grrgoyl: (UCB titles)
2009-02-11 01:24 am

Work, work, work. 

To give you an idea of what Tery is up against at the hospital, she was working Reception alone the other night but knew it wasn't going to be enough.  One of the assistants would have to go home (and the only choice was a girl who'd already been sent home by Tery twice that week).  Tery, tired of always being the bad guy, phoned down to Dr. E. (the medical director) and asked her to "cut A. loose."  A few minutes later A. came upstairs and cheerfully informed Tery she was there to relieve her, thinking she was doing Tery a big favor by sending her home (Tery had worked like a 12-hour day). 

Later on the phone Tery pointed out Dr. E.'s mistake to her.  "Oh, THAT'S what you meant by 'cut her loose.'  We need to work on our code words."  What?  In what language does "cut her loose" mean anything besides "let her go"?  My god. 

Consequently yours truly needed to make some sacrifices on the weekend, which I'm normally happy to do.  Friday night was actually pretty busy with patients so I had to stay the whole shift.  Saturday I had one patient, a small, bony, shivery chihuahua Parvo puppy, who only required two shots of antibiotics from me -- one at 9 pm and one at 5 am.  I had to stay a full night just waiting to give the dog one stupid shot.  Tery was desperate and asked me to give up three hours, but of course I still had to stay to give the shot.  True, I slept most of the time, but the only thing worse than giving up three hours from your shift is giving them up and having to "work" them anyway (which I realize is technically illegal, but like I said, I wasn't exactly the paragon of industry during that time, and in fact rarely am after midnight).  She promised to ask her doctors to give a little more thought to the med schedule in such a situation.

However, this was my first weekend with the new hours, sleeping in until noonish or so on Saturday, and it was HEAVENLY.  Almost like a proper weekend.  Meandered out into the living room whenever I damn well felt like it, watched a little TV with Tery, enjoyed a luxurious breakfast.  All lovely.  And it turns out the four hours on Sunday night pass so quickly (evidently Sunday always has a huge workload so I actually get to spend the whole shift on just one account, as opposed to the weekdays when I'm bounced all over the place) it's barely like working at all.


Last weekend I got pulled over on my way home from the hospital.  The cop looked exactly like Matt Lauer, and said he got me doing 50 in a 40.  I found all my documents except my insurance card, which it turned out he didn't ask for a second time, fortunately. 

I knew damn well why he picked me out of a herd of other vehicles that was leaving me in the dust even before his lights came on.  Because a few miles earlier there's a place where the road crests into a big hill, and just below the edge of it you can see the top of a building that has always made me insanely curious.  The roof is shaped into a series of four sequential domes, each of which has a ceiling fan lit from below.  A fancy parking garage?  A greenhouse?  I had to know, and that night I drove down there to find out.  It turned out to be not nearly so interesting from below -- only one discernible entrance with a soda machine next to it, and no windows at ground level.  A group home of some sort, I surmised.  But I noticed an SUV skulking around behind me, approaching on the side street I would be turning onto to get back on the main road, and slowing down to a crawl to obviously let me go in front of it.  I have a strong suspicion it was this cop. 

Sure, my detour probably looked a little suspect.  The building was on a dead-end, so I really had no other reason to be down there.  It wasn't exactly the nicest part of town either.  He pulled me over, saw I was harmless, and then made up an excuse about speeding (he didn't ticket me or even give me a warning).    Since I don't always think the most clearly at 5 am, I stutteringly asked if this was about my explorations, and tried to explain my curiosity -- evidently not very well, because then he asked if I'd been drinking.  I of course pooh-poohed that idea, but I often worry about being given a sobriety test after working all night, if I would fail it out of fatigue (one would hope they'd use a Breathalyzer as well). 

But my real point is, where are these johnny-on-the-spot cops when I've got some asshole climbing into my backseat despite there being two other lanes to pass me?  Or when some dick needs to get into my lane WHATEVER THE COST and cuts me off, despite there being five empty car lengths behind me?  Nowhere to be found, that's where.  But pull ME over because I stopped to check out some unique architecture.  Yeah, I know.

Since I no longer need to hurry up and sleep, I now take my very leisurely time getting home (which drives the tailgaters round the twist -- yet they refuse to pass me, making me think it's less about being in an actual hurry and more about forcing me to go faster.  I don't take kindly to people trying to force their will on me) and NO detours. 


A few days ago I was completely harangued by a doctor in a dictation.  He started the report by saying, "I want you to call your supervisor right now before typing this report.  You people have been messing up my reports for years and I'm tired of it." 

Naturally that took me a little aback, but I wasn't about to call the supervisor without having an actual problem, and certainly not just because this guy told me to.  And for the record, I'd never done a report for this man in my life, so he wasn't talking about me specifically anyway.

Some dictators have what are called "standards," which are templates we can pull in for sections that are common to all their reports.  Most of the time these standards are numbered or otherwise easily identified.  This guy asked for one of his standards; he had six (three for each eye, right or left), and the broad, vague titles and very limited information that he gave made it virtually impossible to tell which one he wanted.  I eliminated one because he said, "NOT the one that uses this drug and this drug," and that was where his helpfulness ended. 

He provided a few more bits that would have fit into any of the standards, then signed off with "I hope you don't screw it up because you people are really getting on my nerves."

Do you know what's getting on MY nerves?  Slaving away for tuppence a day listening to doctors who apparently think we're all mind-readers, therefore it's not necessary to bother opening their mouths when they speak, or slow down instead of vomiting the report up in a single breathless stream of syllables that would make an auctioneer say "What was that again?", or stop chewing their lunch, or put some distance between themselves and the gaggle of shrieking, laughing nurses in the breakroom, or use a phone that doesn't cut out every third word, or not dispense portions of the report in between taking other calls while I sit and wait, making NO MONEY AT ALL, etc. etc.  THAT'S what's getting on my nerves. 

But I can't say that to him.  So I called my supervisor, explained the situation and his attitude, and asked her to please make sure I was using the correct standard.  She came to the same conclusion I did and okayed it, then said, "We've been dealing with this guy for years.  He's impossible."  She listened to the beginning of the dictation and sighed heavily.  "We've asked him to try to be more helpful and maybe number his standards, but he's apparently happier wasting five minutes lecturing us with every report." 

On a funny note, I did some reports by Dr. Shirley Nurse.  Dr. Nurse!  Sounds like Dr. Girlfriend from Venture Bros.  I need little moments like that to counteract Dr. Dipshit there (note:  not his real name).


I've got a whole saga about trying to buy an iClone, but since there are a few more chapters still waiting to develop, I think I'll wait.  Hope the suspense doesn't kill anyone.
grrgoyl: (Snotter)
2009-02-05 09:51 am

Lay-offs and shift changes

The terrible economy has finally reached Tery's hospital doors. She received the order to choose someone to lay off.

She's certain this can be avoided if she can squeeze by for another month, when one of her interns will leave for school. But until then, everyone has to step up and make small sacrifices so they can all keep their jobs (if you're wondering why I'm saying "they," I generously offered to quit, but ironically my shift would be exceptionally difficult to cover, so I have job security above and beyond being married to the boss. Instead I leave early whenever it's slow enough that I'm not needed the entire night, and glad to do so -- the good thing about a low hourly wage is it doesn't hurt much when your hours are cut).

So Tery put out a memo making it clear that everyone would have to cut their hours and work a little harder to cover the resulting smaller staff. She herself will be working 10- to 12-hour days to help out, cutting severely into our free time together, which I assured her didn't bother me. Hence No TV Tuesday will have to be cut back to once a month, or else we'll fall woefully behind on all our Tivo (which is for the best -- one adverse side effect of NTT was that it confused me so badly that I spent all day Thursday thinking it was Wednesday. Nothing kills my buzz faster than the sudden realization that I'm on my last night of freedom before the weekend).

All this was a very rude awakening to A., an employee who religiously calls in "sick" after every major football game, so needless to say missed her shift Monday (fooling no one). She returned to work Tuesday to discover jobs were suddenly on the line. "I thought we were safe!" she cried in anguish. Safe because we came in under budget one week. Pull your head out of your ass and read a newspaper once in awhile. These people seem genuinely astonished to learn the country's in trouble, and even moreso at the idea that they could be affected by it. She was further dismayed when she was told that no, she couldn't make up her missed hours. "Well now I don't know if I should sign my new lease or not," she grumbled. Tery's lack of sympathy came close to matching mine. Perhaps next time she won't make drinking and partying a priority over working her shift, fucking crybaby.

If I sound heartlessly gleeful at these brats finally seeing a glimpse of the cruel, cruel world of adulthood, it's because they've gone far too long without the "fear of god" (or Tery) in them, i.e. respecting your boss and doing your damn job, no questions asked.

Tery heard through the grapevine this afternoon that the staff were "very worried" and "thought they should have an emergency meeting," which would necessitate closing the doors and halting business while doing so. Really? Threats of lay-offs because revenue isn't matching payroll and you want to turn away customers so Tery can hold your hands and promise it will be alright? These people really aren't the brightest bulbs in the pack.

She's not sure what they want her to tell them. That they shouldn't worry, that the memo doesn't apply to them? She can't do that. We're both wondering why they're acting like this came out of nowhere, when Tery's been telling them for weeks how crucial it was that they get their budget under control. There's also talk of people worried Tery will play favorites when deciding who to send home. Of course she can't really say that she hates them all equally, which she does.


Meanwhile at my other job I'm not losing hours, just rearranging them. We were notified of a client whose reports were falling behind consistently because of gaps in the scheduling, and we were all expected to volunteer to fill those gaps (the mail contained a not-so-subtle threat about how they "didn't want to lose any of us but..."). The gaps were for the most part in the midnight to 5 am shifts. Yeah, I can't imagine why those would be hard to cover.

I worked RGIS inventory for 16 long years, a job that doesn't come remotely close to offering regular hours. I didn't mind at the time, but these past few years I've become very spoiled. Perhaps that's why I'm so jealously protective now that I finally have them (well, the weekend throws a tiny wrench in them, but at least it's the same wrench all the time). I really, really love having Sundays and Mondays off no matter what. So you can imagine the sinking feeling when I examined my options and realized the only gap that wasn't midnight to 5 am (cuz THAT wasn't happening) that didn't conflict with my hospital hours was Sunday evenings, 8 pm to midnight. Why, god, why?

I took it rather than wait too long and be forced into a choice even less palatable. The blow was a tiny bit softened when I came up with the trade-off of four hours out of my Saturday morning shift, so I could sleep in after working overnight Friday (when frankly I'm not really at my most productive anyway). THAT would be very nice, although knowing me I'd only sleep until 11 am or so and then twiddle my thumbs waiting to start work anyway.

I sent out a few emails proposing the change without receiving any confirmation to go through with it, so Sunday night I went ahead and worked my first 8-12. Oh, it hurt. Most Sunday nights I hold on until 10 pm or so and then crash hard until morning -- then spend most of the day Monday crashing some more. I had a cup of tea and Tery brought me dinner from the bar, and I slogged all the way through. I'm trusting next weekend with that Saturday morning off it won't be nearly so bad.

Monday morning I heard back from the scheduler, approving my new shift. She apologized for the delay, but she had received an overwhelming response from people about the change. I can't believe that many people were eager to work that graveyard shift, but I suppose you never know. It's amazing how cooperative employees become when the economy is in the toilet (except maybe Carol Siemens -- I guarantee she probably put up a squawk). I couldn't help thinking that if the response was that huge, maybe I didn't need to change mine after all, but I didn't say as much. Maybe I'll end up loving it and it will work out really well, but for now I'm still stubbornly clinging to the good times when I had two whole days off every week.

My sister the nurse, who already works six days a week, said to me wisely (and Tery's employees would do well to adopt the same attitude), "I'm just happy to have a job. I'll work whenever they want me to."


I thought I had no news from the kennels, but I forgot about Klondike. Klondike is an old Great Pyrenees, who for the most part is infinitely happier sleeping than doing anything else. Coaxing him to stand is near impossible, so you can imagine the fun to be had getting him up the stairs to the yard. He also has a perpetual long string of slobber hanging from his lips, in such quantity that the smallest sip from his water bowl fills it with slimy trails. Ugh.

I knew from previous attempts that he and stairs simply didn't mix. His legs would give out and he'd collapse mid step given half the chance. This led me to create my Great Pyrenees theory -- namely that no one should own one unless they live on the ground floor. Anyway I was trying to help him out, embracing his chest from behind as best I could to leverage him up. His head started lolling and flailing around in alarm, and then, almost in slow motion, that big strand of saliva whipped around and SPLAT! COVERED the whole side of my head. Oh. My. GOD. Say what you will about cats, at least they limit their spit-sharing to petitely and politely licking your face (or the occasional flecks emitted while hissing).

Needless to say, Klondike didn't make any more trips up the stairs on my shift. We were both content with staying in the hallway while he conducted his business.

I also had a Bernese mountain dog, Zoey. The only thing Tery hates more than stupid dogs is stupid dog owners, of which she sees more than her share. Zoey's mother essentially babied her growing up, and now that she's a little larger she has such severe separation anxiety that she lays waste to the girl's apartment whenever she's left alone. The girl just doesn't know what she did wrong.

Tery and I both know what she did wrong. The same thing a lot of dog owners do wrong. She saw that cute puppy in the window and didn't give a single thought to how or even if it would fit into her lifestyle once it grew up.

So she crated Zoey for one day, and that night brought her in for surgery because she'd ingested a foreign body (Tery and I surmised Zoey started to eat the crate). We think the stupid woman deserves every penny of that bill. Hey, it keeps Tery's doctors paid.


This entry seems to be full of a lot of hate. Well, life isn't all rainbows and new Blu-ray discs.
grrgoyl: (Jayne momma's boy)
2009-01-28 12:08 am

More co-worker laziness and Oscars

Today is No TV Tuesday, a new concept proposed by Tery to get us out of the rut of eating dinner and watching TV every single night.  Her thought was reading quietly together with music in the background (, where you can put in your current favorite bands and create a custom radio channel that plays only similar music).  I convinced her a laptop (and blogging) doesn't qualify as a TV.  So far we consider it a smashing success.  I just tried to suggest an All Sex Sunday, which went down in flames.  Poop.


The day shift at the hospital doesn't seem to grasp the idea of recycling.  Specifically, every weekend I'm greeted by the sight of a towering stack of cardboard boxes, still in their original shapes.  I attacked them, grumbling to myself as to why these people can't figure out that if you break them down, they're easier to stack and carry.  Then I realized that these boxes originally contained Wisk liquid detergent bottles and the edges were super extra reinforced, and that the day shift is for the most part made up of 4 foot 5-inch pixie elves with the upper body strength of a bowl of linguini.  I tore the boxes apart easily, but there was no reason they couldn't have used a pair of scissors or a knife.

I shouldn't complain.  Tery told me one of them, a little 20-something, actually said she'd heard on the news that the recycling facilities were overwhelmed!  They couldn't keep up and were just throwing the overflow away!  They were asking people to cut back to help them out.  Tery told her to go back to Fox News and get out of her face. 

Yes, recycling is a pain.  Sure, things were much simpler when we just threw everything away.  Most aspects of life used to be much simpler.  But times are changing and the world is facing some very serious problems.  Do these kids not see we're trying to take steps to save the world for their sake?  That soon, in the not distant at all future, these will be their issues to deal with?  Tery and I both blame this attitude on the up and coming generation who seem to have become accustomed to having problems solved for them.  Or Tabby, who just doesn't care if they're left with a burnt-out cinder to live on.  Until, you know, it actually happens.

Their laziness is astounding.  I found three cans of dog food sitting open in the fridge, which wouldn't be a huge deal if we didn't have an enormous plastic bag full to overflowing with dog can lids.  Literally the work of 1/16th of a second to step to the side and get one.  I left a note in the communication book, "Why are there uncovered cans of food in the fridge when we have 6,000 lids?"  A smartass left the response,"Ummmm, because no one put one on them?  Haha."  Ha ha.  Laziness is HI-LAR-IOUS.  Only slightly funnier than half-full cans of food rendered dry, crusty and inedible.  Then bitch and whine about how Tery can't afford to give anyone a raise because of all the discarded food, among other wasteful practices.    I fucking can't stand these stupid entitlement queens who can't see a cause-and-effect relationship to their actions (or lack of). 


Enough of them.  Another weekend in pursuit of Oscar nominees (this time with the actual list in hand).  Four, to be exact, if you count Tery enduring The Dark Knight to make an informed decision about Best Supporting Actor (she was impressed with Heath, but felt as I did about the length and the interminable-seeming number of climaxes.  While we're on the subject, my sister doesn't feel his Joker was necessarily an Oscar-worthy performance.  Neither do I, necessarily, however, Brokeback Mountain was and this is their last chance to make it up to him.  If you think Oscars are given solely on the strength of individual movies, think again). 

First was ::Doubt:: )

All in all a very provocative movie, very taut acting, with a surprisingly at times humorous screenplay.  I'm surprised it isn't up for Best Picture, because it would be Slumdog's first serious competition.  5 out of 5

Second ::The Reader:: )

It wasn't a bad movie, just not as good as some of the other contenders for Best Picture.  We're perplexed why Kate is in the Best Supporting Actress category for this, unless she's considered supporting David Kross.  Have they blurred the lines between actor and actress?  I commented that if you want a nomination, you can't go wrong with a movie either about the handicapped or the Holocaust.  If they could find evidence of someone developmentally delayed in a concentration camp, it might be a slamdunk.  3.5 out of 5

Finally, though not at all least, ::The Wrestler:: )

I want to make it clear, I have no love of either Mickey Rourke or Darren Aranofsky.  But I loved this movie.  The way we get so totally inside Randy with barely any words being spoken.  And Rourke, despite being radically transformed from the last time we saw him, still has a shade of that boyish charm of old that makes you really feel for him.  Best Actor unreservedly -- and we spend 40% of the film staring at his back.  5 out of 5 
grrgoyl: (Alan Alone)
2008-12-16 09:06 pm

Winter in Denver; Christmas is still cursed; Still in love with the Rickman; Kitten on Top

This past weekend it was -8 degrees in Denver. MINUS EIGHT DEGREES. I was obsessed, as I am every year, with draft-proofing our house with the cheap, generally ineffective measures available at Lowe's -- until the tragic news story of a family of four found dead of monoxide poisoning in their home. MyFriendDeb said these fancy new houses being built are so well insulated that it's much more of a threat, whereas our older, leakier home paradoxically is much safer. After that I decided I'd rather just put on an extra sweatshirt to combat the chill. We made an emergency run to Target Sunday for a space heater for the bird, the only creature Tery is really concerned about staying properly warm.

This is what happens to the inside of cheap, decades-old windows in minus eight degrees. Yes, Virginia, that's ice. The brown part is the color the frame normally is

We've decided the next time we have a large cash windfall (ha) we're looking into getting some better windows. Cuz dayum.

I contented myself instead with putting up a black-out curtain over the balcony door, the largest culprit. It does a fantastic job of keeping out cold. Unfortunately, it works equally well at keeping out light. Deb would never tolerate such a measure, afflicted as she is with seasonal affective disorder (which is actually year-round).

The nice thing about -8 degrees in Denver is the 6% humidity, which means the snow covering my car when I got out of work Sunday morning was as dry as fine desert sand. Fell away with barely a touch. That's what I love about Denver.

I don't let the cold get me down. When we bought our Christmas tree it was literally 70 degrees and we wore shorts. THAT'S fucking depressing, if you're as concerned about global warming as I am.

We're also concerned about pipes bursting, mostly because for the first time we have two empty units below us (and when you walk barefoot in our place you can tell. I used to think our place should be warmer with heat rising from Kent's place underneath us. Now I see the difference. We miss you, Kent). I highly doubt the families have the heat turned on. Whereas I can't blame them for not wanting to pay to heat an empty apartment, if the pipes burst they'll have one hell of a mess on their hands. We'll fortunately only suffer the inconvenience of being without water.

However, the bottom unit, which belongs to the elderly woman who went to a nursing home, has had the inner door wide open for weeks now (outer storm door closed and locked). I've called the property company no less than three times about it. They keep saying they're having trouble reaching the family. So if pipes DO burst, the off-site families most likely won't be reachable for that either, in which case we WILL have a problem on our hands.

Again, it's mostly my inability to control the rest of the world that's the real source of my frustration. That and the unbelievable depths of stupidity and inconsideration the rest of the world is capable of.


I mentioned a few posts ago how this Christmas is cursed. My poor sister who had her boyfriend's gift stolen didn't get a scrap of sympathy from the seller, who basically said, "It's not my fault since you didn't ask for insurance. And no, I can't knock a couple of dollars off another one for you." I'm an occasional eBay seller and that really surprised me. I personally would have tried to work with her a little bit, even if she wasn't my sister. As a buyer, at that point I would have said "Sayonara, bitch, and thanks for nothing" but Amy was so convinced this was the perfect gift for him that she swallowed her pride and ordered a second one.

(For the record, this is what she was trying to buy:

Yeah, nothing special about it, except Amy's boyfriend I guess really likes beer and finds that tag line humorous. But the price of the auction with shipping came close to $20, both times, just because it's framed up all nice (because lord knows it would be unbearably tacky to hang just a bare beer ad). Except it's not even an original, just a laser inkjet printout of the ad, making $40 an outrageous price. The auction it turns out doesn't claim to be an original, but holy rip-offs, Batman, it takes some stones to charge that much for a fucking photocopy. Twice.)

I had ordered three things from The package came quickly, sadly containing two things I hadn't ordered and missing one thing I had. They fixed the problem quickly, but still. I thought I was safe from going anywhere near a shipping facility until some time in January.

I thought I had finished my shopping finally, when I received the email that my order for my other sister's present had been cancelled by the Amazon seller -- forcing me to track it down elsewhere.

I hope Christmas gets here before anything else goes wrong.


Watching Nobel Son has reawakened my obsession with Alan, which was never really dead, just waning a bit. I've been rewatching all my old favorites, even ordered Truly, Madly, Deeply from eBay (a film that didn't particularly impress me back when I wasn't sure how far my love for him would take me).

Via my f-list, I wandered over to check out this video of Alan signing autographs after Jimmy Kimmel. The video itself isn't as interesting as the comment section, wherein I felt the need to defend him to someone snidely mocking his aging features. "Yep, and if you're honest, you dream of having half his sex appeal when you're his age" I smacked them down.

I've garnered quite a little fan club from this (well, two people), which makes me happy. Mostly because I'm still having trouble convincing Tery of his appeal. I was sharing in the Rickman love with one of them when she made the observation, "If I met him in real life I'd be resisting the urge to rape him or something." Whoa, stalker girl. That's going a bit too far. If I ever were lucky enough to meet him, I'd have trouble making eye contact, never mind considering anything remotely sexual. I think he'd be enormously intimidating in reality, between the English reserve and his built-in gravitas.

Via the same F-list person, Alan might be apartment hunting in Manhattan. I'm not sure how this was deduced from the pictures posted, but it's thrilling all the same. My theory is he's getting lonely with Daniel stuck in New York for months and can't wait any longer for him to come home to London (no disrespect to Alan's actual partner, of course).

Speaking of Daniel, this one is for my Equus peeps (from the Gypsy of the Year awards, where Equus won the top fundraiser position):


Tery got the word today that their sister vet hospital had to fire both their medical director and hospital manager, for letting a girl known to have hepatitis C (and possibly a drug user) live on the premises (where narcotics are kept) for an unknown length of time. Which I feel really puts my fifteen-minute Heelys practice into sharp perspective, not that we'll say as much to Tery's medical director.


Finally, Kitten Mitten has suddenly, after two years living here, noticed the ledge that runs around our kitchen to separate it from the living room.

She can do whatever she wants when she does that little head tilt thing (and she knows it)

Here are more to give you a better idea:

She really is the most beautiful cat in all the world.
grrgoyl: (Dr. Horrible)
2008-11-25 11:36 pm

Poopie Potpourri

I've got a whole bunch of little nothings I feel like writing about, so here they are in handy bullet form:

  • Firstly, for anyone who tried to watch my Heelys video from my last post, don't bother.  I was forced to take it down when one of Tery's employees found it and spitefully showed it to the chief medical director, who then ripped yours truly a new one.  Yes, these fat lazy people who see nothing wrong with spending their day sitting on their fat asses, stuffing their fat faces and dishing about Twilight (trust me, more later), apparently begrudge me my pathetic little extreme sports practice that took up all of fifteen minutes, the length of the average smoke break.  We know this is how they spend their days because they don't have the decency to pretend to be doing anything else when Tery comes downstairs. 

    There also might have been a safety issue, except how stupid would I have to be to try to sue the hospital if I Heely hurt myself?  I don't think anyone would believe it was a work-related injury.  So fuck you all, you useless fat asses.  And believe me, this has done nothing to endear the suspicious party to Tery either. 

    DISCLAIMER: I have nothing against fat people in general, despite flinging the word about insultingly here. It's just these people in particular, who happen to be fat. And very lazy. And cause Tery huge amounts of stress and grief daily.

  • Speaking of bad attitudes, I've gone and developed one over my work situation.  Tery has had to cut everyone's hours in a desperate attempt to get back under budget -- it's that or lay someone off, not that any of her crybaby employees are offering a smidgen of understanding even after being told that those were her only options.  I personally gave up three hours out of my weekend shift, almost 19%.  I didn't mind it at the time, but boy did I feel it in my paycheck.  But it helped Tery, and it's only temporary, so fine.

    Then I got the news they're similarly trying to cut back at the transcription job, and we would be paid 10% less for speech recognition jobs, which comprise 50% or more of my workload.  Need to stay competitive in the market, blah blah blah.  I'll bet Carol Siemen's head popped right off her shoulders when she read it.

    Still, this too I could have dealt with until I discovered the rumor a few months ago about paying a differential for difficult ESL (English as second language) doctors remains an idea they're just toying with.  My head popped right off my shoulders when I read that.  So.  I'm not wasting 15 minutes trying to decipher just one word.  I'm not agonizing over a report slurred and mumbled through by a careless doctor.  No, from now on I'll send them on to Quality Assurance riddled with blanks with a smile on my face, so I can pump out as many lines as possible and not worry so much about doing QA's job for them (hey, job security for QA, right?) 

    My sister thinks with this decision I'm finally reaching the attitude that most of my fellow MTs already share - certainly I'm sure Carol Siemen does.  Fine.  Here I am.  Fuck you, transcription company.  Of course, I probably won't get that 3-cents-an-hour raise I was hoping for next year.       

  • Oh yeah, Twilight.  I've only heard bad about the books, from very reliable sources.  Barely a step above awful fanfiction, was the description I'd heard from several people.  I took their word for it, but couldn't resist finding out for myself.  I found the first book on Amazon with the "look inside" feature.  Started out simple enough, teenage girl moving from Arizona to Washington with her mother.  I read until the line, "I had said my goodbyes to the sun," which is paraphrased directly from the movie (and for all I remember the book) Interview with the Vampire.  Really, Stephanie Meyers?  As if the vampire genre wasn't already derivative enough.

    Worse and worse, I apparently came this close to receiving a deluxe boxed set of the books for Christmas.  Tery's f-boom (short for "fatty boombalatty") employees raved to her about how much I'd love it as a gift.  Thank god she casually dropped a hint to test the waters first.  Fuck you, f-booms.  Fuck you, Twilight, and everyone forgetting that Robert Pattinson was Cedric in the previous hottest film franchise to come from a literary series. 

    Evidently Robert's first act as superstar was to fire his hair stylist. 


  • So what else am I into these days?  For starters, I finally got to see Dr. Horrible's Sing-along Blog -- a bit late, I know, but I had to give it a chance to find a second life beyond iTunes, who wants six bucks for all three acts.  Ummm, no. 

    I love Joss Whedon.  Sure, he's a self-absorbed prick convinced of his own genius, but he's also occasionally a genius.  And Dr. Horrible is no exception.  It flounders in parts and the ending seems rather...abrupt.  But the songs are irrepressibly catchy, Neil Patrick Harris is surprisingly talented (and sympathetic), and for such a brief production, Joss manages to incorporate his trademark zero tolerance of all characters sweet and lovable.  The DVD is due out any second now, and is shooting straight to the top of my wishlist.   

  • Facebook.  I thought maybe it was cooler than I had first surmised.  But now, after receiving an error message or a busy signal on my last five log-in attempts, I'm back to thinking it's pretty lame. Also the fact that there are hundreds of users claiming to be Alan Rickman, and what's the point of having a profile that no one can see until AFTER you've begged them to be your friend? 

  • Lastly, through the magic of my f-list, I discovered this photo trickery site.  If you click on the "Lomo" setting, you'll see an easy way to simulate my new favorite genre of photography, Lomo.  Lomography was, as I understand it, inspired by Russian cameras that took blurry, over-saturated pictures.  Originally rejected by photographers, the style gained a following and is now a recognized form of art.  I fell in love with it and have been busy converting as many photos as I can, all for the better in my opinion.  Would you agree?

    Some vanity shots

    I like this result, though they look more like a Russian couple on a farm than Mrs. Lovett and Mr. Todd

    Tery's shot of an arch in Central Park looks like it belongs in a coffee table book

    My favorite. Devil Boy Duncan looks even more unsettling with the added shadows. And the pie looks like an illustration from a 50's cookbook.


I'd like to see some of your results, if you want to post them in the comments. No prizes or anything, just to make me happy. : )
grrgoyl: (Office Stanley)
2008-05-26 02:32 am

All about the kennels

Tery and I dislike the general wisdom that pitbulls are an inherently dangerous breed of dog. No such thing as a bad dog, only bad dog owners, she'd always say. Any animal can be aggressive if raised that way, she'd say. I tended to agree with this, until last weekend and this I had to care for two victims of pitbull attacks. These dogs were torn UP, one of whom was in its own yard when a pitbull jumped the fence and turned it into so much meatloaf. They'll both recover, thanks to emergency surgery and massive expanses of skin stapled together. It's a little hard to defend the poor, maligned pitbull population when you see wounds like these.

Then last night I had a pitbull boarder, Jito. He was a bit wary of me after I'd spent the first ten minutes of my shift screaming at Jake and Shadow (more later), but I eventually got him outside. He was about 70 pounds of solid muscle, unneutered, with nails as long as tweezers and a thick spike-studded leather collar. Putting a spike collar on a pitbull is like painting a skull and crossbones on a nuclear warhead in the overkill department, if you ask me. And in Jito's case, perhaps a bit ironic; he was well-behaved enough, though I wasn't about to let him lick my face or anything. I also wasn't going to see if he wanted to play with Sissy the min-pin.

Jake and Shadow. I've had Jake before, he was actually the white German shepherd in my terribly boring video of the hospital. He was a very, very bad dog then, and hasn't improved now that he has a baby brother, a 7-month-old black German shepherd with freaky beady orange eyes. I don't understand the logic of dog owners, who think the solution to one uncontrollable dog is to get another who is worse. Jake and Shadow both bark constantly, even when you're standing an inch away from them looking at them. Shadow in addition is terribly excitable, and when released from his kennel tries repeatedly to get your hand into his mouth. Bad, bad, bad.

Then there are poor dogs like Weeza, who are trying desperately to return to their happy place:

Blair Witch Dog

Unfortunately my co-workers aren't getting any smarter, and have taken exception to some notes I left. With Parvo season well underway, there's a lot of activity in the Isolation Ward. Iso has two bins, a short one to the left for garbage and a tall one to the right for laundry. The position of these has never changed, and furthermore they both have large labels on the walls next to them with arrows pointing to each respective receptacle. There's really no way to make it any simpler. Still, despite numerous notes being left by others, the laundry continues to be intermixed with garbage, which sometimes includes the clean-up of vomit/diarrhea. It's a most unpleasant surprise to encounter when trying to load the washing machine, and considering the multiple, multiple attempts to clarify which bin is which, I felt a little snarkiness was called for.

So in the communication log book I drew a large diagram, labeling each bin as well as indicating the size, and the location of the door to Iso just to make sure there was no possible confusion. Underneath it, I wrote in all caps, "MEMORIZE IT PLEASE!" Yes, I freely admit this note was meant to be insulting. But in the face of such staggering stupidity, I really, really can't control myself.

I guess then I shouldn't be surprised that my other note was completely misconstrued. I arrived to my shift only to discover there wasn't a drop of dish soap to be found anywhere downstairs, because rather than letting someone know we need more, the day shift blithely go about their business waiting for the soap fairy to pay a visit (this weekend they were waiting for the cat litter fairy to drop by). Like laundry, if you don't wash dishes constantly the backlog starts building up very, very quickly. On Tery's suggestion I foraged up in the lab, cleverly filling a cough syrup prescription bottle about halfway to tide us over until more was delivered. I labeled it with some bandage tape, adding a second piece which read, "A little goes a long way!" to make sure it lasted.

This was mistakenly read by the day shift as sarcastic. From now on I'm going to carry a tube of lipstick and sign every message with a kiss, so as not to hurt the fragile, hypersensitive feelings of the day shift. Honestly.

Tery used to hate when I called her to complain about these people, but she's finally starting to see what I'm talking about. A few weeks ago the ancient clothes dryer finally gave up the ghost. Rather than fall behind in the laundry (as I said, doesn't take long for it to become disastrous), and rather than interrupt all the hard work of her employees (yeah, whatever), Tery took it upon herself to spend the entire day personally schlepping piles of wet blankets to the laundromat across the street to dry. Never once got to her desk to do her own work. Great boss, right?

Then she found out at the end of the day that not one but TWO workers decided it was a good day to give their own dogs baths, adding about three towels each to Tery's load, then snuck out at the end of their shift before she realized. She called me angry enough to spit, and I can't say I blamed her. "I've been TELLING you this," I commiserated with her. "These people are stupid. Stupid and selfish and with their heads stuck firmly up their asses." She finally had to admit I might have something there.

(But I was the hero of the weekend when, rather than ignore the massive pile still present after her efforts, I realized we had hundreds of dog leashes and a myriad of hooks on practically every wall. I spent the entire night devising a series of efficient clotheslines. They must have liked them, as they were still in use when I returned the following night.)


But I must admit, it amuses me highly when the lack of respect carries over to our home, to our animals. Malcolm Reynolds is a good ferret, except socked feet confuse him and he attacks them. Well, used to attack mine, before a couple of well-placed kicks set him straight. Tery unfortunately continues to suffer from these assaults to this day. I suspect she doesn't kick as hard.

Kitten Mitten of course adores me, follows me around all day like a puppy, lets me sling her over my shoulder like a sack of kitteh potatoes (like this ). On the few occasions I need to discipline her, like after she takes her crazy pills and tears around the house at 1 in the morning, she instantly straightens up and forgives me after a few minutes (basically all I do is scruff her and say "reLAX" repeatedly until she goes limp). On the other hand, sometimes Tery will walk past her and without warning Mitten will swipe at her, sometimes even draw blood. In her defense, it's usually just after Tery has brushed all her fur the wrong way, which she loves to do for some perverse reason.

But the best is the bird. According to Tery, sometimes she'll spend up to 30 minutes coaxing and cajoling her to step up so Tery can put her to bed. Sometimes Tery gets exhausted and lies down, waking in the wee hours of the morning to try again. Needless to say, the bird comes right to me immediately, and if Tery is trying unsuccessfully, all I have to do is walk around the corner and the bird suddenly trips over herself in her haste to obey.

"I don't understand," she complains. "How do you do that?"

"This is the attitude that enables me to ignore WILL BITE stickers at the hospital," I tell her. And it's true.

I had more to say, but this is long enough as it is.
grrgoyl: (Eelaine)
2008-04-14 12:25 am

Kennel asshats; Neighbor asshats; Spammer asshats

Here's the picture of the week, brought to you once again by my lazy day shift counterparts. What appears at first glance to be some sort of horrific monster is only a horrific few months' worth of accumulated hair and dog poop stuck to this mat that I pulled out of the gutter that runs under the ward. I gleefully sent this pic to Tery's phone. She was angry and I expect the parties responsible will truly catch hell come Monday (she's trying to be a more proactive boss). She asked me to photograph it for her for later printing and example-making; I offered to go one better and leave it as physical evidence, but alas, she wanted me to clean it up. Please keep in mind that my concept of hell is carpeted with this stuff, only it will be wet and I'll be forced to spend eternity barefoot. After wasting 15 minutes in what I knew would be a fruitless search for a Hazmat suit (the best I could do was a set of latex gloves), I scrubbed it clean, but a small part of me died while doing so.


If there's anything that I hate more than stupid dogs, it's stupid humans that treat them with cruelty/neglect.

Our ground floor neighbors when they first moved in had a parakeet that they kept in a cage on their balcony, as far as we can tell 24 hours a day regardless of the weather. Not surprisingly, the bird disappeared a few weeks into winter, his cage left sitting empty. Parakeets aren't really known for their sturdiness.

Then a few months ago they got a cute little shih tzu puppy. Well, it WAS cute until it ate their screen door. Now puppy's all grown up and spends about 12 hours a day banished to the balcony, gazing sad and lonely at passersby.

Here's the conversation I imagine took place between its owners (names changed obviously, though in my head they have distinctive Southern accents (unfair stereotype, sorry, can't help it)):

Beavis: Well, lookit that, Butthead. Puppies sure can do some damage when they're alone and bored all day.
Butthead: No problem, Beavis. We'll just take down the screen door. Little fella can't do much to glass, right?
Beavis: Gosh, you're sure smart, Butthead. Awww, but look. He just spends the whole day with his paws on the door looking in at us.
Butthead: Well, then, we'll just close the shades. Now we can't see him!
Beavis: Gee, I don't know why I didn't think of that! Ummm.....Butthead? Why did we get a dog in the first place?
Butthead: Well, DUH, Beavis. Because we LOVE dogs!

I can (very begrudgingly) understand Tracey keeping dogs for security -- they sit behind her front door and growl and bark menacingly at anyone in the stairwell. However, I very much doubt any intruders would be deterred by a shih tzu that's obviously confined to the porch.

I'm telling you, it's enough to make our heads explode seeing that poor little guy out there day in and out. But we know from experience with Tracey that Animal Control can't do a thing unless he's not being fed. There's no law that says people have to give their pets attention, although you'd better believe there would be if I were in charge of things. He at least gets to come in at night for now -- who's to say that won't change once the weather starts warming up.

Hey there, lonely girl

Meanwhile I noticed the crazy Christmas tree neighbors had a couple of pigeons perched on their railing talking back and forth, looking for all the world like they were discussing the changes they could make to install a nursery. Of course, first to go will have to be the wreath which still hangs in the center. Those people will learn the hard way the lesson of tolerating pigeons.


Now another chapter of wacky names people give their unfortunate children. In this batch: "Moses Christian," who will probably be attending Catholic schools anyway, so he should be okay. Don't know that I can say the same for "Journey Melon." Then there's "Tyke." At first I thought this was a newborn infant; they're sometimes referred to as "Baby Boy" or "Baby Girl" in the chart if they have serious congenital issues and require treatment within days of being born. No, "Tyke" was 14 years old. How's he going to feel when he's a 50-year-old man being called "Tyke"? Honestly. I even looked for alternate meanings. The only one I could find was British, "A man considered uncouth or mean; a boor." Ah, much better.

And while I'm on the transcription job, I wish I had an extra dollar for every time a doctor wanted a copy sent to some vague, unspecified destination. I even had one say "Copy to patient's nursing home, I don't have the address." Sorry, doc -- at barely $9 an hour, you're getting a typist, not a psychic. Even more maddening are the docs who make me listen for agonizing minutes while they flip through papers and talk to themselves. If I'm not typing, I'm not getting paid. That's fine, take your time. No rush at all. It's all. About. You.


Finally in this long post about pointless things, my email spam filter is really disappointing me in a big way lately. It used to be ace, now I'm getting 15-20 pieces of spam a day. I tried bringing it to the attention of Comcast, hoping they were already working on the problem. All I received was their form bullshit letter about how they were as concerned about spam as I was. Maybe this would be true if I started forwarding the piles I'm getting directly to them.

I wish I could just have it filter by keyword. I mean, honestly, is there anyone who doesn't instantly recognize spam when they read the subject line? As big of a pervert as I readily admit to being, none of my friends ever send me mail containing the words "real women," "penetrate," "weapon in bed" or "fondle all her internal nerve endings." And for that matter, no one I correspond with regularly has an address with the number "5414527683334" in it. Knock it off, spammers. You're not fooling anyone.


If it's any consolation, I don't take any pride in this particular post. No, definitely not my best work.
grrgoyl: (Dylan apoplectic)
2007-06-26 12:51 am

New bad neighbors and stupid, stupid coworkers

We have new neighbors that are making us yearn for the quiet days of meth labs.

We used to have a perfectly nice neighbor, Barb, who one day suddenly decided to sell. Her place has sat empty on the market for months now. 3 weeks ago, someone moved in.

We can pinpoint the exact moment they arrived, because they do everything very loudly. They laugh loudly, they sing loudly, they argue loudly, and they party loudly. Last weekend they partied until about 1 a.m., their windows flung wide and their constant outbursts of laughter carrying through the night. This is one thing I hate about summer -- I love the nighttime breezes, but am also fond of quiet when it's time to sleep. And why should we have to close our windows when we aren't the ones being loud?

This weekend, to our dismay, they had another party. It started mid afternoon and by 5 p.m. Tery was already cursing the children throwing "poppers" around below our balcony. I tried to get her to join me at Ryan's to watch Dexter, but she wasn't feeling very well. As I walked past the party on my way to the parking lot, the first thing I noticed was the walkway and lawn were littered with crumpled cans and McDonald's wrappers. Oh HELL no. I called Tery from the car so she could monitor the situation.

It was about the time Tery saw the kids pull down our neighbor's bee catcher and smash it with a rock that she called our property manager. It was about the time she saw them messing with the mailboxes, trying to yank them open and shoving poppers inside, that she called the police. She also broke out the video camera; after about 5 minutes of taping, the kids noticed her and hightailed it.

So it was that for the second time in our tenure here, I was greeted by the sight of a police cruiser in the parking lot upon my return home. Tery was talking to the two officers as I climbed the stairs. They promised to speak to our neighbors, but said the HOA was really the proper channel to take care of such things. Really? I thought tampering with a mailbox was a federal offense.

Our property manager was very interested in the party indeed. Mainly because he had no idea anyone was even living there. The last he knew Barb had lost the title to the bank.

If you were living somewhere illegally, wouldn't you do as little as possible to draw attention to yourself? And maybe it's none of my business whether they belong there or not, BUT. If you want to trash your neighborhood, go live on Colfax. And if you want a backyard for your mini-Visigoths to wreak havoc, rent a fucking house.

The funny thing is, through this entire ordeal the Alcoholic never showed her face. Tracey leaves her screen door open and the place is going to hell in a handbasket. These people were tearing it up and she couldn't care less.


I've had my fill of the lack of common sense exhibited by my coworkers, and Tery's had her fill of listening to me complain about them. Rather than subject you to another tedious rant, I've chosen to present it in the form of a poll, because polls are the best way to remind myself that people truly don't care about my posts.

[Poll #1010209]

Those last two were trick questions. Tery tells me they were more of a miscommunication (unlocked door)/laziness (heavy bucket) issue than common sense. Damn inconsiderate is what I call it, since I was the one left to deal with both.

If this seems unnecessarily condescending of me, I assure you at one time or another a person or persons has made the wrong choice in all these instances. I just wanted to demonstrate how ridiculously simple the blunders in question would be to avoid, IF people had more common sense. Think about it, won't you? Thank you.