It fees like drowning to work with this particular LVT. I am alone, treading water, just keeping my head above crises level. She doesn’t do anything WRONG per say–just nothing at all, or only 70% of each job. I’m running, running, running trying to get everything done alone, attempting to keep multiple tasks organized so I don’t forget what still needs doing, writing things down as I can to get it on the bill or the record. She, meanwhile, is standing. Or chatting. Or petting a cat. Just doing God knows what–but in no way helping me out of the crises. For the most part, I’m able to just stay even with the water level, but then–the phone rings, an emergency is booked, a test code is not at the ready, or equipment breaks. And my head dunks below the surface. I bob, under water, sputtering, trying to regain my air. Another task is missed. Forgotten, not gotten to yet. There is confusion. When drowning, there is first panic, then wild kicking and machinations, then, I attempt to calm myself–it’s the panic that will drown you. Gasping for air, trying to regain momentum, I tread on–just trying to make it through. No one is there to throw me a life preserver. And the day goes on and on like this.
But the worst part is the next day. I feel like a champion for just surviving the inevitable drowning, relatively unscathed: I didn’t collapse from exhaustion or have a break down, every task got done well enough, every animal lived. That’s the worst part–I feel heroic for having made it–and things start to come back around. Labs weren’t marked, drugs weren’t sent home, drawers aren’t restocked, a weight wasn’t recorded, endless missed things. A direct result of just trying to survive is missing small details. You can’t do a race-winning, form-perfect butterfly stroke when the waves are crashing upon you for hours, and you are just trying to breathe.
That was my day: Get to work at 6AM, do every, last opening task. Complete ALL the cleaning, vitals, medications, and logging of the hospitalized patients all by myself. Just me. Clean and medicate house cats. Throughout the day, request every lab. Restrain every animal. Do all the laundry. Log every med or vital. I even had to bathe a fractious cat that required the gloves (which are only used when absolutely necessary) ALONE. Because dead-weight LVT was doing??? I don’t know what. Couldn’t have been anything important though, because I had already finished everything else myself. Anyway, that’s a liability–one person stuck cleaning diarrhea off a fractious cat and out of a carrier–ALONE. Clock out at 6:21PM. 12.5 hours in the same building/water, but do feel lucky I did get a lunch break–though slightly shorter than I’m supposed to have. And I know I’ll want to walk off the job tomorrow when I’m not congratulated–but criticized for some unfinished task(s).
So was trading days in order to be out of town on my milestone 30th birthday worth it? Well, last weekend I would have readily said YES! Today? I don’t think I’ll ever do that again. . . I am just thankful I hardly ever have to work with dead weight. I wouldn’t last.
- Drowning in the moment. …. (ramblingsofmitzymu.wordpress.com)