Friday, January 27, 2012

A Mild Case of Turmoil

Today some people in the department where I work were notified that they will be laid-off as of Wednesday.

I wasn't there when they were told, that would have been inappropriate, but I was told that some people were taken into the head supervisor's office and were in a closed door meeting. (There aren't many closed door meetings, so this was unusual.)

Then, on my way out, there were many tears and hugs and red eyes among the women.

I just walked through, signed out, and left for the day. It was awkward. At least for me, I really wasn't noticed during the eye wiping.

The thing I started wondering, as I drove away, was how am I supposed to feel about all of this? The losing co-workers, I mean. I've been with this group of people for three-and-a-half months now. Mostly I sit at my desk in the little office tucked behind the inmate bathroom (There's a vent, I hear the pissing, pooping, and singing. There's a surprising amount of singing in that bathroom.) with the two women who are the same classification as I am. I don't really deal with anyone else. And, being me, I don't go out of my way, ever, to try to get to know them. Yes, I brought corn biscuits (outstanding) and honey butter (too much vanilla) to the potluck, but I just slipped in for a plate then back to my desk. I barely know these people by name. (Although the cute one, who I thought was cute when I first saw her last year, I learned her name pretty quick.) I recognize all their faces now, and I smile and greet them in the mornings, but that's it.

So, how am I supposed to feel about the lay-offs?

Yes, I'm angry and sad that people are losing their jobs when The State has no fucking clue how this "re-alignment" is actually going to shake out. (I have predictions, but now's not the time.) But I'm not sad or angry about the individuals who are leaving. In fact, one of my first thoughts was maybe I can be moved to the desk in the clinic so I'm not trapped in the hole behind the toilet. Of course that mean's I'd be in the clinic and I'd actually have to deal with all these co-workers and a regular basis. That's a plus and a minus.

And then I thought that wasn't how I was supposed to react. Which led me to the question I keep asking.

How am I supposed to feel about the people who are losing their jobs?

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Three Down... Seven To Go

Two-ish weeks before Thanksgiving, my grandpa was sent to the hospital and had a toe amputated. It was massively infected. A few days later they decided that it was too infected and took another toe and some bone and splayed the foot open to hook it up to a wound vac. After picking up my brother, sister-in-law, and niece from the train station the Sunday before the holiday we stopped by and visited, that's the day they first hooked him up to the vac.

Eventually, the vac did it's job and cleaned the infection from his toe, but as it pumped, other stuff happened.

My grandma was left alone. She's starting to lose her marbles, to put it indelicately. She doesn't remember people. She doesn't remember much of anything. She doesn't feed herself because she doesn't. She may think she ate so she insists that she isn't hungry. So, people started having to stay with her. Mostly my asshole uncle who's been unemployed for the last fifteen years and fleecing his parents for rent money. (He was a contractor and said he couldn't find a job during the housing boom. He's a fucktard.) He manipulates people with half-truths and full lies. I've never trusted him my whole life. In the first two weeks he stayed with my grandma he conned her out of more that $4000.

My parents have been working to keep he from pulling his shit and keeping his lies away from my grandma. The problem is that they work while he doesn't. He's there and they're not. They can't be. When they get to him on the weekends she's more confused and angry than she should be. She's gotten better in the last two weeks because my parents have been out of school and been with her. They've spent most of the last week with her. They went down Tuesday and got back today only for my dad to go back down this evening.

The asshole's going to be with her tomorrow night through Wednesday. My mother has taken six or eight weeks off. Leave of absences. She'll be spending most of that with my grandmother.

Back to before Christmas:

While my grandpa was in a rehab place with his foot hooked up to a vacuum, my other grandma, not his wife, went in for hip surgery. It went great, but she was at the surgery center for three days, during which time her husband was having stomach aches so severe he wasn't eating food or drinking beer, and he's a guy who usually has four beers in a day. Oh, and he had blood in his stool. Oh, and he had chest pains. This all came out after my grandma got home, about a week after her surgery. My uncles basically abducted him and forced him to the VA in Palo Alto where the doctor found a blip, as my uncle called it, in his colon and the doctor diagnosed his pain, on a scale of 1 to 10, as a 7.5 to 8. They gave his some anti-acid meds to calm his tummy and he's eating again and apparently he's not bleeding when he craps anymore. He hasn't been back to the doctor to have a camera jammed down his throat to check for ulcers and he hasn't had a camera crammed up his ass to snip the polyp. Hopefully soon.

My other grandpa, meanwhile, had his foot cleaned of infection so to finally, after a month, seal his foot they had to take another toe. He only has the first two now. All though this ordeal he's wanted to get home. Every time someone has seen him in the hospital or spoken to him on the phone he says he wants to come home. He's never had strong legs. He's always sat most of the day. He fell out of his chair -- cutting open his head and breaking his nose -- because walking from the rehab thing to his room wore him out so he fell asleep. The walk is maybe 150 feet. The guy can't piss standing up anymore; he could barely do it while he had all his toes. He can't pull his pants up. And he wants to go home.

He claims that he can take care of himself and my grandma like he was before. Back then he had my aunt coming over every Saturday, though. She'd take them shopping. She'd clean. She'd bath my grandma. She did as much as she could on that one day to set them up for the whole week to come. My parents visited them about every third Sunday. My aunt has taking this horrible situation with the toes and decided that once my grandpa gets home she's going to cut them off. No visits. Not even a phone call. My dad keeps saying that my grandpa can't go home. The thing is my grandpa's mind is totally sound. My dad isn't willing to cancel his appointments with students. My mom has taken time away from work to be there when my grandpa gets home. She's mostly there to make sure that when he falls she can call someone and, hopefully, then convince him that he can't do everything alone anymore.

He'll need someone to help him with my grandma. He'll need someone to help him help himself. That means they probably won't be living in their 3 bedroom ranch home and into a tiny 2 bedroom really expensive apartment in a nursing home.

Happy New Year.