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Monday, February 7, 2022

Deliverable

Episode Two Hundred Seventy Nine: Deliverable.
In which as promised.

1 comment:

  1. This is basically in spite.

    The culmination of three years of banging my head against the wall asking management to address the workflow issues that were at the root of their phone system problems. I don't recall what my previous 'phone icon' strip comments may have revealed, but the issue here was with management erroneously pointing toward the technology, when it was a systemic lack of focus. This would never be resolved; pandemic funds would allow for panic-buying, bullshit sales promises, and a whole new level of confusion implemented. I'll never know how it ultimately turned out, because I couldn't take it anymore. Three years of being told that my concerns over patient-safety represented an 'attitude problem' and I was done.

    My final act was to switch on the replacement phone system and provide as much documentation as I was able to muster. It was, of course, massively confusing and many of the promised features were not functional, or non-existent. The depiction here, that of an enormous phone prematurely breaking free from its hoist and crushing the many discordant voices calling out beneath it, is not far off.

    I wander away, muttering my label, 'attitude', unsure of whether I am leaving it with them as a 'fuck you', or carrying it with me to mull.

    Of course, it is the latter. In 1990 I worked at a Country Store in Montpelier, Vermont, owned by a family prominent in the VT legislature. Their store was a deli, and served as a lunchtime politico schmoozing place (over pastrami on rye). The owners were VT Republican lobbyists.

    After I had been there for about a year and a half, the slicer blade-guard broke, and could not be removed from the blade. This meant that the blade could not be properly cleaned. The (now inaccessible) front side of the blade had a lip that caught meat scum every time something was run across the slicer. After a few days, I voiced concern that this could be a health hazard. The manager started pouring bleach into the blade. After about a week, I voiced concern that someone was going to die. It was made clear to me, by my dismissive and indelicate supervisor (daughter of the owners), that I did not have the authority to make that assessment. After three weeks I gave notice over the problem. The next day, a replacement slicer was brought it. There was no discussion over my leaving, or on the circumstances that led up to it. They just let me go.

    Do I have an attitude problem? This kind of thing, a limit being hit in my head that leads to friction with management, has haunted my career in one way or another over the last thirty years. These seem like legitimate safety concerns. At the FQHC where I was handed the phone system, I had been unable to do the job that I was hired to do (because I was given everything else to do), and this was a clear patient safety problem. Management was unable to address this disorder, and I couldn't take it. To be clear: I have known people *in my own family* who died as a result of the dysregulation at that FQHC. This is more than my simply feeling overwhelmed.

    This feeling of being a problem for people goes back to my being the youngest child, and to my broken relationship with my late brother. As I write this, now in my mid-fifties, looking at never being able to retire, living alone with a cat who daily expresses her disappointment in me, I know that this question will never resolve and that I'll always feel unfulfilled as a person, community member, and as a family member.

    This is basically in spite. I hope it hurt when the supports gave way.

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