everythingyoualwayswantedtosaybutwereafraid

Things you always wanted to say but were afraid

Archive for the tag “Irritations in the workplace”

If I don’t like it, I can walk away!

The story begins with a check we received in the mail.  A $15 check from a hospital that The Man was in over a year ago.  Just a check; nothing else.  It wasn’t worth trying to find out the source or the reason, so I stuck it in my purse to cash it for a little pocket change.  Of course, I forgot about it and got a bit panicky when I thought about it and realized it had been a couple of months since I received it.  Fearing there was some sort of expiration date, I whipped into the bank’s drive thru when, in the little town 13 miles from home, I was picking up The Man’s prescriptions.  I don’t use the bank much; I said I was going to close the account when my favorite officer retired, but as usual I had procrastinated.   Hurrying to the drive-in window, I stopped, turned he check over and signed my name to the back.  The  bank teller asked me for the last four of my Social saying, “Ms. McCoy I don’t think I’ve ever seen you here before.”  (I have only banked there since 1980.) After what I believed to be somewhat of a wait to cash a $15 check, she returned to the window to tell me that they were unable to cash the check because it was made out to The Man, yet I had signed it.  I protested, “We both sign on the account.”  “Sorry, Ms. McCoy, it’s policy.”  Of course, it was too late to just pull out of sight and sign The Man’s name, and I should have just looked at the front before I arrived.  I always sign his name anyway; he never wants to.  (So arrest me;  I don’t think he will testify.) I took the check back out of the little moving box and tore it into approximately 100 pieces and put it back in the little moving box and thanked them for the experience, telling them I completely understood policy and respected their need to follow it.

I pulled around to the front, went in and saw them all huddled together presumably talking about the crazy lady that just came through the drive thru.  Picture this scene:  the entire staff of women were in those Friday football jerseys for the local team – some pink, some gray, some green.  The only person in an office was browsing through a yearbook.  Saying, “You can stop talking about me now; I’m here”, I proceeded to the only teller that appeared to have that color thing worked out (She was in a gray spirit shirt.) and told her I wanted to close the account.  I explained that I had really intended to close the account anyway when my favorite bank officer had retired, so now was as good a time as any.  I could tell they had been well-trained in customer service when she told me that they could reassemble the check (I should have let them do that and then closed the account, but the old brain just doesn’t always think too swift.), deposit it in my account, then I could write a $15 check and get the money that way.  Clever, but too late at that point.  The teller than proceeded to tell me that I should really take that money in the form of a cashier’s check instead of cash. (She should never leave an opening like that.)  I explained that I had already had trouble cashing one check at their bank, so I really didn’t want to take any chances on another check.  Just cash please.

I hope I just made their day more interesting with something more to talk about instead of looking at yearbooks and worrying about the spirit shirt color for Friday night lights. Aww, you’re right; spirit shirt colors are more important.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=siW8MkUSo1s

Interaction with the office manager of a top of the line neurosurgeon

 

 

The appointment was requested by me to the Mans doctor on August 16, 2012 during an office visit.

I had researched the doctors within a certain area that would best fit our needs for pain control and possible surgery.

The Mans doctor’s office took until August 28, 2012 to fax the referral.  For easy arithmetic lesson, that is 12 days later.

BUT, I did not know that until I had called the Man’s doctor’s office on August 21, 2012, August 29, 2012, September 4, 2012, and September 7, 2012.

On September 10, 2012 the Mans doctor’s office called to tell me when it had been faxed.  For easy arithmetic again, that is 4 phone calls to get the date of the referral.

With this information, I decided I should call the specialist.  The guru, board certified neurosurgeon with a specialty in pain management and hospital privileges at Providence Hospital.  I called them; the lady that answered the phone said, “Oh yeah,  you have a 3:00 pm appointment on September the 18, 2012.

The next day I got a package in the mail from Dr. Guru with 10 pages to fill out and bring with us.

The website request these things which I carefully collected.

You will need the following items…

 

  • All x-ray, MRI, CT or other films & reports you may have relating to your visit.
  • Any recent lab work.
  • All of the medications (names and dosages) you are taking at this time.
  • Your insurance card and co-pay.
  • Your drivers license or other form of identification.
  • Your referral from your primary care physician (if required by your insurance company).

Our office can help to facilitate provision of these films, reports, labwork and referring physician documentation.

 

I got the MRI on CD for Dr. Guru from the Hamilton Hospital, but they would not let me pick it up, so the Man had to go there and get out in a wheel chair to go sign for the CD.  He did.

We changed Dr.s and saw the new GP on September 17, 2012.  She told us to go ahead and go and see what he said.

When we got home from that Dr.’s appointment, the message on the machine reminded us of the time and date of our appointment with Dr. Guru and what to bring and that they only took cash and checks and be sure to have our co-pay with us in that form.

We got ready; maybe you can just imagine what that is like.

We drove the 60 miles to Waco with the Man in pain from the long ride.  We got lost and called the office of Dr. Guru.  Mandy gave us directions and was very personable on the phone.

We found the office.

I parked in the handicap place where the Man could get out most easily.

I went in to get a wheelchair.  I never take the walker, because every doctors’ office and hospital I have ever been has a wheelchair available.

I asked if they had a wheelchair.

She said just a minute and returned to tell me they did not.

I asked for assistance to get him in the office.  I was about 25 feet to the door from the handicap parking.

She said just a minute and asked the nurse who came out and asked the receptionist to ask me if he was coming from a nursing home.

I heard the question and answered no.

The office manager came to the window and said she was Mandy.  I said yes I talked to you on the phone; you gave me directions.

She asked me to step in the back for a minute.

I followed her to the back of the offices to a room with a desk and two chairs and a computer.  That is all.

She asked me to sit down and then sat down across from me.

I was confused.

She said Dr. Guru would be unable to see the Man on this day.  I asked why.  She said their insurance liability prevented them from assisting him into the office.  She said they did not have another appointment for three weeks, but she would work me in the next day.

I asked her what good would that do, and she said I could bring my own help or walker.

She was very apologetic and continued to reiterate that she was, “just the office manager.”

I stated that it was unbelievable to me that a neurosurgeon would not have a way to assist people into his office.  He surely had patients that were immobilized from back surgeries and other major problems.  This is their statement from their website.

 

Dr. Guru’s company is dedicated to providing world-class, contemporary neurosurgical services with the utmost of care and compassion. Our experienced healthcare professionals are dedicated to treating each patient as an individual, deserving of our time, attention, and respect.

 

These are some of the procedures they perform, yet they cannot assist anyone in the door?

  • Minimally Invasive Surgery
  • Microscopic Spine Surgery
  • Cervical Disc Replacement
  • Lumbar Disc Replacement
  • Lumbar Fusion
  • Cervical Fusion
  • Lumbar Discectomy
  • Cervical Discectomy
  • Kyphoplasty
  • Thoracic Spine Surgery
  • Spinal Cord Tumor Surgery
  • Anterior/Posterior Spine Surgery

Brain Procedures

  • Chiari Malformation
  • Subdural/Epidural Hematoma
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia
  • Atypical Pain Procedures

Other Procedures

  • Spinal Cord Stimulator Implantation
  • Peripheral Nerve Stimulator Implantation
  • Carpal Tunnel Release
  • Vagal Nerve Stimulator
  • Ulnar Nerve Decompression
  • Muscle Biopsy
  • Miscrosurgery

I explained to her the pain and suffering that was involved in a 120 mile trip on that day only to turn around and do it again the next day.

I asked her if I could get him in the office would they see him.  She said yes.

I asked as I was going out to get him,  wasn’t she more concerned about the Man and I getting hurt after they had refused to help us?

She immediately told me that Dr. Guru would be unable to establish a patient relationship with the Man, and to have a nice day. What happened to that dedicated, respectful, professional, experienced healthcare person.

She never looked out at the Man.  She never came to him and explained.  No attention or respect there.

I left. When I got to the car he was trying to get up.  I told him they would not see him.

He was confused.  I told him what was said.

The Man cried. I cried.

He screamed in pain after another 60 mile trip home as he got out of the car.

I have never in my life had an experience with a doctor like that.  Well, actually the experience was with “Mandy (no last name), the office manager.”

Life is full of experiences.  Some more memorable than others.

Why do people keep hurting the Man?

Why is America so allergic to elderly?

I know what goes around comes around.  I trust in Karma.

Now, I am glad he did not see him, because I think something unusual is going on that an office manager would be able to make those kinds of calls for a Dr. Guru without consulting him.  I think maybe they had reviewed the Man’s file and didn’t want him because he was too much for them.  I don’t know.  I know they may have success because of their selection process.  No, I mean because of their discrimination process.

The Man is pissed because they hurt me.

I am pissed because they hurt him.

Help~

 

 

The 24 hour rule

As  see the Olympians getting involved in “twitter wars” I am reminded of a great rule that took me years to learn.  I’m not even sure where I picked it up, but it is the best rule to live by when dealing with people in any media form.

No matter how mad you get, let it sit for 24 hours before hitting the send button.  Oh you can go ahead and write while you are mad, but do not under any circumstances respond for 24 hours.  After that time has passed, reread your message, and if you still believe you should send it then go for it, repercussions and all.

It was the most successful rule I ever used in business and only once did I go ahead and send the original statement I had made while mad.

Twenty four hours is not a long time in a life time of maintaining relationships.

Title IX and the athletes left behind

 

 

 

Not feeling very motivated to write lately, this one has caught me by the heart.  I am 58 years old.  In 1972 President Richard Nixon signed the Title IX legislation that made it illegal to discriminate against women in sports.  I graduated in 1971.

I was a tomboy from birth I guess.  I had little toy guns on my diaper pins.  My daddy was a baseball playing fool, and I benefited from that with many evenings of catch in the backyard.  Fortunately for me, my dad did not believe in cutting any slack to anyone (not even a girl) and I learned to catch a hot pepper just as well as any boy.  It was that or get hit with the ball and catching it was much less painful.  At the age of 12 we moved to a small town that had girls’ basketball, and even though it was three on three, I loved it.  By the time I was a freshman, the game had changed to the boys’ version of five on five, and I existed for sports.  The by-product of that was my coach made sure we kept our grades up, and I excelled on both the field and in the classroom.

By the end of 1968 our school board in Everman, Texas had decided that they could no longer afford to fund five  basketball teams.  At that time there was a varsity girls and boys team and a junior varsity girls and boys team and a boys freshman team.  That board, made up of entirely men, decided it could only fund three teams.  I imagine you can see where I’m going.  So behind the cloak of secrecy, it put in a girls’ coach with instructions to let the program go as far downhill as possible.  She held not one practice the final year we played.  Imagine – a team that did not practice one time.  We even went so far as to go to the gym on our own until we were barred for lack of supervision at which time our parents began coming with us.  We were then banned completely without a coach and our coach would not come – I imagine for fear of her job.  We got a petition up with many, many community signatures that was presented to the Board.  They thanked us.  That was all they did.  We lost miserably.  I had already had college coaches talk to me about playing for them, but with our program completely deleted when I was a sophomore that went down the drain as did my will to continue.

I lost the thing I loved and that motivate me the most.  I quit caring about school;  I experimented with things better left alone and who’s to say that wouldn’t have happened anyway, but I don’t believe it would have.  You SOB  bigoted all male school board took the very thing I was the best at and loved the most at that time because you were making decisions for women without any regard for women’s’ feelings.  I will always resent that and will never forget it.

Kind of reminds you of today doesn’t it? Leave my vagina alone and guys — give up trying to make decisions for women.  We are quite capable.  I hope the young women and their parents of today are stronger than we were.

How many stories are there like this?

http://www.wnba.com/titleix/powerofnine_060812.html

 

A very serious post

If I am talking to a friend about a teacher at school, and I don’t really care too much for this teacher, so I say to you, “Mrs.  Teacher said Little John was really bad and should win the class idiot award.”  You would take that information to help form your opinion of Ms. Teacher, and you might share that information with several others before you investigated the source, if you even ever bothered to find out whether that was true or not.  Deciding to dig deeper, you questioned your own child who was in the same classroom. He/she told you that in fact they were having a discussion about the awards ceremony with the teacher explaining the different awards that would be given and another student said, “Little John should get an award for the class idiot.” While talking about how cruel children can be to each other, Ms. Teacher was conveying the conversation to another teacher in the teachers’ workroom where I was working as a volunteer.  Whether or not I heard the entire conversation and deliberately was trying to turn sentiment against Ms. Teacher, or whether I only heard the part that made me believe Ms. Teacher did say it makes little or no difference to the people who have now formed their opinion of Ms. Teacher based on the misinformation.

Is this right?  What if it is deliberate?  What if the truth came out and I still refused to acknowledge my misinformation even though it was damaging to Ms. Teacher’s reputation?

What do you think?

I’m ticked off all over again about teachers being second guessed

 

What is wrong with people?  Mr. Romney, in a school, says that he checked to see if smaller class sizes had anything to do with standardized test scores, and it didn’t.  A perfect case of a person that doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about.  After retiring from 22 years in public education I can tell you that if you were a smart person you would defer to the experts on this one.  Yes, the superficial correlation do not appear to show that, but it only applies to the upper half of students.  In other words, for the politicians that can’t read above an 8th grade level, for students that make good grades, they can survive in a larger class, but it is the student that struggles who need the smaller groups.  To be exact, for those students behind grade level the most important thing for them is small group instruction with qualified teachers.  I have seen it; the statistics are there to find if you care to; Mr. Romney you are just another in a long line of second guessers that have never taught a group of students already behind usually through no fault of their own.  It is often because of societal issues they are born into.  They get into PK and K with groups of 20 to 30 and don’t get the small group instruction they need, and it is downhill from there.  No one at home is reading to them and with them.  No one is working with them on their homework. No one is enhancing their natural curiosity with proper time and questioning.

SHUT UP PEOPLE THAT DON’T KNOW.  EDUCATORS KNOW THE ANSWERS ON HOW TO IMPROVE EDUCATION.  IT IS SIMPLE.  JUST ASK THE RIGHT PEOPLE. FOLLOW THEIR SUGGESTIONS.  GIVE THEM THE MONEY TO MAKE HAPPEN.  IT’S CHEAPER THAN THE INCARCERATION DOWN THE ROAD.

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My son, the genius

Now, I know that is what everyone thinks when their child is small, but hey this kid is pushing 40, and he still gets a vote from me.  I am referring to a column he wrote in the last newspaper I got from him.  For those that don’t know, he owns a small weekly newspaper in Wisconsin Rapids (which would obviously be in Wisconsin – you think?).  I get my paper in the mail so I am sure I am behind a week, maybe more but I finally dug around and found it.  It is in the May 11, 2012 issue and is titled, “Future rests within ourselves, not fantasies of new large employer.”  Without repeating the entire column let me paraphrase his thesis.  Jeff says that too many people in the area are waiting for some “big” employer to sweep into the area and open some “turn of the century” factory to offer employment to most of the residents.  However, those same people want all the struggle and fight that came out of those factories to give the workers adequate pay and benefits should come with it.  Jeff goes on to say that those days are gone and all the wishing in the world are not going to bring them back.  It is now up to each small community to fight back and the most important part of that is for people to SUPPORT THEIR LOCAL BUSINESSES.  Those other towns that are 15 or 20 miles away are just thrilled with the money you go and give to them, but there is not any of them that care about your local animal shelter, or Kiwanas Club, or any other local non-profit trying desperately to stay alive for your benefit.

And yes, I live in the same type of small town in Texas (although it is much, much, much more conservative) and does not have as many local business so I understand that it can cost more.  A little inconvenience to you can mean the difference in your child’s school having 20 students in a classroom or 40 students in a classroom.  And if you think any large corporation is going to come in and save you or anyone else other than their CEOs you are just living in a dream world.

The most impressive thing about the column (in addition to the foresight) is that at the end he challenges anyone that has bought something outside the area to call him and he will find it in Wisconsin Rapids or he will give them a reward. (It’s some kind of discount to some local place and remember I’m in Texas so I’m not sure what it is.)

Of course the “stump the editor” prize if you do stump him is not large, but hey it’s a SMALL TOWN WEEKLY NEWSPAPER THAT HE STARTED WITH HIS FAMILY.

Future rests within ourselves, not large employer fantasies

So, “wake up ‘merica.” Let’s poor people help each other instead of helping rich people get richer.

Cheating – – but not by kids?

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This is one of the hardest stories to tell, but it has been on my mind since 1984.  These are secrets that are normally carried to the grave, and but for one little student teacher that has had her conscience troubling her ever since so would this one.

I was doing my student teaching.  It was the end of the year in May and cheerleading tryouts were underway for the year.  One of the most intense ones was the competition of the 6th graders to make the Jr. Hi team.  Only two 6th graders would make that team and there was around 20 girls trying out for those two positions.  It appeared to be above-board.  A jury of college cheerleaders made the decision after a tryout that included several different ways to show their stuff.  In the end the two girls that won were the two that were expected to win.  They were definitely the most popular girls in the 6th grade.

Within a week tragedy stuck.  One of the girl’s father was transferred unexpectedly out-of-town, so she would be unable to serve. Thinking that the easiest way to remedy the situation, and without having to go through the entire process again, it appeared that to take the next person down would be the simplest explanation.  The files were pulled out in the teachers’ lounge to check on the third place person.  Low and behold it was a student that some of the teachers found a little less than desirable.  You know, family problems, druggie older brother, poor white wrong side of the track sort of thing.  No matter that she was  a beautiful, striking, athletic, intelligent girl who may have needed this more than any other of the girls.  Then, much to their surprise, the fourth place girls was a teacher’s kid – really good kid, straight As, conservative dresser, good family, etc. They justified their decision by the fact that it was the “right” thing to do.

I sat in the corner ignoring the entire process.  I was just taking a class and happen to be there, and I really had no say.  I’m having it now.  After very little discussion, the decision was made to skip the third place, go to the fourth place, shred all the paperwork and who would ever know the difference.  They know, and I know.

It still makes me sick, but doesn’t it remind you of our government? And al those good people wonder what is wrong with our society.  They never believe they have anything to do with its corruption.

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Review: Precious Knowledge on PBS Independent Lens

31 to Life

This week, PBS’ Independent Lens turns toward the embattled (and currently abolished) Mexican-American Studies program in the Tucson Unified School District. As a Tucson-area educator, this story was of local and professional interest to me. At the start of the hour-long documentary, we are told that high school dropout rates for Mexican American students are 50% nationwide, the highest of any minority group. In 1997, the Tucson Unified School District approved an ethnic studies curriculum as a way of engaging students and lowering dropout rates. The program appeared to be a success, with over 90% of students in ethnic studies electives graduating, according to a study conducted over the course of six years. Students interviewed for the film, many of them Latino students from underprivileged backgrounds, but some white and minority students as well, express admiration for the program. We are also told that courses were created dealing with…

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The need for cameras

I know all the arguments about privacy and stuff, but after 22 years in education in every position from coach, teacher, assistant principal,  and principal, I believe there should be video cameras in every classroom, locker room and any other place that children interact with adults in school.

We don’t have any problem having cameras in the hallways and cafeterias in case students “act up”, but we have yet to go to the next step of putting them in the classroom.  Just think of the advantages; you could share all good teaching techniques and exceptional lessons with others; you would have video for parent conferences to show how students behave at school; adults and students that know they are being video taped will monitor their actions a bit more; and finally, it would provide any “evidence” that might be necessary when we get into the he said/she said arguments.

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If you still are skeptical, watch this video, but be prepared to be disgusted.

Click on this to hear UTUBE video

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