Sunday, November 28, 2010

Yep. It Was THAT Bad!

Yesterday at work, I was cleaning patient rooms. The day started off with two of the patients - uh - let's just say they were mobility impaired and didn't quite reach the restroom facilities in time. Yours truly got to clean it up. And it wasn't just urine. (I'll keep it at that to keep from getting TOO graphic.)
While cleaning it up, I couldn't help but think the following: here I am, cleaning filth off bathroom floors after driving to Ann Arbor to work. And I'm STILL far happier than I was working at that commercial TV station!!!
At least working at the hospital I get compliments, positive feedback and nice words from the people there. I'm actually treated as a human being and not some worthless cog in some remorseless money-making behemoth.
Oh... and I finally got my work uniform. It's more functional than stylish, but DAMN... do I ever look blue-collar-union in that blue shirt and navy work pants!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Working in a hospital is different from anything I've ever done before. I'm doing custodial work, which I've done earlier in my life, but in a hospital, things are more extreme. When cleaning an elementary school, a screw-up will merely mean things will be aesthetically unappealing for awhile. In a hospital, doing a sloppy job could mean a resistant germ could literally kill the next person who ends up in a given room. But hey, no pressure.
Actually, I like to try to do a good job in any position I work, so I don't mind the challenge. In the few days I've been working so far, I have received unsolicited positive comments from nurses and receptionists telling me they thought I was doing a good job and that they liked my work ethic. After three months of getting nearly constant crap from the management at my previous job, that did some good for my wounded self-esteem.
Another thing that makes working at a hospital different is the need to monitor one's health - both for the sake of the patients (so they don't catch anything from you in their often immuno-compromised state) and for you (so you don't catch any germies from a sick patient). Rubber gloves and oceans of Purel help to some extent, but I also had to have a health screening and shots.
It's strange going from a situation where I was concerned about losing all health coverage to being pampered in that department. It is in the interest both of my employer and myself for me to be immunized. And so yesterday, I became a human pincushion. Five needle pokes. And then I worked my shift. Today, my arms are sore. But I don't mind. I will now be safe from the flu, diphtheria, hepatitis B, whooping cough and probably rabies, distemper and heartworms.
As a 32-hour employee, I'm now enjoying my three days off. Not bad. I work hard while I'm at work, but I'm a slacker at heart. I have a long list of things I'm supposed to be doing on this day off. Typing in my blog was not one of them.
Oh, well...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What a Strange Year!

I certainly hope 2011 will be far less eventful than 2010 has been.
As those of you who have been following my scribblings for the past few months will know, I lost my job at the end of January. I was unemployed until early August, at which time I landed a job with a local commercial television station. The three months I worked there were probably the most miserable 90 days in my entire life. The management there treated me like dirt. They were, to put it bluntly, complete assholes. I was able to secure employment as a Unit Custodian at the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor and was therefore able to resign from the TV station. I have only worked at this new position for a few days, but I think once I "learn the ropes" and figure out how the job goes I will do well. The commute is a bit long, but when the weather is good I actually find it relaxing. I can listen to audio books on CD and to NPR which makes the drive rather enjoyable. Also, I am now a member of AFSCME, which doesn't hurt salary-wise. I'm making more per hour than at the TV station, am treated better and enjoy the work. After sitting behind a desk for 26 years I think doing some actual physical labor will likely do me some good.
I do hope to eventually be able to find something at University of Michigan-Flint so that the commute won't be quite as long, (and the parking situation not so insane) but for the time being, I think I'll get by. Some good things: my retirement account will be reactivated, my health insurance will resume and my vacation accrual will start again.
I hope to be able to resume writing on a more regular basis. No job is perfect, but this one certainly can't be worse than my last one!