Time: March 03 / 8:32AM
[Mickey] called in sick this morning at about 5AM or so, so when I arrived at the hospital at about 5:57AM, the nurse in charge told me that I would have to replace her. She normally works at the OR Control Desk, wheras this week I’m supposed to be in the back at the Booking Office (although, training for the 10-6). My job at Booking though allows for some backlog though, and the Desk is pretty indespensible (sorta the equivalent of the Coordinator down in ER).
It’s a bit daunting, because I’ve never worked athe Control Desk position completely solo before– Mickey’s always been in the adjacent office to help if there was ever a phone number I didn’t know, or a name that I needed to call.
So far, so good.
It’s been a quiet day with a single sheet of elective surgical cases today, a good number of whom are actually off-service and off-site patients.
The more I work here, the more I like this place. It’s a quiet moment right now, so I’m alone at the Control desk. There’s a clerk from the Recovery Room sitting in the office behind me, answering some phone calls. All the patients are in their respective operating thatres, there’s nobody waiting in the station and there’s nobody in the halls or waiting room. More or less, my keyboarding is the only sound. Across from the hall from me is a waiting room filled only with sunlight. Yes, up here in OR, we actually have windows.
I think I really prefer the independence and resposibility of working as a part of a tightly knit team more than anything else, and this explains why I enjoy this job more than I did ER. Not that both departments don’t have important work to be done– but it’s the way that it’s done that makes the difference as far as quality of life goes. ER had too many people running around being redundant due to bad communication and bureaucracy.
Here in OR, we’re a bit short staffed– that teaches us to be lean and geurilla in the way that we see a problem and an opportunity to strike, and then it gets done.
I went to visit some of my friends in the Admissions department last week, and I ran into [Mar], my old boss, while there.
“Oh, hello stranger!” she said, breaking off from a conversation with whoever it was she was talking to.
She turned to her companion, and added: “He used to work here at ER, but he abandoned us.”
And I was reminded of one of the reasons not why I decided to join the OR team, but why I wanted to leave the ER team: Mar.
I have this habit, and it’s to develop psychological profiles of everybody I know. It’s a little bit of a game I play in my head because, I suppose, people fascinate me. It’s not necessarily with the goal of influencing people that I try to figure out psyche profiles– although it does help, the fact is that if people don’t want to change, there’s only so much you can do influence that decision– it’s more because I like the mechanics of human interaction. It’s probably nothing special– to some degree, everybody does it naturally.
The way it works is that you meet someone. You get your first impression, but, mostly, you try to remember what happened. The important thing is to remember the facts, and not the interpretations. Facts don’t just include the dialogue though– body language is extremely important, as well as the way they interact with others. Most importantly, it’s important to gauge a person’s energy. Energy is a strange thing– you can call it their vibe I suppose.
Anyway, the reason why it’s so important to remember snapshots of your interactions with someone and not just the impressions is because impressions are filtered events– if you get an impression of someone, it’s because you decided upon how you regard that person based on that moment. The whole trick to developing an accurate psychological profile though is to take not just instants into account though, but to see the big picture. If someone gave you the impression of being really nice or really an asshole, for example, it could have a lot to do with the context of that meeting. Context may be important to the point where it overrides a person’s usual response to you or what you represent.
Developing a psychological profile is to basically develop several hypothesis in parallel based on how instances fit or contradict currently “in testing” profiles. The more you pay attention to the way they behave, and further, the more you try to observe someone under a greater variety of contexts (including situations that you initiate) the more accurate the profile becomes capable helping you predict the ways someone will act in a certain situation.
I guess the best example of a psyche profile that most people have is that of their immediate family. Usually, you know, for example, what you can and can’t ask of your parents, and you can guess how they’re going to react to situations that come up. “We’re gonna be in deep shit!” is what you say when you put a nick in your ‘rents car, and you know exactly how that shit is going down when dad gets home.
How do you develop that? It comes from passive study. The reason why people develop intimacy with family is because they learn how eachother work from daily exposure. Usually, people know family psyche profiles better than anyone because even if they don’t get along, they know exactly how they don’t get along due to daily exposure.
Developing a psyche profile of someone who isn’t in family isn’t impossible though. People don’t even try to figure out family– what they do know comes passively just from proximity. Strangers can be studied purposely to make up for frequency.
Mar, my old boss in ER, is someone who I studied extensively. I might not normally, because I don’t generally make a habit of trying to know my coworkers all that much, but Mar, being in the management echelons, had a significant impact on quality of life.
Officially, she’s in charge of clerical staff in the ER, not including the admissions and admitting departments. She isn’t, however, necessarily higher ranking.
I think that’s an important distinction. She actually wasn’t my boss, although I just say that she is because anything else would be nitpicking on semantecs. Technically, clerks report to the head nurse. But whatever. The fact is– she doesn’t actually get paid more than I did, except because she’s worked within the hospital community for twice as long as I have. So, in theory, she wasn’t my boss– she was my coworker. You can compare CVs and shoot the shit about how tough your job is or whatever, but the fact is, pay scales, in my opinion, are a pretty good indicator of how important you are– so she’s either only as important as us clerks, or we’re as valuable as she, the self-proclaimed manager.
When I first started at the Montreal Children’s Hospital ER on January 4th, 2009, it began with a warm welcome from most of the clerks. That’s pretty standard I guess… don’t scare the new guy off, yknow? About a week previous to that, I had an interview which was conducted by Mar.
Some of the things that I noted in my mind. First of all, she had a really open approach to talking. That is to say, she took a “befriend” stance. From the onset she asked what my goals in life were, and what were my experiences as far as friends and family. Normally, people do that to open you up– but the sense I got from her was that she was asking me questions so that I ask her questions.
Ever met that kind of person? The kind of person who is, for whatever reason, having a conversation with you, but it feels as if a waste of time because they don’t really care about what you’re saying? They’re pretty much allowing you to talk because it’s the polite thing to do, but what they’re really doing is waiting for their next turn to talk about themselves.
I think that’s pretty much a good hint of her personality– it’s pretty much that everything for Mar is about Mar.
I think she’s actually slightly delusional as well. From the moment that she hires anyone, she basically assumes that having done so entitles her to something.
As far as her method goes, she’s instantly everyone’s best friend. This is mostly problematic because there’s a certain degree of expectancy from a best friend that isn’t appropriate in the workplace.
Her big flaw, I think, is that she expected loyalty.
I think that’s probably one of the big words in her head– loyalty.
Her crucial flaw isn’t that she expects loyalty however, but that she does nothing to earn it. Thus, the people working for her rebel– no taxation without representation, you know?
At the end of the day, that flaw translates simply to: “She’s selfish.”
There are people who, in all honesty, I don’t like as people, but whose methods and efficiency I respect. Even if you’re an asshole, I will still give you respect if you’re good at what you do or if you have some substance to you, regardless of our differences.
Power wielded for petty gain doesn’t fall on a list of things I’d call substance of character.
She’s the kind of person who will greet you and say hello in the morning and make small talk with you in that makes you almost think she’s being nice to you– but the moment there’s something where she can help you, she delegates you to someone else to find your help, and the moment there’s something that goes down, you’ve become her scapegoat.
I actually have tons I could say about her, but frankly, it’s not an interesting subject to me after writing even this much.
It’s sad to say, but at least from what I’ve come to know of her as a person from work, she’s not a person that anybody needs to know. She’s, on the whole, been unable to prove to me that she’s a worthwhile human being.