Excellence

Time: 2:36AM
Date: January 15th 2010
Location: @work
Batteries: 80%
Morale: : /

It’s been a long time since I’ve run into [Mr. Oinker] and [Misty]. Pretty much haven’t seen them since [Suergirl] and I caught H1N1 way back then. It’s just hard to find things to match up, schedule wise—since Misty’s brother went to visit asia, the short staffing of one of her primary workers at the restraurant results in her working on her crazy 6/7 schedule again.

They’re going to be at dinner tomorrow with [Mao] however, so it’ll be a good chance to catch up.

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We’ve got one of the slowest doctors working overnight. This has it’s pluses and minuses.

On the minus side, a slow doctor means that less patients are getting seen. If you want me to give you some numbers, a slow physician in charge, regardless of how many residents he/she has working under him/her, causes problems for pretty much every department in the hospital through this crazy ripple effect, much like the kind you have at in a peloton. Someone in the front taps on the brakes, and by the time the inch to inch train feels the change in the back, because of the compounded effect of the deceleration, the person in the back of the peloton has to slam on the brakes to avoid rear-ending the person in the front.

Same idea in an Emergency Room. Doctor slows down, and every service that’s attached one after another to him/her starts flying in all directions to avoid a crash of the entire system.

Among other things, patients’ families start getting extra agitated at long wait times and tend to keep wandering around the department, asking (or in some cases) demanding how long it will take before they’re seen. It doesn’t sound like too much trouble when a parent comes and asks you how long it’ll take, nor for you to explain how the triage system works and that as a result, you really can’t give any accurate estimation of the time, but when you multiply that by a waiting room of 50 people, you end up spending your entire time doing public relations and not nearly enough time doing your job. Whether you’re a nurse, a clerk, a tech or a PCA, everything starts getting complicated when parents’ patience inversely drops relative to their hostility.

On the plus side, working under hostility serves to build some character. It teaches me, for example, to dig my heels into the sand and get ready to butt heads. It’s not that I’m practicing to get into fights with people—on the contrary, it gives me a chance to practice the social aikido that I’m so famous for. It’s necessary: because parents who come at you don’t really mean to, they’re scared.

In most cases, people don’t get in your face because it’s anything personal– it’s because something about their sense of security has been challenged. In that kind of situation, sometimes it’s not enough to wait for them to come to their senses– sometimes it’s useful to have some sort of ability to influence. I don’t like doing it, but I recognize that it’s something useful to have, so I train it when the opportunity arises. I guess it’s just one way of making an otherwise shitty situation have some sort of redeemable parts as well.

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I don’t know if I mentioned this, but I’m a huge fan of RSS/Atom feed technology. Even before I was able to take this stuff mobile with me on my HTC G1/Dream, I had a gaggle of RSS feeds hooked up through Google Reader that I’d read on internet capable terminals at work.

For those of you who don’t know, an RSS feed of a site is like a stripped down bread and butter version of a webpage. Usually you use an RSS reader to subscribe to a feed. Think of it like a magazine subscription, but for the most part, minus the full page advertissments and having to wait for it to come to you just once a month. An RSS feed is usually available to your RSS reader the instant the website with the feed you’re subscribed to gets published. Xanga provides RSS feeds—the RSS feed for this xanga, for example, is http://www.xanga.com/jinryu/rss . If you hook yourself up to that, it’s the no frills text and images version of everything you would read on this actual xanga.

I like RSS because it’s clean and efficient, and it saves time to consolidate everything you’re interested in keeping up with in one place.

I actually keep a site the best articles I find on RSS, which you can find here:
http://www.google.com/reader/shared/13120813848458460291

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I’m not actually subscribed to any world news RSS feeds so I’m often behind on the current blockbuster end of the world tragedies. I think Haiti is in style right now, right?

Usually I find out from coworkers, or blogs that mention it incidentally. If it’s really big, it might get through to me through on the NPR or BBC business feed if those people think it’s going to affect my investments.

My main beef with world news is that it’s so alarmist. There’s so much pressure on the media to produce something sensational because that’s how they keep the ratings up—but giving us something that shocks or awes us.

It’s the alarmism and sensationalism of everything that I find annoying—it gives me a headache because it’s too much glitz for my eyes and too much noise for my ears.

Case and point—Google’s Nexus One.

I can’t wait for everyone to start using one. Just because I’m so tired of hearinga bout how this iPhone killer is going to revolutionize this or that. All this speculation! Just wait for it to happen, and when it does, talk about what happened. But all the guessing is so boring!

My attitude towards world events like the situation in Haiti is very much the same. This earthquake is nothing revolutionary—we will deal with it in ways similar to the ways that we deal with any other earthquake.

In most cases, that probably means from the luxury of our homes, and by throwing money at a problem so that it gives us some sense of philanthropic warmth or humanitarian je-ne-sais-quoi.

If you wonder why I’m so cynical of the good intentions of my fellow man it’s because I’ve come to understand that good intentions, especially in face of sensationalism, is usually out of guilt.

I applaud the media on this front—they’ve done a great job of making you feel guilty about living in safety and luxury. You might even have clicked to donate 5$ via Paypal.

I’m not kidding—I applaud the media because the people who work in that industry believe that what they’re doing is important. And it is. I don’t applaud them just because I think their work is important though—I applaud them because they are doing it because /they/ think it’s important.

I cannot overstress how much the state of humanity relies on the individual and their involvement in their own local communities. Why care so much about Haiti? What, there’s no local oncology wards in your area? No blood drives? No womens’ shelters? No starving children?

I’m not saying that it’s not important to care about people on the other side of the world, but I do believe that simply writing a cheque is one of the most disingenuous thing a person can do in a certain scenario. That scenario is one where, after having written the check, there’s no more involvement in the situation. We go back to our daily lives and that’s it?

I guess what I’m saying is that if we really want to do something good, it can’t be an instant of it. I don’t remember where the quote on the motivational poster in my high school’s music room came from, but the idea was this: excellence isn’t an act, but a practice.

What I’m saying is that there’s no need to get in a huff if you’re doing your best everyday to make some difference. And everyone can. If you’re not, then what are you waiting for? Why aren’t you doing something either for, or towards putting you in a position to go for, what you believe will make this world a better place? Just do it every day.

It’s much like the type of person who only prays when they want something.

Must it come to bad times before we take the time to try and be good?

So quit asking me for money. I’m not saying it’s not a worthy cause– but I can’t be everywhere at once, that’s simply how it is. This isn’t me being high and mighty– on the contrary, this is me being realistic, and being fed up about all of those other people out there who get high and mighty whenever something hits the news it’s fashionable to care.

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