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�2006 Candor Communications


2006-05-16 - 10:45 a.m.

work, a sigh, and a giggle


here at work again where most of my writing happens these days the move at work is taking some getting used to as there is not as much space so I have constant movement and chatter all around me here the hallway and unit was much quieter on the other side of the hospital here, staff seem to act like it's the middle of the day, all the lights stay on, washing machines and dryers (that are a few feet the first bedroom) are used, pencils are sharpened in electric pencil sharpeners, doors slam, radios blare, and staff talk right outside kid's rooms as if no one is asleep most of the common courtesies and rules of the hospital are disregarded and supervisors don't appear to notice

or deliberately ignore

too often the chatter is inappropriate because it is about the kids (and not at all favorable), way too loud for sleep time, which is more challenging to shut out than just idle chatter or gossip but anyway, after years of bringing it up in meetings and administrators shaking their heads and telling supervisors that it must stop, nothing changes, so I find myself escaping the negativity through words (as I've always done) after I finish the work I know that the carelessness, inconsideration, and negativity around me does not have to enter me if I do not want it to

I learned that spending many years living with negative people

and that (most of the above) is how yesterday's entry (in which I explore loneliness from my odd perspective, I think, therefore I am lonely) began, actually, but I left out the initial environmental influences because I did not want to give the environment more power than it already has I am always more vulnerable to the callous antithesis of what patient care ought to be on my first night back after my days off because I will not harden myself to expect it (there's always hope, remember?)

and in the end, I felt like the ramblings and four rhymes released the influences and focused me on a more positive track (you can decide for yourself now that you know a bit more of what was going on around me while I was writing)

tonight, here are the human zoo, there is no supervisor, so the mice shall play big time in the first two hours (while I was actually doing some work) there've been a couple of long breaks, some cell phone conversations right outside of kid's rooms, one staff left for a while and returned with pizza (not asking anyone else or telling anyone where he was going) and another staff is still not here (apparently he called late), leaving us 1.5 staff under ratio before anyone took or takes a break the hospital supervisor has popped over a few times and appears oblivious to all of it and since all the supervisors who've been made well aware of their jobs by administrators and staff alike continue to ignore it all, I save my comments for meetings and ignore the day to day nonsense

except the ratio

they will never be able to say I do not point out a potentially unsafe situation I am usually met with the same answer, "other units are short too," (referring to the staffing ratios) to which I give the same reply, "then they should document it too" it's the same conversation every time very brief and it concludes when I say, "no problem, I'll just fill out a variance and put in for pay for my break," because that respects and follows the administrative directive for this situation predictably, right after that line, the house supervisor walks off (she used to storm off, but I think she's gotten used to being dismissed with a genuine smile) and comes back a bit later with a solution to cover for breaks for staff on my unit (and only my unit because no one else will fill actually out the paperwork according to policy as I do)

and where do the kids and their needs fit into all this?

good question they don't, or so it appears as far as most staff seem to act for example, other staff express jealousy or frustration when they see notes on the kids doors addressed to me (in fact, some staff remove the notes from the doors out of spite so the kid doesn't get what they asked for in the note) and I advise the kids to fill out a grievance if they see staff do that because it violates their rights every now and then a kid has the self-esteem and confidence to do that (write the grievance) and administration will predictably tsk tsk at the next meeting and insist that such behavior by staff should not be happening but do they check the cameras? sometimes I wonder if the very expensive camera system even works what with staff talking on cells, sleeping, and doing whatever in the halls

the kids are usually greeted with "what do you want?" attitudes from most staff if they wake up at night when I am not around, so they shut down all the more (the opposite of what this place is supposed to do for them) and most staff don't even record which kids wake and which are asleep accurately through the night so the doctor is under the false impression that all the meds are working effectively at the prescribed doses and times given even when they are quite obviously not I write separate notes in the individual kid's chart whenever there's something the doctor or therapist should know about no one pays attention to the fact that my notes do not corroborate with the sleep charts or Q15 locators, but the right people read the note and the kid's issue is addressed

so far the staff I am working with tonight (the only other staff on a unit with 15 kids that is supposed to have a 6:1 staff ratio) has been gone for more than an hour and a half and we're just three hours into the shift the shift supervisor came by and I ask if she'd seen her (I tell staff I work with very plainly "if you want me to cover for you, give me the respect of telling me you are leaving, where you are going, and how long you think you'll be otherwise you are just dumping on me and abandoning your job and I am risking my job if I do not report it and the bottom line is I will not risk my job for someone who does not respect me"

simple enough, I think it usually works fine, except with staff who like to play dumb and there sure are a lot of those working night shifts) the supervisor called around to find her and the staff came back to the unit to tell the supervisor she needed another ten minutes (this was after disappearing for 45 minutes) and left the unit before the supervisor could respond

nothing will come of it

the shift supervisor is a scared mouse hiding from any sort of responsibility and has been comfortably getting away with looking the other way whenever she can for 17 years in this hospital, 10 of them as shift charge on the night shift and they wonder why there's a constant turnover of staff the other night supervisors are almost as passive and scared to actually hold staff accountable they fire people regularly when staff get so entitled their aggressive in violating the rules and the good staff leave because they feel dumped on I just keep the kids safe and don't allow dumping (on me or on the kids or on the staff by management) and I take advantage of the situation to have all this writing time

ironically, for most of the first five years I worked here, I actually did more work and didn't write I took more time with the work I did and read a whole lot more than I do now I miss that reading time I miss books but there are only so many hours in a day and as long as I am partnerless in life, the writing comes first (I think it's cuz the writing lets me feel like I am not in this all by myself because my partner is somehow getting the vibes I am sending out in words or else it's a really good distraction and keeps my hands busy so they don't get in any serious trouble)

so anyway, back at work, supervisors and administrators are noticing that a portion of the unit work is not getting done (especially since Berry left and I refuse to pick up on her tasks when another staff is here to do those tasks) and when they ask about it I ask them how many staff work the night shift they leave it at that because they realize I've drawn a line and will do a fair portion of the unit work and only work I deem necessary for the kid's treatment and well-being

ultimately, they can't fault me since I do much more than my job title asks for (and if they bug me too much they know they'll lose all the extra work I do that makes them look good), so they can either ignore the undone work or take responsibility as supervisors by holding other staff accountable, either way, I do my part (and the extra stuff) and then happily write in my own little world

ironically, a lot of the staff envy the autonomy and privileges nobody else gets and clinical staff and managers remark often that they wish all the units had the systems and reports I put out for my unit most are starting to use the forms and data I compile each night that and whether they realize it or not, it makes their jobs easier

it is not easy when hospital administrators don't actually know how to organize and monitor the operation of their hospital it took 4 years to finally force administration to officially recognize what I do and until they did, they privately thanked me for the extra work, but publicly ignored it and then validated staff complaints about my being at the computer "too much" when they arose that's when I'd simply stop for a while and read all night until a manager or few would beg me to help with a project they had to do most of the paperwork I generate are systems I initiated or at least modified because I know a hospital needs the things I do to run more effectively and efficiently

now that it's official that I do work for management I get almost no flack and more respect (and some envy) I am routinely answering questions that supervisors and management should be asked (and often it's supervisor or manager asking, even when it comes to nursing issues) I get little notes from managers asking me to set up a new form or tracking system for them and I have to figure out what they want because they usually aren't sure themselves, but someone realized there was an organizational or medical record need not being filled, brought it up and a meeting, and the manager was asked to come up with a way to fill it

so in the end, for the moment, I have a cushy position here with a mix of genuine respect and simple "give him some space" (or in some cases, "steer clear of him") relationships with staff as I think a supervisor/administrator should (and regardless of operational staffing charts or job titles, for all functional reality, I am a administrator here) it suits me and gives me this time to tell you all about whatever pops into my head and tonight, so far, it's all about the job since I know you're just dying to know about this general overview of my place in this psychiatric hospital

did I mention I work in a psychiatric hospital?

ah, laughter is good for the soul, especially on a psych ward especially when you need a scorecard to tell the patients from the staff the staff are the ones with the keys and badges usually it would be much more fun to have a partner in crime here (as it would in life), but then, I can adjust to being a relative loner much more easily at work because most of my career I was in a managerial role wherein the buck stopped, at least on the premises I managed there's always a higher authority, after all

so what else is on my mind tonight (now that I've devoted more than half the night to reassessing and re-reflecting {or am I simply repeating} the work environment surrounding the body as the mind plays with words perhaps it's just mental housekeeping for me my way of settling in and making myself comfortable in the newish environment and perhaps it helps you too, giving the words some sort of perspective in some cases in any case, if I had included the first few lines that started this entry in the previous entry, which might have easily been called mad couch disease (has anybody used that pun yet?), then all of this entry so far might have followed and who knows how that might have effected the tone or content of the babble and four rhymes that was actually written yesterday in lieu of this work reflection are you thoroughly fascinated by the details of the process yet or shall I scrape my nails against the blackboard a bit more?)

as I was saying, so what else is on my mind tonight? are you thinking maybe that I've written enough for an entry already and should stop or at least consider starting another entry? well, I do have several things going on at once these days things being blogs, journals, diaries, and rhyming places, if there must be some sort of distinction (perhaps we can explore the differences between them?)

I seem to be picking up the habit (a bit) of updating the RealTIme blog where I tell myself to briefly describe where I am and what I am doing (as opposed to going on and on about it as I do here, I suppose?) I still don't think I have the succinct part of being brief down yet, but maybe with a little practice the idea there is to have sort of an away message for anyone looking for me so would that be an away-message blog? or a brief diary? or a daily/hourly journal? or an activity log? log, now there's another term to throw in here

and then there's the live journal journal that's suddenly reawaked for whatever subconscious reasons for however long that might be this time I am not exactly sure just what the difference between this diary and that journal is, except that I think I actually try to think about communicating with you there more often, while here I am often not thinking about anything beyond the next word as they free fall from my head in what sometimes seems to be a rather random pattern maybe it's the spiral notebook format over there that gives me a sense of being in school and sitting up straighter and trying to actually make sense

and the various others that are mostly rhyming places I go based more on mood than anything else a few are more dormant than others, but lately each has seen an increase in word flow and then there are the other written gardens (as I call them cuz I named my written world when I was much younger and romantic and perhaps a bit pretentious) that get the occasional trickle now and then, most notably the Creating Me space where, it seems, the creation continues

what all this means is a riddle for the moment as I do not plan out any of the writings I do any more than I've just described and most of the time I simply feel my way to where whatever I just wrote belongs in my many piles of paper it could be a sign of reawakening or maybe it's indigestion, gas passing, or simply rolling over in my sleep in any case, I note the activity for whatever it's worth

posterity might thank me yet

surely my ego does (as I stick my tongue out in my general direction) so have we learned something new about me and my little world behind the candoor? are you feeling more knowledgeable about this life in black and white I pour into words most every night? are you seeing any valid or worthwhile point to this diary (or the journal or blog or whatever else?) I wonder what you think about every single word, every page, ever garden, you know? not like you have time to actually read it all and respond in as much details as I might like, but if you ever wondered, I love you for the efforts your do make and ultimately, I hope to find time to read every word with that elusive partner in life I hope to find someday...

guess she should enjoy reading

and share a love of music
and share a love of words
and want to fawn over each other
a preen as if we were birds
and groom as if we monkeys
and buzz as if we were bees
and dance as if we were floating
dissolve like the salt in the seas
as we become one with each other
like some magical starlight
in cosmic energy discover
the music of the night
the words that make it right
and the love

I really am a maroon, aye Bugs?

well, I just let my mind wander wherever it will go and itll always come back to the being in love dream no matter how confuddled I might let myself become, there is always one theme running through my core, to love and be loved, to share everything with someone who can share everything (and Ive yet to meet someone who could actually share everything cuz insecurities seem to stop people somewhere along the way) but theres always hope, so I hope

and grin my cheesy grin

and upon arriving home (where I am now), I set out to upload this entry, but couldnt stay away from dear old blogmad and after three hours I may be ready to accept the sad fact that this computer can not handle typing in MSWord, surfing at BM, getting distracted by contests, stories, slow cooking ribs, playing Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, playing hangman, and uploading entries here behind the candoor

ummmm, ok, so some of those activities were not exactly on this computer I am enjoying my ADD tendencies this morning in between nodding off I really have too much fun with myself for public consumption

and for all my revelations and twists and turns on your couch or anywhere else, the true bottom line about my own peculiar loneliness and way is as simple as me I love me so much theres no compromising who I am for nothing, not no way, not no how I tried and tried and just couldnt shake this giggle I am (yes, now you know, I am a giggle you may have thought I was a person because I do have a person who is lucky enough to carry me around inside and he thinks a whole lot and writes about what he thinks, but I am really a giggle

and who wants to marry a giggle, after all






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