Saturday, May 7, 2022

The Shining Girls

     What a whirlwind of a week. Hattiesburg was fun and busy. I used to approach these inspections like a schoolgirl - studying my packet of questions the night before and meticulously accounting for every item on the checklist. Making sure I was up to date on my every two year mandatory six hour inspection training course - of which I am currently sorely delinquent (what are they going to do? Said Mary when I worried and I laughed. Yeah. They need us more than we need them. Screw the online training which is just a BS hoop anyway I'm a pro by now).

    I know the ropes and I consider myself not only a lab advocate but also an emissary for the hospital I'm inspecting. The chief of their group was a woman about my age. She was very buttoned down - kind of reminded me of Linda Hamilton in The Terminator. I could tell she was on the defense so I tried hard to put her at ease. She shared with me that her senior partner was retiring and I learned from the CMO that her other partner was on his pancreatic cancer deathbed. She went from being 17 years junior to chief during the pandemic. Big shift. 

    I saw the Dr. Lounge, I told her, on the way to our inspection hub. It looks like Baptist did twelve years ago. We are more of a melting pot now, but back then it was mostly white men. You are still all white men. She replied with grit. I go down there every day. It's hard, but I insert myself into the conversation. They all know me. I told her that I used to follow the team leader checklist but I'm doing AP in addition to team leader today and it's honestly exhausting and I don't need to see a notebook about her qualifications and degrees because this hospital would never have hired her if she wasn't and M.D. and isn't this all a bit ludicrous.

    What can I do to advocate for you to admin. I can ding you very democratically and supportively. Let me know. Everyone ignores the lab, and we are very under appreciated and overworked, I know that from my own hospital system. She sighed. We are 11 med techs short. They give them incentive pay but it's not enough. They are working too much and they don't really want the money they want support. I know, I told her, we had a big turnover in the lab at the beginning of the pandemic. I told her and the supervisor about our lifeline from the Philippines they are going to look into it.

    The dinners were amazing we spent both nights at Crescent City and despite the weak as hell drinks the food was incredible. Fried green tomatoes, eggplant fries, shrimp and grits, etc. Mary Hemen - she is our lab compliance officer who keeps all of our many locations around the state on the level - was a little worried at one point bc the weakly alcoholic drinks were flowing frequently at our end of the table. Everyone had resorted to ordering doubles to catch a buzz (all on CAP's dime:). Kayla, she is the youngest and super cute, was headed to the bathroom and Mary made her walk a line to see if she was sober.

    Mary is not a police officer, she's a Mother hen. I saw she was worried and reassured her that we were all frustratedly sober. She was the driver in my car, I say it was the cool car, but we went back to the hotel after dinner and Marti and Hope and Kayla and another I'm blanking on went on to karaoke at a college bar called Shenanigan's - not my bag at this point but I enjoyed living vicariously at breakfast in the lobby hearing stories of them singing with the college kids.

    Oh! Amy, who is the head of micro, was in my car. On the way back she was telling stories about every Wednesday loading Covid pos specimens into a cooler (or many) and meeting a courier to take them to UAMS or ACH for sequencing. Paula asked her last week if she wanted to renew the contract it's up in May. Hell no, she said, we used to have thousands but we are down to ten or fifteen a week. And once? I was looking at a car and the traffic car arm fell on my head.

    She shared her story. Her engineer husband Ron came to pick her up and tried unsuccessfully to convince her to go to the ED. He found a gaping bloody skin split hole when they got home and rigged a system to use her hair to pull the skin together (it needs stitches, he said, she said I don't care fix it) and cinched it with a hair clip. I melted with emotion. We are sisters, I said. Traffic car arm sisters. I told her my stories. They really need to address the hazard someday someone will be killed.

    Ack there's more to say but I'll save if for another day it is Mother's Day weekend and I'm home and not traveling and no plans. Tina's husband Reggie planned a big cookout at her house without telling her and I laughed and laughed - did he at least make it a potluck? No. He said he will grill all the meat. Yeah, but that's the least of the work there are sides and drinks and clean up. He owes you a big one. Happy Saturday, much love, E

Oh the title! Watch that I read it a decade ago and read all her stuff way back then it's amazing. Time traveling serial killer. They got Elizabeth Moss! The journalist is hunky as hell. And Back to Life is really good too. Fun post-conviction assimilating into society drama comedy. After a month of pool pump angst with many companies ghosting us S took matters into his own hands and replaced the pump yesterday so we are planning a lazy weekend (sorry Tina!). E

No comments: