Thursday, June 26, 2008

Road Rage

I have horrible road rage. But I have been working on controlling my temper behind the wheel. So here goes:

Dear lady at the gas station:

I know sorting your mail is important to you, but there is a time and place more appropriate than in your car, beside the pump, after you're finished pumping gas, when there are lines at every other pump 2-3 cars deep.

Next time, please try to be courteous to those around you and separate the bills from the ads when you get home.

Dear gentleman in the 1st position in the left turn lane at the green light,

The line of ten cars behind you honking their horns are not trying to say "hello." In case you've forgotten, green means "go".

Next time please try to pay attention so that more than just your car can get through the intersection.

Dear lady in the same spot as the gentleman above,

Were you happy about being left in that position by the guy right before you? Those same horns are honking at you now. You are just asking for someone to attack your car with a baseball bat.

Next time, please forgive the guy who was in front of you and let the folks in line behind you through the light as well.

Dear lady in the monster car-boat,

You are lucky that my reflexes work faster than my thought processes. Seeing as you did not signal or check your blind spot before entering my lane with hardly an inch to spare, I should have just hit you instead of slamming on my breaks.

Next time, please signal and/or check your blind spot just in case it's me again because I could really use a new car.

Dear playboy in the vibrating clunker,

Not everyone in traffic wants to hear your music. If you are looking to impress people, a muffler and a new paint job would have been sufficient.

Please call me in 5 years so I can fit you with $4000 hearing aids which are not covered by health insurance.

Dear teenage boy with the buzz cut,

If you haven't noticed, you don't have much hair. So no matter how many times you run that large brush through it, it isn't going to look any different than when you rolled out of bed this morning.

Please remember that it is not safe to cross the street and brush you hair at the same time.

Dear Lord,

Thank you for supplying my needs for transportation. And for the patience you give me while driving in traffic so I don't snap and commit vehicular homicide.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Some Things Never Change

Remember this?

Some things never change:

Friday, June 20, 2008

Fire Starter

I guess I lit a fire under some big-wig gulus yesterday.

The ladies who work for me have just about had it with the NC and the HS not communicating with them. So I sent this e-mail to their supervisor at the hospital and CCed each of them:

"I just wanted you to know that we may lose all of our techs effective July 1st if they don't hear something soon...

They have mentioned to me that they feel they are just being strung along and they have other things they could be doing with their time if they are not going to be hired on by NC.

I can't say that I blame them. They have been extremely loyal and dependable for years and now they were led to believe they would at least be interviewed for the openings with the new company and that doesn't seem to be the case."

Within an hour I had an e-mail from one of my techs which I forwarded on to their supervisor. It was kind of long but here is a short excerpt:

"I left a message with the gal who contacted (another one of the ladies) last week and still haven't had my phone call returned. I certainly thought that I would have heard something by now. If we know that they are not going to consider us for any NC positions, it is in my best interest to be done by July 1st. It's not worth my time to continue with this job if it isn't going to continue past this summer... We are essentially being forced out for no reason after years of employment - I have contacted an attorney in the employment law area to find out what my rights are... Thanks again for trying to help!"

Less than 2 hours passed when I got this (excerpted) e-mail from one of the HS department big-wigs:


[This] e-mail is to provide you with information about the contract with NC and what this will mean to you.

I spoke with the Director of Women's and Children's Health for the HS today. She is the leadership individual responsible for final decisions with NC, along with the Vice President of Women's and Children's Product Line for the HS. In our discussion today I was informed that the contract between NC and HS has yet to be signed, and transition to that service will not be before September 1st.

Please contact [Jane Doe] in HS Human Resources for any questions and concerns you may have regarding your employment with the HS.

We hope you will keep your PRN roles with our Newborn Hearing Screening Program at least until the Hospital transitions to NC. HR and I can discuss PRN opportunities within our department or even in other departments if you want to review maintaining employment with HS after NC contracting is implemented.

I am speculating that NC has not finalized their staffing plan and their staffing needs for this campus site yet, and that is probably why you haven't heard much from them so far re: any open positions. From personal experience, I do understand that 'not knowing' is stressful; I am sorry this is a stressful situation.

I am your resource if you have questions."

I got a phone call this morning from the NC with apologies and reassurances that all the ladies will be contacted for interviews on Monday.

I guess we'll see.

The funny part is that NC still believes they are going live with the HS on July 15th, even though the folks at HS responsible for the contract have set the date as September 1st.

I will try to have more Bailey stuff for you next week.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Space Cadet

I think I am losing my mind.

Monday, I left my work ID at home. This doesn't sound like too big a deal but since I work with newborns and the units are so secure, it is a huge pain in the gulu. I had to check in with security and turn in my driver's license so I could get a temporary ID with access to the mother-baby unit and the intensive care nursery. I hadn't forgotten my ID since my first month at the hospital 3 years ago.

I also forgot to put deodorant on that morning... luckily, I keep some in my desk so tragedy was averted.

Tuesday, for some strange reason, I took my make-up bag out of my purse and put it in my desk. So Wednesday morning when I went to get ready, I realized I didn't have any make-up to put on. Again, not too big a deal. I got going so early that I would have plenty of time to throw on some powder and gloss when I got to work. However, when I got there, I realized I left my ID at home again... my keys are attached to my ID. So I had no way to enter the building (so no make-up) and when I got to my other office on the same campus, everyone asked if I was feeling okay... I don't use a lot of make-up but apparently it makes a big difference in my appearance.

Later that morning, I was walking down the main hallway of the hospital pushing my little equipment cart, off to see one of the very few adult patients I am responsible for. Without warning, I see one of my pieces of equipment fly off the front of the cart and smash into 4 pieces on the floor. I was able to fit all the pieces back together, and, only by the grace of God, it still worked.

I planned to take a half day so I headed home right after lunch. I routinely set my cruise control for 5-7 miles an hour over the speed limit. I was going with the flow of traffic when I started up a large hill. When the cruise is on, the car automatically speeds up a bit on inclines in order to keep it at the speed it has been set to. The car next to me had slowed down just a bit due to the hill. As I came up over the top of the hill, I was just passing the car next to me when he slammed on his breaks. The next thing I know, there are flashing lights in my rear view. I pull over and the cop tells me I was going 60 in a 45! WTF?!?! It's 55 through there... He writes the ticket for 50 in a 45 but still... (And when I drove thru the same area this morning, I saw the signs... it goes from 55 to 45 for about a mile then back to 55... traffic sucks through there and I watch the cars around me, not the speed limit signs...)

That was my second ticket in 3 weeks. The last one I just paid because I hadn't had a ticket in 15 years... now I'll have to get a lawyer for this one so my insurance doesn't go up or get canceled.

Where has my head been?

I feel like I am barely functioning in a dream-like state. You know what I mean... like when you are dreaming and you know you have to be somewhere or do something and all these things keep getting in your way and holding you up so you never get there. Or am I going crazy?

It's been here:

I wish something would happen for the ladies who work for me... The NC stood one of them up for a phone interview and won't return any of the other's phone calls. I think they may all leave July 1st if they don't hear something soon. And I can't say I blame them. They have been so dependable and loyal for years and now they are being forced out. One of the ladies recently told me it actually costs her money to work for me... with gas so high, she spends more to get to work than she makes while she's there. Now that's dedication!

I pray a lot. I pray a lot anyway but I have been praying a lot more lately. It is all out of my hands. There is nothing I can do about it. So I just pray that they are taken care of and that everything works out for the best...

Monday, June 16, 2008

Busy Busy Busy

So much has been going on:

First, I received an offer from NC which matched my current pay. They also informed me that the position was "non-exempt" which, from their explanation, means that although it is a salaried position, I will eligible for overtime if I go above 40 hours per week.

The only problem now is that the ladies who work under me were supposed to be interviewed for the screener positions with the NC. However, when my future supervisors called to set up the interviews, my ladies were told to only interview if they were interested in a weekend or "as needed" position as the weekday position had already been filled. But when I asked them, my future supervisors told me no one had been offered the job. So someone is lying to me and I really don't think it's my ladies.

Second, Bailey is growing like a weed... she was 63.1 lbs on the 1st, 63.2 on the 8th, and 64.4 on the 15th. I have a feeling she will be 68 next week.

This past week, I volunteered at the vacation bible school (VBS) at the church I've been attending. It was a lot of fun but since I worked every day then spent every evening from 6 to 9 at the church, I was wiped out by the end of the week. I tried to leave work early each day but something always came up... I had to go to an interview, meet with a banker about the loan we just took out for our new boat, go to another interview, take Bailey to the dog park (because holy psycho dog when we don't get enough exercise, and with me being gone most of the week she was lucky I didn't forget to feed her!) etc. etc...

Over the weekend, I did 59 hearing screenings in 4 hours at a local health fair, spent a couple hours on our new boat, called my dad to wish him a happy Father's Day, went to a bachelorette party, went to church, took Bailey to her obedience class, and went to dinner with my in-laws.

I need a vacation... but alas, this weekend I have a "thank You" dinner for the VBS volunteers on Friday, a wedding AND a work function this Saturday and Bailey's last "intermediate" class on Sunday... I don't think I have a break until July 4th. And I have to judge our community dock decorating contest that morning and I am having people over that afternoon and evening...

I really need to learn to say "NO"

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Working Girl Worries

So this company that the hospital is contracting out to has been dragging it's feet with my offer. They called me a few weeks ago and asked me to travel to another city to train on the equipment they use. My reply: "So I guess I got the job?" Their reply: "Well, yeah, but (the other contact person with the company) will be calling you later this week with an official offer."

So I waited. Then my grandmother passed away that week (I'll talk about that in a later post) and they knew it so when I didn't hear from them that week, I figured they were just giving me time to mourn and be with my family.

Then the next week came and I still hadn't heard anything. I was supposed to leave town for their training the following week and I still hadn't received an offer. Then I got a call from them saying they had not forgotten about me but there was a hold-up due to my salary. Apparently, I make quite a bit more than they normally pay for the coordinator position. They apparently have never employeed an audiologist for this position... so they were having to cut through a lot of red tape to match my pay. I asked if I was going to have an offer before I went to the training and they said probably not. I told them I was not comfortable with that and they agreed to just train me on site when they started the program at the first of my 3 hospitals.

The next day, in chit-chatting with one of my supervisors, I learned the powers that be (PTB) at the hospital had sent an e-mail to my current supervisors saying I had received and accepted a job with the new company. I was LIVID! So I sent the following e-mail to the PTB at the hospital, both my contacts at the new company, and CCed all of my supervisors at the different locations I work:

Hello All.

I am writing you all today because I am becoming very uneasy about the transition of the Newborn Hearing Screening Program from the hospital system (HS) to the new company (NC).

Here are some of my specific concerns:

1. The "go-live" for (the first hospital) is the first week of June and I still have not received nor accepted an offer for the coordinator position with NC. Yes, I have been told I have the job, but that's the extent.

2. I was recently reimbursed by HS for my Fall 2007 tuition. The rules regarding this state that I must remain a HS employee for 12 months following reimbursement or the amount will be deducted from my last pay check. Since I am not leaving HS by choice, will some other department absorb it? If not, how will I be compensated?

3. I have accumulated a significant amount of extended sick leave (ESL) time. I recently learned that it is not paid out when employment has ended the way PTO is. Since I am not leaving HS by choice, is it possible to have the time paid out as well? If not, how will I be compensated?

4. I contribute to a 403b retirement plan and I have been receiving the matching plan through HS. Because I have been an employee for less than 5 years, I will lose the money contributed by HS. Again, since I am not leaving the HS by choice, will I be able to roll the entire amount into a new account? If not, how will I be compensated?

Thank you for your time.

The PTB forwarded the e-mail on to the hospital HR and I waited to hear back.

The start-up was set for Tuesday, June 3rd. On Wednesday, May 28th at noon I received an offer from NC. It was for a dollar less per hour than I currently make. They also wanted me to work 40 hours (I currently work 30-35 so not too big a deal) and I would be salary instead of hourly. So they want to pay me less, want me to work more hours, and then not pay me for overtime if I work more than 40 hours. Then they told me they need an answer by the Friday the 30th or they would "be forced to go with (their) other candidate."

So here I was, with my husband out of town, being expected to make a life changing decision with 48 hours notice. WTF?!?!?

I still had not heard from HS HR so I was even more freaked out. I went straight to the HR offices and demanded to speak with someone. I was in tears by the time someone was able to see me. I told them about the offer from NC and asked them all the same questions from the e-mail... they were not able to give me any answers at the time but promised to get back with me soon.

That's when I decided to get some professional legal advice.

The following day, my immediate supervisor told me HS was not able to do anything about the 403b matching money (not to big of a deal) but that they were willing to forgive the tuition reimbursement AND PAY OUT MY ESL!!! I will have 150 hours by the time this all goes through so that is HUGE!!! I was ecstatic! And I was ready to accept the offer with NC. But before I left the office, my supervisor told me the HS PTB were currently in negotiations with the NC PTB to try to get me the extra dollar an hour!

Friday, I was supposed to accept/decline the offer from NC. I was still a little uneasy about it since I still had not been able to discuss any of it with my husband. But before noon, my supervisor told me the HS PTB told the NC PTB that they were to give me more time, that 48 hours was not enough time (especially when they have known for months what was going on).

So I called my contact at NC to let them know I wanted the weekend to discuss it with my husband. I could not get a hold of them so I was freaking out again. I left messages on their cell and work phone. Then I called my other contact with NC and told them what was going on. They tried to reassure me and said they would try to get in touch with the other contact.

Then I went into an interview with a completely separate company, because, hey, I have to cover my gulu in case this all falls to pieces...

When I got out of the interview (which went great, by the way), there was a message saying the "go-live" was postponed and to not worry about anything. They told me to take the weekend to talk to my husband and that they would give me a call sometime the following week.

So here it is, the following week and I am waiting to hear from someone... anyone... from the HS or NC...


Bailey is 63.1 lbs. I predict she'll end up around 75 when all is said and done. And my husband didn't think she'd break 60.... :-)