Tag Archives: crazy

Moments of 2015-Bad

31 Dec

I see today (New Years Eve) as a day for reflection.  And I can’t say I’m sorry 2015 is over.  It wasn’t terrible, I’ve had much worse years.  But it wasn’t what I wanted either.  I like to know where I’m going, and in 2015 I never did.  I didn’t know if I would continue with school, and I didn’t know where my career would take me.  In the past, I’ve been severely disappointed when career objectives didn’t pan out, but this time I felt a calmness and grace about the situation.  Still, there is a dissatisfaction.  And now I’m left to really contemplate what I want in life.  But that’s a story for tomorrow, New Years Day, a day for goals and new beginnings.  Today I’ll post a few blogs about worst moments in 2015.  Which isn’t just picking the scabs of wounds, it’s thinking and it’s learning.  Seeing the worst times allows me to rearrange the circumstances to make next year better.

And again, I’m posting for the sake of time and forgoing a lot of re-writes.  I’ll edit later (maybe).

12TH WORST TIME OF 2015:  -Bob, at my new job, introducing himself as the janitor.  Trying to be funny, but offending me.  Insinuating of course he was much better than a crummy janitor.  He’s some client services administrator–big deal.  When he didn’t know that janitorial had been my very last job, and my father had been a custodian for 20 or 30 years.  What a D-bag.

11.  -Human drama at the YMCA.  Deb being all weird toward me because ???  and holding a grudge.  The churchy gal acting like a bitch and treating me like a lowly janitor.  Just coldness and unnecessary drama from people with nothing to keep their minds busy.  It was stupid, but even though I wasn’t invested in the drama, I noticed it, and had to DEAL with it.  Lame.

10.  -Rusty’s doors remaining half open in the winter.  Primarily because it rendered my remote start useless.  And obviously I NEED that.  I hate being cold.  So much so, that I had bought my own remote start and fought for them to put it in my manual–which is a liability for them and usually against the rules.  And I had always loved starting the car from inside the warm building.  But now it set off the alarm, because the doors were open just enough. . .

9.  -The unwelcoming, frosty environment at MSCL for my first 7 months working there.  NOBODY acknowledged me, talked to me, or anything.  I felt awkward and alone.  Those duds and douche-bags were the WORST!  Here’s an example:  I walk in as a brand new employee–and nobody (even my boss)  says hello.  Or I sneeze–and nobody says bless you or anything.  It was as if I was invisible.  I guess it’s because they have high turn-over, and they were change-averse.  And because it’s a lab, so people don’t have great any social skills.  But it still made me feel like it was ME.  And that brought back horrible memories of veterinary social problems that plagued my work life previously.  I had wanted new beginnings and to turn a corner in a new field–and this was not the start I’d hoped for.

8.  -Not getting into the UU AuD program, despite getting the 4.0, having extracurriculars, and working very hard on my application.  Was it the gay-themed activities I put on my application?  Bad interview answers?  Being from out-of-state?  I really don’t have any idea, and I feel like I should be in there.  Easily.  But this is toward the bottom of my disappointments (and the top of this list) because I’ve grown as a person, through my veterinary sagas.  I had to future plan, which wasn’t cool.  I still don’t know what I will do career-wise, which is scary and reeks of failure.  But I didn’t totally fall apart this time.  I took it in stride.  I do wonder how in the heck I didn’t get in that class, because I feel like I really deserved it and would have done an excellent job.  But I’m putting it on to them, not beating myself up over it.  And I’m not sure it’s what I want anyway.  I’m very disillusioned by the costs of school.  And I haven’t gotten ANY return on my undergrad investment.  And the forums scared me off of audiology a little, because they said Hearing Instrument Specialists can do almost exactly the same job, with NO school.  And they probably get paid equal or MORE than actual audiologists.  Also people talked about it being kind of a dead-end career, that’s highly redundant.  And I didn’t know if paying for 4 more years would even be worth it in the end.  But I’m still undecided, and haven’t closed the audiology door all the way.  Perhaps being 14th for a class of 12 was actually a favor to me. . .

7.  -When my parents insisted I call Dad’s chiropractor’s son about getting IN at Costco audiology–NOW, at the same time I frantically trying to complete a heavy-duty YWCA-UT job application and get ready for work at my current job.  They get overwrought and crazy and over-emotional, then there’s nothing for me to say or do to stop that crazy-train.  Unless I do what they say, when they say it, things fall apart quickly.  The whole thing just reminded me of every other time my parents tried to control me.  And how they were probably disappointed in me.  And that’s how the big horribleness of 2007 Cabin-Mansion had really kicked off the first time, so I was scared there would be a big blow up and subsequent melt-down of the relationship we had worked so hard to forge.

6.  -The meeting where work reneged on the full-time schedule, hours, and pay we had negotiated 3 days prior.  I had finagled the best schedule for my weekends, sleep, and time with Cool.  Everyone at work had left the meeting satisfied and happy.   They got coverage on a Sunday, which had been difficult to secure, I got Fridays and Saturdays off and a late-start Wednesday.  It was absolutely perfect and I commended myself for taking a chance and asking.  But 2 days later, they called me back in and told me I’d have to take the legit schedule I had applied for.  Because a girl (previously a bitch to me) who had more seniority, and was better at the job wanted to work Sunday.  And trying to please everyone, instead of defending me and the schedule they had promised me, they gave it to her.  So I felt betrayed (again) and like I had a much worse schedule.  But I also felt trapped.  What else would I do?  I needed this job, or it was back to veterinary assisting.  So I had to just accept it and deal with–while being really angry, frustrated, and un-trusting toward management–and that bitch.

5.  -When Cool picked a fight just 2 days after my good knows of getting a full-time job.  Cutting short my celebration.  Depression strikes this time.  Out of nowhere, Cool knocks the figurative wind out of me by acting like a major jerk.  It was awful, because I had just talked to my proud parents and had been super-ecstatic about my new job, and Cool knocked me down to a miserable level.  I was really sad about it, because I’m ALWAYS supporting Cool and she just didn’t have it in her to even pretend to return the favor–her depressive episode made it all about her.  Again.  I wished she could be supportive and celebrate with me, but instead her bipolar and selfishness ruined it all.  The memory of my new job is still tarnished.

4.  -Getting stuck with all the moving logistics, work, and most of the payments, because Cool went manic and in so doing abandoned me in a time of stress and need.  Which was the WORST because moving sucks anyway.  And there is so much to do and plan, and so much heavy physical work.  It wasn’t fair and I felt alone and unsupported.  Mental illness is the WORST sometimes.  It’s hard not to blame Cool, and that’s not really what I signed up for.  Cleaning the Spokompton apartment by myself was awful.  It was messy and there was so, so, so much left to do.  And it wasn’t fun, and I felt resentful that Cool had already started her job and couldn’t come do her share of the work.  Especially when I was cleaning things SHE had messed up.  Driving Rusty, alone, and wanting to come home and relax very badly, after such a tiring trip and no sleep.  Then walking into a messy house full of manic shenanigans, with a Craigslist ill-fitting futon we hadn’t talked about.  And dealing with having to clean and reconfigure everything, while dealing with a belligerent, unreasonable, manic person.  It was BAD.

3.  -Finding out I was just PRN (after they promised me something different in my interview).  I had interviewed over the phone for the job.  They said I was technically applying for a PRN job, but soon, they were posting a job with more regular hours.  That job was the same duties, but it was a year of guaranteed hours.  This PRN job, which had been posted was 25 hours a week for training, but then was substitute only.  Not stable, and not really what I wanted.  So they hired me during my phone interview, but told me they would call me when (slow) HR got around to posting the year-long job.  Then, I was to apply for that to make the paperwork legit, and that job would be mine.  I waited for the call to tell me that year-job had been posted and to complete that application.  And waited.  When I finally got the phone call from MSCL, they were wanting me to pick a start date for the as-needed job.  And pretended not to remember promising me the more stable-year long job.  I had written it down!  And the way my supervisor acted was callous–and I knew she remembered, but had just reneged.  But I had to take the lessor job, because what else was I going to do?  I needed an income after moving to a new state.  And sure enough on my first day of work, I found out they had hired a coworkers daughter for MY year-long job.  Nepotism had been at play, and as usual I got screwed at work.

2.  -The fear-phobia really, of being offered a job at a veterinary specialty hospital.  I had a sense of dread and sick feeling.  I should have never applied to veterinary hospitals, because my resume is just BUILT for them.  But I was feeling a little insecure and desperate about my guarenteed training 25 hours per week becoming true, as-needed.  I HAVE to work a minimum of 25 hours just to meet my bills, and that was soon to end.  And it’s my policy to ALWAYS interview for the practice if one is offered.  And while I know my veterinary experience is a major advantage in that field, I didn’t anticipate them loving me quite so much and being offered a full-time position on the spot.  The trouble was, it did seem like the best case scenario veterinary medicine could offer.  It was ONLY speciality referrals.  It was the BEST veterinarians in the state.  The hospital hirarchy was set up so there was a legitimate office manager and head vet tech to answer to–not the impulses of vets.  There was a true support system and everyone was on the same learning curve and truely didn’t leave you alone to fail.  And they seemed nice.  And said they didn’t yell–and I believed them.  And the technology was AWESOME.  They really had it all, not just the Idexx lab and digital x-ray.  Like ALL the toys, including MRI, and anything else spectacular.  But I had just such bad memories.  And I knew the schedules and the overwork, and the under-pay.  All the pit-falls, that really, I could no longer live with.  And it’s not what I want in life.  And the delimma was feeling like I HAD to take it, because I really had nothing else to fall back on, but feeling STRESS at the prospect of taking it.  In the end, I made the very, very difficult decision on not going backwards.  It was really hard (and brave) leaving veterinary assisting jobs in the first place, and I had done it for good reasons.  I had to keep up that bravery even when times got tough.  So I declined, but left the door open.  And they liked me so well, that they said to call any time I wanted a job.

  1.  VERY WORST 2015 MOMENT:  Thinking Goose might have thrown a clot to the leg, and worrying about his impending death, and worse, knowing there wasn’t a lot I could do to prevent it.  He randomly fell off the couch twice, and didn’t have use of his back leg.  It was too short to be a seizure (maybe) but didn’t have the pain of a thrombosis.  But my reference point was when the screaming cats had been brought to the vet.  Maybe there were precursor incidents at home that hadn’t been painful, and had gone ignored by owners–I didn’t know.  So of course, I thought the worst.  And I remembered the vets at Cats Meow preparing owners if there were any heart abnormalities.  Telling them to just make the decision to euthanize now, before emotions were involved, because once the clot was thrown, prognosis was grave.  And I remember the cats coming in-just screaming in horrible pain.  And owners saying it happened out of nowhere.  One day, the cat was fine, the next down in back and just SCREAMING.  It was awful to imagine that for my Goose.  And it’s still in the back of my mind, because he is a Maine Coon and they are notorious for heart issues.  But I’m hoping he was just being a clumsy dink, since it’s only happened twice, and the episodes were brief.

“Crazy-Love” = RomCom

12 Jun


-What’s missing from this unusual love story is love. Not once did I believe that Burt cared for Linda, the actual woman and not his idealized pin-up version. Linda was a victim of both a man and the times. Born in 1937, she came of age when women were expected to marry young and produce children. The police laughed at her when she was repeatedly harassed, and when Burt destroyed her pretty face, her marriage prospects dwindled to zero. The reconciliation with the man who maimed her was an act of survival.
-It seems unacceptable that someone should only receive 14 years for blinding and permanently disfiguring someone on purpose. Anyone who can convince themselves to do that is never going to be safe to have in society.
-If this strategy doesn’t work (as it shouldn’t) why perpetuate the myth that male violence towards women is merely misunderstood affection (and that the correct response to stalking/harassment is to embrace the stalker/harasser)?
-The day before the attack, in the face of several threats on the eve of her engagement to another man, Linda Riss called the police and begged for protection. Their failure to act resulted in Riss v. City of New York, a staple in Tort Law classes around the country. She lost and the case stands for the proposition that you can’t sue the police for failing to protect you unless they took some action or made some assurance that caused you to rely on their protection.
posted by Partial Law at 3:09 PM on July 2, 2007

-Partial Law – That of course, was addressed in VAWA, which created a private right of action when police departments failed to uphold their own orders of protection. This was then gutted by Castle Rock v. Gonzales, one of the many shameful decisions of the Rehnquist court and one of the most heartbreaking cases in a long-line of them.
-What a disgustingly misogynistic movie. This isn’t about a krrrazzzy kourtship, this is about a sociopath exploiting a woman in a scary manner. This isn’t “crazy love”, it’s about a subhuman asshole and the regrettable inequalities that facilitate his exploitations. This story isn’t unique or unfathomable, it’s going on everyday around the world. There is a woman in the US right now looking the other way while her live-in boyfriend molests her children. There is a woman in the Middle East right now marrying the man who raped her because her “purity” is gone. A woman in Indonesia is staunchly defending her drunken husband who beats her weekly. And on and on.
-In my opinion, he is Narcissistic Personality Disordered (NPD) with some BPD stalker traits. And she is Histrionic Personality Disordered (HPD).

“The essential feature of the histrionic personality disorder is a pervasive and excessive pattern of emotionality and attention-seeking behavior. These individuals are lively, dramatic, enthusiastic, and flirtatious. They may be inappropriately sexually provocative, express strong emotions with an impressionistic style, and be easily influenced by others.

“Women with HPD are described as self-centered, self-indulgent, and intensely dependent on others. They are emotionally labile and cling to others in the context of immature relationships. Females with HPD over identify with others; they project their own unrealistic, fantasied intentions onto people with whom they are involved. They are emotionally shallow and have difficulty understanding others or themselves in any depth. Selection of marital or sexual partners is often highly inappropriate. Pathology increases with the level of intimacy in relationships.”
-As I said above, stalking and harassment is not “courting” behavior. These are tools of control and compulsion and future validation does not mean that they were ever acceptible. Were I to kidnap someone and hold her in my basement for years until she agreed to marry me, would that mean that my act of kidnapping was just extended courtship?


4 Jan

My new job is at the YMCA–the central branch, right off of town down and adjacent to “felony flats” to be exact.  The Y’s mission is to allow everyone.  They will give memberships on a sliding scale, accommodate all ages through the lifespan, and let people loiter in the lobby even if they don’t have a membership.


As such, I’ve seen some things.  Lots of naked people in the locker rooms, a ton of diapers in the trash, and some weird sketchy people casing cars or digging in the dumpsters.  But for the most part, people behave themselves.  Except the unruly teenage boys, which they try to keep in the Teen Center or the gym.

Anyway, I’m on the janitorial crew which is fine.  It’s non-stressful.  It’s mindless.  I don’t mind doing it.

I walked past 3 “wet floor” signs in the lobby, on my way to vacuum the 5 rugs by the less-used back double doors of the lobby on Friday.  Since that set of doors is to the rear entrance, my back was to most of the people and activities in the lobby.  I was on my last rug and I heard a loud crash.  BUT there are constantly loud sounds at the Y:  Maintenance working in the ceilings, the membership staff dropping huge piles of towels on the front desk, workout equipment being slammed, and teenage boys slamming each other around.  Talking, shouting, music. . .  It’s always loud, so I’m desensitized.

I didn’t turn around when I heard it–which I see now was a mistake.  When I did finish cleaning the last rug and turned around to unplug my vacuum, I immediately saw my boss holding the mop and standing in a puddle of soapy water by the other set of doors.  He must have accidently kicked his bucket over while he was mopping!  I hastily unplugged my vacuum and dragged the cord (instead of rolling it up as usual) to help him clean up the mess.  The mop water was right where people are going in and out all the time, and a major slipping risk.

I squeezed past some guy to set my vacuum by the wall, yanking my cord to get it out of the path, joking, “Man down!”  to my boss.  Not paying attention to anything (or anyone), I went to the front desk to grab some of their towels to sponge up the slick water.  My boss was still just standing in the middle of the puddle like a deer in headlights, so I proceeded to step on the towels and scoot around to dry the scene.

Then, the big-boss came up and asked, “What’s going on here?”  I thought, because there was a big puddle of water at the front door and he was worried about liability.  Because spills happen, and we I had all but cleaned it up (and because the big boss is nice and he likes me) I gave the cheeky response, “We thought we would make a water feature in the lobby.”  Then, my boss answered, “This guy kicked my mop bucket over–on purpose.”

And suddenly, I realized I had missed what happened and had been reacting WRONG–I had assumed my boss spilled his own bucket by accident, I didn’t realize sinister forces were at work.  The guy I pushed past with my vacuum was sitting on the chair right by the puddle.  And when my boss said someone had intentionally kicked over mop water, my first instinct was to give this perpetrator a glare.  That kind of crap infuriates me.  Janitors don’t have a glamorous job, and it’s pretty ridiculous to heckle us or make our lives harder.  But when I looked in the guy’s direction, I saw he was not to be provoked.

He was sitting stiffly in the chair, and you could see anger just exuding from him.  I looked back at my boss, and saw (for the first time) his face was shaking with anger.  I thought uh-oh!  There’s going to be some nose-punching!  My boss has some false teeth, because he lost some fighting in the past.  The big-boss gave the guy several chances to share his side of the story, but like a douche-bag he denied doing it purposely, then evaded the question.  Which always annoys me–if you have the kahonies to do the bad thing, have the kahonies to take your consequences.  As far as I could tell, the guy felt like my boss mopped too close to his personal space, so he retaliated–who does that?!

I thought I’d better get my boss out of the scene, before he exploded so I tried to take the mop, saying I could finish the rest.  He was like, “That’s OK, I got it.”  And I said, “Why don’t you go take a moment.”  And he hesitated and I kind of patted him/pushed him away and was like, “Go take a second, Man.”  So my boss went away to cool off while I mopped the rest of the lobby.  I could hear the big-boss STILL trying to find the logic for the guy’s behavior, and finally telling him that the janitors have a schedule, people are tracking in mud and we have to clean it so nobody slips, it’s not against anybody, or intentionally in their way, and here at the Y, we all need to play nice, and try to get along.  Which, I’ve seen the big-boss pull people aside and give them stern lectures, I’ve heard him talk in a firm voice, and he’s kicked people out and even banned them for life.  But you could tell this guy would do something terrible if pushed, so the big-boss fairly gently told him the story and just left him sitting there.

And the guy just sat there, in a tense position–for the next 2 hours!  It’s an open floor plan, so I could see him as I went about my cleaning business, up the down the stairs, as I walked to the family lockers, and of course I avoided the lobby.  He sat, motionless and you could read ‘rage’ from his demeanor.  I thought he was probably waiting for my boss to leave so he could finish what he started.  Finally, the big-boss went him to him briefly and the guy stood up, without a fight of any kind, and left.  I was surprised to see him leave so easily.

Later, I asked my boss if he knew they guy, because past history would be the only reason I could imagine for such an act.  My boss said the guy was a stranger to him.  He said he was just spot-mopping the wet muddy spots, in the vicinity of the guy.  No looks or words were exchanged.  Suddenly, the guy just stood up, went over to the mop bucket and threw it over with his hands.  Then the guy then told my boss, “I guess you have to clean that, huh.”  And my boss said, “You know you’re on camera, right?”  The the guy started rambling on about how he was a drone, he was always on camera, and he had drones following him. . .  OK so something’s not right there.

The next day, the gal at the membership desk (who was the 4th person there at the time, and had looked up at the sound) said she saw the whole thing.  She confirmed that unprovoked, the guy smiled and got up and threw the full bucket over, then lied to the big-boss about it.  She also added that he had been sitting there for 3 hours before that happened.

So he had sat in the lobby of the Y for 5 hours!

And later that next day my boss said he was to 711 after work where he knows the clerk.  Apparently, that same guy had gone to 711 and stood in there for an hour before the clerk asked him to leave.  Once he was asked to go, the guy started flipping over candy and donuts and generally making a scene to the point the clerk called the police.  As he was calling, the guy finally left.

So the weirdest story about an erratic person–and I didn’t bother to turn around–so I missed it!  I’m always on guard outside the Y–when I take trash out, or go to my car, or when I have to walk from the corporate building to the main one.  But I wasn’t aware enough inside the building.  Where there’s weirdo’s, there’s potential trouble.  I will turn around every time from now on. . .


Eff It or F Grade

16 Sep

I have to say eff it to this project or to studying.  And whichever I eff will receive an F (or at least not the A I want).  Ideally, I’d like an A in both, but it seems I’m running out of time.  They are both due Monday (5 days away).  And I lose 2.5 of those days to work.

I know my instructors have good intentions.

But assigning these shirts and swim caps with anatomy structures to be designed on them as a “learning aid” doesn’t work. I’m not learning any structures. I’m doing ratios, measuring, sketching, picking aesthetically pleasing color combinations, and repeating my work when I get an error toward the end.  Always toward the end!

high contrast group

I did 5 muscle shirts before I felt my best work was showcased and I’d be happy with my grade. We got this brain swim cap assignment 9 days before it’s due. Because of work, I miss 4 of those days. I had an exam so I missed 2 more days. That leaves me a mere 3 days.

I spent 4.5 hours on the cap yesterday, only to write “primary” instead of “premotor” in one spot. I tried to erase it with acetone, but that made a huge, purple, ugly smudge that obscured the entire word.

I felt I had to start over. Because I know these projects do this to me, I purchased 3 swim caps on the same (summer) day. Well, after spending another 4 hours on the new one tonight, I accidently got the anterior and posterior turned around, and wrote something on the wrong side of the central sulcus. Then, I tried to fix it by just making the same color line come off the central sulcus, like I meant to have an area outlined in the same color as a sulci. But when I labeled it, I labeled it on the wrong side of that stupid line.

I tried to camouflage the whole errant area, but now it looks really obvious I screwed it up, and since it was such a time-vortex that makes me crazy. 9 hours of artwork and nothing to show for it. . .

THE shirt anteriorTHE shirt posterior

So both my caps are all messed up, neither is helping my study the material I need to know for our test, and I’m pretty much out of time. And I HATE having to turn in an ugly cap that I know is effed up!!! But I also know it’s an OCD-waste of time to begin a 3rd when it might get messed up as well, and when I need to study flashcards and memorize notes to learn.  And yet I feel like I have to re-do it.  I’m probably going to waste more time by turning the plastic cap inside out and starting a 3rd time on that.  I can’t turn something ugly and wrong in for a grade.

So that sucks.

Scary Carl + Grades

15 Jun

We huddled together in my dark closet, apprehensive to make noise, and worried he would return and do something worse. My roommate dialed 9-1-1 on her cellular phone and told the operator in a wavering tone of voice that our landlord had assailed us by kicking in the front door during a fit of rage. The operator got the address to our secluded my missouribasement apartment and assured us she would send help.

This was just the latest in a series of escalating acts of harassment since 2004 had begun. Preceding this, I heard a sound in the living room and walked out of the bedroom to see my erratic landlord had used his keys to let himself inside without prior notice, or even a knock. I still have no idea what he was planning to do that day, and I began to use my chain lock regularly because I did not want to find out.

A few long moments after our frantic emergency call, the police arrived. They were so Sarah, me, Eileen 2005astounded by the profound damage to the door and the frame that they took pictures. Though the landlord owned the property he had destroyed, he severed the chain lock, which had violated our reasonable expectation of privacy. While the police were collecting the evidence and writing their reports, the landlord came back to the house to “fix the door.” The police arrested him, but a few hours after his release from jail that same day, our implacable landlord antagonized us by shouting through the living room window. It was at that point my roommate went to stay with her boyfriend.

I had nowhere else to go with more than a month left on my lease, and fall finals were commencing in one week. I was fretful the arrest had inflamed our fractious landlord even more and he would come in while I was showering or sleeping and do terrible things. I locked the screen door and the front door; not that it mattered, as he had keys to both. Then I took further precaution by barricading myself inside using the futon. After one sleepless night, I went to get a restraining order against my landlord. I was granted an ex parte that kept him from setting foot on the property but still, I was overwrought. I figured a piece of paper would do little to stop my volatile landlord from terrorizing me.

MizzouThis atmosphere of paranoia and chaos was not conducive to studying. At the time, aside from being enervated from fear, I did not realize I had any recourse. I assumed since the University of Missouri was closing for winter break, there was no possibility of taking my finals later. I felt I had no choice but to muddle through my exams and hope for the best. In my restive state, I bombed every test I attempted, probably dropping my grade about a full letter in each class.

If something extraordinarily aberrant like that happened these days I would inform my professors in The Quad 2an attempt to get accommodation on my final exams. Alerting the university of my predicament would be my next step, as I vowed never again to be reticent with my school when I am in crises. I regret that my grades suffered during that trying time, but this disturbing incident taught me the life lesson of not taking my safety for granted and how to utilize the police, the courts, and the university system in place to help people with such dilemmas. In combination with my more formal lessons imparted from academia, this upsetting episode helped shape me into the strong, resilient person that I am today.

How to be Super-Fast Vet Tech

15 Aug

Work has been insanely busy lately.  Like off-the-heezy, can’t catch your breath, crazy.  We barely rifle through the hospitalized before surgeries, drop-offs, and emergencies are coming through the door–all simultaneously of course.  How does a good vet tech handle it?  I say good, because many vet workers, LVT or not, are just bodies, and not all that fast.  Speed is a skill.  After all you’re just one person and can only do so much and physically move so fast.  Well, obviously I don’t have all the answers–someone tell me if you find the key to keeping up the pace while upholding high standards, but here are some tricks (that I know, and attempt to do) to at least keep your head above water (in no particular order):

keep moving

First things first–you can’t TEACH motivation.  And a good tech is self-directed–we have to be.  But along with the color blast 2motivation and where-with-all to do the things, it’s a good guideline to keep moving.  During a slow spot, the receptionist, for instance will come to the back to chat with you.  Instead of just standing and talking, wash some dishes while you talk, take inventory of what needs filled, clean the wall behind the trash can (there’s always blood there!), start the autoclave–do little things while you conversate.  There is never a time all day long, a good tech can afford to just stand.  If there’s a slow spot before work starts, get the laundry washed and folded, prep and stock.  And during busy times, just do things.  Pick a task (hopefully the highest priority one, and the entire thing) and do it.


Yes, this does soothe my OCD, but it’s also really important for speed.  Put things in a nice order, and exactly in the phoneme restorationsame spot all the time.  Then everyone will be able to grab what they need quickly.  It seems silly to take the time (on a super-slow day) to sit and put the lids on each Rx bottle, or create bags of to-go-home SQ fluid accessories, but when it’s busy you’ll thank yourself for having things ready to just grab.  And prep the charts–really reception should do this, but let’s be real, you’re going to do it.  Make it easy to just grab a folder and have everything filled out and right there–cage labels included.  Whatever can be done early, should be done early!


Vets love this one.  It helps them be faster, which in turn helps everyone go faster, because they are the bottle-neck.  An abscess suddenly walks in the door, while you have 10 other things to do.  Sure, all the necessary stuff is right in the drawer or within easy reach, but it takes a couple of seconds to minutes for the doctor (always with dirty gloves on) to shuffle through a drawer searching for what they’re looking for.  Pull the stuff out ahead of time and have everything you need already out on the counter.  Which brings me to my next item,


It seems like tedious busy work, but when the syringes aren’t in the drawer, the alcohol bottle is empty, and the Spokane Apt 046pill bottles aren’t in the cupboard, it just takes that much longer to retrieve items for the task at hand.  The doctor shuffles through the drawer not finding what they need, because they aren’t 100% familiar where everything is kept, they have to ask a tech to go through the drawer looking for the item.  Then, after the search, the tech finds that the item isn’t even IN the drawer where it’s supposed to be.  The tech has to walk to a further location (while evryone is held up waiting for the item) to get things to stock the drawer and hand to the doctor = valuable time wasted.


Under the same track is keeping things clean.  From surgery packs to cold sterile to counter tops, everything in there needs to be cleaned right after it’s used.  It doesn’t hurt to be throwing garbage away, tossing things into the wash sink while the vet is suturing and you’re just standing there looking.  Just make sure you’re patient is stable FIRST, that’s all.  Cleaning, and keeping things clean is imperative, and everyone (doctors, LVTs, assistants, receptionists, kennel help) should be doing this all the time.  This is a hospital after all, plus, it helps with the afore-mentioned stocking and prepping.happy maid

stay organized

Honestly, I think this is the key.  I find it imperative to maintain current treatments and to-do lists on the board, on the treatment sheet, in the computer.  All of those places eventually.  Having kennels and carriers labeled immediately, labels on prescriptions, notes of doses, becomes SO helpful.  Especially when it’s overwhelming.  It’s very easy to confuse patents, and what they’ve done (eating habits, BM, etc. . .), certain numbers (vitals, how much injectable medication they’ve had, etc. . .), who needs what, and what is where.  Having a system, and sticking to it helps me be the most efficient and productive.

write things downSummer Begins 2013 021

As sort of an extension of the above, write things.  Sometimes it’s impossible, but try to jot things on the board or treatment sheet or in the computer or file ASAP.  Too many things and too much of a time-crunch creates pressure and confusion.  Take the time to make a note.  You can fix it later, transfer it to the appropriate spot when there’s more time, but it needs to be somewhere other than in your (chaotic) brain.


On notoriously busy days, tell everyone there may be a wait when they schedule their appointment.  If you’re running behind, just keep the clients informed.  Like a slow restaurant, most people can be understanding of Saturday at Auroabusy-chaos–but only if you seem very apologetic and keep them in the loop.  Also, when you need help make sure to stop and tell your co-workers.  Keep everyone in back informed–write warnings on kennel cards of fractious animals, note special diets, keep the board and treatments current so everyone knows.  Don’t let the hectic atmosphere render you silent, because it slows everyone down and makes clients angry.  It’s much faster to take time to say/write things then fix a problem later.


Possibly the most difficult thing on the list.  When a bunch of things are needing done all at once, it’s hard to know where to start.  And even the most educated and experienced employee sometimes pick the wrong thing.  It’s very confusing.  I think my list of do now to save for last would go like this:  Critical care emergencies, surgery, drugs, writing things down, medication, diagnostics, rooming clients, processing labs, answering the phone, clean, prep, eat, chat.  I guess (as of this second, and maybe changing my mind if you asked me again later), but it depends on circumstances too.  So make your best attempt to think about what is the most imperative and what can wait.

And most of all–good luck.  Sometimes it’s just going to be crazy.


14 Aug

I hate Trader Joe’s. There, I said it. I find it, inconveniently located, small, crowded, expensive, pretentious, and did I mention crowded?

Some of the items are good, but I think we could easily find most of them elsewhere–or do without.  Grocery Outlet has a better cheese section, that’s the truth.  And a MUCH bigger wine and beer section.  I was supremely UNimpressed with TJ’s wine & beer. . .

I might get some things if someone else would actually do the shopping.  I can’t tolerate such cramped, busy quarters, myself.  I wanted to leave immediately, as I suffered claustrophobia inside there.  And that was just from all the employees!  How many lesbians do they need to staff at once?  I think I saw 12 people working on a Wednesday at 2PM.  Five of them lez.  

The checker was very concerned about the “bloated” pizza dough bag. I hadn’t noticed, nor could I really tell a difference when she addressed it.  What I didn’t tell her was that as a Grocery Outlet shopper, anything (bloated or not) was a step up from what I’m used to. We literally stepped over poop on the floor during our last Grocery Outlet run, and proceeded to shop.  But she pressed so much I just let her do what she wanted and call an employee over with a new one.

You won’t get ME back in there, that’s for sure.

This Cannot Continue

12 Nov

If you do what you have always done–you will get the results you have always had.  And yet, I just don’t know where to change things.  This is an ugly cycle.

Things (my relationship with my parents) will be going along, then bam!  This horribleness comes into my life, bringing toxicity and demanding attention.  Which I have no time to indulge.  I cannot have THIS nagging at the back of my mind.  Not when my grades are SO important.  I have rearranged my whole life, to the detriment of my finances, to get a 4.0 and elevate my station in life.  And then these things just make everything harder.  It’s like my parents give me a hard time about where I am in life, and pressure me to improve my situation FAST, but then do things that undermine my progress.

Here’s the program:

I hate the phone.  I own one at all for emergencies.  I do not answer or make any calls.  Not at all.  Except to my parents.  BUT I am bad at keeping in touch with my them–who want to talk weekly and forever.  I’m always doing other things–see my schedule post.  So they have this underlying anger toward me.

Then, what really kicks things off is any time my mom gets stressed.  Whether it’s about school, vacation, family drama, whatever–it comes back to ME.  In the form of a get your pain in the ass, messy, peeing cat out of here.  Yesterday.  Frantic Facebook message +/- e-mail, +/- MORE messages from mom and “dad.”  Where is Merry-Go-Lightly-Sunshine-Smiley, then?  Why when I’m super-stressed or complaining is it–“What will be, will be” platitudes from the parentals, but it’s drop everything and react when Mom is stressed?!  Here is a direct quoted sample of such a message:

Every time my mom gets stressed, her cleaning OCD ramps up, the cat gets stressed/naughty, and I get a message like this:  [note I live a 16 hour drive/$400 flight away and of course work and have class]

Goose marked the side of my BRAND NEW rocker. I am ready to send him to the vet and have him put down!!!! I am NOT happy with his marking. He has on a pheromone collar, there is pheromone scent in the plug in and he still marks. He NEEDS to be at your house VERY SOON! He has outstayed his welcome!!! I AM NOT HAPPY!!!

Messages like this make me absolutely crazy with worry.  I never know when it’s an empty threat and when my mom might actually harm my healthy kitty.  And worse, I’m too far away, have work/school responsibilities, and limited funds–so I can DO nothing.  Nothing except wait and worry and hope it blows over.

–>  And here is where I always go wrong.  I write back.  No matter what I say, there is no damage control once the “take your cat” message arrives.  I can say I’m sorry and offer helpful suggestions.  It’s no good.  I can try reason and tell them it’s not practical to get him NOW.  I can choose anger and tell them how inappropriate they are being.  None of it makes the animosity go away.  Some options make things worse then others.

And whatever I say, my mom will say something ugly back to me (she always has to have the last word).  My parents think I’m spoiled, entitled, lazy, irresponsible, a bad pet owner, and bad daughter during these subsequent messages.  All blame for any and all problems is put upon me.

Then, I respond and so on and so on, until I usually feel backed into a corner and just try to cut off communication all together.  Cut out the toxic, you know?  But that doesn’t work either.  Because these are my parents.  And because they “forget” and try to make it a public issue where family, Dayton, anyone and everyone who knows us is also drawn into the drama and made aware how horrible I am being.

This isn’t the first, second, or even THIRD time this has happened.  It’s a repeated behavior, and it’s inappropriate.  Of course, I want to go get my cat, but there are practical concerns to worry about.  Firstly, my current lease specifies a pet limit of 2.  Which I would exceed by adding another cat.  And I could be evicted with 10 days notice.  And moving is time consuming.  And expensive.  And the pet situation is much the same at every apartment that I could ever afford.  Then, there’s the actual getting Goose here.  It requires a road trip, or expensive flight, or shipping.  And that requires time off from work and school and $$$$$.  These things take some planning.  So a message saying–take your cat NOW.  Not helpful.  Not realistic.

Obviously, I need to take my cat out of that situation.  But if my parents do anything unethical towards him before I can–I’ll just cut them out of my life for good.  It’s all over if they kill my (healthy) kitty.  I could never forgive them.

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OCD for Credit

4 Sep

In Anatomy, we have this assignment where we have to draw specified muscles and skeletal structures on a plain white crew neck tee.  We do not have access to a cadaver in class, which is usually THE point of Anatomy.  So I guess this is a crafty way to get around the school’s limitations.  And maybe this assignment is fun for someone, somewhere.  I HATE this project.

I like anatomy, am a kinetic (learn by doing) learner, and love art–and yet.  I hate it mostly because it touched off an OCD frenzy.  I just want to get a good grade.  No, it’s more then that–I want to get a good grade, do my very best work, AND impress the rest of my class, the former students helping us, and our prof.  That’s all.  So maybe a little bit of unreasonable expectations–but try to explain that to my OCD.  And once you indulge OCD at all–it cannot be stopped.  And bleeds into other areas of life.  There is nothing fun or useful about OCD.

I got wind of this undertaking last May.  And it made me worried back then.  I tried to prepare ahead of time over the summer, marking page numbers for the best views in the book, making lists, measuring and doing ratios, sketching various anatomical structures, and just trying to set myself up for success (as Mary would say–but f that b). I even started a shirt over the summer, but because that is cheating (to start and finish an entire shirt when class was not in session) made sure it was a v-neck so I wouldn’t be tempted to turn that one in.

After receiving the assignment I was stressed, but ready.  Because I had a game plan.  But I guess my professor’s game plan (and procedure of at LEAST the last 3 years of giving this assignment) was different from my own.  She gave us class time, “. . .  To put on our shirts and trace each other’s spine, ribs, etc. . .”  And there was just NO way I was going to have any stranger/classmate touching me.  So I had planned to decline to get traced, but offer to trace someone else.  But I changed my mind when an old, fat redhead sat next to me that day.  I didn’t want to (have anything to do with her, really) trace her because I realized I would really have to press hard to get through her fat.  And that would be awkward.  So I quietly worked on my spine math.  Meaning I measured how long the cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacrum were on the best book picture, then using the length of my shirt figured the ratio my shirt’s spine needed to be.

First, a former anatomy student stood in front of me and said, “Don’t you guys [me and the fat-redhead] want to trace each other?”  Fatty looked eager like she definitely wanted some tracing, but I just said, “No, not really.”  I did not want to give any mixed signals that under any circumstances was this stranger getting touched by me–of vice versa.  It’s not like I was being insubordinate–this was time to work on the shirts, and most people were tracing–but that was just a suggestion, not a mandatory assignment.  I’m not sure touching each other could be mandatory. . .  And of course, my professor came over and asked if my neighbor and I wanted to trace each other.  Then saw what I was doing and got a critical/judgmental look on her face and tone in her voice.  She said measuring was too much work, too complicated, and too inaccurate for MY own body.  Looking annoyed she continued MY body might be different from the book so doing math probably wasn’t going to work.  And even after I told her I was doing ratios using the length of my shirt with the intention of putting down the spine and ribs and then basing every other structures upon those landmarks, she looked critical of my idea.

Honestely, I cannot understand my professor’s logic on that.  How can making a subjective assignment more quantitative be a BAD thing? I think she had a tone of criticism only because she hadn’t thought of the idea first.  And I’m not sure why it didn’t occur to her, as a PhD and all.  And next year she’ll probably recommend they do a quick ratio to get a landmark down on their shirt to base the rest off.  It makes good sense.  I think anyway.  So now I’m not only struggling to make my shirt really awesome and accurate, I am paranoid.  I know my prof will be just looking for a reason to prove herself right about the math.  So she will be scrutinizing my shirt for errors.  So now it has to be even better.

I am on shirt #4.  These muscle shirts for Anatomy are going to make me insane.  BUT I didn’t let it ruin my Dave Matthews Band concert at the Gorge Ampitheatre like I always have in the past.  I totally put the stress of the shirt, impending anatomy exam, school at large, and work completely out of my mind.  I’ll keep you updated on the shirt for sure.

No Car [Part 2]

4 Oct

Without a car, I was left at the mercy of other people’s whims. Cool was great about giving me rides whenever I needed them–but she worked different days and hours then me. Trying to hand out resumes for jobs became a challenge.  In my Jetta, I could just go–any day of the week at mid-morning when I know businesses were slowest.  Without the Jetta–I had to wait for Cool to be off work.  Getting groceries also became a chore.  Cool became my constant chauffeur.  I was home-bound without her.  Life was so much harder without my own vehicle!

It was difficult any way. Then, add in snow and a low center of gravity not quite SUV/not quite car.  And during the terribly bad snow storms of Eastern Washington, driving the HHR was impossible. That car was not made for snow–and I work on a hill.  Every day getting to work and home became a major stressor.  Cool missed days of work.  I became frantic.  It made for a long, horrible, stressful winter.

I became frantic. I needed a car of my own–like yesterday. But still, I had no funds to get one. A car lot was not an option at all. I already have crazy student loans. Plus, I couldn’t get a co-signer to attend vet school–there was no way I could get one for a car. So I looked, and looked, and looked. I thought Jeeps were cute, but Consumer Reports rated them low. I. Could not. Find. ANYTHING. Nothing suitable–or even workable was in my price range–or a few thousand above my price range. I had to wait.

People tried to rip me off.  There was an old Jeep with effed drivers seat, that could barely shift, and that had no blinkers.  It was going for only $1500?  I held out though I felt desperate and hopeless.  I kept looking at Craigslist even though I knew it was super-sketchy.  Car lots were not even CLOSE to my price range.  The cheapest (junk) at the lot was $8,000–which would take me forever to save.  At least the junk on Craigslist was closer to $2500.

So I kept looking and looking for something. . .  Anything that would do.