Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Top Health system?

This past January my hospital was named the #1 most integrated health facility in the U.S. That sounds like quite and achievement? right? Our hospital has taken this designation and run with it. putting up signs all over the facilities, hanging billboards, making shirts, practically everything you can do in the advertising world. Every sign says this; #1 integrated health system. That statement makes you think it's the top health system in the U.S. when in fact, it's just the most integrated. I know this is a little confusing, it was confusing for me as well, so I did a little investigation.

Verispan evaluates health systems based on the level of integration in eight categories: integration; integrated technology; contractual capabilities; outpatient utilization; financial stability; services and access; hospital utilization; and physicians.

It sounds to me like they're really just evaluating how integrated the computer systems are. Which makes me wonder a couple of things.
A. Is it a lie to proclaim the status of #1 integrated health system? should they have to say They're the most integrated health system?
B. How crappy are every one else's systems. The army's information management systems are better than my hospitals. We run 15 year old programs on brand spanking new computers, we have multiple programs that aren't interfaced, and Nothing "crosses over" so there are workers who have unnecessary jobs like transferring information from one system to the next. It's all terribly inefficient.

Don't get me wrong I think That we're a very good hospital. But, Honestly, I've worked at much maligned hospitals in the military (think Walter Reed) who were far superior to this place. It just makes me wonder how liberal these processes are. Can you basically give your hospital any title you want. While it is a great a achievement to have a supposed top computer system, I don't think you can translate that into actual care.

(Now a Side note)
Anyway, I'll remind you that I don't really get to see patients. The only thing I get to see are test results, Lab requisitions, and a diagnosis. so sometimes it's pretty funny Like last night i got a requisition for a 97 year old man that came into the E.R. With The diagnosis of "misbehavior" Are you shitting me? He's 97 he can do whatever the hell he wants. It also turns out that his drug screen was positive for THC. This old guy was high as a bird. let him do what the hell he wants he doesn't have that much time to live anyway. The point seems to have gotten lost in this last paragraph Though. I see these weird diagnoses all the time and I'm going to start keeping a record of them to share with you. I think it'll be damned funny and it'll give me alot more material to write about. I can only write PTBG girl is an idiot so many times.

Monday, July 30, 2007

My bubble

I'm normally a pretty out going and likeable guy. That being said; Don't fucking touch me. No, really, I'm a nice guy. I just don't like to be touched or smacked or patted on the back or punched in the arm. If I don't know you please don't randomly give me a hug.

Ptbg has decided recently that it's okay to slap me across the across the arm or to kinda back hand my stomach after she says something usually when she thinks she's said something funny, which by the way, probably wasn't funny. I don't know about you, but at work I just don't find this acceptable behavior. Especially if I've made it clear I don't particularly like you.

Ptbg announced to everyone she was taking 2 weeks off to go on a cruise and then take her son to college in minnesota. I announced how I thought that individuals, especially ones, who aren't fully (or in her case even partially) trained should just up and take a vacation after being at a job for less than 3 months. She responded by playfully slapping me on the shoulder and saying "you're just jealous."( No, bitch, I'm not jealous I just think you'll become even more useless.) I Think this is a good time to tell her not to invade my bubble, at work my personal space is just that, my personal space.

Evidently she thought I was joking and spent the rest of the night marking on me with pens or rubber stamps or just generally finding ways to touch me inappropriately (not that there is any appropriate way for her to touch me). It's been a few weeks now and she hasn't stopped. I've even sat her down to talk to her like a 2 year old and say "this isn't appropriate work behavior, we're not buddies, don't touch me."

At what point would I need to get my boss involved? when exactly is a situation supposed to get so unbearable that you have to enlist outside help. Maybe I should say that it's sexual harassment and she'll be fired. I honestly think that she just creates more work than she completes. I think I'm going to start a new revolution of men filing sexual harassment claims. Maybe I'll get a big paycheck. I'm the only male in the group I work with, and The next three people above me in the chain of command are all women. Hmmm I'm starting to believe this could work. The first pay day is always the biggest, I'll be the first male to successfully sue a company for sexual harassment. Or has it already been done?

Thursday, July 26, 2007

She said what?

This post will be about dumb-ass. you can read more about her in my post "co-workers part 3" I'd imbed a link if I knew how.

One of the ladies from transfusion came running into the main lab. She was visibly upset and was having a hard time verbalizing what she was trying to say. All I could make out was "j needs help" and "She's just sitting there." This didn't seem to make a whole lot of sense to me, I followed c into our break room to see J laying face first in the middle of the break room floor with broken glass laying all around him, looking as though he's having a seizure.

The first things you always need to do is call 911 right? well not so much in a hospital. You'd be amazed at how difficult it is to get a rapid response team to another part of the hospital. Anyway, while we were waiting for the rapid response team, We proceeded to check his responsiveness, breathing, and circulation. He wasn't responding, there was foam coming out of his mouth and there was a piece of a broken plate embedded into his head. but at least he was breathing and he still had circulation. Since he didn't need CPR, all I could do was wait.

Imagine my surprise when I see dumb-ass out of the corner of my eye, eating her baked potato as if nothing had happened. I guess everyone kinda looked at her at the same time with a WTF look. So she volunteers the following statement "I just thought he was sleeping. I thought it was a little weird he was lying on the floor but I didn't want to disturb him." Are you seriously shitting me? Who in the name of God thinks that to themselves. After hearing that, What C said earlier made a lot more sense. "she's just sitting there." From what I can figure out she let him lay there undisturbed for about 10 minutes.

A lot of people that don't know me say i must be exaggerating when I tell them how stupid I think a lot of the people I work with are. If this isn't proof of my previous assertions, I don't know what is. Can you imagine someone you know just sitting there continuing to eat while someone was on the ground having a seizure? I'd also like to remind everyone that this person was supposed to be a healthcare professional. I hope you all have lots of faith in the professionals taking care of you family the next time they have to go to the hospital. I'm still kind of dumbfounded by all of this so the only think I can think to say is WTF? seriously... WTF?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Anal Sex

That's right, I said "anal sex". This story is about ptbg, and her possible love affair with anal sex. The conversation started innocently enough. I was basically bitching as usual. This time about an unnecessary change. Is it just me or have you noticed that every time you get a new boss they have a tendency to change things just for the sake of change? This time someone thought it would be brilliant to have everyone in my section rotate jobs every 2 and a half hours. There is no point to this. The conversation went something like this.

Me: "This destroys my continuity of work. It doesn't seem like it's be a big deal but it takes several minutes to log out of this computer then log into the next computer and to try and convey to the next person what I'm doing. This is a worthless change"

Piddler: "How do you know you won't like it unless you try it?" (Mind you this system is perfect for the piddler. She'll be able to constantly look busy just by moving around.)

Me: Well I don't like anal sex and I don't have to try that to know I don't like it.

ptbg: "I love anal sex... but only when my husband does it." (yeah I know wtf... who shares information like this)

Things kind of got quiet after she said that, and remained so for the rest of the night. I'll admit that what I said was highly inappropriate. But seriously, would you just volunteer your love of anal sex to coworkers you've known for maybe 2 months? I didn't think so.

About a week later I made some off color joke about a stool specimen sitting on the counter, and ptbg proceeds to inform me how disgusting she thinks I am. Then, I proceed to tell her that after the anal sex comment she's lost her right to distinguish the difference between what is and isn't disgusting. She goes on to defend her love of anal sex for the next week or so. Bringing her profession of love for anal to about two weeks long.

The next week she decides go on a rant about using the lord's name in vain. As a side note; When I have nothing left to say about a particular subject I say, "Well at least Jesus still loves me" I understand that it's making a mockery of what is supposed to be an all encompassing love but I'm not really bothered by that fact. Back to the point. I got a little tired of her rant and retorted; "You realize that God frowns upon sodomy, right?" She replied with a curt, I'm not a sodomite. To which I replied. You realize Sodomy and anal sex are the same thing right. She responded with a look of disgust and then panic as she either realized her mistake or had realized that she needed to cover up what she had said earlier. Oh my God, No! I got confused, I thought you meant oral. I really love oral not anal, That's disgusting.

This shows me one of two things.

1. She's a liar that will lie simply to avoid looking bad or

2. She's really just THAT stupid.

I honestly believe that she's now just trying to cover up, but if she really is that stupid, as she's like to lead us to believe, it would make me wonder if she's mentally handicapped. Honestly, how, as a forty something year old woman, who works in the medical field, no less, not understand the difference between oral and anal sex? It beats the hell out of me.

I could just be judging her too harshly, maybe she's been a stay at home mom for too long, Do people this naive/stupid really exist?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

He stuck what; Where?

It took a long time to decide if I was going to post anything about this next event. It's kind of sad why this kid does what he does, but after a long hard deliberation, I've decided that the comic value far outweighs anything else.

I don't get to enjoy all the really good stories that the E.R. has to offer, but once in awhile I get a good one. About a week ago I was processing a specimen who happened to have the diagnosis written on the label it read as follows;

"FB in penis"

"What the hell?"

It turns out that FB in penis means foreign body in penis. When you're in the lab you don't actually get to see patients and you don't really ever know what's going on with them all you can do is guess based on test results and diagnoses. As you can guess my mind went crazy trying to think of what the hell this person could have stuck inside his penis.

My first thought was well, maybe it's just a little kid who doesn't no any better. Nope!. My second guess, well maybe it's a perverted old man who got a little too into his self love fest. Nope!. It turns out it was a fifteen year old kid. Definitely old enough to know better and I would think young enough to not have developed those kind of perversions. I guess I was wrong.

We had a surgery tech come in the lab some time later in the day and filled us in. Obviously, our first question was what the hell was it. It was the little plastic button on his patient ID bracelet. What the hell? I asked what he was originally in here for and it was the same thing. He shoved a plastic thermometer cover inside his penis. I don't even think I want to imagine how painful that was or why the hell he'd ever do it a second time.

The O.R. tech stayed around for a little longer and gave us a few more details. She told us that he's actually a pretty regular customer. He's in about once a month for the same thing. I also learned that it isn't all that uncommon. The O.R. gets about five "foreign body removals" a month. Is it just me or does that seem a little high?
I guess all I can say is thank you, perverted freaks, for helping to keep me employed

The sad part of it all is that evidently this kid had been abused, it's unclear whether it was sexually or not, from the time he was about five. I have no doubt that he's experienced a lot of suffering in his life, but guess what kid? not all of us decided to stick crap up their penis to cope. Seriously. I know life sucks, but you're not the only one with problems. At some point in time in your life you're gonna need to learn that who you are and what you do is ultimately you're decision no matter how much you've dealt with as a child. Hey, I should be a counselor... I'm totally headed back to school for psychology, I've obviously missed my calling

I'm not a mooch

The following conversation I had a work started because I made some joke about government cheese. You know, like government peanut butter, and cheese and dry milk. I made some joke about giving someone some government cheese. The exact joke escapes me right now but it went something like this

Girl 1: "So, girl two do you have any of that cheddar cheese left for sale." (I know it's strange.)

Girl 2: "I'm not sure"

ME: "I got some gov'ment cheese I can sell ya... but it's not that cheddar crap just good ole American, the way it's supposed to be."(obviously joking)

Girl 2: "Why do you have gov'ment cheese?"

Girl 3: "Oh are you guys like on wic or food stamps... do they even still have the gov'ment cheese program?"

Me: "What?, I have no reason to be on food stamps or WIC"

Girl 2: I bet you'd qualify, you're wife doesn't work... right?"

Me: "Whether I qualify or not doesn't matter" I'm an able bodied man of sound mind There's no reason I can't support my family, I don't need money from the government

Girl 2: Why don't you take the money you'd save by getting food stamps and start a college fund for him.

Me: "He doesn't need anything I can't provide for him, and have you ever heard of raising your children the right way so that they don't need the governments money either?"

This exchange, in and of it's self, didn't bother me so much, What did bother me is why no one seemed to understand why I thought it was wrong to take government money without actually needing it. When did we all come to believe that we're entitled to "free money".

It's pretty amazing how much money you can make and still qualify for government assistance I have a buddy who makes about 40 grand a year and his wife probably makes another 12 to 15 and they have one child and they still qualify for government assistance. We don't have a ton of money left over every month but we have more than enough to pay all our bill without wondering if they'll get paid, we have enough for food, and enough to feed our child. So why exactly do I need the government to give me money as well?

Monday, July 16, 2007

Nursing homes

I"m going to preface this blog with the following disclaimer: "Yes, I realize that I am going to sound like an asshole for what I'm about to say, and NO, there's nothing I care to do about it.

I don't think nursing homes should exist. I think they're a complete drain on the health care system and a complete drain on money. I can personally guarantee that at least 75 percent of the people in nursing homes are not there on there own dime, or even the dime of their families. Their "care" is being paid for by you and I, through social security and medicaid/medicare Personally I can't see how the government can justify spending billions each year to barely keep people alive.

I'm not saying that I should be the judge of when quality of life becomes more important than life itself. But what I can say is; what's the point of keeping a 97 year old women alive on a machine or what's the point of drawing labs and analyzing every possible bodily fluid just to make sure parts of her haven't stopped working, i.e. renal failure. It just doesn't make sense to me.

Normally I'm a big fan of capitalism and competition, even in health care. The competition drives us to develop new technologies to help with the diagnosis and care of patients. This isn't the case with nursing homes. Nursing homes are strictly a business. Most hospitals are non-profit organizations.

We have a contract with a company who has contracts with nursing homes, they'll go out to a nursing home and draw blood or take urine samples. Next, they send these samples to my lab for analysis. We charge this company for our services and they in turn charge nursing homes any fee they feel like charging them for a service that they don't need. The reason companies like these have popped up is because nursing homes continue to employ under qualified people. Why pay a nurse 20 bucks an hour when you can pay an aid 8 bucks an hour. It's all about the bottom line for these people.

Not only do the pocketbooks of whomever pays for these services suffer, but general health care of everyone in the community can suffer. I've been told that company's like the one I just described to you (let's call them B&B) are the reason I have a job, they keep us in the black. So guess what. We basically have to suck their collective dick and process everyone of those specimen stat. The get pushed ahead of patients that have just had heart attacks, they get pushed ahead of the patients in the I.C.U's, and they even get pushed ahead of the patients in the E.R. Simply to make a buck.

I've stated this before, but why do I give a fuck if some 97 year old grandma who can't bathe herself, is completely devoid of use to our society, and who uses the money I'm putting into social security and medicaid live? The answer is I don't. at 97 you've lived a full life, why are you trying to prolong death. I think it's time we start investing money into people who are productive members or at least have the potential to be productive members of society. (Think scholarships for the best and brightest).

I'll give a couple groups a break though. I think if you're a veteran and have war related injuries then the government should take care of you until you decide you're ready to die. Secondly, If you've been smart enough to invest you're money well, and save enough so that you're still paying you're own ticket, by all means stay alive as long as you'd like. I don't care if you prolong death till the year 2050 waiting for the fountain of youth, as long as you're waiting on your dime. I'm all about giving things to people who have earned them. If you've worked hard to provide for yourself into your golden years then you should be allowed to do whatever you want. Even people with old money, If one of your ancestors had the foresight to work hard and make a fortune so that his descendants could live well, then good for him.

The only thing I'm trying to say here is that we're pumping money into a useless system. It's not an investment in any way. AT least the war in Iraq has the potential for some positive impact. I know many of you are not supporters of the war, but in 100 years history is going to look back and see a democracy being established in the middle east as one of the most significant events of the last 200 years. That, or it really is the beginning of Apocalypse.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


Somebody forwarded this to me.

The what if I.... game

I was over at the violent acres site and was reading one of the stories in v's "best of" section. Basically, this is how it went. She just wanted to see what would happen if she tried to buy 25 bottles of nyquil... then return them for 25 boxes of sudafed. Hilarity did ensue... even though she seemed a little dissapointed with the results.

This has prompted me to start a little what if I... interactive game... basically I want anyone and everyone to give me ideas on what I should do for the what if I.... game. I'll do the most absurd suggestion, as long as it's financially feasable, and it's borderline legal. So please... give me a few ideas.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Coworkers part 3

I've already written about ptbg and the piddler, my last installment of the "coworkers" series will be about The girl who does whatever the fuck she wants. I can't really come up with a clever name for her so I'll just call her dumb ass (classy, I know.)

Dumb ass is dangerous because she looks very competent, it's almost impossible to tell a competent worker from a dumb ass. She always gets rave reviews from her supervisor for her productivity. She's completes tasks quickly, with one small hitch, She completes tasks in any manner in which she deems appropriate. She completely ignores established protocol, and becomes confrontational if you try to point out a problem with her work. The only way you can tell if your coworker is a dumb ass, is of you're the one who has to constantly clean up her mess.

You can quickly see why dumb ass is so dangerous. Other coworkers rave about the speed in which she completes tasks, buy you know better. Unfortunately, anytime you say anything negative about dumb ass, it's ignored because she supposedly works so proficiently.

Normally, you'd think that not following established protocol would be detrimental, especially in a medical lab, oh no..., not here. I come from a military lab background, there are standard operating procedures for everything, up to and including how to scratch your ass. This place is the most ass backward organization I've ever been a part of. The beauty of having a standard operating procedure, is that nothing goes unresolved for very long. Got a problem?... look up the answer. An s.o.p. sounds like a good idea... right? At my hospital, this is the answer I got whenever I questioned what the established procedures were. Oh, well everyone is going to do it there own way. Well that makes a whole lot of fucking sense! I'm kinda of a hard ass stickler about things being done correctly, and this attitude does not fly with me.

I'm not sure why, but it probably has something to do with my need for everything to go smoothly, but, I always end up having to be the one to clean up the mess from the haphazard way the dumb ass does everything. I don't like going to work and feeling like I spent most of my time cleaning up someone Else's mess. Especially when when I don't get paid the big bucks to do that.

Maybe I'm a little too organized when I go to work. Maybe I'm just a control freak. Or maybe, I'm just sick and tired of everyone else around me (save a select few) being relatively incompetent. I'd much rather answer a question about how to do something than clean up the mess after you fuck it up. There is a reason that we have a fancy computer system that you can put orders into, and it will spit out every little piece of information you could ever need to know about that test. We, unfortunately need these computers, because hospitals continue to try and save money by hiring under qualified people, and by shaving costs anywhere they can.

The one problem that I will never be able to solve or at least have some idea as how to solve is why the hell is health care so expensive? It's a lose lose situation, pay professionals less, and fewer of the top students go into those fields, hire under qualified yahoos and you get sup-par care. What can ya do?

Just so everyone doesn't think I'm just some egomaniacal jackass, I've give you 2 examples of how dumb ass makes my life harder. The first one is vintage dumb ass. She get's in such a hurry, that instead of ordering the correct test in the computer she just orders a misc. test and writes the name in the free space on the label. This doesn't sound all that bad except for the fact that when someone (namely me) catches this, they have to go back and find out what test was actually suppossed to be ordered, cancel the one she ordered, reorder the correct test, then submit the sample for analysis. It doesn't seem like a huge deal but that shit gets annoying when it interrupts you're work flow... I'm all about the flow. The second example I have really really really annoyes the piss out of me. Don't leave half-completed work laying around, amongst completed or non completed samples. The reason you have standard operating procedures, and the reason everyone does things the exact same way is so that when someone does leave a half completed sample laying around, you can pick up right where they left off and complete the task at hand. Dumb ass, has a bad habit of doing it any fucking which way she pleases, and leaving it laying around for me make guesswork out of it.

I honestly hope none of you have to work with this type of person, but I know you do. That's just how the world works. Sometimes I wonder why I work so hard and care so much. In the end I just remember two things a buddy reminded me of in the army.
1. "I don't get paid enough to care that much",
2. "I don't get paid enough to think, just do"

Friday, July 6, 2007


last night something happened to me to make me realize just how jaded I've become. One of the new girl's at work comes up to me while I'm busy with something else and says, "hey I have this specimin that needs to be done right away, the nursing home says he's been bleeding internally and they need the results as soon as it's finished." You want to know what my response was? Well, it wasn't the correct response. I said "I'll get to it when I get to it. they guy is like 90 years old why do I give a fuck if he lives a couple more days, everything we get from those assholes (the client) is suppossedly a stat, what, is everyone fucking dying over there. If it were a real emergency they'd bring him to the hospital." As soon as I said that my heart sunk, I couldn't believe what I had just said. Needless to say I proccessed it immediately.

I began to think about how I became the way that I am. What would I do to someone else if they had said that about my grandfather as he lay on his death bed. The man who was everything I aspired to be. I tried to do some self-relfection after I got home from work last night searching for an answer to how I may have become so desensitized to the world. When I say desensitized, I'm not talking about the bullshit they talk about on cnn or msnbc where they tell you there's too much violence and sex on t.v. What I'm talking about is a lifetime of internal and external suffering. having to be around things and see things that no other human being should ever have to witness.

Most of you know the story of my childhood so I won't go into why my child hood was so terrible. I have had lots of problems dealing with emotion and I have severe attachment disorder. But I think what really made me the person I am had alot to do with the army. There I was fresh faced and 18 in the army, learning to be a man. Everyone talks about how important the first few years of life are in forming a personality, but I think 18 19 20 are just important. You're finally away from your parents, trying to learn how to be an adult. Anything can affect how you view the world and what type of adult you are going to be. I want to talk about being desensitized by watching a man being shot in the head and immediately knowing he's dead. I want to talk about performing CPR on a fellow soldier for the first time and realizing you've just broken his ribs in what will probably be a vain attempt to save his life. That's true desensitization.

I understand that who and what I am is my own choice, but being in an environment like I was, while I was trying to form my "adult" personality was harmful. The next time you meet someone who just seems angry at the world, stop, and wonder what might have caused them to be that way. Many of us have seen and heard things that no other human being should have to. One last thing, please thank a veteran if you know one. How many of those men and women had to suffer through their formative adult years, becoming jaded, so we could all feel a little safer.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

My coworkers part II

This is the second installment of the "my coworkers" series. In this blog I will write about the infamous "pass the buck girl" referred to as PTBG from now on. The PTBG always finds a way to pass her work on to you or someone else. Somehow, she conveys and image of competence to her boss but enough incompetence to her coworkers that they're willing to just complete her work for her.

We've all been in a situation where PTBG comes up to you and asks "Can you help me with this?" then proceeds to leave the project laying on your desk or whatever work surface area you're using. After awhile, naturally, you get tired of this so you decide the show PTBG how to complete said task so that at least from that point forward she won't ask for your help with that. Good idea, right?... WRONG What occurs next is either the manifestation of complete genius covered up extremely well, or It's a moment that you honestly wonder if they are mentally handicapped. All of a sudden They don't remember how to do anything. Even simple tasks, like step 1: log onto computer. What you've all read is ptbg's go-to move. Feigning ignorance, I can't count how many times I've been so frustrated with they're stated lack of knowledge that I just give up and realize I'll be able to accomplish more by myself.

My particular version of PTBG is particularly bad because she's has never shown competence in ANYTHING. So you can't call her out. It's possible that she really is just kind of slow. Unfortunately I work in a place that regularly does charity hires. I'm not saying this because I think everyone I work with are mentally handicapped (althought it is a possibility with a few). I'm saying it because that's what actually happens. They hire people with mental defects to do what are supposed to be menial tasks. These "menial tasks" somehow, end up being the most important things in the world. It's amazing how fucked up your work flow can get because of one stupid mistake, that could have been avoided by hiring qualified applicants.

My PTBG hasn't been working here too long, so I guess I'm not allowed to get overly frustrated with her yet. I recognize that I'm overqualified for my job. This means that not everyone I work with will have the same knowledge or ability to learn as I do. Honestly, though, I think we could do a little better than plucking a 40 something year old career cafeteria worker and putting her in a medical lab.

While I do hate the "piddler" I might hate PTBG even more. The piddler creates more work for me, as does ptbg girl, but the most apparent trait difference is that the piddler will do work if you stay on top of her and she knows someone is watching. It doesn't matter how much you stay on top of PTBG, she'll always just frustrate the hell out of you, to the point where you'll just say "fuck it, I'll do it myself."

Side rant about ptbg: If you ask me if it's okay to do something and I reply "Other people do it, but I wouldn't do it, it seems dishonest" That doesn't mean sure, do whatever the fuck you want. One last thing, I love when you say "You're not my boss." Please continue to to act like a 12 year old retard, so that When I am your boss I have plenty of examples of why you should be let go.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

My coworkers part 1

I'm going to start a mini series on my coworkers. What's funny about this, is that no matter where you go, what industry you're in, you're going to have people with these exact same traits I'm not going to name anyone but I gaurentee you'll be able to relate someone you work with to all of these.

The first coworker we'll examine is "The Piddler." The piddler is someone who always appears busy, but never really is, Sometimes it's hard to point the piddler out. The reason I started noticing was because of the volume of work I had to complete whenever we were short staffed and I had to work alone with her as oppossed to other people.

I first stared to really pay attention to the piddler because it's the same person that had basically called me racist. Just so we're clear, I'm not racist but I HATE lazy people, no matter what the color of your skin. I yelled at you because you're lazy, not because you're asian. Sorry about that side rant, but it needed to be said.

The piddler is especially dangerous because she looks like a good worker, and she's especially swamped when the boss is around. This may lead the boss to believe that they are a better worker than you are, thus diminishing your credibility in case of a conflict later.

I've picked up on a few of her tricks. Her "go-to" move is to work on "problems" first so that she's not having to do any actual work. She's always on hold with a "very important problem" This really irritates me because all those stupid little things can be solved in about five minutes if you save them for the end of the night when the bulk of your work is completed. Another good tactic is that she'll walk back and forth between lab departments with a specimen in her hand so that no one will ask her to do anything. This reminds me a lot of another piddler from another job. The only difference was that I liked this guy so I guess it didn't bother me that much. But his go-to move was to put on a lab coat and walk around with a clipboard with random papers on it. I don't know how it worked so well, but it did, until my other buddy danny caught on to it. He wasn't as forgiving. He called him out on it pretty quickly.

I hope that you can't label a piddler amongst the people you work with, if not, you're pretty lucky. Maybe you should be on the look out from now on.

An actual phone call

This is a phone call I received while I was working last night. I want to remind you that the person on the other end of the phone is an RN, she's not supposed to be an uneducated idiot.

ME: ST. John's lab; this is Rob

HER: Hi, This is v, over at such and such clinic, I need some results for a patient that should have been completed friday.

ME: No,problem can I have her ID number so I can look it up in the computer.

HER: Well. I Don't need you to look it up in the computer I'm looking at the computer with the results right now. I just need them faxed to me.

ME: (By now I'm thinking "what the fuck is wrong with you") Ma-am I have to look up the results on the computer the same way you do in order for me to send them to you.

Her: NO, I just need a hardcopy

ME: Well if you're looking at the results on your screen, can't you just print them off? It will be the exact same piece of paper I'd have to fax to you.

Her: Well, they always fax us all the results and I don't know why it didn't happen this time (she seems a little annoyed now and I can't figure out why)

ME: Fine, I'll fax you these results but I still need her ID number so I can look it up the exact same way you are.

Her: You don't have to get smart with me, if you had just faxed over the results on friday when it was done we wouldn't be having this problem

ME: Point A; I didn't work friday. Point B; I have nothing to do with your results getting faxed. And point C; if you can view the results in your computer you don't need us to fax you those results. We fax results as a courtesy to clinics we have contracts with, that aren't on our computer network.

Her: Whatever, I'll just print the results myself, What if I didn't know how to print results?


The worst part of daily questions like these is that they never come at a time when you're not busy and you can just laugh it off. It always come when you're super busy and don't have time to deal with it. Oh, and one more thing. Our hospital has a policy that we don't release test results over the phone. Deal with it. A lot of times doctors will order a test and then schedule an appointment with that patient two weeks later. The results have been in our computer system for 2 weeks. Just because your patient is in the office right now, does not mean that this is an emergency. If you really needed those results you would have called and gotten them before you're patients scheduled appointment. If, as a patient, you ever have to wait for lab results while you're waiting in the office, it means that office probably has a horrible office manager, and maybe you should think twice about the doctor you're seeing, I know it seems a little petty, but if your doctor isn't organized or in incapable of hiring organized people you might want to think twice about using him... who knows where' you'll be on his priority list when you get sick.