Work stuff

Work for the last the 17 months has been interesting, if not
always tolerable.

              Things started in September of 2014.
              The organization distributed one of those “confidential” surveys throughout both hospitals and the outlying practices. You know the type; the ones where they want the rank and file to say what is working, what is not, and why. The people who answer are usually the medium tier; the ones who you go to if you actually want to get something accomplished.             
In this instance, two things occurred outside the norm. The first was that there was a far more overwhelming response than the past occasions. The second was one of the results that became known out in the general population. So much for confidentiality.

              Said result was that there was a female vice president who was universally loathed. I do not mean disliked by a few people; no one had anything nice to say about this person, regardless of the department or their position within said department. This individual had been with the organization for about thirty years, working their way up in the ranks over the decades.
              Now, the organization is a non-profit based one. The leadership consists of a board of directors. There are members of the hospital on the board, of course. However, the vast majority of the board is made up of important members of the community, and throughout the county proper itself, for all I know. All of the hospital staff, from the CEO on down, are answerable to the board, despite the fact that the CEO is on the board themselves.
              The board told the then-CEO at the time in no uncertain terms that he was to get rid of the vice president. He refused to do so. I can only hypothesize that he did not do so because he had been there for forty+ years, and she had been there along with him for several of those decades. Whatever the reason was, his decision was the wrong one.
              He was promptly terminated. Security came up to his office, and escorted him out. He was not allowed to say goodbye. He was not given any advance notice. He was not allowed to clean out his desk and office. He was allowed to grab his coat and whatever he could toss into a briefcase, and escorted out. A secretary was later assigned the task of cleaning out all of the remaining personal items of his and mailing them to his house.
              Less than a week after he was gone, the vice president followed him.
              When I started working at the hospital, there were a total of nine CEO/Vice President positions in the hospital. Today, there is only one person still in the same position now, nine and a half years later. Two others retired; the others were all terminated.
              If you were wondering, yes, it apparently is normal for a medical facility of our size to have that number of positions like that. But, I digress.
              Anyway, the removal of the CEO resulted in a barrage of interim positions being created. There was an interim CEO, an interim director of Finance, an interim director of Surgical Services, and an interim director of Materials Management. It was this last one that had an impact on my job.
              The interim M/M director started at the beginning of February in 2015. He was only there until the end of April, but the changes that he did make, and the changes that the laid the groundwork for, were impressive. I would have been very interested in seeing what else he would have accomplished, had he stayed longer.
              The single thing that he did which most affected my job was this – he investigated and found out what it was that my one co-worker at the time and myself were doing and responsible for. He then proceeded to completely rewrite our job descriptions, gave us new job titles, and gave us raises. It would appear that there are distinct advantages to being answerable only to the interim CEO, and not have to ask permission, or discuss things, with anyone else in the corridors of power.
              My boss at the time had been the manager of M/M for five years, and had been a co-worker of mine prior to that for three years.
              When you work with someone long enough, you should have a very good sense of a person’s strengths and weaknesses. You should also be able to figure out whether the person’s position was suited to them, or not.
              In addition to everything else that had been going on, my second co-worker had put in her notice in December of 2014. She was a professional, and had given two weeks’ worth of notice, as was standard practice.
              She was not replaced for four and a half months.
              More later.


                October remains my favorite month of the year. The leaves have all changed into gorgeous colors, but no tourists are around to interfere with my walks with the dog to enjoy the foliage.

              Work is non-stop, and this calendar year has gone by faster than any other year of my life. Still, it is interesting with everything that is involved with an organization-wide software update. To say that there are a lot of details is an understatement. My schedule has changed so that now I am apparently going to KC, Missouri, in January and March of next year. I hope it will be as interesting as I think it will be.

              Regina and I went to go see the movie Crimson Peak yesterday. It was great to watch on a visual level, and while there were clichés, none of them were so onerous as to be distracting or detrimental for my enjoyment of the film.

              I am currently reading Cujo, by Stephen King, and I finished the anime series Full Metal Alchemist not long ago. I am also growing to like the new David Gilmour album, after repeated listenings.

              I am trying to get the television hooked up in such a fashion so that it can stream Netflix. Once accomplished, I will be getting rid of cable altogether, because it will save us over one hundred dollars a month, and I will be paying for shows/movies I want, as opposed to an excess of idiocy. Now if I can just figure out if it is the new blu-ray player or the television that is at fault for why it is now working, I will be in business.

              Still haven’t hit the lottery yet, damn it all.

Been a bit

Tomorrow starts the first full week of work since we got back from WorldCon. You can imagine how thrilled I am at this idea.

              When we come back from this trip, I am always astounded at how early it gets dark in the evenings now. And even though we are still in August, to paraphrase a song, acorns keep falling on my head. The trees are starting to get ready for the impending winter already. Damn.

              On the plus side, once the holiday weekend coming up goes by, the tourists will diminish in increasing amounts until I will be able to walk my dog anywhere with impunity once again. I will enjoy that.

              Speaking of the dog, I have to thank Steve for telling Charlene via some social media that he has made his dogs vomit in the past by giving them hydrogen peroxide. I had to use that very solution the other night because the dog swallowed some pot roast string, and that could have caused definite complications for him if we had not done something about it. At the minimum, he saved us a trip to an emergency clinic. The dog is fine, now.

              With regards to my family, no news is good news, so nothing to report on that front.

              We are caught up with all of the housework finally that results from being away for a week and a half. The laundry, groceries, house cleaning, et cetera. That never goes away; the best you can hope for is to find the most efficient way of doing it.

              Getting a decent amount of reading done; this might be a banner year for me, comparatively speaking, in that regard. Not compared to some of the people on here, of course. But I am happy to be able to be doing it. Now if that lottery win can come through.

              The entire health care organization that I work for is updating the system wide software and database that we use. The current program, some of you may remember, has a copyright date of 1989.

              There are two parts to the new software that was chosen; the clinical side and the administrative. The clinical side deals with all of the patient-related information in all ways. The administrative side is the clerical end of it.

              In November, January, and March, the organization will be sending employees to Kansas City, Missouri, to attend week-long seminars on how to use the software, and tell the company that deals in the software how we want it to interface with what we actually do, and what we want to be able to do.

              Unless something changes, the director of Materials Management, my boss, is going to have me go and attend these seminars, so that I can then train all of my co-workers and the people in the department who train everyone else.

              I hate flying, but I am not stupid enough to let something like that interfere with a business and learning opportunity like this one.
              The irony of going to the place where next year’s WorldCon is going to be held on business is not lost on me.

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Been a bit

Went to my parents this weekend, which was a lot of fun, as usual.  It was great to see family, and have a bit of a break from the high-maintenance dog.  To my relief, he dealt with the kennel fine, so we have no future problems there.  I have an appointment next weekend with a personal dog trainer to start working on his habits that we need to change.  Work continues to be interesting in certain ways, and annoying in others.  So, standard.  I am thrilled that I can walk the dog for an hour after work lately because the weather has improved enough to do so.  A lot of people I know are not doing well in terms of health, however.  Keep calm and carry on, et cetera.

In Memoriam

Leonard Nimoy died today, as no doubt everyone reading is aware.  A legitimate science fiction legend, and yet I hope that people will nevertheless discover, enjoy, and appreciate all of the other things in his life that he did.  May he rest in peace.


              Two weeks until the clocks get turned ahead.

              The Oscars are tonight; I could not care less.

              Boskone was fun, as usual. It was a shame so many people could not make it, but I enjoyed the company of those who did. The break of five days from work was appreciated by both of us, regardless of who was there or what the weather was like. The most amusing expressions were produced by Neal, who came to Boston wanting to experience a true New England winter. In the years that I have been coming to Boskone, I think it is accurate to state that the snow, temperatures, and wind were easily the worst that I have experienced so far in my life. I enjoyed the look of horrified fascination on Neal’s face one morning when we came down to the lobby and saw him looking outside. That pretty much said it all.

              Oh, and I also dropped over a hundred dollars in the dealers room, so that was good, too. Seanan McGuire would have been pleased, considering that I now only need one book left to complete the set of a series of hers.

              Things have been quiet as of late. The single biggest problem at the moment is that about an hour into my workweek on Tuesday, I completely threw my hips and lower back out, and have been in a constant, albeit fluctuating state of pain since. I am better, but this is really old, now. Who knew that a hip higher than the other, and a twisted sacrum, could cause such pain? I blame four days in a strange bed combined with walking in ridiculous temperatures down in Boston. Also, a significantly decreased amount of walking in my life due to temperatures and no dog to go outside with.

              We did find a fantastic Italian restaurant within walking distance of the Westin hotel which I have now burned into my memory for future use, however. The food was excellent.

              I watched the original Seven Samurai this week, as well as John Wick, and the first eight episodes of the series New Girl. Enjoyable, all.    

              Also getting a lot of reading done, also. That is a plus. Now, if only the weather would turn….

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Time for a new post

              Four weeks until the clocks get turned ahead.

              I am really getting sick of this combination of snow every other day and the temperature staying well below freezing. Enough already.

              So the interim Materials Management director has now been at the hospital for a week, and I have to say that I am very optimistic.

              He is seventy years old, and has spent something like forty-plus years in the realm of Materials Management specifically. My understanding is that he is here at the hospital at the behest of the interim CEO, and that his job, however long it takes, is to get my department updated to current procedures, standards, technology, and methods.

              He seems like a nice enough guy, and certainly does not come across as seventy. However, my impression is that he is also all business, straightforward, and no-nonsense. This only makes sense given that he is expected to produce potentially drastic changes and results in my overall department.

              If he gets the support from the CEO and the funding necessary to make some of the changes that I expect, it is a question of when the changes start happening, and what they will be. There is no longer a question of IF.

              This is awesome immediately in several ways.

              First, my regular boss does not have a materials management background. This is not his fault, and no one who works under him has such a background, either. However, the fact that he is the manager and has not, to my knowledge, done a great deal to become better acclimated with how things are done in such an environment, IS his fault.

              Plus, there is the simple added bonus that there is now someone who does have the necessary background that not only is his new boss, but who is also going to be directly looking over his shoulder at how he does things. This fact alone would be enough to make me love the new guy.

              The hospital has been in the process for months of looking at a new, completely system-wide software program. Even if the primary attention is on the other departments, this new guy will probably make sure that we get updated also, as we are pathetically behind in that regard.

              As an example?

              The computer program that I use at work has a copyright date of 1989.

              Yes, you read that year right. No, I am not fucking with you.

              I am very interested to see what happens in the coming months. I think that anyone who has any problems with adapting, changes, or learning new skill sets is in trouble, and they had better get over them quickly.

February already

              Only five weeks left until the clocks get turned ahead. Not that I am counting or anything.

              The sun is out, which is making a fractional dent in the fact that the temperature is well below freezing. The weather has been particularly bad the last week, with large amounts of snow falling on Tuesday and Friday.

              Naturally, this meant that this past work week was the first time in two and a half years that I had to go out on the roads as a courier for the hospital organization.

              We have couriers that deliver mail, laundry, and patient specimens (with all that that implies) to and from the hospitals, as well as the outer auxiliary practices and businesses.

              A series of badly timed events occurred to require this. Two of the regular couriers were injured, one of which in such a fashion that it is highly questionable whether he will ever be back. The other is only out for a week, or at least that is what several people are devoutly hoping. There were two other people who could have done the route that I did, but one hates it and has the right to refuse it. The other one told my boss that he is too old and infirm in certain ways to want to do it, and said that he would outright quit if my boss tried to make him drive. So, that narrowed down the options to, well, me.

              The route itself is not difficult by any means; the regular couriers get paid a good deal less than I do, so I was really getting paid to drive, as opposed to think. However, going from driving four plus hours a day along with carrying boxes makes a person quite tired if that is not what you are used to doing on a regular basis for your job.

              The fact that I was driving a vehicle that I was not used during the two worst weather days this area has had so far this calendar year was not lost on me from an irony sense. I am now quite impressed with all-wheel drive vehicles, however. They use up gas like crazy, but I am quite convinced that they can get through almost anything.

              In the meantime, my boss packed up his office and left for the building downtown, as his new director starts up tomorrow. I am wondering how much he is sweating versus looking forward to picking the new director’s brain.

              My boss did finally get permission to replace the co-worker who left in mid-December last week, as well as the woman who retired from the Franklin Hospital stockroom the week before last. She had put in her notice at the beginning of December, so you had two months there where someone could have been found to replace her.

              You may be getting the idea that the hospital is not exactly the speediest business going with regards to replacing personnel. You would be correct.Con

Sunday again already?

              Um, let’s see, here.

              Regina has gone off to get a hot stone massage that I gave her for her birthday last year, and is overdue about as long as that, as far as I am concerned. I hope she enjoys it. The sun is out today, and is much better than last weekend, although we did get some snow again yesterday.

              Still no luck finding a new dog, yet.

              The new Materials Management consultant/director shows up a week from today. There has still not been any word on when or if my department is definitely moving or not. I continue to hope that having someone watching over my current supervisor will cause him to alter some of his so-called managing habits.

              Only six more weeks now until we get to turn the clocks ahead, praise be. That cannot come soon enough.

              I watched the movie A Most Wanted Man last night, based on the John Le Carre novel of the same name. It was great, but you need to be in the mood for a very deliberately paced movie that deals with character and plot and a depressing as hell ending.

              I am getting a certain amount of reading done almost daily, which is an enjoyable thing, and I still get the Sunday New York Times. I was shocked, SHOCKED, I tell you, to find that there is a schism in the Catholic church on how to deal with divorced Catholics. Heh. As usual, and not to my surprise, a twice-divorced, no less, Catholic woman summed up my take on the subject – If God has a problem with my having been divorced, God can take it up with me. Anyone else can go and pound sand.

              Right. Off to pay bills. Goody.
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