I don't know if I have ever had such a deep need to blog. Of course my ability is greatly limited due to a loss in internet access at home.
My life is such chaos right now. The last week has been fairly compriable to Hell. There has also been a few shining moments.
Burp received his rank advancement in Cub Scouts and was awarded 8 belt loops. The process of getting him evaluated for Asperger's has begun, though I've recently learned that there is a difference in educational and medical diagnoses. Oh well- one thing at a time. He's started a special social skills class at school which he loves and I've been told is very successful. There are also whispers that once we get this all figured out, he's very likely on a path for Talented And Gifted. WOW!! That one caught me by surprise. I mean, I've always thought he was brilliant in his own way, but I also know parents seem to think more highly of their children than they probably should. LOL!
On the flip-side, work life has been very stressful this last week. Last Friday we were told their would be a special meeting for ED Unit Secretaries and Paramedics on Tuesday. Things at work have been slow. We've been flexing and sending people home early, so I knew this wasn't good. I had four days to stress. Tuesday we found out that they would be cutting from 6 unit secretaries, down to 4. Unfortunately, I'm number 5 on the totem pole.
There are a lot of maybes and what-if to account for. There is a chance that someone with seniority above me will not take a shift because it doesn't work with their schedule. If all the shifts are taken, I have the choice to collect a severance package, or bump someone in another department that I have seniority over.
I fall into the 4 to 6 years of employment so the severance package isn't that wonderful. Four weeks of base-pay, plus cash out my PTO at 100%, recall rights for a year, unemployment, and if I am recalled- I get to keep my severance pay. Nothing that makes you go WOW! but I have never heard of a non-management position being offered severance. So no looking the gift horse in the mouth here!! Another thing to keep in mind is that there is currently a government program that pays 65% of COBRA. For me that difference is over $600. Instead of the $937 per month it would cost me to keep insurance, it would only cost me $326. That program expires at the end of March. After that, no deal.
The other option is bumping. Really, this makes me want to vomit. This causes a huge battle between morality and ethics and survival of the fittest. If I am not offered an ED shift, I can go to HR and they will give a list of all Unit Secretary positions that are currently held by people whom I have seniority over. I can pick one and bump that person out of their shift. In turn, they can do the same thing- causing a huge trickle down effect throughout the entire hospital. I hate knowing that what I choose to do can effect the lives of countless others. Unfortunately, the truth of it all is that there is no way I can go without insurance for Burp. His medical bills would cost me over $1000 a month without insurance. *sigh* What to do?
A friend told me the other day, “You're too nice and ethical and by the book. That's why you don't get anywhere in life. You have to cheat and break the rules to succeed.” WOW.... True maybe, but I can look myself in the mirror and be happy with the kind of person I am.
To me, I'm heart-broken by all of this because I LOVE MY JOB!!! I LOVE THE COMPANY I WORK FOR!!! I (mostly) LOVE THE PEOPLE I WORK WITH!! And DAMNIT!!!, I'm damn good at my job. Not everyone can say those things. I think it's pretty damn cool that I can. Sure, I don't make enough money. I struggle. But it's worth it. I could maybe find a job that gives me more hours, but I would rather scrape by and love what I do and know that I work for a company that TRULY puts patient care first, look forward to going to work everyday, and take pride in a job well done. It makes it worth it. And I don't want to lose that.
I'm scared because the ER is the only department that has a NOC Unit Secretary. Working graveyard truly works best with my schedule. As a single parent, I don't miss anything. I sleep while he's at school and am still able to take him to Cub Scouts, Swim, Rockwall, whatever he chooses to do. He needs to do those things. Whether it is just ADHD and Anxiety Disorder and/or Asperger's, he benefits so much from those extra-curricular activities. I can't take them away from him. We spend sooo much extra time on homework. Yes, it's my job to put a roof over his head and food in his bottomless belly, but it's also my job to give him every tool possible to be successful in life. Right now, I have that balance. This is so difficult.
I do have to say, I've had so much support. The few people outside of work that I've told have been astounding. I've really not told that many people because, like.... what do you say? I don't really know anything at this point. I haven't even told my mom. I don't like to not have a plan. I don't like to worry her. I planned to sit down with her on Sunday and ask her advice, unfortunately, Ducky asked me how work was going..... and I don't lie well, so I told him. I hope you understand Mom. I've talked to a few of my close friends from our Cub Scout family, and they've been incredibly supportive. In fact, it's been difficult because we were supposed to re-bid on Thursday but some of the wave-makers at work got the re-bid date moved to Monday so on top of not getting much sleep due to meetings and such, I also got a several phone calls on Thursday asking how the bid went. Though the support helps, it sucks to have to repeat the bad news over and over.
I've planned as much as I can. I've already started inquiring about a job at the Urgent Care that our ER doctors own. I've talked to a few people in case I have to take a day job and need to arrange child care either before or after school for a little bit. I have two lined up. I'm fairly certain if I have to apply for jobs elsewhere that I can walk in there with no less than 20 reference letters. That feels good.
I've gone through the total range of emotions: hopelessness, devastation, fear, panic, frustration, anxiety, stress, you name it- I've felt it! Now I'm coming into a sense of peace. What will be, will be. Everything happens for a reason. This could really suck ass, or it could be a great opportunity. If I do keep an ER position, it's an increase in hours. If I can't, one of the people I could bump is an ICU Unit Secretary and they are required to be monitor techs... I've been requesting that training for over a year now, plus it's a higher pay scale.
I've tried my best to keep my pride and dignity about me. To take everything in stride. I know some where there's a saying about how we deal with adversity tells something about the kind of person we are.
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, or talk too wise;
If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build'em up with wornout tools;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And – which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!
On a totally different note; today my son told me that he has a school friend whose Dad is serving in Iraq. He had asked his friend if next time he talked to his Dad if he would say “Thank you” to him, for serving our country and protecting us. WOW! I am so proud that at 8 years old he understands that. I was speechless. What a kid.
He told me that he wants to serve his country when he grows up, but that he doesn't want to go into the military because he doesn't want to go to war. So we discussed the different ways you can serve your country. He no longer wants to go into Sports Medicine when he grows up, he now wants to be a K-9 Officer. I'm pretty okay with that.