Thursday, February 21, 2008


Tuesday night I started work at my new place of employment , that I will now only refer to as The T to avoid having my blog googled...

Because we were told that we need to maintain a professional attitude and need to remember that we are representatives of the establishment, whether on the the clock or on Myspace. DOH! Maybe I should just put a disclaimer at the end of each post:

"The opinions stated on this blog are definitely NOT the opinion of this blogger's employer. All almost somewhat positive musings read on this blog should be taken at face value, and at times with a grain of sarcasm salt. Reading this blog may cause temporary nausea, vomiting, snorting and 'laughing so hard you peed a little'. In rare cases, explosive diarrhea has been known to occur. If you experience any of these side effects, please seek medical attention immediately."

The 4 1/2 hours consisted of learning acronyms, safety regulations, how assist customers including those with disabilities, and being threatened with termination for failing to stow away walkie talkies properly (and for the obvious like theft and fraud).

My fellow orientees were much, MUCH younger than me, which I guess officially makes me the old fart of the group. One was a quiet college student (who was very unfriendly when you get down to it, even though I attempted to strike up conversation) that kept stroking her long purple tinted hair when nervous, and the other was a youngster still in high school. He was kind enough to give me his little stuffed Spot doggie after I asked if I could purchase another one so that I had one for each ankle biter when I got home.

I orient on the cash register tonight, but I am one of the floor workers. I chose this job instead of cashier because I would rather be busy then stand around at the front with nothing to do. So, I'll be the gal who is asking the customers if they need help finding anything, stocking and prettying the shelves, fixing the clothes that y'all mess up after trying them on ;), and working in electronics and jewelry on occasion. Plus I'll be called up to the front to cashier when it's busy. The floor job may sound unglamorous, but I have been told I will have the opportunity to cross train in other sections of the store. Weehoo! On the other hand, I guess I have to stop stuffing all of my unwanted items on the end caps as i make my way to the register. yeah, I'm one of those people. I don't always toss unwanted items on the nearest shelf, just 60% of the time. ;)

I'm not sure if I will stay at The T or not, it depends on how much I am making by the time Emma starts school. My plan is to become a phlebotomist because I have a lot of experience with starting IV's (which is usually a lot harder than drawing blood, but not always).

I have talked about this in the past... but you may be wondering why I would want to work for minimum wage when i was an LPN/LVN in California. The reason is that I received all of my training in the navy, but because of that I am missing theory hours in Labor & Delivery. And because of that most states will not take my license, Iowa being one of them.

I worked as a Hospital Corpsman (medic) for 4 years and because I had over a years experience with actual patient care on a ward, I was able to challenge the LVN boards just before I got out of the Navy- which I passed on the first try. California, Florida and Illinois (I think Maryland was one too at the time) are the only states that will allow hospital corpsmen to do this , mostly because there are teaching facilities in those states. Now Illinois- which is just over the Mississippi River for me- only takes theses licenses on a case by case basis the last time I checked, but was phasing that out.

I was told that I would have to start school for LPN from the beginning in Iowa. The problem is that I have NO COLLEGE under my belt, so I would have to start from square one. At my age (38), it's not something I am sure that I want to do because when I left the profession (though I keep my California license current) I was very burned out.

Nursing is such a hard profession. Working with people is something that i love and actually crave, but the politics I definitely do not miss. I hate to say it, but because nursing is such a high stress job, it also tends to be a very clique-y and bitchy job. There's lots of back stabbing and A Type Personalities , sometimes competing for the same job/promotion. then you have different shifts who tend to be very competitive, which makes the shifts prone to reporting each other for every little mistake because the next shift is the one there to pick up the pieces from the fall out.

You have hard working old timers who pick on the newbies, newbies who think that they are too good to get their hands dirty because they have a degree, and managers who have forgotten what it's like to be a real nurse, and tend to expect their nurses to be Super Women/Men.

Yes, I miss the patient care and contact, but I do not miss all of the millions of papers that a nurse must fill out because of all of the new rules and regulations. there are times that nurses feel like they do more paper work than actual patient care, and despite the continuous increase of paperwork, they are still given the same patient load and sometimes more because of the nursing shortage.... which is a catch 22 because the worse it gets, the more people are looking elsewhere for professions because we all know how tough the health care field is. It's only getting worse. More patients to care for in a shift, more work and stress, more life and death decisions than ever in an 8 hour shift, 12 hours if you are lucky.

Ahhh, now you are beginning to see the dark side of health care and nursing, no? So, these are the things I have to take into consideration before I decide to spend thousands of dollars on schooling, for something I am not sure I want to do any more. What if I spend all of that time away from my family and MONEY, and then I am a burnt out, ulcer ridden mess and hate it?

I tell you though, if Iowa offered to pay for my schooling I would seriously consider it. For now though, phlebotomy is the plan. I can still interact with people and do something I am pretty darned good at, and enjoy doing... well, except for children. i have never drawn blood from a child before so I'm not looking forward to that. I've been on the other end of that whole deal... It's excruciating for the mother and child.

Anyway, working at The T will be OK for now. I need to contribute to the house hold because having a 2nd child and having an older child grow out of jeans and shoes at the speed of sound... well, you know. It's expensive! especially on a MISU's salary. plus at this rate, we'll never be able to celebrate our 20th in style, June 2009. ;)

So there you have it, to make a short story long... the reasons why I am settling for working at The T instead of nursing.

Now I must go do some laundry. A thought just occurred to me... Good lord, I hope my job doesn't involve cleaning The T toilets because I'll quit right now!


Avery Gray said...

I hope you like your new job! I confess, I'm one of those end cap tossers, too. Hey, it's convenient. Sue me.

BTW, I think I'd spend my entire paycheck if I worked there. I can not be trusted in that place!

~Virginia~ said...

here's hoping you don't have to clean the public toilets! that was part of our "clean-up" duties when i worked at a bookstore in high school. ick.

Jenny Ryan said...

Yes, avoid the bathroom cleaning at all costs! I had to do that when I worked at a bookstore, and it was gross. I refused to clean the men's bathroom-I made one of the guys do it.

Dorky Dad said...

Good luck at the new job! My employer knows all about my blog. I think that's OK.

And nursing is one tough profession. I got to spend a day with one. That was WORK.

kailani said...

All I want to know is . . . what kind of discount do you get? hee hee

Daddy Forever said...

Thanks for explaining. I was beginning to think you must be a dork to work at T instead of being a nurse.

wolfbaby said...

Money is such a hard issue for so many people