Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Holy Shit, I Am Not Alone

"I've always avoided fights. I make jokes instead. I tell people what they want to hear to avoid a confrontation. I pretend to want things I don't want, and I pretend not to want things I do want. No one gets hurt. Except me. The lines are so crossed and blurred at this point that I don't know what I want. I just know I want it to be easy."

Okay, can anyone tell me where the above quote came from? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller? If you answered that it's from my personal journal, you are almost correct. Because if I actually kept a journal then I do believe those exact words would be in it. But I don't. And those words? Those words are actually from a library book I'm reading called "Girl's Poker Night" by Jill A. Davis. Finding them, those words, was amazing. Because they describe me. Perfectly. And even though they were spoken by a fictional character it was a relief to know I'm not the only idiot that's built this way.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Why Are Things So Difficult Sometimes?

How can you only have seven people working in an office and not be able to organize a “pizza day”? I seriously do not understand. Local joint selling pizzas half price this week to all employees at our company and people here can’t agree to just order 4 large pizzas and split the price. Instead, apparently we are supposed to all tell one of the girls what pizza we want and give her the money and she will call in everyone’s order tomorrow. WTF? Why would I want to order my own large pizza? Other coworker says “It’s because we all want different things”. But there are only seven of us. And I know that myself and at least 2 other people aren’t that picky. We’ll eat basically any type of crust or toppings. Which brings me back to how can ordering 4 large pizzas and splitting the price be a problem?

Then I hear them discussing that the best time to call it in would be at 11:00 so that it could arrive between 11:30 and 12:00. I guess no one cares that my scheduled lunchtime is at 11:00. I guess it’s a good thing I had already decided I wasn’t going to participate in an office lunch by ordering my own large pizza. Does any of this really make sense? Gah!

Friday, January 08, 2010

Learning To Love Nurses

You all know that I work in the health care industry doing technical support. This means that I spend most of my day talking to nurses (not all day because we do get calls from the business offices and admin offices also). Obviously, I don't have a great deal of medical knowledge and the nurses usually don't have a great deal of technical knowledge. And that normally causes a communication problem. They are in a hurry, they don't want to take the extra time to explain their problem but yet I can't help them if I don't know what the problem is. And when they do try to explain the explanation is filled with "that thingymabob isn't working" or "I click on that one little picture in the corner". It gets frustrating. It's my job to fix their issue and the more questions I ask the madder the nurse gets and the more confused I get. I stay frustrated with nurses a lot.

But it is still a medical environment and even though I’m merely technical support there are times when the medical side of my workplace reaches out and slaps me in the face. I can’t give you too many stories because I don’t want any sort of trouble if someone I work with finds this blog and thinks I’m giving too many details. HIPPA violations are serious business around here. But you do get the occasional calls like an ER doctor screaming about a critical condition patient on the table and the imaging system used to view x-rays is not working. Things of that nature. And when you get those calls it can really rattle you to the core.

My day started off that way unfortunately. My first call of the day started out normal enough. One of the nurses from Psych Med was having an issue logging into her primary software and while I was in the process of troubleshooting I suddenly heard some shouting in the background. It was a patient who was confused/upset about where she woke up apparently and she wanted everyone to know it. The screaming escalated in a few short seconds and immediately the nurse on the phone with me asked me to hold please and she set the phone down to try and help with the patient. This meant for the next 5 or 6 minutes I sat there and listened to the screaming and pleading and pain and sobbing of someone while several nurses tried to restrain her and calm her down. It was very unnerving and made me realize how special you have to be to work in nursing or any similar fields. I would have sat down and cried had I been there. I was darn near crying just sitting here listening to it. I finally decided to hang up, the nurse could call back when things settled down. One reason is because it was painful to listen to. It made me sad. The other reason is that I almost felt like I was eavesdropping on something I shouldn’t be hearing. There was a real pain and sadness in the sobbing and I just didn’t feel right hearing it. The whole thing really rattled me. What a humbling way to start the day. Today I will have more patience for the nurses that call me. I am very grateful for what they do and how they handle their jobs. They are truly heroes.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

I Really Don't Understand People

I work at a computer helpdesk for a health care organization and answer calls all day long about software and hardware issues. Some of these calls are from people who are at home and are using our remote portal website to login to the system from home and either check their email or do some work. When we get these calls from remote users the first thing we determine is if they have a company owned laptop that we built and sent home with them or if they are just using their own personal computer to connect. Obviously we are responsible for making sure the remote portal is working, their login and password is working, and once they are connected we support everything on our side of the network that they are doing. If they are using a company owned laptop that we sent them home with, then we are also responsible for figuring out what settings on the laptop may be causing the problem they are having. If they can't use our pc to connect to their home wireless, for example, that's our problem and we need to work on resolving it. However, if they are using their own personal pc we are not at all responsible for anything at all that happens prior to logging in to the remote portal. Your laptop won't find your own network? Not my problem. It's your pc and your network, you figure it out. Call Dell. Call your ISP. Call your dad. I don't care because I am not responsible for your stuff.

The reason we operate like this is simple. One, we are being paid by our company to answer the phone for issues affecting the production of our co-workers. The fact that you can't get to www.google.com on your home pc is not something I am getting paid to take care of. It's a waste of company time and money. Second, we simply can't be responsible for perhaps accidentally messing up your pc. I'm sitting in a cubicle in town. I can't see anything about your pc. I don't know what version of Windows you're running. I don't know how your husband setup your wireless router or who your ISP is. I am clueless. So when I get a call like I did this morning I usually just explain that because it's a personal pc and the issue has nothing to do with connecting to our system remotely then I am unable to help. The lady that I told this to this morning, however, did not take kindly to it at all. AT ALL.

She called in because she is continously getting a pop-up dialog box saying that her Adobe Updater has failed to install the latest update. We went through several minutes of conversation involving me explaining that Adobe had nothing to do with connecting remotely, so the message was more than likely related to settings on her personal pc. She accepted that but still wanted to know if I could help her. I explained I could not because I knew nothing about how her computer was configured. She stated that she had called in before and someone had helped her get rid of this message. A) Fucking Whoopty Do, Goody For You. And B) Too bad you can't remember what they did you moron.

Of course, I did not say either of those things and I apologized once again but kindly declined to help her. I did suggest that maybe her user account didn't have enough rights to let the install complete and that whoever set up her pc might be able to give her administrator rights to see if that took care of the problem. But then she wanted to know if I could just tell her how to get into the task manager and do that herself. Uh... NO. It's not done in task manager and for the 4th time WE DO NOT WORK ON PERSONAL PC'S BECAUSE WE CANNOT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ACCIDENTALLY MESSING SOMETHING UP. At which point she said "Well what if I just call back and someone else answers the phone and they help me?"

My response? "That's a great idea, you should do that." CLICK. Yep, I hung up on her. Which I never do with customers. It got that bad. I don't understand people. Oh well, only thing left to do is hope she doesn't remember my name. Because if she does, I'll be hearing from the boss in no time. Sigh.