dal niente

Month: July, 2007

Lock and Load

I forgot to mention the events of a few days ago:
Tuna and I laughing at Kazuma for almost 12 hours, and finding a few hundred dollars on the bathroom floor of my friend’s restaurant, and me saving a toonie from a vending machine that tried to eat the coin without couging up a drink.  (This is just a placemarker, I’ll put up a longer post on this if I remember when I get back from Asia.)

… in a few hours, I’m going to be getting a lift from my uncle to the airport, along with my sister and parents, for what will be a month long romp around Asia.

During that time, I’ll do my best to update, but chances are internet access will be sketchy. I’m going to tough it out oldschool– I’m going to be using a paper and pen to keep track of what’s happening.  I bought a few notebooks this morning from the Renaud-Bray.

Like all things in my life, even those notebooks have a story: they’re hot pink.

“Real men wear pink… or maybe, they were just cheap ;P” said my cousin Vittek.  That might be true considering I only got these particular notebooks because they were 80% off the original price.  But who’s going to argue for that price, pink or not!

I don’t really have much to say.  The nervousness of travelling has passed. I mean, it’s never been the month long vacation that bothered me– it’s just that it felt as if it was a dress rehearsal for Korea.  Korea bothered me because I’d be out on my own for the first time.  But in the past few days I’ve heard enough encouragement that I’m looking forward to  all this, without a doubt, without hesitation, with everyone watching my back.

Posts will follow as days go on!  They will be tagged in Xanga under the heading “Asia 2007”

While I’m gone, I hope the rest of you have a good time with what’s left of your summers.  You know who you all are– good luck with your projects!

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Rusted Armor

“I asked a flower, ‘you give your smell to everyone, what do they give
you?’ The flower says to me, ‘give and take, this is business – love is
only giving.'”

This is a quote that a friend of mine came across during his tavels in India.

Information is– an important thing.  To know things is to be aware, to be be aware is sort of to be recognizing of things that are going on.  Things that go on– that’s experience, that’s who you are because it’s what’s happned to you.  Experience is what defines us, and getting more of it is what makes us stronger.

However, experience can sometimes make us feel weak.  Those are all those other thoughts, either of the past, present or future, that make us feel vulnerable for whatever reason.   These are the things that we keep as secrets from others.  We try to make ourselves ‘stronger’ by hoarding these thoughts to ourselves.  One one hand, it could be that ammasing these secrets makes us feel like we have something that nobody else has, and thus, that’s what makes us feel strong (“It’s my little secret”) or, on the other hand, if the experience is laced with regret, then we hide it and keep it secret because making it public would be a liability to us.  We think that people, for example, might use that kind of information against us.

Information isn’t just “data”.  It’s not just stuff that you fit on a USB key and just port around, copying and pasting.  Information is something more than just information– it is a medium, in itself, for connecting with other people.  When someone has a passion, when someone has an emotion, THESE are the things that the information is.  What is a display of passion or emotion if not a transfering of information?  Aren’t you just trying to make someone ‘understand’?

In that sense, information is experience.  But how much of it are we willing to share?

I came to the conclusion, over the course of the past month, that in the past previous to that I simply wasn’t a very honest person.  Actually, you can look back and read some of my posts on ‘honesty’– I just didn’t regard it very highly because I always thought that in the serious, realistic world where there are tough situations and even tougher choices to make, honesty was sort of a naivete.  I thought that, for example, I should juggle some secrets for the sake of others– I thought I was protecting others.  I would withhold certain informations– certain things like my thoughts, my own experiences, perhaps– that I thought might ‘hurt them’.

Now I’m realizing that this was wrong.  On one hand, it’s unrealistic to think that I could ever judge and juggle all that. On the other hand, it’s really just a lack of respect of the person’s ability to take care of themselves.

Love is a lot like honesty– in that you risk everything through it.   It’s a one way deal.  You can expect nothing out of loving– it never guarantees that you’ll get anything in return.  Just like how being truthful and open, either with what you think of others, what you think of yourself, or what you know about things, there is no advantage to you that is guaranteed– if anything, it gives everyone else possible ammunition against you.

But life isn’t business.  You really, really can’t think of life as mutual exchanges of things.  As soon as you use the word “mutual” you’ve introduced expectation.  You can’t go about life doing favors for people just because you expect something back.  You’ll only be dissapointed.

If you are to be a right person, then part of it probably involves simply having faith– and putting it all out there, without any expectation of what you’re owed.

That way, anything you get is never just ‘in return’…  if you can beleive that you are doing something without wanting something in return, then when someone does something for you, you may be able to beleive that they didn’t do it out of debt– that they did it genuinely because they wanted to, for you.  It might as well be a gift of prodvidence!  In the light of no expectations, everything becomes a surprise, everything becomes a gift!

I recently adopted this sort of philosophy of life.  I don’t even think she realizes that she’s the source of it, because of her own unshakable positivity and generosity.  But what seeing her living like that did was give me courage to try it out myself.  And here I am, no longer a protector bogged down with a hundred pounds of armor, I’m just an ordinary man who can feel the world around me.

To expect the worse is to be cynical.  But to expect nothing is to be able to just let people be who they are, and let yourself be yourself– and if you can connect like that, with everyone just being themselves, then what more do we need in this crazy world!

Please Stand By

… I had about 2.5 hours of sleep last night and then had to go to work in the morning.  So, right now, I’m going to take a nap.

The previous post was supposed to go up yesterday, so I’ll have a real post for today later once I’ve had some rest.  Goodnight!

/Shift/

This is my capo.  It cost me about 20$ Canadian.  I used to bring it around with me like a little good luck charm or somewhat of a reminder.  Of what?

A capo is basically a clamp that you attach to a guitar. When you clamp it perpendicular to the strings, it ‘holds’ down strings for you to uniformly shift the pitch of your instrument.  It sounds simple enough but it’s actually a really significant device because it represents something special– that being a total shift of the possibilities.

Using a capo changes the guitar’s basic key.  So then, say you were playing a particular song in the basic key of your guitar– if you used a capo to change the key, it would still be the same song, but with a different key.  Think of it like how two people might say the same things, but even though you understand what they’re saying as the same words, they have different voices.

This is what the capo represents– different perspectives on the same thing.

It’s fine to get good at doing things one way– but throughout life, you need to get used to seeing different perspectives on the same thing.  It’s very unlikely that everyone will be exactly the same as you are, or will see the world exactly the same as you do.  But it is likely that if you can change “your key”, you can connect with people without really changing “your tune”.

Some people we meet in life are like capos.

They let you see things from a different perspective.  They open up whole new worlds for you that are right there under your nose.  It’s revisiting the same songs, but again for the first time.

Those people are the ones who add life to our lives– because without perspectives, without differences somehow existing within connections, then what is there?

There are always infinite possibilities– one just needs to allow oneself to try new things, and to shift their perspectives even if only for a moment.

Xanga 1, FB 0

For the record, there is usually better content on http://www.xanga.com/Jinryu
than there is in my facebook notes, because facebook strips out a lot
of formatting and doesn’t display all my posts.  Also, if you’re
reading my xanga, you can get in on the hidden posts if you subscribe
to me, then I’ll add you to the protected list.

I generally import most notes to FB, but the automatic feature is sort of botchy and I don’t really bother to check it.  Safest bet– come to xanga.  Also available in RSS, but get a good reader!

ZZzzzzzzzzzzzzz……….

3AM this morning:
T: You should totally go to sleep!
Jinryu: Yeah– zzzz… maybe that’s a good idea….

3:01AM until 7:29: Zzzzzzzzzzz

7:30AM this morning:
Mom: Wake up!
Jinryu: w… zzzz…. t….. zzzz ….. f!!!
Dad: We’re all going on a family walk thing at the Lachine Rapids!

7:31 AM until 8:45am:
Walking, walking, walking, zzzzzz

8:46AM: Back home OMFG so tired zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz until 12AM

12AM: Ring ring!
Aunt M: Hey [Jinryu] I hear you’re going to Korea!! I’M SO EXCITED FOR YOU! (She, like my mom and other aunts, is a hardcore Korean soap opera fan)
Jinryu: (Ahhhhhhh my ears!!!!!!! Christ why is everything so painful!!!)

12:20pm:  Unable to get back to sleep, so on MSN.

(Yes, my window color for Kazuma is hot pink)

… This post is more amusing to me because of sleep deprivation.

One Band, One Sound

“What’s the concept?” asks Dr. Lee.

With the resounding gruffness of a pack of spartans, comes the reply: “ONE BAND! ONE SOUND!”

So, I saw the movie “Drumline” a few days ago.  It was a pretty good movie.  I mean, it wasn’t GREAT, but it’s awesome what these people can accomplish really, and what’s better is that it is humanly do-able… no wires, no special effects.  It’s just plain human skills.  They could have made it more dramatic if you ask me, but in an odd way, the music doesn’t require it. Maybe because I’ve been in similar situations with a band that I can imagine how tough it might be to be all that there, even if it is filming for a fictitious movie.  (Even if my bands were nowhere near as awesome as the ones in Drumline.)

What I like about the movie is that it destroys that myth that the drummer boy is just some loser, especially if he’s playing the bass drum or the cymbals.  I was just mentioning at a dinner a few weeks ago that during concerts, if you were the guy playing cymbals, you’d have to make a huge show out of it when you spashed them by holding them up as if you were holding up the suns of the band or something.  At the time, when I was in bands, it seemed silly.  But watching Drumline makes me feel a bit better because there, it’s not silly– it’s method, it’s really THE thing that you have to do.  No one will mock you in that context for doing what’s supposed to be done.  If you don’t do it, your team loses points for presentation.

… I’ve been looking a lot at the way things are lately.  I’ve been looking backwards a lot to see if it was ever like this before.  I’ve been telling someone basically my life story and the side effect of that is that I’ve actually gone over events in my past that I forgot about– I mean, I didn’t forget.  I just didn’t remember them until I went looking for them.  I remembered things like playing under the tables at my grandparents’ house with my sister.  I remembered crying when my mom used to beat the dough to make bread, because I thought it was getting hurt.  I remembered being in band. I remembered… many, many things.

But there are some things I don’t remember.  Maybe because they never happened.

And that’s this… “one-ness”.  Or something.  I can’t think of a word for it.

I’m just feeling really comfortable with who I am right now, where I am, and what I’m doing.

I look back at when I was younger and, well, it was necessary to go through those stages.  Nevermind trying to make a list– lets just say that there are a lot of things that I did because I thought that was who I wanted to be, or that it’s who I thought I was.  Every step along the way, I think I struggled to become a better person not because I wanted to be better– but because I didn’t like who I was.  And so i was constantly running from that.

In some ways, that was good– I accomplished a lot of things out of spite, haha.  I guess you can say that though a friend is good for training, an enemy is even better for motivation– and I had made an enemy out of myself.  It was inner conflict that spurred me on.

I don’t know how I did it– maybe I brainwashed myself into thinking that I could be everything that everyone wanted to be, including myself. 

And yet somehow there were times where I’d be on my own, and I’d just feel tired.  Really, really tired.

And this is what  I mean about not remembering something– the thing I don’t remember is this.  This feeling I have now.

I got something like 4 or 5 hours of sleep the night before yesterday.  My body was dead– I had a headache, and I had having trouble keeping my eyes open.

So why aren’t I tired?  It’s not my body.  My … spirit.  It didn’t (and still doesn’t) feel tired, at all.

What changed?  Where did it all happen that I was just able to drop all those weights, and finally stand up straight and breathe properly?

The worst of my days in the past few days weren’t even that bad…

I think it’s that lately, I’ve just been holding myself back less.  In different ways.  Being more honest with myself. Being more honest with others. In a game where you are who you are, you are who you present yourself to be, and you are who you want to be… the song might not be perfect yet, but we’re on our way to One Band, One Sound.

It is a level of existence that I never expected, and that I didn’t know existed.  What is this?  This is some sort of thing. Some sort of happiness.  It is newer, it is bigger than any before it.  That’s why I say I don’t remember it– because i’ve never been here before.

I never would have guessed I could get to ‘here’.  But who knows– now that I know it exists, beyond my previous shortsight… well.  There must be more out there!

I think about all the stories in my life that lead up to me being who I am, where I am, right now.  And I never would have guessed that I could get to where I am. 

And if I had advice to give anyone?  What would it be?  Stay in school?  Come on– I was put on academic probation twice in my lifetime.  Work hard?  I was a total procrastinator at times!  I even missed a final exam! 

And yet– live like there’s no tomorrow?  On the other hand, if I hadn’t worked hard for some things and had given in to peer pressure, I might be a smoking alcoholic right now instead of heading to work in a shirt and tie, to a place where I might make a difference.

The range of human experiences goes from so far left to so far right– all within a single lifetime.  I have been responsible and irresponsible, I have been a good person and a bad person, I have been generous and selfish, I have loved and hated, I have inspired and I have discouraged– I’ve done so many things!  Can anyone really say then to anyone else, “Do X?”

I mean… what kind of advice can you give to someone?  You give advice because you want them to avoid the hardships that you did.

But nowadays, I’m starting to really, truly beleive that hardship is not to be avoided– people will find their own way.  Hardship is what made me who I am now, it’s things like firshand experience with pain and hate that allows me to live and to love as a human being.

So if I had a kid someday– what would I tell him?

Sure, I’d tell him everything I could– i’d try to protect him, as all parents do.  But I think that no matter what I’d say, there’ll be so many exceptions to the suggestions.  And i think it would come down to:

“Hang in there, and keep on going forward.”

No matter how bad it gets– our only chance of it getting better is if we keep trying, and have the highest of hopes, to the point of idealism.  Nothing is guaranteed except that we’ll get nowehere if we give up. 

Hello Thursday

… goodnight, Wednesday.

What’s in a day

I woke up this morning, got out B/W (my bike) and rode to work.  It was a bit tough because the wind was once again against me and I think I’d tired myself out from biking yesterday like mad to get in on time.  But it was relaxing– being a bit earlier than yesterday, the bike route was still relatively clear.

The entire day was pretty quiet at work– almost only 30 minutes of work during an entire 8 hour shift. I was pretty lucky.  The nurses took 2 hour sleeping breaks, I spent the day reading Wikipedia articles.

Afterwards, I met up with T and we wasted the rest of the day together.  It’s that complicated… emotionally strenuous… grey area.  I’m really still holding back I think, I’m trying not to like her so much because Korea’s on the horizon.  But I can’t help it. 

She brought me a couple of things– a bunch of Korean rice cakes, which actually had my name on the brand (“Kevin’s Rice Cakes”) and she got me a card, to be read whenever I want, to help me whenever I am depressed in Korea.  I didn’t read it, and decided to save it for later.  From downtown, we walked and talked our way to the music store at UQAM, where I showed her a bit about guitars.  Then we got down to a piano and played around for a bit.  I don’t know how long we were in there– on an electric piano, with two sets of headphones. I showed her how to play “Heart And Soul” and some generic “Chinese Music” with the black keys, she tried to show me how to play “Phantom of the Opera” (though I’m a slow learner).

I played “Riddance and Riddles” for a bit, and she remarked what a sad song it was– and when I thought about it, really it was! So I stopped, and played some jazz instead.

We had dinner at Quynh’s.  She insisted that she pay for me to congratulate me on my job in Korea.  While she was walking to the counter to pay, I started waving at Ly to not accept her money– and Ly didn’t take her money, except that Tina shoved about 30 dollars in the tip jar instead.  We invited them to join us for dessert/coffee afterwards. 

Afterwards, I escorted her to her station.  When were going to part, I hugged her goodbye.  I don’t know what happened.  I’d almost never touched her before that moment– but being that close, I found myself just lost.  I tried to kiss her forehead or her hair but then I hesitated and my lips only brushed her– she leaned back and suddenly i was face to face with her but I was still leaning forward.  I sort of aimed for a cheek to make a quick recovery or something, I don’t know what happened, and then next thing I knew, I had half kissed her on her lips instead.

We separated, and I waved goodbye hastily.  I didn’t see her face, I had turned away and wasn’t capable of thought anymore.  I don’t remember if the “see you friday” was said before or after all that.  My brain was gone.  Had I made a mistake? Had I gone too far?  Had I crossed the line?

I hailed a cab.

There was traffic. But by the time I recovered from my daze, I was at my destination, and the cabbie was telling me the price.

In bed, just now, I read the card.

I am so … lucky.

Stand Down!

This is a long post, but I think you should read it.

You may recall that a few days ago I mentioned that I was expected to go in and see my boss on Tuesday and have a little chat regarding the work that I “skipped” on Sunday.  Well… I was thinking, I’d go and take care of that in the afternoon so that at the same time, I would be able to stop by the YMCA to handle some business with some folks there. 

I get a call at 8:30AM today while I’m in the washroom shaving.

“Hey, [Jinryu], aren’t you coming in?” says the secretary.
“Well, yeah. But I was going to come in the afternoon.  Is that okay?” I say groggily.
“But you’re supposed to be in the day hospital right now.”

In my head, I’m thinking, WTF did you just say?

“Uh… excuse me?” I say politely.  It takes superhuman control for me to not go apeshit.

“Didn’t you check your schedule? You’re working today, tomrrow, thursday and friday.”

At this point, I actually consciously have to relax my hand because I hear the cellphone creaking under my hardening grip.

“I wasn’t informed of this,” I say simply.  It sounds like a stupid thing to say, but really, I just woke up and I was trying to pace myself in this conversation and get my bearings.

“You need to check your schedule… blah blah blah…”

In my head I’m losing focus, and I’m imagining myself drop kicking that secretary out the small window in her office. 

I cut her off: “Alright, I’m on my way.”

So I’m more or less fucked royally in terms of transportation.  I’m not going to spend 30$ on a cab to get to work because that’s just retarded, I’m not working for charity here.  The day hospital can wait a bit, it’s not usually crowded early in the morning. And yet, I do want to get to work fast so I can have that talk with my boss.  Bus metro walk?  No, BMWing is not going to work today because I just missed a bus, and it’ll add another half an hour just waiting for the next one.

So I run down the stairs, pull my good mountain bike off the wall, find the city tires, do a quick switch, and wheel out.

Somehow, I manage to average about 29kmph against the wind, so I get to work in a bit over a half hour.  I’m thinking maybe I overdid it because I feel dehydrated and a bit light headed because I didn’t even have my breakfast.

I arrive in the day hospital, my helmet in hand, sweat running down my face and my hair matted to my head, and I croak through a parched throat to my boss, who is there waiting: “Good morning boss.”

Anyway, after taking a minute or two to quickly wash up and change shirts (lucky I had a spare shirt in my bag) I come into my office looking quite presentable. I do some rudimentary stuff to make sure the place gets started off, then I head to my boss’s office.

She looks at me, her face grim but nonjudgemental: “So, [Jinryu], tell me what’s going on.”

So we have a little talk.  And I must admit, I vent a bit about how fucking stupid this system is.  I don’t point fingers at anyone because I respect my boss too much to do things like deflect blame.  There are parts of this scenario that are possibly my fault– namely, that I never check the schedules, I always communicate by telephone.  So in a sense– I neglected one responsability, which is to check out the hardcopy schedule myself.   I guess it was a mistake to think that asking a secretary for my schedule would be considered official, or that the secretary was trustworthy.

I’m not going to make that mistake again.

We have our talk, anyway, and it goes pretty well.  My boss, we’ll call her “L”, she’s one of my heroes, you see.  She’s the  kind of person who knows how to play the game of office politics, but she’s the kind of person who plays the game for the good of the hospital and not for her own personal gain.  When she got promoted to be daytime super instead of just an evening super (it’s a pretty big difference) she was pretty surprised, and to be truthful, I was suprised too– because there’d been a significant amount of power playing around work, and there were definately more people who were sucking up more than L.  But she got the job, and none were more deserving I think.  She’s one of those people who does and will continue to make a difference at this place.

As I’m talking to her, I throw down a few hints that I don’t like the system at all, and that I think, though getting my schedule updates by telephone is not official procedure, I think it’s not unreasonable for my to expect that the information I get from the secretary should be expected to be accurate…

Anyway.  We work it out, and so I’m at the day hospital now as I write this in my email account (by the time you read this, it’s a reposting several hours after the fact, since Xanga and Facebook are both blocked at work).

I’m going to be working everyday for this week.  It rather throws a wrench into some of my “see people before I leave” plans, like Wednesday, Thursday and Friday… but Wednesday I’m supposed to finish work at about 3:30pm at latest so that’s not half bad for my plans, though it does cut down time quite a bit…  Thursday, also 3:30pm.  And friday, that ass monkey of a secretary scheduled me to work until 10:30pm, which is just NOT NICE considering how many friday evenings I’ve been working lately.

It rather sucks because I really wanted to spend some time with some people before I left for my vacation. But well, it can’t be helped– it’s not just that the money would come in handy, but more importantly, there’s no one else who can work these days, so I have to go in.

And so I’m trying to think positive about all this.  For the most part, like I said, I’m handling this a lot better than I thought.

But lets get to the dirt.  I think Visual_Noise’s last comment along the lines of “Better watch out, maybe that secretary is making a move” sums it up.  There are a lot of coincidences that are just– shall we say, too coincidental– to be coincidences.

Now, I’ve known for some time now that I’m not going to be working at this hospital forever. This was even before I started applying for teaching positions.  My disgust at the way the system works prompted me, several months ago, to work on a pet project that would make the system work a bit better.

This project of mine started off as a one or two page document on the comptuer that was just my basic notes– things like where to find certain forms in the hospital (with 8 floors and multiple departments per floor, it gets kind of stupid when this one particular form is only available in one department, especially if it’s for some sort of obscure request).

But as time went on I started to realize that there’s two types of people who work here.  There are the ones who are doing it for the patients, and in so doing, are doing it for themselves to provide better care and to improve as healthcare workers.  And then there are those who are just trying to fastrack themselves to higher positions for either the prestige or the pay.

Usually, you won’t find many nurses or doctors in the with the ‘fastracking’ motive– simply because that kind of work is just so grueling (in my opinion) that if you get caught up with stupid ideas like your own self-importance, you just won’t survive.  There’s not much room in an effective unit for someone to keep looking at themself admiringly in the mirror.

But I’m not in the medical division– I work the papers.  And arguably, at least half of a modern hospital is administrative work, so it’s nothing to dismiss as unimportant.

Yet I’ve found that because the work of an admin isn’t as stressful as the work of a front-line care provider that a lot of admins have to get their kicks elswhere.  That’s the power tripping, the pettyness, the corporate judo, the politicking.  I hate that shit– I hate it so much.

“The secretary,” who I often refer to in my blogs, is one such person.  She’s not exactly a secretary, she’s got some sort of grander official title.  I don’t say “secretary” in any derrogatory sort of way– in a sense, my job is secretarial too, and I don’t by any means say that it’s easy work.  I just call her “the secretary” because I don’t know her official title, nor does it matter.

What matters is what she’s supposed to get done.  There are levels of difficulty– easy tasks, and hard tasks, and everything in between.  There’s work, and there’s recognition, and that’s part of an admin’s job.

But her way of doing it is that every little thing has to be something big and heroic.  She fixed a scheduling problem? Give me a break.  I fix scheduling problems on 5 hours of sleep at 6:30AM when most people are still in bed.  I bike to work, it’s 20km away from my home.  I get to work tired but I still do my job– but my point is, I don’t make a big deal of it, beacuse IT IS MY JOB.

Every little thing that she gets done she has to parade it around as if she’s reinvented the lightbulb or saved the Alamo. 

At first, and this was for the entire first year and then some, I just let it slide. I mean, who knows– if I’d worked in these offices as long as the secretary, maybe I’d need to find some sort of self-acknowledgement or something, maybe i’d turn out like her. In any case, it wasn’t harming the process– there was a bit more hot air flying around, but as long as it didn’t inhibit the functions of the system, I didn’t care.

But then I started to make discoveries– that the secretary was actually bottlenecking things.  Certain processes– she was playing ‘gatekeeper’.  And then she’s got her little posse of other admins who sort of look out for eachother, enforcing this teamplay that gives them this stranglehold over the administrative aspects of the hospital, like the mob during years of the Prohibition.

Certain tests that I’d have to order for patients– usually booking takes a half week, or maybe even a week. If I’m unlucky, an inpatient may wait up to a month for an appointment for a test or a follow up, depending on conditions.  Turns out that these select admins knew ‘backdoor’ accesses for the same tests– backdoors taht could reduce the wait time of a patient to ‘next day’ status and things like that. 

There are other examples, but frankly, I don’t want to address them in this particular post because that’d get me way too distracted.

These backdoors are little ‘secrets’ and ‘tricks of the trade’… phone numbers that have mysteriously disapeared from our calling directory, which get you in touch with department heads directly instead of just their voicemail boxes or fax machines (which get you forced to playing games of telephone or fax ‘tag’).

And then there are resources that only these admins know about– so basically, you want something, you ask these admins.  They put themselves as the middlemen and middlewomen to everything– when really, you just need to know this one fact, for example, “where is this device in the hospital” and you could do it yourself and save paperwork and, more importantly, patient time.

All the while, these admins are leading this mafia and sucking up to the bosses, making it look as if they’ve got everything so well under control and that “if you need anything, just ask us– I’ll take care of it”.

Do you see what I’m getting at?  They’re training the hospital to be addicted to this spoonfed mentality.  You need something, you go to mamma.  That’s it.  That’s your answer for everything. And mamma decides what’s best.

But it’s not supposed to be like that, not at all.  First of all, it’s inefficient– why have all this information restricted and bottlenecked so that it all has to go through them?  Secondly, it exceeds their authority.  It’s one thing if I don’t know where something is or how to do something and then I ASK them, as a favor, where I can find it.  It’s another thing if those people are actively using this iron curtain to keep people from learning, and maintain their dependance.  That seems to me like a violation not just of function but of ethics.

Anyway– I’d been working on this training manual.  Like I said, it started off as something like 2 pages of randomly jotted notes.  Point form stuff, just to keep a few key things down, like a few ‘backdoor’ numbers that I’d figured out .  But ever since i started doing this project almost a year ago, I’ve been adding everything– until it became a manual. So now, it’s written out in good, grammatically correct english (mostly), and it’s about 40 pages, single spaced, indexed and everything.

Basically– it’s a manual that’s meant to replace me when I leave.  It’s a manual that will allow anyone in the hospital to do everything that I do, as good as I do it.  I think when I started out this job, I never would have made such a manual.  Why? Because it would have made me unimportant if anyone else could do exactly what I’m doing.  Why would someone want to teach everyone their secrets, the tricks of the their trade? Why would anyone want to give shortcuts to anyone else?

But the things I’ve seen here since I was hired have changed me, I guess.  Patients deserve better than that petty, self-serving egotism.  And so here’s a manual which, in honesty, is a lot easier for me to release to my bosses, since I’m going to be resigning my post here when I leave for Korea.

This manual reveals enough ‘tricks of the trade’ to bring down the hospital mob– it basically takes away all their guns.

I had this file on one of the computers at work in my private folder.

I say “had”.  Because someone deleted it.

Isn’t that interesting? Isn’t that coincidental? Isn’t everything just… so conveniently against me lately?

Okay, so let’s talk conspiracy theory:

I find out sunday evening that I’ve been accused of skippnig work without calling in.  Today (tuesday), I get a call at 8:30 in the morning wondering where I am, because again, I’m supposed to be at work.   Which is funny– because after calling in and leaving a message a bit past midnight yesterday (monday) that I wasn’t aware of any shifts for the next few weeks, I just didn’t happen to get any calls telling me “what do you mean, you have no shifts? You’re working tomorrow!”

I guess someone ‘forgot’ to inform me, eh?  FUNNY, because the last time I checked in was ONE DAY AGO.

SOP, “standard operationg procedure”, dictates though that I should check the hardcopy myself and not rely on any word of mouth for schedule updates.  How convenient that the secretary had the book on hand to throw at me.

And now that I check my personal folder, not only is the training manual deleted– the recycle bin’s been emptied, and the hard drive defragged (which prevents me from performing an undelete). It’s the only file missing from my private folder.  They couldn’t have opened the file– it was password encrypted– but they could see the summary and table of contents, which, from the headings, would explain a whole lot of the content of the file.  It would give them a pretty good clue as to what was within it.

SOMEBODY doesn’t want me to put this manual on my boss’s desks. (I was only planning to hand it in when I resigned, but maybe I’ll advance the schedule a bit so that I can have more time to discuss it.)

Lucky for me, I keep a backup copy online.

As far as everyone at the hospital knows, I’m not going to Korea.  I was going to tell people but with all the recent accusations pinned on me of neglecting my duties, I thought it was best to wait a bit and ride out a bit of the storm first.  Well, I haven’t told anyone except my boss, L, beacuse she’s one of the few admins who I trust. 

But, it is relatively common knowledge that I’m next in line for a promotion.  This is the ‘latest’ news about me that’s public knowledge. So maybe this is making some people antsy? Because I don’t play by house rules?

As far as the admin mob knows– they couldn’t have read the training manual file.  Unless they have time to crack a 12-character password.  And they don’t have enough computer savy to pull something like that off (I hope).  It’s funny because I mostly put the password protection in as a joke to myself when i started off… (“oooh, why don’t I put password protection on, to feel special! It makes me feel like  I’m on 24 or something!”) and now, this is probably the only thing that is keeping the document out of their hands.  What if they got to it first?

Well, the way things have been just swirling down the bowl, I would have guessed that a training manual would have showed up on my boss’ desk, with some different authors listed on the cover page.  A pre-empt, sort of.  That would be open warfare, but I’m sure they’d find some way to try and pre-empt it…. because this manual basically describes how the admin mob pulls off all theit ‘miracles’, so that we don’t have to praise and pray to them as gods anymore.

I originally hesitated– because confrontation with these sorts of people is probably going to make them grip whatever they have left with all their might, and resist the change (who would want to be told how to do something that they’ve been doing for dozens of years?)  I felt hesitant to release the manual because it could affect their jobs– it could possibly get some people fired.  Not that there are any names of people in the manual, but there are enough references as to how the system can be abused that one would think that I didn’t just imagine them. 

It could affect their jobs mostly in that anyone could be trained to do their jobs and they’d do it easily and without the drama.  Get some kid eager to work and he’d be able to handle it just by following the manual and applying a bit of elbow grease. 

I worried that the manual might get someone fired, so I didn’t really think about using it as a ‘weapon’ until now.  But frankly… people been fucking around with the system.  The system isn’t the best, but it’s worse when people are corrupt and self serving– especially when we’re in an instittute that is supposed to serve the public.

And honestly, it’s scary.  It’s fucking scary!! This is a HOSPITAL you damn savages!  This isn’t a freaking poker game!  This is for real!  Who do you think gets hurt by all this? Patients, that’s who.  At the end of the day, it always feeds back to the patients.

I’ll have my training manual bound and delivered to my boss by the end of this week.  I don’t know what more I can do,  I don’t have any proof that things are turning against me, and I don’t want to start rumors.  I unfortunately have a bit more pride than that.  But lets hope the manual is solid.

This may sound overdramatic, but patients depend on the admininstrators as much as they do the front-line healthcare workers.  I think admins take it forgranted that they push papers so they think that these stupid little games don’t affect people– but they do, they REALLY do.  There are consequences.  It’s just that they don’t see them, or they chose to ignore them…

In the span of working at the hospital for three years, I’ve witnessed the deaths of three patients.  The first one was the most traumatic for me– I didn’t know the patient.  It was a violent and painful looking death. 

The other two, they were friends I’d made.

I don’t work often, because I”m a part timer, but I try to get to know those patients.  It’s fucking human dignity! These aren’t clients, these aren’t consumers, these are people who are here because they need help!  They need us to LIVE.  If a patient wants to live, then god damn it, you do your fucking best to help that person live.  You can’t always win– sometimes, when the buzzer’s gonna go, that’s it– but god damn it, everything in between matters.

And some admins, you fucking savages, you think this is a game?  You think just because it’s on paper or maybe that you don’t see faces that this is any less important?  That a little delay here, a little delay there isn’t a big deal?  How dare you!! How fucking dare you!!  To think that when I started out here, I used to admire everyone who worked in hospitals– now i realize, admiration cannot just be about skills.  It has to be about heart. To think that when I started this manual, I was actually not going to have it publicized because I wanted to protect you people!!  And what the fuck is with this bullshit of me missing shifts?

I don’t know if the training manual will cause a bang, or if it will just make a dull thud– but we’ll see what happens when it happens.  It’s the only way I can think of to help fix this all by the rules.

King Arthur once suggested: “Might For Right”.

If I can offer you one peice of advice, my friends, my audience– stay in good health.  There are those who you can trust with it, but none better than yourself.