Thursday, October 18, 2007

Bye-Bye NBRO.....and More Contest Winners!

Today is a happy, happy day for me, and perhaps a happy day for a couple of other people, too, depending on how they feel about being a winner in my recent little contest!

Before I announce two more contest winners, I must announce the big news that makes this such a happy day for me......I quit my job at the Nurse Boiler Room Operation!! I understand that some people may view the loss of my income as a bad thing and I'm not crazy about that part either. But there are just some jobs that aren't worth the paycheck at any price, and this was one of them.

I love being a nurse and helping others, and I love the feeling that I may be contributing to the greater good in the world in some small way, by hopefully being a nurturer and health educator to people at the times they may need those things, or providing any other comfort or support I can as a nurse. Yes, I'm one of those touchy, feely-type nurses who leans more toward being your Supportive Nurse-Mom rather than toward Super-Wonder-Nurse or Nurse Ratchet! (I'm sure we've all met up with one or two of those....).

With that being said, this job did not allow me me to be the type of the nurse I like to be. I enthusiastically took a job that was supposed to be about providing education and support to people with chronic health conditions over the phone. However sadly, what it turned out to be was all about the bottom line, satisfying contracts, how many calls per hour, how long on each call, what tasks were accomplished on each call, etc. And the worst of it was being connected to a timed dialer, timing every call and wrap time, and that pops up computer-dialed calls to the nurses, usually with the person on the other end already irritated because they've said "hello" three times with no response before we got the call, and already think we are a telemarketer.

What they also didn't tell us is that the people we were calling did not exactly sign up for this service, but rather were nominated by insurance coding that identified them as having one of the qualified conditions. Yes, all of the great little details you find out only after having started the job and your training....

Suffice it to say that what I would estimate to be about 80% of my call recipients were NOT happy to hear from me! Over the course of the past four months, I have been yelled at, called names, insulted, derided, chastised, interrogated and hung up on a daily basis more times than I care to count. Even worse than that were those who "cooperated" with the call with dripping sarcasm, or were outright hateful and evil. I must add that everyone was told that involvement was totally voluntary and they could opt out, which practically none of them could do without including at least three of the above bad behaviors! I've learned ugly things about people that I never wanted to know...

It got to the point that when every call popped up, I responded with my usual cheery and friendly greeting, only to hold my breath to wait for the likely onslaught that I was about to face. Imagine my surprise and relief when, very occasionally, that one person who really needed some help was happy to talk to me! Unfortunately, those lovely people. with whom I adored conversing and sharing and discussing their challenges to try to find solutions, were so few and far between, I can practically remember every sweet one of them....

Nurses are anything but quitters. I tried mightily, mastered the job as it was given with all of the restrictions within only a couple of months, and became skilled at finding ways to interject my personality and some fun into every call I could. I have never left a job after such a short time, and I was bound and determined to make this one do-able.

It was a good fight, but add to all of the above management and policy problems, inconsistencies and broken tools, and I just couldn't do it any more. I sadly gave my two-weeks notice and left all of the great nurse colleagues and friends that I had made while there, and my last day was yesterday. I am not the only one---the place is bleeding nurses out the door, despite the decent pay. However, I really had to fight the feeling of being a quitter or a failure to give my leave after such a short time. But a couple of weeks ago, after talking to my 5-million-and-first total and complete, rude, sadistic, ignorant, moronic pinhead on the phone, I logged off the dialer and wrote my notice right then and there. I had been sitting on the fence and that person was the last straw!

All I can say is how happy and relieved I feel now to have escaped, and how exhausted I am! I now realize that this job was sucking the soul out of me, and if I stayed I was destined to have to develop a skin so thick that I would become one of the types of nurses I really detest. I could not allow that to happen. I haven't been a nurse for long enough to become a sad and jaded burn-out who goes through the motions and has nothing genuine left to give!

Yes, my idealistic nurse soul is now free of it's chains (and it's paycheck), to wander the greater Puget Sound area in search of another place where it can contribute to the greater good and be of help to someone....

Meanwhile, my lazy body is going to watch from the couch while knitting, at least for a month or two! A knitting-time-starved nurse deserves a little break, doesn't she? Yippee! I'm free! Besides, who wants to job-hunt over the holidays, anyway?

On to more Contest Winners!!-----

After waiting for a response from the original winner of the "guess how many balls in the basket" part of the contest, Mary Ann, I have received no contact from her. Sorry, Mary Ann, but the win must now go to the person with the next-closest guess.....Sue S. Sue's guess was 82, just two off from the original winning guess.

The final winner is for my favorite post. This one took a while, as there were so many great comments, pattern links and fun greetings! I finally decided that the prize should go to The Knitorious Mrs. B! She wrote me a lovely and humorous little poem for my birthday, as well as providing a link to a free copy of the Ballband Dishcloth pattern (who doesn't like a ballband.....and a free pattern?). I also found out after looking at her blog, that she is a nurse, too! That didn't have anything to do with the contest win , but I do love to see a fellow knitting, blogging nurse!

Congratulations, Sue S. and Knitorious Mrs. B!! Be sure to send me your snail mail addresses, so I can send your prizes!

BTW, probably won't be sending any prizes out until the end of this month. Getting ready to go out of town next week, and tons of laundry and errands are calling......