Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I surrender

Seriously. I give up.

I know when I'm beat. I know when I should just walk away.

It's becoming pointless to look for another job because no one will hire me anyway.

I know my days are numbered at my current job, so I've become "dead man walking."

I don't know what I'm going to do anymore.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

No calls, please

It's apparently been a while since I spewed some bile all over this blog. Fact of the matter is, I hadn't had the time or energy to even consider putting anything here. However, I think it's time yet again to tackle a subject that, much like the 1,000-pound elephant in the living room, can't be ignored and must be talked about repeatedly until it goes away.

Yes, that subject is being on call.

I can hear most of you now. You may be saying it in your head, or screaming it at your monitor. Just screaming, "It's only about one week a month, you big pussy, man up and just get it over with! What's the big fucking deal, anyway?"

I'll tell you what the big fucking deal is.

Picture yourself working twenty-four hours straight. Stretch that our over the course of seven days. Seven days without the chance to unwind, not really able to get anything done on a personal level, always shackled to your telephone which could ring at ANY MINUTE, any time of the day, forcing you to leave your home, your bed, whatever, and go do something that might be either a true assistance call or some non-essential bullshit that you STILL HAVE TO DO.

That's why I hate it so.

There's no time to relax. I usually end up getting up early each Saturday and Sunday that I have call, because I know there's a call coming but I don't know precisely when it's going to start. It's kind of like squirting a whole tube of Astro-Glide into your rectum, knowing you're about to be anally raped, but unsure of the exact moment it will happen. Best to just bend over, spread wide, grease up, and brace yourself.

I'm also turned off by the number of "abnormal" calls I get when I have the duty. I've never heard of anyone else getting calls from other home medical companies looking to see if we can give them the supplies they don't have so they can set up their own patients, nor does anyone else really get called to do a suction setup in the most far-flung reaches of the area.

Oh, and if you're reading this, and you work at a major medical facility looking to procure home medical equipment for one of your patients? Remember this little gem of advice: Just because we occupy the same major city as you, it doesn't mean that my branch services your area. So, I would greatly appreciate it if you wouldn't get snippy with me over the phone when I tell you that no, you need to call the branch that actually takes care of your area.

On a related note, major medical facilities: Don't get all snarly at me just because I won't drop everything I'm doing at the moment you call, like setting up oxygen for another one of your patients, to hustle my ass all the way across town to drop off a commode or a walker to a patient you want to discharge right this very moment. Your call will be handled, but there are other things that take priority. Oxygen and other respiratory equipment? High priority, be it a set-up or a troubleshoot call. Commodes, walkers, or other durable medical equipment? Way down the list, but will be handled as quickly as I am able. Helping someone breathe better is of more importance than helping them shit.

I also wonder how much stuff is just being dumped on me for no real reason. It seems that each time I have to take call, there will inevitably be a liquid oxygen setup waiting. Once is a coincidence, twice is a conspiracy, and three times is fucking absurd. I'm waiting for number three to happen within the next few weeks.

Let's look at things. Besides me, there is another liquid-trained driver that can drive the liquid oxygen truck and do the set-up. Does he get an after-hours liquid set-up? No. Of the remaining three, any one of them could ask us to pre-fill a liquid oxygen vessel so they could bring it to the patient's home, a process commonly called "milk-canning." Do any of them get a liquid oxygen set-up after hours? No.

But me? You fuckin' betcha.

There's also the problem of running personal errands. I need clean clothes, which entails a trip to the laundromat each week. I normally go early on Saturday because the place is empty and I can get in and out of there quickly. When I'm on call, however, I'm constantly watching the timers on the washer, then on the dryer, hoping that the accursed phone won't ring, necessitating me to go somewhere right in the middle of the laundry cycle. Forget grocery shopping -- if I lived alone, I'd be eating out all week long with no food in the house and no time to cook anyway.

Those, my dear readers, are the reasons I hate being on call. My only hope is to find another job that has no such thing, and to find it quickly, so I can release myself from the hell I've been sent to.

PS -- I only took this job because I had to. Living under a bridge had no real appeal to me.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

That didn't take long...

Just as a reminder: if you came here looking for Happy Smiley Fun Time, with lollipops and cute cuddly things scampering hither and yon, and unicorns pooping rainbows all the live-long day, you are definitely in the wrong fucking place.

Let's flash back to September of last year. I was preparing to make a major transition, both in where I lived and where I worked. I had no definite leads for a job, I knew no one in the area I was moving to, and had absolutely no idea how things were going to turn out. But, despite all of that, I was happy. You know why?

I was finally leaving the job I loathed. After close to two years of spirit-breaking, mind-numbing stupidity, I was finally breaking free. And I felt as if a great weight was being lifted from my shoulders.

Now, let's jump ahead to December. I had a temp job that was only coming through sporadically (not enough to pay bills on a consistent basis), and was offered another temp job through a different company. The downside is it was for the job I loathed. The upsides were it was with a different company, and would only be for a month. A month of guaranteed income while I continued to look for something else was much more desirable than no income at all, so I accepted it.

Now, we get into February. No income at all, looking desperate, and guess who comes calling? Yup, the people from the temp job for the job I loathed. They have an opening, they know my qualifications, the manager seems decent, so, against my better judgment, I accepted the position.

So, here we are at the end of March. The good manager left last week, the area manager's not the type of person I would want handing me toilet paper, much less overseeing my job functions, and to top off the sundae of regrets, today I was told ...

... you ready for this? ...


See, there's this thing I do at most of my jobs, where once I learn a skill or task, I can usually do it fairly quickly, getting things done in a more timely fashion. Most employers like this, as that means they can train me in other areas or have me do other things once the main job is complete.

Nope, apparently here, productivity is frowned upon.

I had no idea, and wasn't expecting, to be completely demoralized in only a month's time, but here we are. There's no more care to dredge up from the very bottom of Giveafuck Bay. If they want me to stay out until almost quitting time doing that one task, so be it. Sorry, I'd love to help you all out, but I can't work any faster because it violates company policy, apparently.

A month into a job is too goddamn soon to be marking the days until you get out of it. But, such is how things stand now.

I need some sleep. And another job.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Lots going on, now to write about it

So, I did get that job I'd been obsessing about. I jumped through enough hurdles and crawled through enough red tape, and have been at work for about three weeks now. And no, it wasn't the easiest of starts. But, it's a job, and it pays fairly decent, and it's good to have at least one income so we can continue to have a roof over our head and food on our table.

The only real problem continues to be the truck. There is no way we can get the truck fixed to the state standards for it to pass inspection, repairs would be more than the damn thing is worth, and the problems we're having with it are only getting worse. One of these times it's not going to run at all and we'll be totally screwed.

So, it's time to send the e-mail I've been dreading sending for the past couple of months now. If I can only get the nerve up to do so...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Fix It Or F*** It

Guess there's no sense denying the inevitable, but if you will, permit me a moment of reflection.

I bought the truck in July of 2004 to replace a car that was slowly falling apart on me. The car was free, and it lasted for three years before it came time to replace. Little did I know how useful the truck would be a month later when my marriage finally dissolved. I was able to carry most of my stuff away in one haul and had a place to store it while I sought a place to stay.

For over five years the truck continued to serve me well, moving me first west, then eventually south, with a lot of winter driving in between. I've hauled all kinds of things in the truck, from wood for or fireplace to the entire contents of my life to cute fuzzy chinchillas. Maintenance was performed when I could afford it, not when it was due (unless it was a dire emergency and absolutely HAD to be done).

And now, it's come to this: there's a problem that I can't diagnose, nor can I afford to get fixed; there's a host of other problems that need to be corrected to get the truck worthy enough to pass the state inspection; and there's no guarantee that any fixes would be long-term in nature until another major part fails.

Every week, I've been playing the "Fix It Or Fuck It" game, maybe clinging vainly to a false hope that the truck can be fixed and all will be well until we really can afford to get a new-to-us vehicle. Only problem is, the longer the problem goes untreated, the worse the truck seems to be performing, and the more likely we'll have no choice but to sell it for junk, get whatever we can for it, and put that toward another vehicle. But, no matter what, something has to be done by July.

I guess it's time to see what we can scrape together money-wise, and look around to find a decent vehicle that won't bankrupt us too horribly.

You served me well, Nissa. And thank you.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

... and a few dollars short.

Yes, it's a midweek post, and so what? I had a lot going on this weekend and didn't have the time to really sit down and do an update to a blog that nobody really reads anyway.

I'm undergoing the vetting process for that job I interviewed for, and had written off because I hadn't heard from anyone. I think I have also identified a sticking point in this process, and it doesn't surprise me in the slightest that it's my last employer in the Frozen Tundra. Sadly, I don't think there's much that can be done since everything is done at the corporate level in Californee, and what do they care, they HAVE jobs. I think I provided adequate information for a workaround, and will follow up tomorrow to see if in fact I am to report in on Monday.

The issues with the truck continue with no money in sight to affect repairs or replacement. That is all.

Oh, and cabin fever sucks. I'd like to get out more; I just wish I could afford to do so and had reliable transportation.

More next week, sometime.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The wait is the worst

True to form, there was no call on Monday, so I made the phone call to see where my application stood after our interview last week. Turns out they needed a filled-out application, which no one had me do, so one was emailed over and filled out in near-record time, and immediately dispatched back.

I called again on Tuesday, and got no return call. Okay, I prepared to cut my losses and started the search anew. Hopefully with a brand-new medical card and a driver's license from this state, more doors should be swinging open. Yes, there is still the issue of transportation, but the less said about that, the better.

On Thursday, I got a phone call from a different guy about the job I interviewed for last week. He was going through the application I submitted, verifying job history and not seeing any major gaps in employment, which to him suggested a fairly quick and smooth vetting process. The only thing they needed was actual signatures on a couple of the pages. Now, had I been smart, I would have only printed out the pages he needed, signed them, and faxed them back. Being the true idiot I am, I printed out the FULL application, signed both places, scanned the ENTIRE application back in, and cursed as my scanner crapped out in the middle, losing all that I had scanned previously. Two reboots later, I managed to get the thing scanned in and faxed back. And now, the waiting process begins anew.

In the midst of all this waiting, it's a good thing that I got my federal tax refund back quicker than I had anticipated. I'm still waiting for the state refund from where I used to live, but I should see that in a little while, so I'm not overly concerned.

It is now time to make you all wait until the next update. Seeya next week.