Friday, June 19, 2015

Beware Death Country

It was suggested by the lead from yesterday's verbal and written warning that I might need help with my communication skills, especially with my professional communication skills, and that I might benefit from a class in communicating more professionally.

I'm still laughing over that one. They might as well have told me that I needed a class in the empty, but wordy, use of PC language.

In case you haven't noticed, I don't do PC. Politically correct language is using a lot of high sounding words to say exactly nothing. No wonder people have problems understanding each other since when in PC mode they are not so much communicating as throwing words at each other that have so little heft and meaning. It's rather like throwing an empty pie plate at someone with a picture of a big lemon meringue pie without the actually lemon, crust, or 6-inch thick meringue on top. And it has about the same effect as PC communication.

I don't know if you've figured it out yet, but I have been communicating on the Internet for a while now, have written books, and communicated her (rather ineffectually it seems) since 2002, which is 13 years come September.

I keep wondering how I managed to communicate in all the articles I wrote for newspapers and magazines, especially the ones that were picked up by syndicates, like AlterNet, and sold to newspapers and magazines all across the country. It couldn't have been words. Never that.

Jeff called me this afternoon just as I was waking up and wanted to talk about the screwing he has been getting at his job and it turned into the screwing that made him leave his last very lucrative position. His assistant, a really go-getter, who did everything she could to undermine him and take over his position, told him that the world was full of people like him (successful businessmen/women) who were the targets of people like her (morally bankrupt, go behind your back, and undermine you at every turn even if they had to manufacture proof) ready to take over and be the new broom that sweeps them out like so much old trash.

I've known people like that. I've known them my whole working life. I'm sure they felt that I was out to get them when I started a job and went from entry level to top of the statistical heap in a leap worthy of Superman -- or Supergirl -- and didn't even stop to consider their positions or their feelings or the level of their anger at me for displacing them while I ignored them and continued to do my job. I am so thoughtless that way.

But then they didn't work for a company like the one I'm working for now which does everything ti can to cut costs (employee pay) to enrich their coffers. Jeff reminded me that the people who cut costs are rewarded with a huge bonus every time the company must pay me what I've earned and what I'm worth. After all, it's not important that they get a bonus but that they deny me compensation for the job that I do at a rate that is commensurate with my experience and accuracy. Gotta keep the slaves in the dark digging coal and not getting above themselves with thoughts that anything they do actually matters -- except when it comes to quantity of coal dug and processed for the lowest price. Oh, they will jack up the prices to the customer, but the slaves will still be slaves working in death country as Sun Tzu once said in his Art of War.

How does Sun Tzu apply? Did you really think that a manual on how to wage war doesn't apply when it comes to office politics and the professional wars we all fight every day?

Death country is not where you want to put your enemy. You should always leave the enemy a way out of a conflict or he will get desperate and turn on you much like a wolverine caught in a trap from which there is no way out will turn and rend you and the horse you rode in on.  Death country. Sun Tzu said that you should never trap your enemy/opponent in Death Country. Now you know why.

I'm in Death Country. I cannot quit my job because I just started it in January. I have benefits I can afford and I'm buying a house, neither of which I can afford -- or intend -- to lose. I could accept the offers of other jobs, but I would have to start at square one and I don't think that would make me a good candidate for the loan I need to purchase my cabin in the mountains. I would be faced with no benefits, no insurance, or have to pay a month's house payment just to buy the benefits, and that would also not make me an attractive candidate for a loan to buy my cabin in the mountains. No way out. Not at this time.

What I have been left with is the way of the wolverine caught in death country.

No, I will not take a class on effective communication. I will, however, use what I have learned over 3 decades of written communication and use the very large digital footprint I was warned about leaving yesterday. My boss doesn't know about my digital footprint outside of the "very unprofessional note" I left on a doctor's report. She thinks that I will be less likely to leave a clear and cogent digital footprint again -- at least not where it will affect the company. I guess she didn't figure I'd have any way to retaliate since I do need my income (such as it is when they are done gutting it) and not be able to rock the corporate boat. After all, I need to take a class to learn to communicate effectively.  Poor me.

I'm sure they will think differently once my digital footprint is all over them and the horse they rode in on. Such is the way of being caught in death country.

That is all. Disperse.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Even Micromanagers Get Managed

This afternoon I woke up, went to the bathroom, and opened the curtains before settling down to open my computer and check email, surf a bit, etc. The phone rang in the other room because I have the ringer turned off in my bedroom so I can sleep without too many interruptions. I saw immediately it was my boss -- you know, the micromanaging boss who is trying to make good for her bosses -- and I answered thinking it was a call to ask me to work.

It wasn't.

And it wasn't my boss.

It was one of the leads (another supervisor) who was calling from my boss's line and the boss was on the call, too. They were ganging up on me.

Except they weren't ganging up on me. It was the lead ganging up on me for my lack of professionalism in communicating with one of the hospitals about one of their doctors. I was being warned for the first (and LAST) time about my unprofessional behavior. *insert eye roll*  Yes, my eyes were rolling on the floor, spikesleman.

The dressing down was specifically because I appended a note to the hospital about the quality (lack of quality) of the dictation from one of the problem doctors, a radiologist, who cannot seem to understand that rushing through his dictations with barely a nod to the use of consonants and vowels in proper order does not make the work go faster or serve the patient, and that he will have to insert the proper words when he is approached with the stack of reports that he has garbled.

I asked which doctor I had been unprofessional in my note, although I had a pretty good idea which one. As the lead rifled through the reports she told me that my boss had not been offended by my "very large digital footprint" in commenting about this doctor, but she had.

Did I mention that my boss is her boss?

She finally resurfaced with the note, haranguing me every moment of the search and reminding me several times in fast, pressured words that this was the first and LAST time I would be warned about this particular unprofessional behavior, while commiserating that the doctor is a jerk and no one has been able to dent his thick skin or get him to change the way he does things (a radiology report in under 10 -- and usually 5 -- seconds), which includes technical terminology and sensitive information, like whether or not the patient has a tumor or pneumonia or some life threatening finding on their x-ray, CAT scan, etc.

"...the doctor rushes through the dictation mumbling and garbling the words." 

There you have it. I remember writing it after 3 hours of radiology reports from this particular doctor and decided it was time to just speak the truth.

But that was unprofessional of me. The proper protocol is to bitch to my boss, or the lead, and put in the note that the sound quality is the issue -- and NOT THE DOCTOR.  My comments will be taken on board and passed up the chain of command until someone will contact the hospital and explain that the doctor in question should consider working on his dictation technique so that fewer of his reports are returned to him to fill in the blanks. He does not need to know that he's rushing through his dictations to get them done and no one can understand what he says, even after 3 quality control professionals have listened numerous times to his garbled words, and he will have to fill in the blanks on his own. Never mind that his behavior is unprofessional and he is wasting the time of the professionals he is working with or that no one will tell him what is wrong to his face because . . . HE IS GOD and mere mortals should not address or offend the god with his unprofessional behavior.

Like that's not unprofessional.

I really liked the part that the lead mentioned that I needed to work on my communication skills.

Like they are actually communicating any clearer than the doctor when he is rushing through his reports and possibly compromising the quality of care or the patients' lives and peace of mind. He's a radiologist and they seldom have to worry about bedside manner since they seldom have to deal with the patients face to face. That's the attending doctor's or specialist's problems. They merely have to tell the patients to hold an uncomfortable position, not to breathe, and not to move.

I've complained about this for years, and I've done my share of complaining to the doctors, but it is my belief that not confronting the doctors with their behavior in clear and concise terms is part of the problem. A person who is not told what he is doing wrong or incorrectly has very little chance of fixing what is wrong or correcting his/her behavior -- unless s/he is doing it on purpose and delights and relishes in the bad feelings, ill will, and frustration of the mere mortals and looking for everyone to fear and kowtow to her/him.

Okay, so I am unprofessional. I broke the code of by stating the problem in clear and unmistakable words. I could be fired if it happens again, but now I know that the lead will not tolerate my disregard for the garbled communication between medical language specialist (MLS) and the hospital and eventually the doctor in question because my digital footprint is so large that it will be out there for years on reports for everyone to see that I disregarded the protocol of being vague and pandering to the ego of a god. Oh, well, it must be Thursday.

Oh, and my boss? Well, she said not a word while the lead raked me over the coals while simultaneously letting me know that she understood my frustration over the situation because she felt the same frustration.

I guess the micromanager can be managed with a copy of the handbook ("...clearly stated on page 11...") and a head of steam full of righteous indignation at my crude and unprofessional behavior.

That is all. Disperse.