Saturday, July 28, 2012

This was me this morning. . . .

...when I'd discovered I've been drinking decaffeinated coffee for the last ten days.


Friday, July 20, 2012

This was in my back yard an hour ago.

Yes, they really are that big. That's a tarantula hawk. It's a critter that eats nectar and pollen, but lays its eggs in tarantulas.

And no, that is not my hand. I've seen a lot, and even held a hissing cockroach, but I'm not that butch.

At first, I was terrified. Then I came around to the idea that this incredibly large critter, which kinda hops around in flight, is pretty cool. I just don't go outside when she's around. Luckily for me, they're not a communal species.

So, yeah. Tarantula hawk in my back yard. Friend La Belle Dame Sans Merci posted to my Facebook page, "This means you either have lots of tarantulas in your back yard, or a lot of tarantulas with hatching T-Hawk eggs in them."

I thanked her for being such a fucking comfort in my time of distress.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Good Lord, it is hot. And humid.

I've just done all my cooking for the week, except for assembling salads, which are best assembled at the fifty-ninth minute of the eleventh hour. Protip for those of you too hot to eat real food: cut up a shitload of vegetables all at once and put them into little containers. Assemble your nommable salad before work out of the little containers. Seriously, this is the best thing I ever learned from Serious Salad Eaters.

We got a doohickey to fill out this week from our Big Boss, about how our Lesser Bosses are doing. Instead of boring you with the boxes I checked, I figured I would put down the letter I wrote in my head while assessing my bosses for a dozen things which do not matter to anybody but management:

Dear Big Boss,

You want my opinion on my other two bosses. You even sent me a survey form to fill out at a third-party website, with the assurance that my replies will be completely anonymous and confidential and not be prejudicial to my continued employment with Sunnydale General.

Instead of filling out yet another useless survey (because, really, whether or not I'm being given positive feedback on how I'm doing my job is not a major issue around here), and because I know as well as you do that surveys are neither anonymous nor non-prejudicial, I've decided to tell you what I really want in a boss.

For starters, I'd like fewer of you. I have four at last count: Small Boss, Bigger Boss, you, and your Horizontally-Equal On The Org Chart Colleague. Of those people, I see Small Boss the most, with Bigger Boss coming in a very, very distant second. I've seen you exactly four times in the last two years, and your Horizontal Equal not at all. The way I figure it, it's ridiculous for me to submit memos about how I plan to hang educational posters in the family room for Horizontal Equal's approval, since she's never, to my knowledge, seen the family room I'm talking about. Maybe we could take her out of our org chart's hierarchy? While we're at it, could you either show up regularly or just stay away?

Because, really, your visits here contribute nothing to the smooth running or the "culture" (whatever that is) of the CCU. You've shown up once to bitch about the placement of warning signs, once to introduce me to somebody I'll never see again, once to warn me about a VIP showing up, and once because, I dunno, somebody in Manglement complained that you weren't showing up enough. Honestly, your visits take time away from my patients and fuck up my train of thought. If I had the chance to get used to you, or didn't see you at all, things would be much, much better.

While we're on the subject of bosses, it sure would be nice if my Bigger Boss had an inkling of what happens in a critical-care unit or on a stroke unit. See, he has about six months of CCU experience, and that was years and years ago. Our old boss, whom you chased off, used to lead codes. Our current boss stands around looking impotent and gets in the way. Maybe he could be retrained to work in a critical-care setting, then work a shift or two a month to keep his skills up. That way, we could at least use him as a charge nurse when there are four nurses, all of whom are tripled, and not enough support staff to make a dent in our patient loads.

It would also kick ass if Bigger Boss and Small Boss made sure that people who work in my NCCU actually have the certifications you claim to require for employment here. So far, I'm the only person who works here who has all of them. We've been open three years (in August), and that seems like plenty of time for folks to do the online NIH course and the other required stuff. It'd be awfully nice if I could give report to another nurse and not have them go jaw-sagging blank when I say something like "hemiparesis" or "gaze preference" or "NIH score of 16."

Finally, if you're really dedicated to a complete reworking of the Culture of the Institution, hire some more damn people. If need be, hire unqualified people with a modicum of brains; I'll happily train them. Just get me some bodies up in here, so I'm not forced to work day in and day out with nurses who are floated here from the CVICU. It's not fair to them, and it's not fair to our patients. They can spot a-fib from a mile away, but they're not used to doing neuro assessments and don't understand our BP parameters. Have mercy on the nurses who are more comfortable with a Swan-Ganz than a ventriculostomy, and Get Me Some Damn Staff.

Oh, wait: that wasn't my final point. My final point is this: if you're going to hold me responsible for stuff, and yell at me when it doesn't get done, or pass things off to me, and expect me to work extra and train new people, the title of "Mangler" would be peachy fucking keen. I have to admit that it's not the title I'm after so much as the pay grade. In any event, since we're speaking of Bosses, you're making me a FIFTH layer of boss-ness between the people I work with and the real world, and I'd like to be compesnated for it.

Much love and many happy capybara kisses,
The one who makes sure the plumbing gets fixed,