Stress overload today. You would not believe how long I’ve been trying to post something to this blog and have been entirely unsuccessful. I can’t even get an entire email out to staff without being interrupted a dozen times and all I have managed to write for myself, to get my head clear and feel like I do more than just work like a dog all day and then pass out to run through nightmares all night, is get a few lines written and then I end up drafting/deleting it. I can barely manage a full thought…..in fact; THIS is the farthest I’ve managed to get in a while. (So, if nothing else, I’m posting this as it is.) I’ve closed and locked my door and my phone is forwarded directly to voice mail so, I’ll type like the wind and see what I get out.
Work is impossible right now, as I’ve likely made clear above. The bosses vacillate between being pissed off that something didn’t get done and understanding that what I’m being asked to do is an impossibly unless I find a way to operate in three separate realities at once. They get it….I mean, I’m doing my job, the job of a financial officer, a pay clerk, a scheduling clear, an HR consultant, a union coordinator and a statistical analysis. Did I mention that I actually only work half-time for each of them? A total of 20 (ish) hours per week, for each department? Any one of those roles above could take up those 20 hours on their own…..all together and then doubled by department??? It’s not happening. The biggest issue with this is probably me….I want to do it all and I want to do it all well. I really want to manage all of this somehow but no matter how I blend it and revise my processes, it’s quite obvious that it’s an exercise in futility. That it makes me feel like I’m about to have a stroke, burst into tears, vomit all over my desk and kick myself square in the confidence for being a ‘failure’ is all mine to own….however….my passive aggressive and full-on-in-your-face aggressive bosses are not helping the matter. One likes to try to make sure I know she is better educated than I am and the other quietly seethes and tells me how disappointed she is when things don’t get done. I work over time quite a bit and have forced them to pay me but there is no money in the budget for that (I know, I reconcile and track it monthly) so they compromised and allow me to build up 15 hours of ‘flex’ time, paid at regular time, which I can never seem to take because one day off from this chaos can put me so far behind again it’s ridiculous.
The other frustrating side to this is that there are people who do some of my job here over at the other campus. They are not admin officers (and get paid a bit less than I do because of it) so all the HR and budget stuff is mine across the board *sigh*, but they do have some similarities in role. The glaring differences are hard to swallow.
Here – We have two registration clerks who handle all the patient booking and we easily have 60-100 patients coming through per day.
There – They have the two secretaries, same hour allocation as here, and they have maybe 10 patients per day between the two of them.
Here – It’s absolute chaos here with over 150 staff to manage who all have office and treatment space located in the department where my office is.
There – It’s a freaking ghost town and the staffing levels are less than half. They also do not congregate at that site but have office/treatment space on the unit they work for, so there is NO ONE around the two secretaries aside for one or two clinicians who see the few patients that come in each day.
Here – My phone rings non-stop and the registration desk is constantly in motion. When the clerks step away for a bathroom break, patients start coming to me and I end up stuck there, helping them get to where they need to go.
There – No one calls. Ever. One of the two secretaries tells me that the other doesn’t even do the minimal tasks she is assigned and spends the entire day texting on her phone. The other secretary, the phone texter, tells me that her counterpart spends her entire day chatting with her mother on the phone.
***I can’t even get a lunch in. I work before my hours, after my hours and can never take flex time back. When my bank is at 15 hours, I start working for free. I discuss this with the bosses and they tell me….get ready for this….the other site is TOO BUSY to add tasks onto the secretaries over there.
…. (I almost asked them if they were joking when they said it).
So, I know that’s a load of crap but I also realize that it would be in the secretaries best interest to make their jobs seem busy so they don’t have to take on any more work (any at all, to be more accurate). I sucked it up like a big-girl and just did my work as best I could and tried to draw some satisfaction from that rather than focus on how unfair the workload split actually is. Then, one of the two over at the other site got a new job and my boss had to hire a replacement. For some reason I cannot fathom, she hired a woman who, although quite lovely in personality, has the skill-set of a toddler in her role. She does not understand any of the software, processes at the hospital, phone system, paging system or payroll. She has to use the software, processes, paging system, and enter payroll so…..kind of not a great start. That can all be learned though, so, I absolutely thought nothing of it. Then she was asked to do me a favour and run a Committee meeting when I was drowning and missing all my deadlines one week. She didn’t have to do anything aside from record notes for the minutes and send them to one of my bosses. She did…..but the notes were so useless, we couldn’t even understand them. First, she didn’t capture any detail at all…not even enough interpret what the group was talking about. Second, she has a hard time with english (she’s a secretary whose job includes booking patients and using the phone!) and, apparently, cannot grasp the written any better than the spoken. She spelled everything wrong, mostly phonetically; i.e. Lori was spelled Lawrie, and she didn’t use any punctuation at all. She capitalized random letters and sentences she did manage to form were in broken english and the grammar was….well, there was none, let’s put it that way. She also has no idea which tense to use…ever. “Bob say meeting Was cancel and Every body emailing to said to processed to department” ……is an actual quote from the minutes (names changed, of course).
The boss who was on the receiving end of these minutes is the aggressive-aggressive one and this secretary knows how she is. She didn’t even spell check it….didn’t ask someone to proof read it….didn’t even send it to the passive-aggressive boss first to see if she could double check the notes…nothing. I wondered aloud why she didn’t just write it in Spanish (her native tongue) and then run it through Google Translate before submitting it. That made me wonder if she even understood half of what she was hearing. Maybe she just grabbed random words from the conversation and that was the best she could manage.
Right. All fine though! Not everyone can record minutes and if you’ve never done it, it can be challenging to keep up. That’s okay. That’s fine. Except for the fact that she’s in a role where this skill is a requirement! I had to take a test to prove my ability before I was hired here, into a lower paying, lower ranking job after my old job was terminated and I was put on layoff notice. I ended up with a decent salary because my scores were very high…..I’m over qualified for this role, by far, but I was just happy keeping the work, pension and benefits so I sucked it up. This woman makes 4$/h less than I do.
Four. Dollars. Less. That’s what I can’t swallow. The difference in workload …. we’re not even on the same planet there….and all of that is only worth FOUR dollars an hour?
I am suddenly quick sick of this shit. It’s ruined my motivation entirely and I get angry now, at myself, when I get all stressed out about being behind.
(Exhales…..) Wow…that was a lot of info I managed! I got interrupted a dozen times but just refused to stop this until I was done. And look at that….I DO feel better and more clear headed. Just needed to remind myself that I have absolutely nothing to feel guilty for around here. Time for another meeting with the bosses I think. Will try to plan my course of action here so I stay in this level head space. For now, however, I have two weeks’ worth of work to do in four days and it’s not the kind that can be delayed or put off so……back to it. For now.