Monday, April 25, 2005

Miss Sophia's Home Now. Some Thangs Gone Be Changin' Round Here.
Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger


1. This is, by far, one of the longest entries I have ever done (8 pages in 12 point font on MS Word). Be forewarned.
2. This entry will probably offend, piss off, annoy, or hurt the majority of my friends which will probably result in lost friendships, possible screaming, tearshed, possible bloodshed, and hurt feelings.
3. If you do not know me, shut up. Not trying to be rude, but your opinion means nothing to me on this subject. Actually, I will just turn off the comments.
4. If I lose readers over this, thanks for reading up to this point. Good luck in whatever you do in life.
5. To everyone else, try to remember that this was originally a journal first and something for possible public entertainment second. This entry is most definitely in the first category.
6. I have no apologies for anything I am about to say.
7. If you think that you could not possibly be offended or hurt by anything I have to say and you know me, it is definitely best that you do not read this because I can almost guarantee that you will fall into the group from #2.
8. This is completely self indulgent. Get over it.
9. Having said all that, read at your own risk. I'm not kidding at all. And don't say I didn't warn you.


Work Related
Now for the Stuff that Counts


If you are unfamiliar with one of the greatest movies of all time,The Color Purple, then the title of this entry may mean nothing to you. For the rest of you, it hopefully will bring back one of the most poignant moments in the movie. See, Miss Sophia was a black lady living in the south way back when. She had spunk and punched the mayor after telling his wife "Hell naw" upon being asked to be her maid. She was beaten, blinded in one eye, brokedown, and pretty much left to rot in jail. She made it out of jail after many, many years and sat in a catatonic state, rocking back and forth, never speaking. Miss Celie stood up to Mister (for God's sake watch the movie). This broke the spell that seemed to hang over Sophia. Her first words, the title.

This is being written after what has become one of the most emotionally, psychologically, physically, and financially overwhelming times I have faced in a long time, if ever. I wrote many moons ago about some really good advice that I swore I would start living by, “Be selfish.” I have, to an extent, done that. If you only started reading this now, go back and you’ll eventually find it, or you can just trust me on this one. My boyfriend, Jason, told me that I am so drained because instead of talking about things and getting them out in the open, I let them fester inside, turning them into stressful puss-filled boils (my wording of what he said.). That is true. I told Jason last night that I have become completely emotionally numb. I am now going to release a lot of that pressure, and, in doing so, hopefully reclaim my life.
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Work Related

This is the email I sent to one of my bosses this morning.

From: Preston Lastname
To: Susan Boss
Date: 4/25/2005 5:54:50 AM
Subject: I may end up regretting this but...


I am having my lab work done here this morning and am going to try to make it by to see you. This is being sent because I knew if I waited, I'd either be too tired to wait around, would forget everything I wanted to say, or would calm down and just not worry with mentioning it. I realize I am not a supervisor, but these are my observations.

I am writing to let you know that there are some major problems with this work week. I do not know what the source of the problem is, but I do know who some of the major problems are. I was trying and trying to not become a snitch or a "tattle tail" or whatever you want to call it, but I am tired of our night shift techs always catching all the blame.

First of all, there is Jerry. Tommie said that he had already spoken to you about him, but as I did not see the email to know what he covered, I am going to mention everything that I can think of that I have been neglecting to say in the past. I am not sure if it is based on sex, race, weight, sexual orientation, religion, height, clothing, or what, but Jerry has it out for Tommie. He doesn't seem to like any of us, but Tommie is the one who always catches the majority of it. It seems like Jerry is constantly looking for and thinking up things about which he can complain (Tommie tucking in his undershirt, needing to leave on time for deliveries when Jerry himself tells him to wait causing his deliveries to leave late, saying Tommie is gone too long on deliveries when he is carrying a completely packed carrier, etc.) and over which he can write Tommie up. He goes through cycles of disliking Malice and me, but the fact that Tommie is breathing seems to annoy him to no end. Tommie works. There is nothing else to say about it. If he were just sitting around or not doing what he were supposed to, believe me, I would have already mentioned it. Call JP (old boss) at 555-1234 at Old Hospital of Employment(OHE)and ask what all I had to say about GW if you need verification. GW and I were pretty close as are Tommie and I. I would not say he is working just because we have become friends. Tommie does a legitimately good job. Whatever problem Jerry has with him is personal and can only be viewed as harassment. Simple as that. Why do I care? Because a co-worker on a shift that has become the pharmacy's whipping boy is being treated unfairly. It annoys me.

There are no complaints about the other rotation's techs because the other rotation has some of the more easy going pharmacists. Steve and Ifeoma are great to work with. Bob is not a bad guy to work with. It just takes a miracle to get him to answer the phone when a nurse needs a pharmacist, and the call is transferred to him. Angela is always on the edge. The other rotation has Joe, Mr. Allen, Mitch, and Lance. They are all pretty relaxed, easy to work with people.

I am not sure what you said to Malice, or even if anything was said to her for that matter, but she has completely turned around. She does what she is supposed to now. Perhaps it is the stigma that is still attached to her that makes her an easy target to complain about. I don't know if people are complaining to you about her, but I have heard techs complaining about her still. She is an easy target. I only give credit where credit is due, and she is working now. Thank you for whatever you said to her. With her, it is aggrivating to see techs go off blaming everything on her just because they know that you and David aren't here to see it, and she had earned a reputation for herself. I know that you aren't God and can't get people to lay off of her, but I wanted to mention that in case complaints are still making it to you.

I am not really sure what Mike does here. He is nice enough, but I am confused about what he does. I just see him up here kind of hanging out for a while, then he leaves. Whatever his job description, I guess he fills it. Tryanne seems to like him alot.

Barbara's job is to collect a paycheck. That is it. University pays her to take one or two deliveries in the evening, say the phrase, "Oh I would have gotten that," pull maybe four labels from 7pm-11:27pm on a good night, talk on the phone, read magazines, and watch 'Cheaters' every night at 10 or 10:30. I don't know how she managed to get that position, but I wish it had been open when I applied here. I, honestly, would have probably waited longer before mentioning Barbara rarely working since she is pretty pleasant to work with, but then this happened.

Tonight, I was in the IV room making two bags of Levophed, two bags of epinephrine, and a bag of phenylephrine. I called the front and asked her to please see if someone could grab some epi for me for a stat (Considering the drugs, I assumed it was a stat. We always said, "Levophed. Leave'em dead." It was one of the "last resort" drugs at CMMC. I assume it is here also.). She said for me to spell it, so I pretty much mumble spat out the spelling. She didn't understand me. Told me to slow down. That was totally my fault. I spelled it again. She started talking about the weather or the price of tea in China or something, so I said, "Could you please go and get it now. It is a stat. I have fifteen thousand bags back here to make for that patient." She said jokingly something to the effect of, "Stop acting like you're busy back there." I said, "The patient is probably dying up there. Forget it. I'll get it myself." She giggled and said, "Stop trying to make me feel guilty talking about a dying patient." I said, "Nevermind. Thank you. I'll get it." Then hung up and went to get the Levophed. She had been sitting in front of the computer doing nothing the whole time. I try to not call out front for them to get IV meds for me if I can help it. The only time I'll call out front asking is when there is a stat, and I am trying to not waste any time disrobing, going to the bulk room for the med, coming back and gowning back up, washing my hands again, then starting to mix the drug. It saves time and that helps save lives. I think so anyway. Maybe I am overly anal from working at both STD and OHE and having to respond with a pharmacist to codes at each. At OHE, I once had to help lift a seizing patient off the floor who was coding, bleeding everywhere, and was HIV positive. He almost died. After that, my job went from pulling pills and mixing IVs for nameless, faceless ID numbers to actually helping save lives. That was a very eye opening experience for me and is a huge part of the reason why I am excessively anal about alot of what I do in here. At any rate, I mentioned her actions, rather her lack thereof, to Jerry who just looked at me with a weird smile on his face, did his Jerry chuckle, and said he'd talk to her about it. I highly doubt he did.

Maryam and Miss Delores both work. There is nothing more I can really say about them.

Tryanne, I am convinced, dislikes midnight shift for whatever reason. The three or four days she is up here late for our rotation, she allows the evening shift to sit around and do nothing. She has said to us all, evening and midnight, a couple of times before that we are all expected to work while here and that work is not shift specific. I agree with that, but she, for the most part, allows evening shift to ride the clock from 7-1130p when she is here, while giving us "busy work" (checking for out of dates for the tenth time in a month) that Jerry has even said is kind of ridiculous. If midnight stops for more than two seconds, she goes to Jerry and says we are not working. Then they come up with the schedule of duties for midnight shift that seems to change on a biweekly basis. When I say "midnight shift," I am referring only to our rotation. Jerry has different rules for ours than he has for theirs. Well, he has rules for us (the tech sign in/sign out sheet, the duty list, the 3 minute phone call limit, the new "tuck in your shirt" policy, etc.) and none for the other rotation. I am not saying for these regulations or whatever to be thrown out, but they either need to be applied to everyone working the shift or applied to none.

As for me, I know I am late practically everyday. I did better this week and am putting in an honest effort to make it on time. I know I can't put in an effort. I just have to do it. Someone did attempt to break into my house twice this week (God only knows what I have that is worth so much that they'd have to try twice within a couple of days), so I have been about ten minutes late twice, I think, this week waiting on my roommate to get home to watch the house. Having said that, I can already hear the sighs of disbelief as I have apparently become the boy with bad karma who cried wolf. My roommate did do a police report, so I can try to get a copy of it if you need it. I do work. I know that I work. The pharmacists will tell you I work. It is like I told Tryanne when I was being interviewed, you are paying me to do a job so I will work my butt off. I also said that that does not mean I am going to do the work for everyone while they sit around and collect a check. If they are giving me their check, yes, I'll be more than happy to double my workload for them. I am not going to do it for free though.

I'm sorry this turned into a novel, and I was really not trying to come across rude or anything. There were (obviously) a few things I wanted to say. I can tell you right now that unless things change alot in here, you are going to lose alot of techs. That is in no way meant as a threat. It would be stupid to try threat tactics against my employer. I have just heard several techs mention going for interviews elsewhere and several who are looking for jobs elsewhere.

It is like you said to Tommie that night you worked a few rotations back, "This is really not a bad job." It's not. The job is great. There are just several kinks that need desperately to be worked out.

Again sorry for the length of this. If you want, you can call me at 555-5544. I will be at that number until at least 9:30a. After 10:30, you can reach me at 555-5555.

Thank you,

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Now for the Stuff that Counts

Now you see, I am a very understanding guy. I am good with listening to people's problems and offering advice, sometimes that of total strangers. I do not mind helping out someone if I can. I will bend over backwards to give you the shirt off my back. I am a big gift giver, because I feel that you can’t be upset when you get a present. I am also, eversoslightly, a bit of a card whore. I love giving people cards. I will do without if I know that someone else needs what I have more than I do. I like to make people laugh. I am just a little goofy and will make a complete fool of myself if it will, in some way, brighten your day. I still smile and say “hello” to every single person I pass in the hall at the hospital. I faux tap dance and Riverdance at work when we are all in a bad mood from a busy night. I still open and/or hold doors for ladies. I will pick up your pen for you if you drop it just so you don’t have to bend over to get it yourself. I will burst out into a song, usually one that I made up that consists of maybe one or two words if you look like you are down. I still give change to the homeless, even though I ran over one and another broke into my car and I talk about them all the time. I will stop on the interstate and turn around causing myself to be late for work if I see you stuck on the side of the road, provided you do not look too scary. I provide a shoulder to lean on. I will back you up in a heartbeat when you are right. I won’t allow anyone to speak badly about you if what is being said is untrue. I am a bit of a people pleaser.

Do I consider myself a saint? Read this thing and you’ll know I am and consider myself to be far from it. Do I consider myself to be perfect? Not even a little. Do I consider myself to be a pretty good guy? Yes, I absolutely do.

I don’t know if people view this as a weakness. I do not know if people want to see just how far I can be pushed. I don’t know if I am viewed as Mr. Cellophane. I don’t know if people think that, because I will go out of my way to help a total stranger, they can get away with anything when it comes to me. I don’t know if people think that because I am such a sarcastic, happy-go-lucky kind of guy that I don’t have any other emotions besides joy or goofiness. I honestly have no idea what it is that makes people think they have the right to take advantage of me. I have admitted that I will happily be, for pretty much anyone, an ear, shoulder, hand, backbone, hell, whatever part you need, you can borrow from me. I do, however, need these things in return at times too.

When I have had a bad night at work or a bad day in general, I need someone who will listen to me bitch about it for a minute without interrupting me to tell me about some random guy that they just met or to tell me about how work went for them. Or to say that the funniest thing just happened on some television show. Or to tell me that Billy is on drugs again. Or Sara broke up with Steven. Or about how drunk and stupid everyone was last night. Or to talk about a new shirt that was just bought. Or to talk about some funny thing that happened while being stoned or drunk or while being in any way inebriated. Or to bitch about anything at all that is going on in their life. I sometimes need to talk about things too. I sometimes want to get things off of my chest. I sometimes need for it to be about me for a minute. No, I do not care how my problems relate to your problems and how a similar situation occurred in your life once. I don’t consider that to be selfish. I guess it is to an extent, but frankly, I don’t care. In the words of Columbia in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, “You're like a sponge. You take, take, take, and drain others of their love and emotion. Yeah, well, I've had enough.” Or in the words of Gabriel in the movie Trick, “You have been monopolizing this entire conversation since we got here. Look, you’re my best friend, you know I love you, but right now, I don’t want to hear your audition monologue. I didn’t come here to have you sit down, invite yourself over, and, and, and talk about SHIT!” I need someone to sit there for me and listen. I need someone to act like they genuinely care about me, about how I am doing, about what my problems are. I need someone to realize that, sometimes, I, too, would like to get advice. I, too, need a hand to hold. An arm to lean on. A shoulder to cry on. I am not an automaton here strictly for amusement.

Again, I am not nor do I consider myself to be at all perfect. I am horrible with money. I am completely absentminded and lose things all the time. I ramble and mumble. I am always late for things. I am hypercritical of myself. I am, despite my often sunny disposition, a very pessimistic person. I leave things lying around instead of putting them back in their place. I am forgetful. I am extremely neurotic. I am a compulsive "little white" liar. I am a major procrastinator. I am probably bipolar. I don’t always follow through. I am obsessive compulsive about a lot of things. I am a chronic worrier. I am pretty judgmental. I do and have, from time to time, had thoughts of suicide. I go at least once a night to look at myself in the mirror because I feel fat and ugly. I am constantly poking my stomach and calling myself “lard ass”. I have many, many issues.

I, like any other human, need to talk sometimes and not have it turned into anything having to do with you. I need that. I need to be able to eat a meal without being made to feel fat. I need to not always be the one to come to the rescue, and if unable to come at beckon call, I don’t need to be made to feel guilty for it. I don’t need to always sit and listen to you drone on and on and on and on and on and on and on about pointless trivial bullshit that does not really matter at the end of the day and will be forgotten about in two. I don’t need to feel like I have to justify myself for not caring about some pointless never-ending story that you are telling. I don’t need your guilt trips. I don’t need to be the one who always, always has to drop everything for you and who is never returned the favor. I need to be appreciated.

If you have ever made me feel guilty for no reason, abused me (physically or emotionally), made me feel two inches tall because you were having a bad day or “just because”, were not there for me when you could have been and knew I needed someone, were quick to talk shit about me behind my back then turn around and eagerly accept my help with no apologies, took advantage of me in any way, took me for granted, viewed me as weak and/or mistook any act of kindness as naivety, made me feel trapped, spit on or slapped my face (literally or figuratively), made me have a lower self image than I already have, lied to my face because you are too chickenshit to tell me the truth, or have in any other way been less of a friend to me than you know I am to you, this entry is for you.

I can honestly say that out of all of my close friends and close acquaintances (I am excluding legally recognized family members), I have six who have gone above and beyond and have not once fallen into any of the above categories. To Rani (possibly referred to as Stormy somewhere on my blog), Ben (Father O’Flannigan), “Gay Momma” Chris and the Memphis family, Chad (possibly referred to as Captain), Tommie, and MC Matt I say, “Thank you!” You have all always gone above and beyond for me. Whether it was being my absolute rock in all of my hardest times and always having my back; being one of my best friends who knew how to laugh at life with me and could still be serious and actually listen when I needed it; kept my chin up no matter how many forklifts it took, always helped me forget the shit in my life, and tried to give me a more positive self image; were there for my phone calls when I felt like I had no one, no matter what time of night or day and no matter how long it had been since we last spoke; helped me grow a pair and remember that life is still funny and that ya can’t let nobody steal your joy; or were there to renew my faith in genuinely kind hearted people who are never too busy to drop everything they are doing to drive across town at three am to bring ya cigarettes and talk at work with you for a few minutes. THANK YOU!

To everyone else, you know where you fit into the list and which all apply. I don’t hate you. I am just to the point now where enough is enough. You cannot steal my joy anymore. I don’t mean that every moment with you is hell, but things have got to change. You all know I am a movie freak so I’ll end this with a movie quote from Magnolia, “You’ve got to start treating me better.”
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Due to the responses of a couple of people, I decided to add this just for clarification:

Question One: Which part is about me?
A: Nothing I said was individualized. Whichever you think apply to you, apply to you. If you feel none apply, then none apply. If you feel that you have done A, B, and C, but not D, and I think that you have only done A and C, then B also applies. I just did not notice it in you because A and C were the more dominant.

Question Two: What is the list of things all about?
A: Okay first of all, read the damned entry. Then, if you don't understand why I listed examples of how I feel I have been wronged, I will probably tell you you are an idiot to be honest. I wasn't saying these are the exact things and only these things are the reasons I am so pissed. It was also not a way for me to list each individual and pick him or her apart (these are still friends afterall), but it is more of a generalization of how I feel I have been treated by my friends as a whole. These are just some things that some of my friends need to recognize and improve upon when dealing with me, because frankly, enough is enough.

Question Three: Is any of that directed at me?
If you feel like, at some point or on a pretty regular basis, you have displayed any of those characteristics, you now know that you can either try to improve upon them or have the relationaship severed. I refuse to be taken advantage of any longer, and I do feel, no, I know that i have been in alot of ways by alot of people. I don't want to lose anyone over this and will work with you to try to make things right once more.

Question Four: So you are saying that because I am not listed on your "Top Six" list that I am a bad friend?
A: Those six are just the one's who have been there for me through everything without judgment or question. Those six I categorized there. Some of you fall into the other grouping. Some fall somewhere in the middle. For some this does not even apply. This is not brain surgery.

Question Five: Where did all of this come from?
I was once a happy person. An extremely happy person, in fact. Completely carefree, but I now feel that I have had so much of my life sucked out without having it returned that unless I make the necessary changes, I am going to die. Literally die. Either I will go through with a suicide, will not be paying attention while driving in a depressed daze (as I often do) and drive into a tree, or the strain will continue to exhaust me making my body work in quadruple time to keep up which will cause my immune system to throw in the towel altogether. So I REALLY don't want to, but if I am pushed to it, I will. You are not going to kill me.

Question Seven: If your friends treat you so poorly, why do you remain their friend?
A: Because I do not consider alot of people my friend or even an acquaintance really. I cherish the ones that I have. I love them. When I befriended each, they were not like this or I'd have already forgotten their names. But they have changed over the days, months, or years and know that how I am. I don't think it is always on purpose, but they are used to Preston the Pushover. I just can't do that anymore. I want to kep my friends, but I want them to remember that that is what we are and that I am not into s&m.

Question Eight: Are you meaning to come across as such a pompous ass?
A: Refer to #3, then if you still have that question, here is the answer. I am just fed up. If I come across as being a self righteous prick, sobeit.

Question Nine: I cannot believe you! Who do you think you are to blah, blah, blah, blah?
A: Refer to Question Eight.
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Okay now that is all I am going to say about that.

Later Consuela.