Bitch, please

by Jinryu

Location: @Work
Time: 3:57AM Nov 10, 2009
Batteries: 80%

I was walking with [Supergirl] earlier and unfortunately, i was in a bit of a hurry so it didn’t last as long as I might’ve wanted (we were walking her to the metro before I rode off to work) but I remember mentioning one thing to her about work. It was on the subject of patients’ parents; sometimes, parents screwed up, and that was why their kids were in the hospital, and when this happens either they were completely submissive or they were totally agressive.

It goes in both directions.  If they’re totally submissive it’s because they feel really guilty about what they did, and will do anything to right that wrong.  Drop a teapot on the kid’s head? Forget to block the way to the stairwell?  When you get totally submissive parents, you could probably get one to slam his head into a wall if they thought that it would somehow make their kid better.

On the other hand, you have the over agressive parents who are so embarassed by their kid’s injury or the circumstances of the illness that they try to cover up the details of the problem and demand some sorta ‘no questions asked’ service.

Both scenarios sort of stem out of bad parenting I suppose, but then again, what’re you gonna do?


If there’s one thing that I cannot stop reiterating, it’s that age doesn’t really mean anything.  I’m not specifically refering to the age difference between [Supergirl] and I, but that could be an example I think.

It’s just that as people get older, they don’t necessarily get smarter.  They don’t necessarily learn more about the world or how to interact with it– if anything, they become more entrenched in the way they are.  And though I think ‘being oneself’ and all that self-esteem stuff they teach you in afterschool specials is important, I think that some people are just assholes and they need to learn how to interact properly with society.

Part of the reason why people are assholes is because they start off small. First, they get away with some snide remarks here or there.  Nobody drop kicks them so they think they can get away with it, and that just reinforces in their heads the idea that being an asshole is okay.

It’s not.


Time: 9:27AM Nov 10 2009
Location: @work (STILL)
Batteries: 20% =_=

I’m working 3.5 hours overtime today. So, it’s about 9:30AM and I’ve been here since 00:30AM.  I’ve had an hour break since I started. I’m a bit tired, and admittedly, I’m getting a bit bitchy because I’m also hungry.

With regards to the last thing I wrote, I should point out that there’s a flipside to this story, and that’s that half of the problem is the uniformed, idiotic public.  The other half of the problem is stupid managers.

My manager came in this morning at about 7AM and started getting on my case, assigning me work and whatnot, that’s technically her job.  I half-called her on her bullshit, only restraining myself because I was tired and I don’t make very good judgement calls when I’m tired.

“Do you take care of the strepts?”

“I do, when I have time,” I replied.  I was still sorting through a crapload of ER sheets.  Not only did we have a record number of patients during the overnight, but there was also a record high during the evening and day that lead up to that.  Naturally aside from dealing with the crazy amount of work that I’m responsible for, I also had to pick up after the previous shift.  As far as I’m concerned, I pulled off a double miracle: I managed to get my work done, and I managed to clean up after my colleague.  Before the end of my shift though my boss came in, and as usual, she was basically interrupting my miracle.

“Excuse me?”

“I do it,” I repeated, more slowly, “when I have time.”

“Excuse me?”

“I do it,” I said once more… then I realized that she hadn’t misheard me, but she was for some reason repeating her question for some sort of dramtic emphasis.  So, I matched in turn, slowly, for dramatic emphasis: “when I have time.”

“You know these strepts are very important, right?”

“Yes, I know. But I have other things to do also.”

“[Jinryu], these are important.”

“Look, okay,” I started, losing my patience. “[Jay] and I have been working nostop since we got in.”

“There are two night clerks.  There is no excuse to not finish on time.”

“I’m telling you, I’ve got other things to do as well.  When I get this done, I’ll do them.”

“Do you normally do them overnights?”

“I do, when I have time.”

And after that I just chose to ignore her questions as if I was so caught up in my work that I couldn’t hear her.

You may think that immature, but the reality of things falls under that golden general rule of upbringing that says “If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything.”

The thing is, my entire department has once rallied to get my boss fired.  The coup d’etat failed because there wasn’t enough dedication behind the rebellion.  As such, me even talking to my boss about anything is just a waste of my time.  The status is such: it’s almost impossible to get her fired.  Conversely though, it’s almost impossible for her to fire me.  So we arrive at a stalemate where really, we’re just gathering up sticks and stones because nothing else will really do.

What I wanted to say was, look, bitch, don’t talk to me about what [Jay] and I do and don’t have time to do.  You haven’t work the overnights in ten years, it’s not the same setup since whenever you were coordinating.  The numbers speak for themselves– we had 361 patients last night.  Normally, during the peak of winter (around January and February) those are the numbers.  That means that if trends continue from this baseline, we’re looking at higher numbers this winter than any previous one.  I’m not making these predictions up– I’m actually loosely paraphrasing what was discussed at an Emergency department physicians ‘business’ meeting that I attended, just to get a better idea of what’s going on.  To put things in perspective, our department is theoretically optimized to handle something in about the low 200s, as far as patients go, taking into account the number of physicians, nursing and support staff availble.  The fact is that we’re so overwhealmed that a fair double digit percentage of patients actually leave the hospital untreated, simply because they don’t have time or patience to wait.

And she’s you’re going to tell me that “there’s no excuse why two clerks shouldn’t have time?”  Bitch, please.  Get the fuck out of my kitchen!  Do you realize that er sheet logouts alone that spilled over from the previous shift took me about two extra hours to do?  What about the MD labels? That took another forty minutes.  So on my standard 8 hour shift, you’re going to start me off with a 2 hours and 40 minutes handicap, and then you’re going to get on my case because I’m not done everything that I’m suppoesed to be done?  Lady, it is 7:15AM– my shift has 45 minutes, and I will get that shit done, if and when I have time.  You are goddamn lucky that I’m cleaning up the EC’s mess, and making sure that I take the time to do my job.

In fact, I managed to get all of my shit done before my 8AM (when my shift ended) so not only did I clean up someone elses’ mess but I also finished my own tasks so that none of my stuff would spill over to the next shift.  And this is my NORMAL working pace– this isn’t me doing favors, this is just me seeing that X amount of stuff needs to be done, and calculating how much time I need to get it done.

AND I saved your sorry ass by working 3.5 hours of overtime.  Do you have any idea how precious this sleep is to me?  Whatever you’re paying me for overtime, it’s not worth it– I’m doing this because I don’t want you guys to be fucked, and I don’t want you guys being fucked to trickle down to me for my next shift in less than 16 hours.

I’m going to be having dinner with Supergirl and, for the first time, her mom, who’s visiting from Asia for the next little while.  I’m going to show up for this dinner already on half batteries because the maximum amount of sleep I will have before this dinner is probably 7 hours. It occurs to me that this year more than any previous year, I keep catching illnesses– it’s partly because it’s ER, but also partly because this is a job that I throw myself into 100% and the lack of sleep, coupled with the stress of a terrible immovable boss, I think, is having a serious impact on my immune system.

Cry me a river?  Fuck you, boss.

I am pissed because I can’t change my boss, because I like my job and I like working hard at it but I can’t stand the shit I have to put up with politically.

As much as I like this job, I think I’m reaching that point as with previous jobs where I’m caring too much.  What follows is one of two options, neither of which I like– either I burn out and stop caring, and do the job just like anyone else trying to earn their next paycheque.   I hate that, because I firmly believe that job satisfaction is very important– it’s of paramount importance that you believe in what you do, and have your spirit behind it.  But while philosophically I love what I do, logistically it’s sometimes infuriating.

And the other option is to find a new job.

Perhaps things will be different when I wake up.