Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Friday, January 03, 2003


Okay, I enjoyed being back at work, but I came home and by 5:30 crashed. I guess I got used to being off. So now I'm up and continuing a long-standing family tradition of eating cereal at bedtime. I'm also spending some time with the cats. I took my dog into the bedroom with me, because I'd had so much trouble going to sleep last night suddenly with so much space (from couch to queen-size) and no warm animals. I could let the cats in, but 1) I have a very fragile painting that needs to be reblocked on my bedroom floor at the moment and I don't want them walking on it and 2) they sleep on my head. I want my own pillow for a change, thank you. I've never seen such greedy, hoggy, pillow-stealers. :) Cerys pretty much is content to cuddle up under the covers, although she sometimes decides to sleep across the bed. But she's extremely comforting.

I did get written up today for an incident back in December when I left for a library conference and my boss didn't know where I was. I'm pretty sure I blogged about it at the time. While I clearly should have made a better attempt to keep her informed, I have to admit that the write-up, which was meticulously accurate, paints my boss, well, as an idiot. She clearly says she didn't see the note I'd posted. She states that she looked for me, yet she did not check with the receptionist, whom I had told where I was going, when to expect me, and where to reach me on my way to catch the bus. So I guess I have mixed feelings about it. I signed it and of course it'll go into my file.

I think my former boss, Kathy, would have handled the incident much better. Among other things, she would have taken responsibility for her own decision rather than laying it onto the HR director. But then, I'm not sure Kathy would have reacted the same way. Kathy was always more concerned that the patrons knew I was unavailable. The posting of the sign would probably have been fine. Kathy, I think, would have checked with reception, since we're all supposed to let them know we're leaving (and I might add, I'm one of the few who consistently does that, even if it's for lunch). Also, I think the basic issue is that my boss got embarrassed when someone looked for a poster that had been put in the library for our annual safety test and it wasn't there. It was there when I left. Given the timeframe involved, someone probably borrowed it (without leaving a note) around around lunch and I probably wouldn't have known where it had gone, either. But I would have just gone and found it so that the other person could use it. I think my boss got very embarrassed because she didn't know how to take the situation. I understand why. But I think the write-up had more to do with her embarrassment than anything else. I am sorry I put her in that position, although I didn't do so deliberately. I was just concerned at getting to the last meeting of the the year (I was president, and we were having elections that day), and between dealing with someone in the library and trying to catch the bus, I made a bad decision in not putting a note on her desk or getting that e-mail sent. I should have informed her earlier. But I think she should have handled it better, too.

Still, the write-up made it clear that there were issues on both sides, so at least that's something. I have made a better effort to keep her informed, and I think she's trying a little harder to not seem as abrupt with me. She's not particularly approachable; she's wrapped up in her own work, and I understand that. I think she senses that Kathy and I had a much warmer relationship. I saw Kathy the other day and just came up and hugged her, spontaneously, and I'm not a huggy person. But I tell you, when I was having my emotional breakdown, I think the only reason I survived, especially professionally, but on a personal level, too, was because of Kathy. When Kathy first took over (and my current boss was the original one which she replaced), I wasn't sure how to take her. She seemed came by more, and at first I thought she didn't think I could work on my own or something. I now realise that she was taking an interest in my work and in me. She was an advocate. She would flatly tell people when they were asking me to do inappropriate tasks. If she knew I was having trouble with depression and my blood sugar, she'd call and make sure I was okay. She knew, living alone, that I could easily have had my sugar bottom out and no one would know. She understood that my medication was sedating. She worked with me to make sure that I could take care of myself, go to my doctor's appointments, and still get my work done. She cared. I'm sure my current boss does, on some level, but it's not the same. I don't feel like I can depend on her to help me, say, go full-time or get to a national conference. Kathy would have at least done what she could on her end. And most importantly, as comfortable as I've become talking about my health issues, including the mental health ones, I just don't feel as comfortable talking with my current boss as I did with Kathy about them. Kathy and I were very open with each other. If Kathy wanted me to change how I was doing something, she told me why. She told me when she'd be out of the office (I never know with my current boss). She had a very open door policy (and was perfectly willing to close it to the rest of the world if we needed to talk privately). It seems whenever I try to talk to my current boss, she's out of the office or talking with one of the other nurse managers or care coordinators. I can pretty much only catch her if I schedule the time, and our e-mails almost always seem to cross so it's hard to do actual conversations that way. So a lot of little daily communication gets lost. Sigh.

Well, I think we're both trying to make it work. So we'll see how the year plays out. I think I need to send a card to Kathy and let her know how much I appreciate her help. I learned so much about dealing with people and putting them at ease from her. And given how much I've ranted in this blog, I suppose the write-up bothered me more than I've been admitting to myself. I feel like everytime I'm pushing forward, something like this happens, and yet the things I do day in and day out don't get nearly the same recognition. But I guess everyone tends to feel that way at work.

Anyway, thanks for listening. I think I'm going to head back to bed and try to get up early in the morning, maybe let Cerys play outside if there's snow instead of rain. 'Night.

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