Archive for June 4, 2009

In 25 days a small community hospital that has been operated by a major health system for the past 10 years or so will close.

Supposedly it was a swift business decision deemed necessary to save the health system, which reportedly is 16 million over the budged loss for last fiscal year.

Or was it? I have my doubts. My gut tells me differently :: and as it’s ever expanding so is my ever expanding insight!! Ha! :: No. Seroiusly. The thing about the suits that sit on the top floors making these decisions is that they really, honestly and truly think that the people who work on the floors under them are stupid.

I’m not going to get into all the specifics because that’s not really what this post is about.. but for someone who spent many an hour putting 5000 piece puzzle pieces together I’m going to tell you that closing this hospital was in the works for a long time.

So 850 people are out of jobs come the end of the month. Alot of people. Alot of people that I know personally. Because that’s the kind of place this hospital was.

It was a “community” hospital in the truest sense of the word. Everyone in the neighborhood was either born there or worked there or wound up doing both. Generations of families were born there and died there.

Nothing was cold.. nothing sterile :: figuratively speaking you guys! Sheesh! :: Upper managment.. the CEO’s the CFO’s took the time to know you.. not just your name and / or position. Get to know YOU. We had a baseball team that was employee funded :: with help from managment :: .. we had a golf team that was employee funded :: with help from management ::. Everyone truly worked hard to make this hospital one where you and your family were cared from from the minute you walked in until the minute you left.

People went above and beyond because they WANTED to.. not because it was expected. There was constantly something being done for someone in the community.. bake sale.. 50/50 raffle.. it was endless.

But then the powers that be decided that there should be one corporate hub and my department was moved into the corporate office. The people were different.. their work ethics were different :: dare I say “non-existant” :: and as much as they wanted to convey the TEAM mentality, people from my hospital were segregated.. left out..

Our hospitals’ work :: which should have been even distributed and worked on by the entire staff :: collected dust because no one wanted to bother learning our system.

Consequently, the hospital started to lose the revenue much needed by the health system and therein laid the path to closing it’s doors.

The corporate office IS doing something.. they’re turning it into an outpatient care facility but they still deemed it necessary to give everyone a pink slip and offered to rehire anyone if they needed.

The neighborhood and local council tried saving it but to no avail. I’m not sure how much of this was known by people of some power before it actually happened since an internet search turned up an organization formed to save the hospital roughly a year before it acutally happened.

Even worse is that fact that about 6 years ago, the health system reached out to the community to help them fight a land development deal by WalMart for the property across the street from the hospital. The community acted and the deal fell through. This is how they repay them.

But all that really doesn’t matter because in 25 days, it’s doors will close.

I have really spent any quality time in there for about 2 years but I still keep in touch with the friends I made there :: thank God for Facebook! :: but let me tell you.. she was a grand old dame.

And it’s sad. It’s more then said.

Convos

Posted: June 4, 2009 in Convos
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SET UP: I’m laying on my side of the bed, Chief is laying on his side of the bed and I just stare at him letting out a heavy sigh.

ME: I miss you

CHIEF: (( rolls over and buries me in a bear hug ))

ME: I hate that things aren’t the way they used to be.

CHIEF: This is life. We’re just living life. Oh, and speaking of life, can you go online and see where Glenn Beck’s comedy tour is playing?

I posted before about my friend Cath’s battle with breast cancer.

Cath hasn’t had the best life physically. She was way over-endowed and went through a reduction surgery in her early 20’s and not long after that was diagnosed with rhuematoid arthritis for which she’s been taking weekly doses of chemo for YEARS.

After being diagnoses with breast cancer, she opted for a double masectomy because her percentage of it moving to the second breast was higher then average because of her existing auto-immune issues.

She has recently finished the 8th out of 12 chemo treatments for the breast cancer and each week she seems to be getting progressively worse.

I have taken lunch with her every day for the past 4 – 5 years and consider her the closest of my distant friends. We don’t really pal around outside of work because of different situations :: her mother has Alzheimer’s.. I have the idiots :: and she’s not really the kind of person that chit chats on the phone but there isn’t anything I don’t tell her even when I know she’s not really going to approve.

She thinks of me the same way and I am just as supportive of her as she usually is of me.

The thing is, and I know this is going to sound really bad given what I just said, but it’s getting to the point where I literally can’t stomach having lunch with her.

When it comes to food, I gross out easy. I mean.. easy. I can pull a tick from the dog.. clean our bathroom.. hook a worm.. reach into a raw sewer line up to my shoulder and not squint but when it comes to anything I either put in my mouth or am ready to put in my mouth.. uh uh.. no way..

One of the side effects of the chemo drug she’s on is a film that coats her mouth.. a white.. pasty looking film. It prevents her from tasting food, enjoying food and she’s become :: rightfully so, I’m not THAT much of a bitch :: obsessed with it.

NOTE: Not only does she have the film to content with but also now a film covering her eyes that drips out like pus, her fingernails are falling off and these bruises / burn marks on her face, and hands.

Initially I would feel bad when I ate in front of her because she would be like, “… I wish I could eat that” or “… I used to be able to eat that.” and it would make me uncomfortable. I didn’t want her to suffer anymore then she already was and I felt guilty eating in front of her.

Now, it’s becoming harder to even get anything past my throat without retching because because all I think about is this film on her mouth. It’s gotten to the point where I have to focus hard to look directly at her when we talk because I find myself looking at her mouth.

The worse thing about all this is that now that I’m really watching what I eat.. I HAVE to eat at lunch. I’ve cut out all my little snacks I used to eat at my desk so if I don’t eat at lunch then.. well.. I don’t eat until 6 or 7 hours later and that isn’t good for ME.

So what do I do? I mean, really.. what do I do?

I can’t not eat lunch with her because it would feel like I was abandoning my friend when she most needs a sense of normality and routine but I can’t keep excusing myself to run to the bathroom with the dry heaves either…

I’m stuck…

Suggestions MORE then welcome.. in fact, they’re ENCOURAGED!

I promised I would post about the situation my cousin DeeDee is in.. and it actually :: no offense DeeDee :: feels good to talk about somebody ELSE’S problems for a change… and believe me, her’s is a doozy!

You can read about it HERE and HERE but if not, I’ll just to give you the cliff note version real quick:

Girl meets boy

Girl gets pregnant

Girl builds an addition onto boy’s mother’s house

Girl has falling out with boy’s mother and sister

Girl takes baby and moves out

Boy gets thrown out of mother’s house

Boy wins Girl back and rent a house

Overly simplified but none the less.. there it is.

Anyway.. so in the midst of my mental breakdown on Friday, DeeDee calls me stressing.

She tells me that her 1300.00 rent is due after it’s paid there will only be something like 260.00 left.. 150.00 of that is earmarked for the baby’s daycare.

This bill is due.. that bill is due.. the baby isn’t sleeping.. she’s exhausted.. the whole 9 yards.

Even though the only thing you can count on her to do is make BAD decisions, it’s her life.. she’s my cousin.. and I’m going to try and help her as much as I can.

So I tell her that she’s a single mother.. HE’S a single father of two other kids :: one of whom is autistic :: that he has custody of .. why isn’t she looking into some kind of assistance?

NOTE: I know you’re probably spitting bubble gum at your monitor and yelling HYPOCRITE at me but I never said that I was against public assistance IF WARRANTED.

I mean, heck.. even 20.00 a week for cereal would help.

But she said no. She wasn’t going to do that because after her father left her mother when DeeDee and her brother were youngsters, her mother needed to be on welfare so she doesn’t want to go that route.

Um.. okkkkkaaaayyyyyy

Since The BD only works until noon, I asked her if there was possibly the option of finding daycare in her area for half a day because then The BD can take her and it might be less then 150.00 a week

A resounding NO! First of all, she said.. she doesn’t want to leave her baby with strangers. :: Fair enough, but don’t you already leave your baby with strangers now??? :: and there was “.. no way in HELL” :: honestly, her words :: that she was going to let The BD have the kid by himself.

Now.. see.. that blows me away. He has his own kids.. he’s the baby’s father.. does anybody ELSE think that that’s the most ridiculous thing you ever heard?

Okay.. so suggestion number 2 knocked down.

I asked her if she thought about getting a job closer to her house. She drives an hour each way.. and across a state line so between gas and tolls she spending close to 200.00 a month just to get to work and back.

She said no.. because she didn’t want to lose her seniority :: come on, she’s only been there 3 years. She’s not even VESTED for God’s sake :: and beside she wouldn’t get paid what she’s getting paid now.

I don’t know how much she’s getting paid but I told her that even if she DID have to take a cut in pay, she wouldn’t have to worry about gas and a 4.00 toll a day.

Ta-Ta suggestion number 3!

The last piece of advice I had for her was to talk to her landlord and see if she could pay him bi-weekly instead of monthly. I did it with my landlord and it completely freed most of my paychecks so that I could pay down my debt without doing without necessities or having that constant “Damn, I’m broke” feeling.

She was like, “nah.. he’s not going to go for that”. I asked why wouldn’t he? I mean, he’d be guarenteed a check every two weeks instead of every month.. but she was like Nope, nope, nope.

Ciao suggestion 4!!

She kept on saying that HE :: meaning The BD :: DOESN’T GET IT but in reality SHE’S the one not “getting it”.

I learned real quick that you can’t have everything you want if you can’t pay for it and something are a higher priority then others. I understand wanting to live in a nice house.. believe me I do!! … but does that mean that I can go out and get a 2500.00 living room set? Because that’s exactly what DeeDee did.. personally, I would be too damn embarrased to do that knowing that The BD’s uncle lent them 3000.00 to move in.

The other thing is this whole house situation. DeeDee and The BD’s mother are both on the deed. The mother never paid any of the mortgage and when DeeDee and The BD started having problems :; way before the whole blow up :: they were behind on the mortgage. When DeeDee left, the house was a few days from foreclosure.

To make a long story short, The BD’s mother was suppose to refinance the house to get DeeDee’s name off of it.

So when I asked her what was going on with that, she told me :: I could actually see her finger in the air and hand on her hip!! :: Oh, well.. nothing is happening with the foreclosure and in FACT, The BDs OTHER sister had come up with the back mortgage to keep the house from foreclosing and is now coming after DeeDee for that money.

I told her she had every legal right to do that.. her name IS STILL ON THE DEED. I told her what she needed to do is get a real estate lawyer and send them a letter stating that if the refinancing isn’t completed in 60 (or 90) days, then the house is going to be sold.

That’s it. End of story.

She hemmed and hauled about that too and I wanted to reach through the phone and slap her. Believe me, I can commiserate with the best of them but I loathe people who just sit back and play the poor me violin without doing anything to help themselves.

I did feel bad for the kids because I don’t ever think little kids should have to feel their parent’s ineptitude. So I told her that I would take stuff from the shop over to her mom’s house.. to consider it a birthday gift.. and to not expect me to do it every week.

So I literally gave her some of everything I had.. including cereal and snacks for the kids and flour, sugar, juice.. everything except stuff that had to be kept cold.

I know she appreciated it.. I know that she needed it.. and I was happy to be able to help but it’s just aggravating that she isn’t seeing the forest for the trees.

The title of this post comes from a joke that really just says it all:

A man is stuck in the middle of the ocean praying for God to save him. A boat comes by to help but the man refuses saying that his God will save him. Hours later, a helicopter flies over head to rescue him but again he refuses saying that his God will save him. The man winds up drowning and when he gets to heaven the man says to God, “… why didn’t you save me?” and God says, “.. I TRIED! I sent you a boat.. a helicopter..”

So the point is, I think, that you can’t wait for that one thing you think you need to get you out of your situation. You have to be creative and take what help is being offered.

UPDATE: 06.05.09

DeeDee emailed me yesterday to tell me that the BD was able to get SSI for his autistic son. The received a 1500.oo check right away .. were due for another 700.00 at the beginning of next week and then would receive 500.00 every two weeks after that.

BD wants to NOW go on a mini-vacation to Baltimore and DeeDee is freaking out on him.

Some people never learn.

The only thing I knew about KOL is..well.. their name. I’ve heard it being buzzed around alot lately but could never attach the band to a song.

NOTE: The worse things the Internet Nazis did at work was to limit our internet access meaning, no more listening to my favorite radio station online so my discovery of new songs, bands, etc. is extremely limited now.

Anyway.. there was a conversation going on around my cube about Kings Of Leon and since I was already in the iTunes store I bought the album.

Honestly, at first, I wasn’t really thrilled. I mean, I liked “Use Somebody” but I wasn’t used to their kind of “sound” and was kind of surprised that they are listed as “alternative”

I’ve been sitting here trying to figure out how to describe their sound but I’m coming up empty. It’s kinda raw.. kinda sexy.. kinda moody (not in a PMS kinda way).

I do know that the more I listened to them the more I started to dig it. Really dig it.

Highly suggest you give it a listen.

Especially “Revelry” .. “Sex On Fire” .. “Cold Desert” and of course, “Use Somebody”

And just in case your not familiar with them, here’s a couple of videos to check them out:

USE SOMEBODY

SEX ON FIRE