It is hard to make this stuff up……

….and yet it keeps happening.  Today it snowed!  March 7th in the temperate climes of Campbell River usually sees daffodils blooming, men-in-T-shirts and well, women in T-shirts, too (fashion is not their strong suit).  But it was below freezing last night and scheduled for below-freezing again tonight.  And Daylight Savings begins tomorrow!

Sheesh.  I half expect a plague of locusts next.

The last month has proven to be more eventful than our previous year.  And NOT in a fun way.  But, oh well, into every life a little rain must fall.  But we are currently more than just a little bit damp and fallen……(figuratively speaking).  We’ll be fine but…well, SNOW?

My standard response to anything I do not like is basically anger.  It is not a hard leap for me to make.  I kinda live at ‘grumpy’ and ‘grouchy’ is a very close second-stage.  Getting to anger is easy.  It is about Mar-sec 3 or DefCon 4 for me.  And, of course, some things prompt that response more than others.  Currently I am ‘beyond annoyed’ at what I refer to as professional/institution-speak.  That is the language used by administrators and professionals who assume you are an idiot and know nothing so they speak drivel, jargon and bureaucratize at you as if they were actually saying something. 

They have a ‘tone’ as well.  The ‘tone’ is one of ‘you mean nothing to me.  I am a professional.  You are a member of the great unwashed public and I really do not have time for this’.

“Now, ma’am, before we start, please do not speak to me in institution-speak.  It’s actually detrimental to communication, anathema to relationship and absolutely crazy-making for me.” 

“Of course, sir.  I understand.  And let me just say how much we appreciate you stepping forward with your concerns.  It is our goal at the Mindless Medical Institution (MMI) to prioritize and put forward our best efforts in this matter and further, to work with you and other stakeholders to resolve your issue going forward.”

“I don’t feel good about this already….”

“And how can I assist you today, sir?”

“Well, to get to you, I have already spoken to three other polite, professional, smiling-but-evasive and obviously powerless staff.  They are repeating all the great things stated on your website.  You know?  Mission statement stuff?  They know the jargon off by heart.  But they are not engaged in the issue one bit.  They DO nothing.  It is as if I was talking to robots.”

“Well, sir, I am here now.  How can I help you?”

“I wrote everything out.  I itemized everything.  In detail.  I wrote three times already.  Did you read it?”

“No, sir.  We are very, very busy here at the MMI providing care to our patients and others in need.  I have not had the time to read it.  Perhaps you could summarize it for me?”

“No, ma’am.  I am very busy at the Moho providing care to others and I have already taken the time – three times, actually – to basically fill your files with unread, hard, detailed information.  Please get back to me after reading it.  A summary over the phone is NOT going to do the job.”

“Thank you, sir, for your valued input today.  We will be in touch shortly. Have a nice day.”

And, once again, ‘punching people in the face’ seems to come all too readily to mind.




14 thoughts on “It is hard to make this stuff up……

  1. Bureaucracies are role based and designed to be unresponsive to anyone without authority in the organization. You might have perceived you had influence but it’s easy to burn assumed political capital trying some strategies that have failed to work so far. In the case of a hospital a doctor needs to write orders. Line people generally do not solve problems and that is by bureaucratic design. Bureaucracies are role bound and rule which is what frustrates most people. If bad they are consistently bad.


    • THAT is true, Max. IF bad, they are consistently bad. But I am not in the least hesitant to keep going UP the hierarchy. Like: forever. It may be pointless for me, but it is ‘negative capital’ to the bureaucrats. They can NOT afford too many of ‘me’ on their record. I have often said to recalcitrant bureaucrats, “I am old. I have no work anymore. I really need a hobby. I think I am gonna make YOU my hobby. I am gonna write and write and write and write. I like to write. And I will get all my friends to to write at least once. Is that what you want?
      Well, is it punk?”
      THAT doesn’t always work out for me….some just go on stress leave…..but even THAT works for me.
      Bottom line: I do not mind mistakes. I don’t even mind resistance that much. But, God almighty, I HATE stupidity. I HATE mindlessness. I will go to the mattresses over that.
      But…thanks for your support…ya wanna be one of my writers?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well the solution to your problem is probably up the hierarchy. But the expectation, if it exists, that functionaries fulfilling a role guided by a negotiated or imposed job description working twelve hour shifts with additional hours arbitrary tacked on making for twelve hour plus days, will still have a fully functioning emphatic view of the world is an interesting premise. I’m assuming that your issue is with the hospital but please enlighten me. Who or what Is up your nose? There are no leaders in governments or institutions of any type. They are functionaries with roles and they keep within them and pressure others to follow the rules. They do not see themselves as leaders of any type. No freelancing in institutions. Job security depends on not rocking the boat, or showing initiative, or being a whistleblower, or being helpful outside of one’s job description. This is what society gets when aggrieved workers feel over worked and underpaid. Not meaning to be be cynical but problem solving is not in their job description nor is giving a rat’s pjs. For those getting $14.00 per hour in mental job the caring gene is not functioning. ‘’Am I my brother’s keeper”? The answer is all around.


    • Right now phlegm and mucous is up my nose but it was indirectly PUT THERE by the dingbats at the Physiotherapy ward at the hospital. The place was dirty. The place had one used-all-the-time piece of equipment that was NEVER cleaned because ‘we were not sure what the alcohol wipes would do to the finish’. So, these imbeciles cleaned some things and NOT others. AND, to be more accurate, I cleaned the machines my wife was using. NOT the physios. So, we have doctors being uber-careful on the ward above to avoid infection and then we have degreed and professional idiots who undo all that by NOT doing the obvious! And I told them that from the get go…”Guys, you have to clean the equipment after every patient.” “Oh, there is a dispenser of wipes on the wall there!” So, I used that but didn’t get everything. I took on the job because of my concern but not every patient had an advocate partner in attendance and half the patients were considerably less than healthy or competent. They were more likely to pass out than clean equipment.
      I confess that I, too, am biased. If I see one more vacuous, smiling face bleating platitudes and NOT doing their job, I will be arrested for ‘punching them in the face’. These ‘entitled’ professionals are entitled to at least one hard, straight right to the face…don’t you think?


      • I share your frustration. A while ago as part of a cost cutting government policy measure in BC hospitals Crusty’s policy was to privatize the cleaning duties and contracted them out. The contract cleaners are making $14.00 an hour with no benefits and are not happy. Cleanliness has declined thus the emergence of surgeons who protect their reputations by cleaning the OR themselves. This act is called ‘informed self interest’ or reputation preservation.’ No union will do the work that is assigned to contractors. Nor will any excluded personal. These austerity policies much loved by about One third of Canadians who voted for such measures but lately the crocodile tears are flowing because of a virus. It is looking like austerity has left many hospitals not equipped to face pandemics. Who knew? Cuts hurt people! Political parties with austerity policy positions…that go wrong will blame the Federal government.


      • “No union will do the work that is assigned to contractors. Nor will any excluded personal.” And, in that tiny summary, we have not only dispensed with CARE but also any respect the public might have for ‘the professionals’. Exactly what purpose is served by knowing everything there is to know about physiotherapy but absolutely NOTHING about responsibility and care to your fellow human beings? It’s like a heart transplant doctor playing hacky-sack with the donor heart before doing a miraculous job of installing it.


  3. Ha! I’m 20 odd miles north of you and no snow, touch of rain, afternoon sun! Obviously my karma is in better shape than yours (today anyway).😊
    Hope Sally feels well enough to get home real soon.
    My suggestion is take some eggs,bacon, potatoes, some wine and get home soonest. Leave the mohonk for another time, go home rest, recover, breath clean air then go back and deal with the crap.
    Just saying!


    • Gee, that makes so much sense, you can’t possibly be a degree-holding professional. Common sense ain’t common and it has been eliminated in virtually all institutions, it seems. Somebody sane and human wouldn’t last there long…that is for sure.


  4. You must know the dream is to have a two tiered medical system. The shining clean hospital for those who can pay and the underfunded hospital for the rest. Not sure what you mean by a lack of respect for professionals. Not sure the Hospital Administration aspires to cleaning toilets nor does job description direct him to do so. Nor sure what you mean by a professional. Now it is well known that parents pick up the slack and do what is required as needed most of the time. But parents are not professionals. Staffing deficiencies result in waiting times rising to five to six hours before getting attention in the emergency room because of a doctor shortage that shift. Who is supposed to fill in for the absent doctor? If a cleaner does not arrive in the emergency are you suggesting that the team fill in? Perhaps the MLA who voted for austerity…? Dirty hospitals are an expression of government policies in action.


    • Yes. Yes, I am. The team fills in. Why? Because they have pride in their work, they care about the patient and they are not about to be deterred by some stupid job description stopping them from their duties.
      A professional is a term meant to distinguish those who have special skills and abilities in special areas usually monitored by government or groups of peers. But that doesn’t mean the lawyer doesn’t drive and park her own vehicle. It doesn’t mean the dentist doesn’t answer the phone. It doesn’t mean the accountant doesn’t get their own coffee. Well, it should not mean that, anyway. Being a professional does NOT make a person such an elite they can’t lift a finger except to sign audits or prescriptions or architectural plans.
      Admittedly, a neuro-surgeon is irreplaceable when working on someone’s brain but that same neurosurgeon can clean a few things that need cleaning…they do that at home, right?
      When I ran a clinic in Vancouver, I ‘stood in’ for everyone except the doctors. I was the receptionist if our gal, ‘Chicago’, wasn’t there or had to leave. I cleaned the toilets if Mr. Singh didn’t show. I drove the van. I walked the streets with the street nurses. There was not one job (except medical treatment) I didn’t know all about and do whenever it was needed. It did not kill me to do that. It only made sense. If the receptionist wasn’t receiving patients the whole clinic ground to a halt. And my job? MY job was to keep the clinic operating well.


  5. Well Dave you have what is known as the ‘’responsibility gene’’ a very rare piece of DNA that appears to be turned off in those packing a grievance, feeling under appreciated and undervalued. Some professionals have a duty of care and take such responsibility to heart twenty-four hours a day. Acting as a kind judicious parent would. With an oath of ethics expecting ethical conduct at all times. These are the people who view their work as a ‘’calling’’ and act accordingly. And might face a charge of ‘’conduct unbecoming’’ at any time while at work or at any other time of day. So there are such people who day by day work towards achieving your aspirational world.


    • I know. Dr. Taranjiit Tung is one of them. He did it all from ‘extra pre-op cleaning, getting Sally ice for her knee to coming in on the weekend and checking his work thoroughly. Whatever it took to ‘make it work’. And it does! The biggest take-away when we have gotten over the flu will be her magic knee! His work was and is exemplary.
      The physios? Less dedication than from a carny at the ring toss. If they are not criminally negligent then at least they manifested professional inadequacy in ‘all the right stuff’. No ethics. No sense of the Hippocratic Oath. Is that fair? Yes and no. Out of the five or six physios we encountered, four were a waste of time, space and budget. Nothing but jargon. And all of them were delinquent in their cleaning at the very least. Did I mention wanting to punch faces?.


      • Physiotherapist 1000 hours of training in a clinical setting. Orthopaedic Surgeon needs a degree, plus medical school, pus four to five years as an orthopaedic resident equals 12 plus years of training averaging sixty hours per week. The doctor is invested in his work and career. He does what he needs to do to ensure a good outcome for Sally!


  6. Sorry, buddy. We are NOT talking academic education here. Ten thousand hours does not a caring, sensible person make. Remember: we are talking health CARE, here. If there is anything I have learned in life it is that attitude, common sense and humanity are much, much more valuable than a piece of paper saying ‘you have completed 10,000 hours’.
    Tung did what he did because he cared. It was NOT enlightened self-interest. It was humanity. I KNOW that to be true in his case because he gets in trouble whenever he steps out of the ‘best practices’ routine even though HIS practices are better than have been developed for the lowest common denominator surgeons. And all the staff know it.
    It is entirely like the classrooms you were in. Some kids were brighter than others so the school board determined ‘what was achievable for the lowest common denominator’. A really bright student had to step outside the educational barriers. Some stepped so far, they quit school. Do not try to ‘sell’ me on education. I am already sold. But I am NOT sold on ‘schooled education’. That achieves, at best, only a modest level of competence. Ask anyone who has hired a recent graduate. Furthermore, you can’t always teach attitude. And attitude is the key element.


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