My cousin graduated from high school on the 2nd of June. I was the only one in my immediate family to go and sit and be bored and congratulate the kid and his parents and blah, blah, blah.
After the ceremony, I went to the house of my uncle and aunt for cake and chips and conversation and such. Eventually the subject of my youngest brother's wedding came up (it was last Saturday, for those with a score card) which the mutated into my uncle asking me about the program my brother is in.
Since I don't think I've written it down here before: my brother just completed his first year of medical school. Two or so years ago he earned his Master's degree in public health, which allowed him to travel to a few places in the world and see how crappy things are in other places. And although he wouldn't phrase it this way, he decided to become part of the solution. Hence, med school leading to tens of thousand in debt and a way for him to help educate people and solve some basic problems that too much of the world suffers from and too many people die from, like diarrhea.
So, my uncle and I talk about this for a bit and he asks me if I've ever considered doing something like what my brother is doing. I admit that yes, I've thought about it. He asks why I don't go in that direction. He says he knows I'm smart enough to do it if I want to and he thinks it'd be a good job. I agree with him that I could probably do it, but I won't. He asks why. I tell him that, in large part, it's because I'd have to deal with people around my space or in my face all day long and I don't really care for people. He looks around at the gathering thing and asks what I think this is. This, he says, has people. I give him a lopsided grin thing and nod, hoping that it show that I am uncomfortable being there. That I'm not there for my, but more for them. I think he gets it because he switches gears and asks me about writing. He says that he remembers me doing a thing with a blog and asks why I don't do writing. That's something I can do and don't have to deal with people, he says. I agree with him, but... He cuts me off with a but what. Just do it, he says. And I try to go into my explanation about how work leaves me mentally and emotionally exhausted so that when I'm done with the work day all my brain is good for is nothing he doesn't listen. He thinks I'm making excuses. Maybe I am. I've just been so worn out from work that I don't know anymore if it's actually work or if it's just me finding ways to be stuck. I don't admit it to him, though, because soon his wife jumps in about how it's important to have hobbies and I let the subject get changed. Of course that conversation has been with me for almost three weeks now.
Yesterday, there was news from work. Apparently my asshole boss has been let go. If I believed in a lord, I'd probably be thanking that being. My hope is that the person who is temporarily taking the asshole's place does not micromanage like he did. I hope she takes the time to listen and think before making a judgement. I hope she stands up for the nurses. I hope she does a good job and whoever they end up replacing the asshole with full time does a good job, too.
There is a problem with this, for me though, and it has to do with all the family around here who only hear my complaints about the man and not the actual work that I do. When my parents told me the news, they expected me to be ecstatic. They thought I'd be jumping around and suddenly be looking forward to going to work on Monday. What they failed to think about was the he only made an already wearying/worrying and hard job worse, the job is still going to be wearying and worrying and hard. I hopefully won't have someone peering over my shoulder making the job harder, but it's not going to get better, for me. If I was the kind of person who could just leave all the work bullshit at work, I would be fine, but I'm not. I've been gone from work for a week and a half and have had work related dreams almost every night. Why? Because my job is never done. No part of my job is actually complete until the shift has started then I can't worry about the current shift, but I still have to worry about the next shift and the next day and the next week and the next month. I see holes in the schedule that extend for weeks and months and I'm not allowed to do anything about them because of the limited number of people or the fucking contract or the possibility of someone being removed for training or so many hundreds of other variables. Oh, and now we're coming up on fire season and our prison trains crews to go out and help fight the fires and with them goes nurses which cuts into my fucking schedule and eliminates a body. Of course we don't hire seasonal employees to help if there are fires because, you know, that costs extra money even though it would fucking make sense and ensure that the quality of care at the actual facility stayed high. This prison is not near large cities. I doesn't have a large pool of registry nurses to pull from when we're short. Almost all of them have to drive in from more than an hour away when they do come in...
See, this is why I have the dreams. I should be able to get the hell over the damned place and not fucking worry, but I do. And I try to figure out how to make the shitty situation look a little better with some polish, but polished shit is still fucking shit.
Okay, I'm working myself up. I'm going to stop. I'm going to head upstairs and have some food. I'm going to go and watch Super 8 this afternoon and enjoy myself. I'm going to finish re-reading The Phantom Tollbooth and marvel at its brilliance.
I'll probably return tomorrow.