.  I knew immediately that was not going to happen so I never went into that little bubble that might have safeguarded my sanity for a little while.   Me?   I went right to angry and stayed there...while also grieving.  I eventually came to the realization that  the really hard part was having absolutely no control over what the hospital does.  The bad decisions they make?  So what.  I won't be working there.  I went to one interview with the attitude that I could care less if I got the job.  It was too far away anyhow, but I needed to do it just to get it done.  It's been over 3 months.   I guess they don't want me as much as I don't care if I get the job.

I will be happy to collect my nearly 500 hours of earned time and "generous" severance pay.  After 500 hours the accrual ceases.  I will be about 2 hours shy of 500 hours.  I will also enjoy not working Christmas.

A tremendous burden has been lifted now that the specter of death no longer nebulously looms thanks to a confirmed date of  execution.   I have become the unaccustomed ray of fu*king sunshine at work while my colleagues sing the blues, wring their hands and play the "what if" game.  I am happy and joyful, my sense of humor fully restored.  Tra-la-la.

Jane (my boss):"Who are you??"

Oddly, not one of the nurses bailed.  We optimistically filled out our schedules through the holidays although I put "ha! ha!" next to the notation that I was working New Years Eve.  We are 2 1/2 docs down, the departed being unwilling to sail on the Titanic II.  Wisely recognizing that the band is playing "Nearer My God to Thee" while the deckhands put out a few more chairs, they were not buying the pig in a poke that the ship was unsinkable. My response to that:

"She's made of iron, sir! I assure you, she can... and she will. It is a mathematical certainty".  

The Pirate moved on to greener pastures, one doc has 1/2 foot out the door from pure apathy, and another is on medical leave.  That leaves us with plenty of shifts with Parvati and too many with Bobo.  Bobo still talks to his clavicles and continues to be a non-joy to work with.  I have perfected the fish-eyed stare and monosyllabic response when he is around.  I will not miss Bobo.

 I will not miss this dysfunctional employer so much.

I will miss my friends.


JA-RN said...

Good luck with whatever you decide to do next. As an "old" nurse, the difficult thing to accept is that hospitals are not as they were when I started. They are now run by accountants, not caring about staff or sick people, only the bottom line. The hospital is just a place to work, not a family, & they don't really care if their employees stay or go.

EDNurseasauras said...

Thanks, appreciate your thoughts. So true

Aesop said...

Totally feeling one with you, sister.
Welcome to my 2012.
FWIW, after going through the whole Kubler-Ross DABDA pretty much simultaneously and non-stop for about 6 months, I envy you for getting word ahead of time. IMHO you're handling it the right way.
Ours was delivered like a lightning strike.
When I signed out on my last day with HR, they actually thanked me for not making it a big dramatic production. I told them I was always a class act, and resisted the urge to add "And probably that's the kind of people you should be thiking about keeping", because those decisions, as you noted, have now been placed into the hands of the bean-counters who can total 8-digit numbers at sight, but don't have the common sense God gave a jackass.
As Diogenes searched for an honest man, I'll probably spend a lifetime looking for one hospital administrator who could find their backside with both hands, a mirror, and a map.

Still looking...

ob said...

Awwwwwww, I'm going to miss my sarcastic buddy. I will stop by on my next trip out west. We have got to compare notes while stress eating.

EDNurseasauras said...

@ Aesop, you are seeking a unicorn, good luck with that. Cleaned out my locker today. Just trying to stay classy!
@ OB, not to worry. There will be plenty of sarcasm but might rename the blog "OfficeNurseasauras", or "SchoolNurseasauras", or something like that. My daughter thinks I should just go work in a cube doing something non-nursing for perspective. "Cube-a-Sauras?"