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last---past---next---now
�2006 Candor Communications


2006-02-27 - 11:42 a.m.

work whining and the point of it all


once again we run the wheel
sit around and play our games
in our corners of the maze
in the end it's all the same

and here we are again at work on a night where little or nothing gets done... I've probably explained before that this place is (from my only semi-humble perspective) poorly managed and even more poorly supervised and some staff, on their own initiative, do the bulk of the workload because other staff choose to take advantage of the poor management to do as little as possible (and most supervisors fall into that latter category, in fact, most supervisors could not tell you what the job of the staff they supervise actually entails)...

so on Saturday and Sunday nights the mice play the most because the cat is one of those who look the other way and makes herself too busy to notice what might be happening on the units... it's probably no coincidence that the fattest and laziest people I've ever met work weekend night shift, or night shift in general... most of them, including supervisors, sit around doing nothing and disregarding their responsibilities (the patients and the paperwork)... for the most part they avoid my unit because I ask them to keep their voices down since the patients are asleep, which, I can only assume, reminds them of their responsibilities on their units that they are ignoring...

Berry and I are the two who do the bulk of the night shift work on this unit and since Berry is off on Sunday, I sit back and do the minimum on Sundays as she does when I am not here on Saturdays... it's not so much a matter of slacking as we wind up having to do the work we let pile up over the weekend anyway, it is a matter of staying in the sleeping area focused on the kids because no one else will...

the nurses (who are the supervisors) are told they are part of the ratio and supposed to be out of the nurse's station as much as possible, but they don't pay attention to management because management is not around to enforce that policy (which is actually based on a federal regulation for patient to staff ratios)... whether it's laziness, elitism, incompetence, apathy, or something else, it's the kind of non-existent supervision that fosters an atmosphere of "hate the hard workers" and while management shakes their heads and says it is unacceptable at meetings, nothing changes because they will not pressure the nurses because nurses are not easy to find here (it doesn't help that they pay nurses less than most anywhere else, so they mostly get those who will accept less pay for doing a lot less work)...

staff who actually do work bring the work out into the sleeping area hallway on the rolling tables provided for such work... the rest hide out behind the RN station... on Saturday and Sunday nights we have a nurse who does all of her work back out of sight and does none of the work she's supposed to do in the hallway... the second staff (we have three staff these days) spends most her time socializing wherever the nurse hangs out, so that leaves one staff four days a week (Berry on Fridays and Saturdays and me on Sundays and Mondays) in the hall to do all of the rounds when there are supposed to be a minimum of two staff and rounds are supposed to be divided evenly between all staff on duty... management has written memos to that effect, but supervisors ignore the rules unless someone complains and then they produce another memo...

complaints are frowned upon by management and years of this very complaint have been dealt with by management putting out more memos that continue to be ignored... it's similar on Monday nights, though the weeknight nurse, Elpien, is feeling more pressure because both Berry and I call her out on the rule often and management took more serious action with her... she therefore spends a bit more time in the hallway, but you may recall a recent entry where I introduced you to Elpien a bit more than I am doing here... unfortunately, she responds to my presence much more than Berry's, probably because I am older and more experienced in managing a supervisor...

so back to tonight, on Sunday and Monday nights, usually, I sit back and type away at the computer and play the same game my co-workers play, which is waiting for someone else to do something... it's become effective as the second staff on Sunday and Monday does most of the rounds in order to protect the nurse from scrutiny so they can continue socializing in the RN station (when I am asked to do rounds I ask to see the assignment sheet, which the nurses do not do even though their supervisor, perhaps the most incompetent nurse in the hospital, has written memos directing them to do it... not to mention it is policy... I figure they do not do the assignment sheets because they do not want written documentation following them into a meeting when complaints come up... I figure management looks the other way about it because they don't want written documentation the complainant could use in meetings... the blind leading the blind, remember?)... since staff two is seldom in the hallway except for brief rounds and the nurse is almost never out here and I remain in the hallway all night, neither of them can say much to me...

and as long management allows me to bring the computer into the hallway (I'm the only one in the facility who has such privilege because I do additional computer work for several managers), I bring it up at every meeting and let them know I am not playing their game, but I'll accept their management decisions... it's a dysfunctional balance that is ignored by supervisors and management alike because neither wish to actually confront the staff who do little work...

why some nurses refuse to bring their paperwork out here is a question no one wishes to answer (and few ask... some staff follow the nurse's lead), but as long as this imbalance in responsibility and accountability exists, I can do pretty much as I please because management does not want me (and the few other staff who do the bulk of the work) to sit back and do the minimum on a regular basis (that would be an organizational disaster)...

so we have hours of time ahead of us tonight with nothing more to do but play video games (shhh, those are not supposed to be on any computer... I found them on this one because this was an old computer no one wanted and the drive was not cleaned before I asked to use it as my personal unit computer) and ramble on...

you could say it's the ideal job for a babbler like me...

no worries about the kids, because I do make rounds enough to see that they are ok, I just do not make the official rounds with the electronic sensor and that forces someone else to come into the hallway for those... if I didn't do it that way, I'd be left alone out here for the entire shift (which sometimes happens anyway and management overlooks the lack of electronic proof that rounds have been made, which allows me to give them the "clean up your own yard before coming in and questioning mine" look whenever a meeting appears to be heading in that direction and the subject is quickly dropped as no one wishes to hear me verbalize my response...

the psychological politics of organizations is sad, but at times, amusing if you can learn to find humor in and laugh at anything (which is an important survival technique in this world)...

we are, after all, just rats in a maze, hamsters running a wheel, plankton flowing through an eco-system... we just have much more elaborate mazes, much more intricate wheels, and much more complex systems with which to fool ourselves into believing we are not living lives as futile as the rats, hamsters, and plankton... and we can write down, record, elaborate, rationalize, and bullshit about our journey through the maze, wheel, and system, so it seems much more important... and god, of course, we have god on our side...

does sitting around at work bring out my cynicism or what?...

don't buck the system, it works for you
be sure to give everything a name
and record the details of all you do
choose the right words and you can find fame

and sometimes late at night we have dreams of tomorrow, dreams of space travel and teleportation and homes that think for our convenience... and so many dreams of yesterday are accepted as the real world of today... I wonder if our cave dwelling ancestors ever dreamed of sitting in a cubicle tapping a keyboard creating a report for the sake of creating a report to be filed with all the other reports...

ever building the better machine...

welcome my son, welcome... and the show never ends... or so we'd like to believe... I see Mel Gibson has a new movie coming out about a show that did end... and I wonder how many civilizations of human beings are extinct without leaving any record or remnant to suggest they ever existed... and in a million years, or even a hundred thousand, when will be left of us?... shreds of plastic, styrofoam, maybe CDs (but the man there said the music would not play) and some tools, but what of all we built and yes, what of all the paper we've produced and worshipped in our particular span of civilization...

all the loony people, where do they all come from...

and so I paraphrase my way through another segue into a broader picture review of the follies and foibles and great accomplishments of mankind as we know it... and what a layer of crude oil our many billions of remains will make someday... the Earth will replenish itself, for it has a maze to wander, a wheel to run, and a system to continue feeding and building... it needs no record, it just continues until it too spins it's last cycle and still greater forces than we know consume the universe, enfolding it into an even more elaborate maze, an even more intricate wheel, a more complex system...

it's really very simple in the end...

do you see the air you breath
it's full of tiny stuff
if we could see everything
would we see enough
to understand the nature of it all
and how futile we are
every bit of energy mankind has spent
can not match a single star

we struggle to compete in some socio-economic game for most of our lives hoping to take it easy one day, hoping to relax and enjoy what we call the good life someday... we ride a roller coaster of emotions and do our best to repress our feelings because we don't want to be embarrassed and somehow feelings embarrass us... we keep our feelings buried inside or perhaps occasionally bring them out for a few moments in fantasies or by watching others play-act them out on a stage or screen... we do the right thing, we keep up with the Joneses, we stay the course, we conform and above all else we desperately strive to remain normal... we and then we die... but what if death is not the end?...

and what if a photon had consciousness?... what if we become photons after these bodies die?... do all photons keep moving?... what becomes of a stationary photon?... are there lazy photons?... can photons get depressed?... how would a photon commit suicide?... find a black hole?... but what if that is not the end?...

and on and on in circles we go... well, maybe not always circles and maybe not always even cycles, but the on and one part, that's relatively apparent from our brief history of time perspective... I mean, what if the universe ended in say, a hundred trillion years... what would that mean to us, anyway...

and who's to say that nothingness doesn't have a consciousness...

those of you who long abandoned this entry because you tire of work whining quickly are missing out on these relatively irrelevant queries and the ponderings they could inspire in your inter-cranial regions... that might be for the best as I've heard that such ponderings might produce numbness between the ears or even some pain as blood rushes into the hitherto unused portions of gray matter, desperately trying to stimulate long unused and possibly atrophied ganglia if only in some vain attempt to respond or perhaps, more optimistically, in a sincere attempt to understand (this latter motivation generally does not produce the headaches, by the way)...

I love you...

and what of those who appreciate the fine art of language stilled by the careful crafting of letters into challenging, yet amusing (to those who get the joke) kaleidoscopes of colorful prose sprinkled with scientific hypotheses presented as factual data and random ponderings of anything that might be found in ear wax (or navel lint) or the farthest depths of space and time and imagination...

I love you more...

not because you are worth more, but because you remain to receive more... a distinction mostly lost on those who skip off before the point is made... and it is made, most of the time, even if it's made so that it's all but invisible to the naked eye...

do not let the futility fool you...

so take heart (if you will) in the little things you can do and the simple things we can share... trust your intentions to bring you joy in the end, no matter what else may occur, remember how you feel when you know you love and when you know you are loved... whatever inspires that memory, remember the feeling and keep feeling it... carry this feeling with you beyond this moment, beyond these words, beyond today, beyond this life, beyond the universe, beyond everything, beyond nothing - for it is the secret, the key, the magic that can fill nothingness and start everything all over again...

and that is the point of it all...






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