Tag Archives: justification

Restraint

20 Dec

And not the animal kind–though I should take a lesson from it.

forest fire 2I almost got myself fired yesterday.  And at the time, I wasn’t sad about it.  At all.  Every fiber of my being had to conjure the financial ruin (and burned bridges) walking off the job would create.  I knew if I opened my mouth to respond–a lot of frustration and hostility would boil over.  I was so, so, so, so, so close to looking at my boss and saying regretful forest fire 4things, then leaving right then and there.  Just to show her I would.  Because I was upset that nothing ever changes, and my employers don’t care about the issues so important or problematic to me.  So many problems remain that it’s difficult to address one without bringing up 12 other infractions.  So at the time it just seemed easier to cut ties.

forest fire 5And certainly I would regret that decision.  I DO need this job–and I’m good at it.  It’s my best work skill, they are willing to work with my school schedule, and I need the money.  And my boss MUST realize her life is a lot easier with me in it–though she’d never give me the satisfaction of telling me so.  I am dedicated and show up every Saturday, I am fast enough to work busy Mondays and Fridays.  I do all of the cleaning of the hospital.  I am somehow the only one that knows how to change the processor chem, and if I do say so myself, take the best films.  I know how to set up the I131 room, and am willing to come in on Sundays to forest fire 6check the kitties in there.  I have NEVER called in sick–even when I am.  I have come in between 4:45 AM and never later then 6:55 AM to clean up from the day before, set up for that day, and house-keep–and then worked the rest of my 9 hour day.  I am not just a body.  And replacing me would not be that easy.  My quitting wouldn’t be great for either me or my boss.  But at the time, both of us were so angry that we were willing to terminate the relationship.

forest fire 8But then after getting so heated with my boss, I could calmly restrain a fractious cat.  I thought to myself what the difference was.  How could I slow my adrenaline and ignore angry growls, and cat-aggression, but get all riled up when it’s a person confronting me?  My big conclusion was that cats only think of self-preservation–their behavior is not about me.  But is that really so different from people?

Cats bring out the teeth and claw because:

1-They’re scared.

As humans, we’re tough, but we’re also scared a lot of the time.  We each get afraid of various things, and that colors our behaviors.  Just like cats, when threatened we can lash out.  We will try to control our own environment and destiny sometimes at the expense of others.

2-They’re uncomfortable or don’t feel well.

When you’re cold, have a headache, hurt somewhere–it’s really difficult to have patience.  And just the overall psyche suffers, and may cause an unfortunate episode with another person.

3-They don’t like the way I am poking at them or interacting with them.

Kitty says, stop touching me like that or I don’t like how you’re holding me (or that you are).  In the same way people will tell you.  Make an undesirable face, use a beligerant expression, employ negative body language, have a “tone” in your voice, or say bad things–we are sensitive to these cues.  And if the interaction isn’t pleasant we’re going to get our hackles up and respond defensively or aggressively to it.  Yay language!

4-They wanted to be doing something else (napping).

People can become irate, too, just because they’d rather be elsewhere.  It has nothing to do with the person they’re dealing with–that person just gets the brunt of it.  Work, appointments, traffic–people don’t wanna be there, so accordingly, the temper is going to be shorter.

5-They are tired and/or hungry.

Exactly like when the kitties would rather be settling in for a warm nap instead of at the vet, people are edgy when they’re tired.  See my last post on the importance of sleep.  And hunger?  If you’ve ever seen an NPO cat prior to surgery, you know it’s crabby.  Hunger can make a cat or person do crazy things.

6-They are mad at their owner for bringing them in, or at another cat/animal.

The cat scratches the techs and doctors, because they are displacing aggression.  If a person feels anger toward someone–a client, a superior, a certain employee, the husband–but for whatever reason can’t address the issues with THAT person.  Well, the frustration is going to come out somewhere.  Every spouse in the world knows this story.

7-Or they’re just little jerks.

Probably the rarest form of fractious cat–just a nasty personality.  And some people are just a$$holes.

komodo 4

So looking at that list, let’s start with me:

1 I was scared.  Scared that I would again and constantly feel overwhelming stress/annoyance like the previous day.  Scared of killing something or doing irreparable harm to a patient.

2 I also didn’t feel well.  I had a sore throat and general malaise.  Plus I was regretting my breakfast cookies, because my blood sugar felt a little lower than is comfortable.

3 I didn’t like the way my boss was interacting with me.  After not getting “after” anyone the day before (for transgressions I feel are blatant and obvious,) and without telling me anything good about the work of the prior day–she was then getting into my face.  About something that wasn’t wrong.  If she had checked she would know this.

4 I wanted to be anywhere else but a 4th day at work–3 of them 10+ hours.  I have to fix my car that won’t lock and get a bungee cord for the door that won’t shut.  I need to read and outline my textbooks before the semester starts.  And when I work full days and Cool works full nights I never see her.  So I wanted to be home with her.  I want to read for pleasure while I still have time. . .

5  I was tired.  Cool woke me up at 2:30 AM that morning and I never did go back to sleep.  And this was after waking up at 4 AM (then working 10 hour days) the 2 previous days.  And obviously I get really grumpy when I’m exhausted.

6  I was mad at the receptionist who can’t say no or schedule appropriately–or check in a true drop-off appointment.  I was angry that same receptionist (that creates the stress) gets stressed and pushes HER work onto me when I’m already overwhelmed with my own work.  I was also mad that the tech I worked with the previous day was slow, doing exactly 25% of every task and leaving me with the rest.

fangtooth

Now lets look at my boss:

1 I suspect she was scared I would poison our new good tech against her by being disgruntled.  She may also have been scared about losing patients during anesthetics.  Thirdly, she might have feared clients would be unhappy.

2  My boss complained of a headache early in the morning, so I know she probably wasn’t feeling the best.

3  She did not like my tone of voice, didn’t like that I didn’t automatically submit to her, hates that I seem to lack gratitude to her for being employed, and especially didn’t like my comments of wanting a to quit if things at work didn’t improve.

4  Of course, my boss would rather be doing something else.  Even people who love their job don’t want to be there all the time.

5  I can’t know if my boss was tired, though I assume so since she had also been working the previous insane day, and Wednesday was also her third, long day in a row.  And I know she was hungry, because her stomach growled all morning.

6  And it’s impossible to know who else my boss might have a problem with at the time.  Frustration at other staff members?  The business partner?  Her husband?  All possible.

So the score?  6 out of 7 (I like to think) for me and 4 to 6 out of 7 for her.  So we shouldn’t have interacted at all–that’s what those numbers tell me.

Anatomy 14

Lesson:  It is possible to bypass emotion and fight or flight responses.  And I need to do this when dealing with people, not just when restraining the fractious buddies.

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Whistle-Blower, Whiner, or Wolf?

15 Jul

I don’t have to explain myself.  This is my blog, and I’m allowed to say what I want on it.  If you don’t

Angel or Devil?

like it–don’t read it.  BUT I want to mention a couple of things, just for clarification purposes.  Yeah, I’m feisty, but I don’t want to give my readers the impression I’m thoughtless, bitter, and hateful.  That’s not me.  At.  All.

Sometimes I wonder if I should even write a blog. As much as I enjoy writing and getting things that bother me out of my head, I’m paranoid about who reads it–and censor it heavily based on my suspicions. Which really isn’t the point.  But more then that, I am sensitive to criticism. Not my best quality, and yet so, so, SO difficult to change.  Maybe I’ll disable comments all-together.  Which isn’t the point either.

This Wal-Mart = Veterinary Hospitals post is a good example. When I wrote it, I didn’t think that much of it, honestly. I had watched a documentary (as I often do) and it didn’t resonate with me all that much b/c my own work experiences at vet hospitals (the only jobs aside from University employment that I’ve ever had) were/are very similar.  So without naming hospitals/employer names, I wrote down the similarities.  And upon writing the comparisons–based upon my 100% true veterinary experiences–which are varied. . .  Well, I received hostility at worst, and dissent at best. Which then made me wonder–should I have written it in the first place?

First, I take the POV that I have nothing to hide.  As a victim (for lack of better word) why should I have to censor the bad behavior of others because those in “the establishment” do not like it, do not acknowledge that it occurs (commonly!), and do not want to change it??  It’s the role of a whistle-blower, I think.  And those people take a lot of heat, before their actions and honesty are commended.  Look up:  A. Ernest FitzgeraldMyron MehlmanJeffrey WigandGary WebbHarry MarkopolosSherron WatkinsPeter RostLinda TrippFrederic Whitehurst.  I see I’m going to have to look for some books on those people and the corruption they dealt with!  Anyway, the role of the whistle-blower is not all that popular, but necessary for improvement and change.

But then I think:  Is it FAIR and ethical for me to whine about this?  Especially in a public forum?  On a small scale–the hospitals involved wouldn’t love it, and don’t really get a chance to defend themselves.  I could really get myself in hot water over it too.  Especially since the places I’ve worked and names of veterinarians are all over my blog–though not in that particular post.  A person with a brain could probably put the two and two together. . .  NOT smart on my part.  At.  All.

On a larger scale–does my whining hurt a profession that I love, and have all my life?  I have been one of the biggest proponents of veterinary medicine (just look at my past posts, my former dream, and all I have enjoyed/put up with for the last 17-ish years) and want to see the profession excel.  Does my complaining (legit or not) hurt the image of a veterinary hospital, hurt business, and damage the reputations of the ethical hospitals and employers?  Plus my particular hospitals and employers?

Thirdly I (with the help of haters) think–Am I a bad, unethical person for having a problem with these veterinary job commonalities in the first place?  A wolf, trying to ruin an awesome, and for the most part compassionate profession, if you will.  A lot of people would role with the punches, overlook the ugly, and be thankful for the good parts of the job.  Does my negative feelings about past jobs make ME the problem in all of it?

These are questions I have.  And, as follows, I’ll explain how my intention is none of the above.  I don’t consider myself a noble whistle-blowing victim, a whiny cry-baby, OR a hostile wolf trying to bring down the institution.  My point for writing what I do about any issues in veterinary medicine, is to generate awareness to the people in a position to change things (veterinarians/employers) to FIX things.  I want the profession to be better, that’s all.

I do not mean to call-out any particular person/veterinary hospital (in general posts about work–in some personally directed posts, I obviously do).  I do not think my employers for the most part had bad intentions toward their employees, and as such, don’t think they need to be personally raked over the coals (Well. . .  Mostly).  These are people that had their plates full, other priorities, or no experience dealing with labor matters.  Or had a messy midlife crises as the case may be.  Yes, I have worked under some shady circumstances that were not always ethical, lawful, or nice–but in an effort to be a better, more ethical person myself,  I will try never to use names from here on out, AND I will realize consequences of each post, before I publish it.

I want to see veterinary medicine succeed and grow. But there are some issues that need to be addressed so the career can grow and prosper gracefully.  Standards need to be met, and especially, staffing issues need to be mended.  Veterinarians are IN veterinary medicine because they are compassionate people wanting to help animals (and their owners) but that doesn’t preclude their staff from common decency.  Vets and business owners need to pay attention to the deficits and work to correct them, instead of just calling me out for tattling.

Saying something about the problems in veterinary medicine (and no matter what one person’s one individual experience is, there ARE problems) does not make me evil.  I am not out to destroy veterinarians–I simply want to see the wrinkles ironed out so veterinary hospitals can live up to a higher level of care–not just for patients, but for their staff too.  There’s always room for improvement.

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