Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Thank you, Internet.

Thanks for helping to reinforce some of the most negative things that I believe about myself.

It's nice to know I'm right.



Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Work is what I do to convince myself that I'm not a useless human being.

I just did the math, we really only have 20 slots for RNs where I work. That means the five missing nurses leaves us with only three-quarters our maximum staff. Still, if The Director would let the one guy move to first watch and the extra nurse on third watch was willing to cover one of the relief posts we would only really need one more RN to fill out the schedule.

Unfortunately, The Director seemed to tell me that she isn't willing to let the one nurse go to first watch. Not without meeting with the supervisors at least. That meeting probably won't happen for two, maybe three, weeks. The third watch nurse will have to volunteer after notice is posted about the open positions. Even if she volunteers we have to give everyone fifteen days to bid for the post as well.

In hindsight I shouldn't have been, but I was constantly surprised by the shock supervisors expressed when I told them that with the two RNs promoting we would have five open RN positions. Every one of them was amazed. The insist that they didn't know we were so short. Except several of them were involved with encouraging two nurses to "resign" in the past three months. Two "resigning" and two promoting is four add the other who transferred to a position in Cow City and we get five. Funny how that happens.

The worst thing, and I know it shouldn't be the worst thing, is having all these people telling me to be happy or to smile or blah fucking blah. I hear this all the time. They know I don't smile and I'm not happy because I have a job that I fucking hate, but it doesn't matter to them, and usually I'll make a joke. Today, though I didn't. When told to be happy or to smile I told them no, thanks, I'd rather not. I never stuck around long enough to learn of their reaction to my comment.

I know what my problem is. I can't seem to let go of my fucking job. EVER! If I could I wouldn't have had to write that post last night at 10:30 because I kept dwelling on the bullshit going on there. Even after writing it I stayed in bed staring at the ceiling for at least twenty more minutes. Oh, yeah. Sucks.

And now all I want to do is call in sick. Call in sick tomorrow and for the rest of my life. Or at least for the 350ish hours I have saved up. Fuck them all.

I miss being able to read and actually focus on what I'm reading. I miss being able to write bits of stories to clear thoughts out of my head. I miss hearing a joke from a person or the TV and having the good feeling that comes from laughing linger for a while; now the feeling is gone before I finish smiling.


The shit went down exactly like I thought it would. I left early because I just can't focus on anything right now except thinking about Shakespeare's "undiscovered country."

Monday, August 29, 2011

Office Politics and Fucking Bullshit

Been trying to sleep, but I should can't. Maybe writing this will help. I hope.

Where I work we have about 30 RNs on staff. Now to become a supervisor, you must first be an RN. So, guess where most of the supervisors come from. That's right.

Well, a couple of weeks ago interviews were held for two supervising nurse positions. Three people (only three) interviewed. All of them were from out staff. Our RN staff is currently short four positions. One of the positions is sick relief which is usually an extra nurse on second watch unless someone goes out for a long time. Another post is one that was made up by the asshole because he didn't actually want to think about where to put new RNs when they came to work for us, so it is an extra body second watch, too. Neither of these get filled behind because they are not critical posts. The other empty posts are relief positions, one first watch (from 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM) and the other is third watch (2:00 PM to 10:00 PM) and they are a bitch to fill, but it's been working out for the most part. And as fortune has it a new RN started about a month ago and she'll be slipping into that third watch post starting on the first. Also about a month ago, one of the RNs whose main focus is on paperwork volunteered to be moved into the first watch post; he's not been moved due to politics and fucking bullshit.

Back to the story: two supervisor posts and three RNs interviewing.

Today I was informed, although I think it was more a slip of the tongue on the new boss's part, that both of the supervisor positions will be filled. One will be filled by the nurse who was acting as a supervisor up through the end of July. The other will be filled by the nurse who is completing her training on Wednesday and was supposed to become the third watch relief. The other holds a post on second watch, but the second watch relief person is going to be moved into the newly vacated post. And while I haven't been given an official date I think it's safe to assume this will be happening on Thursday, the first of September.

All three relief positions will be empty.

We'll be down five RNs.

And I'll be the one expected to take care of all this.

How will I do that? Well, we have one nurse from a registry who's willing to do three or four shifts a week. We have a nurse on state salary who will come in for one shift a week second watch only on Saturdays or Sundays. So, let's say that's five shifts a week covered. Five out of fifteen. One third. Let's say that maybe five more will be filled by nurses volunteering for overtime. The other third, well, that'll be filled by forced overtime; making a nurse come in 8 hours early or stay 8 hours later.

And I'll be the one expected to take care of all this.

And that's why I can't sleep.

And horrible thoughts seem a lot more reasonable tonight.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Eight Down, Five to go!

Out of this list, here are the movies I've seen:
  • Your Highness (Stoner movie set in a fantasy world. It kept me laughing)
  • Scream 4 (I thought it was great. If the series end here I'm cool. I hope they don't ruin it when they make the next.)
  • Thor (So much better than I expected. Is it science or magic? Who care?!)
  • Super 8 (Quite good, and so much more violent than E.T.)
  • Green Lantern (Committed the cardinal sin of superhero movies: it was boring. So many story telling mistakes!)
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II (Much better than Part I, but that fucking epilogue was there. Idiots.)
  • Captain America: The First Avenger (This was so much fun. I'm a little sad, though, that there can't be more set during WWII.)
  • Rise of the Planet of the Apes (Just watched this yesterday and it was most excellent.)

Friday, August 26, 2011

"The bluest ink / Isn't really sky..."

I've spent a very large portion of my time at work (15-20%) this week to going through the duties and minimum requirements for a shit load of state jobs because I'd really like to get a fucking promotion. The problem with a lot of the jobs is that I need just a little more schooling, classes in specific subjects, to be qualified. Just 6 semester units. That's all. Two classes. That can be done in one semester, if the classes aren't part of a series. There is, of course, a problem.

I don't know if I want to do the jobs.

Do I want to be an accountant? Do I want to be an actuary? Do I want to work in IT? Do I want to be a paralegal?

I know I can, with the proper schooling/training, do any of these jobs, but do I want to do them?

Every time I ask myself if I want to, the answer is "no." I don't want to balance budgets. I don't want to create tables about death. I don't want to fix other people's computers. I don't want to research case law and slog through legalese.

So, what the fuck do I want?


And there's the problem. I'm not sure what I want.

I'd like be somehow involved with the telling of stories, but I'm not moving to the shiny, sparkly circle of Hell (AKA the greater Los Angeles area) or to the other coast. I'm not a city dweller. I live in a city with lots of buildings over five stories and I feel like I'm getting crushed. I can feel the people just pushing in on me from everywhere. (I met with a friend recently. She lives down in the sparkly circle of hell, but in the nicer part, the norther part near the coast. She said that she living near the coast helped. She only feels like she's being crushed from three sides.) And I hate it.

So, choosing not to live in a huge city sort of gets rid of working in a lot of story generating situations, doesn't it?

What do I want to do?

I spoke with my mother yesterday. I mentioned that if I get hired at a job in Cowcity I'm pretty sure that I'd go back to school for my Master's Degree. I won't do an online course because I need to have the give and take that sitting in a classroom provides. Message boards are not as good for me. I'd like an MFA in creative writing, but I'd also be interested in studying theater or film. Oh, and I thought that if I choose to just get a Master's in English wouldn't it be interesting to write a thesis on Fan Fiction? I think it would.

Anyway, she suggested that maybe I sit down with her and my father and discuss me quitting my job and going to school full time at Turkey Tech. For a few seconds it was a very nice offer, but I don't want to live with my parents. The only reason I'm here right now is because I don't want to enter into a lease while I'm looking to get the fuck out of my job. (Although it's been nearly 11 grueling month of this shit. Fuck, that's depressing.) I said that I didn't think it was a good idea.

I'm just going to wait in increasing misery until I find another job and hope that I won't hate it so much that I can't focus on things. Once I can comfortably read a book (I haven't finished one since I read The Phantom Tollbooth in June, I think. Christ, I can't even remember what I may or may not have read. Shit.) that's when I'll be more ready to move on to more mentally intensive things.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Radiolab Rules

I think these were more inspired by that most amazing of NPR shows, but totally worth watching.



Thursday, August 18, 2011

And the shit goes on...

Got another letter today telling me that I didn't get a job that I never interviewed for. To be fair, the letter was vague enough that I couldn't actually tell if they'd done any interviews at all.

It was a nice capper to a shitty day.

Thanks universe.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I've always been yucky!

I made sure to have dinner well and on the way to being completed by the time The Mother got back from work tonight: chicken was salted and sitting; rice and water was ready and waiting; and the macaroni (noodle? pasta?) salad was in the fridge so flavors could mingle. Today was her first day of school with students. It was rough.

Going to work every day to a job you hate, or are just tired of, or burnt out on is tough. I know because I do that, but the longest I've ever been away from my work was 16 days and it was painful to go back to my job. I don't want to imagine how hard it is for someone to go back after sixty days.

So, I was a good son and made dinner. I also cleaned up dinner. I also choose what we watched while eating dinner, but that was purely selfish. (Apollo from the new Battlestar Galactica co-starred in it.) I didn't mind doing it and I'm always willing to help make dinner, lunch, whatever (I like to cook), I hate being the decider for everyone. I hate it so much. I know it won't be expected of me, but I live in irrational fear.

Oh, "great" and "powerful" "mystical" forces of the "universe," help me to settle my job bullshit once and for all so I'm comfortable enough that I can sign a year long lease. I would appreciate it.

Also, to swing this post in a startlingly different direction, I'm trying to plan a trip to Oregon. At this moment I think a flight up there and a car rental for a weekish and extra stuffs would cost me about $1000. But I'd get to spend some time with those who moved to the hipster place and then head out to see sister-in-law and brother and their baby at there new place. And I could drag brother and niece, since SIL would probably be in school, to the cheese factory and the plane exhibit and generally goof around. I also want to visit other brother and other sister-in-law and use their proximity to go to the Paley Festival. Which to choose? Could I do both? Unfortunately, any plans have to be based around the job bullshit, so like February or March, if I'm lucky.

I've never been lucky, though.

Monday, August 15, 2011

What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do

A week-and-a-half ago I had an interview in Southern Wine Country. It seemed to go well. I mean we talked for about 40 minutes. That's good, right? Still there were some issues. They wondered why I had left my last job, five years long, to work in a prison. They sort of questioned how long I'd be willing to stick with them. And they really seemed confused about me driving 250ish miles (one way) for an interview.

Anyway, today I found out that I didn't get the job. The letter said that there were many excellent applicants and many exceptional interview (of which I was apparently one), but they chose another person.

I'm not really disappointed that I didn't get the job. I don't know if I would have taken it. It wouldn't have been a promotion and the chances for moving up would be just as small there as they were at my last job.

Oh, during the interview I also got the sense that the two people were trying to figure out what was wrong with me because I've been in the same classification for almost six years. I tried to explain it, but it may have come off as whiney.

At least I finally got an interview. Now if only one of the two dozen applications I sent to Cowcity would get me an interview. That would be nice.

When I told my parents about it my dad reached deep into the platitude bag and said, "Something better is coming for you." I reminded him that what I need right now is something different and then reminded him why. He doesn't seem to understand how awful my job is for me, or he chooses not to understand; sometimes I'm not sure which. I know in the past he's had at least one job that he hated and made him miserable and the only reason he kept it was because of his fledgling family (I was four and five at the time) and his desire to keep us clothed and fed. At that time he was lucky and found a job that was much better, but he probably would have taken just about anything that paid comparably. That's the way that I feel right now.

So, here's to hoping for more interviews, even if they don't get me a job because those interviews feel like moving forward even though it's really just spinning in a circle. Spinning in circles can be fun though, no matter what your age.

Also, today I got a huge compliment from my current boss. She said with a brain like mine I need should be able to just promote to the top of where ever I want to end up. She said she wished she had half the brain that I do. She said that even though she doesn't want me to leave she gives me her highest recommendation because she doesn't like the idea of someone like me barely treading water. I don't often feel good about myself anywhere, but especially at work and today I felt okay about being me.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The beginning is the hardest part. Except for the middle and the end.

So, I've been sitting here trying to convince myself to write something. Not something for the blog, but fiction. A story.

Several weeks ago Queenie posted, "Have you ever had that feeling, the one where you tell everyone that your real ambition is to write, when really all you do is read what other people write?" and I keep thinking about it. I went through this six or so years ago.

I'm sure I've written about it before, but I stopped telling people that I want to be a writer a long time ago. A writer I am not. I do not write. There was a time there, almost two years ago, where I was writing something, that no one here would have read, almost every day. I was working myself up to writing something that I could maybe, possibly send off to someplace where they read the writing and mull it over and decide whether it might work for their publication, or not. Probably not. I was close, though.

I had started a story. I had written down the basic ideas. I'd created a very bear bones outline. (The beginning. A bit about the middle. A huge question mark for the end.) Then I left a job where I was comfortably miserable for a job that's so excruciating, for me, that I'm having trouble focusing enough to read. (It took me three weeks to read The Bourne Identity, and that's not a tough book. I've only read the first section of A Dance with Dragons and can't get any farther. I did, however, breeze through The Phantom Tollbooth, but that book is special.) I no longer even write for that site that I frequent and those were just stories based on a TV show that ended nearly a decade ago.

However, I have ideas.

Ideas are so easy for me. They just bloom and neurons fire and thoughts that seem random start to connect into something larger. If I'm good, I write them down so I'll have them for later. I'm rarely good.

Last week I figured out the beginning, middle, and end of a story idea I've been thinking about for a year. It's not meant for the general public. I've got it figured out, though. But I can't write it. When I try to start my stomach lurches and I'm overcome by a sense of nothingness. The idea is still there, in my head. I can see how it needs to get down in the the bits of the computer. I can't type though. I can't focus. My fingers just run across the keys, feeling them, but not pressing down. And I move off to something else: a funny cat video, or the television, or the darkness under the sheet and blankets. I still feel it pressing on my skull. It wants to get out, but when I tried to type it earlier, nothing. nothing

When I picked my parents from the train station on Friday my mother told me that my brother wants to make an illustrated story about a mythical American animal. She said he didn't want my help, though, because I wouldn't be interested in doing it. The truth is I would be interested. In fact I thought of a story for the animal yesterday, but when I went to e-mail my idea to him I typed two words then couldn't type anymore. Partly because I don't know if it's the sort of story he wants, but mostly because I just couldn't because even if he didn't like the story idea he can start moving in the right direction by knowing what he doesn't want to do. Hell, even when he reads this and says he'd like to know I don't know if I'd be able to type the answer to him. At this point, I don't even know if I could speak it to him.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Nixon, FOUND!

My brother and sister-in-law sent a bag of agates back with my mother. I was sorting through it and found one with Richard Nixon's face on it. (He's on the left side of the rock. His nose and brow and angry, squinting eyes.)

Monday, August 08, 2011

A Mixed Blessing.

Pants that once did not need a belt now require a belt, even when the pockets are empty. Belts are just one more thing to get through when there is great urgency in the bathroom.