Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Oops...I May Have "Misunderestimated" Myself...

     Oh come on!  Who CAN you poke fun at if not the President's command (or lack) of the English language???  And "misunderestimate" kind of sums up my return to work today...

     Maybe I should have thought this "full-time" status out a bit more clearly because I was COMPLETELY unprepared for my entire 9.33 hours today...and here I THOUGHT I had everything in order...I guess I somehow forgot to ASK my body if it was in on the plan.

     Today was a "govmet" holiday, which meant my office staffed what we call "skeletal" staffing...meaning we run the show with a few less people, but still cover the same geography and case load.  Back in the day, holidays WERE a time when, for whatever reason, our clients just weren't referred to us as often.  But over the past 3-5 years, mental illness has not been TAKING a holiday and our case load has only INCREASED instead of decreasing!  Today was such a day...

     I arrived at my "post" prepared to triage the phones and staff with the utmost of confidence...when we triage (or "screen", as we like to call it), the person in charge of the phones controls the workload and how the work gets assigned.  The screener never leaves the office and is allowed to "dress down", which usually includes a pair of blue jeans, a T-shirt, and flip flops or tennis shoes...we become simply a voice on the other end of a line taking information and answering questions.  I was dressed in my most comfortable, "Sponge Bob, Square Pants, Leave My Brain Alone" T-shirt, jeans and tennies...I was "zen" and I was comfortable! LOL

     Immediately upon my arrival, the phone system began to ring...it never stopped for 9.33 hours...my comfort and my "zen" quickly faded as my bladder filled, my neck cramped with the receiver crammed against my ear, my patience grew short, I grew hungry, and an unusual amount of "stupid" people called (I only refer to other professionals in the mental health field with the "stupid" adjective...NOT clients!).  I became buried in paper within only a few short hours.

     I began to curse out loud and cursed the phone...then cursed myself for my over-eager "I can do anything" approach...and finally settled on cursing Dr. She Who Will Not Be Named, my physical therapist, my psychiatrist, and anyone else who even remotely played a role in my health care!  It just seemed a "healthier" approach to curse others rather than myself. LOL

     Finally, at 11:30PM, the next shift of unsuspecting staff arrived to take over the reins, and I was released from triage.  I had a permanent phone receiver impression on my left ear, my shoulders had to be manually lowered with external force, and my arse had to be extracted like putty from my chair...I was truly BACK AT WORK!

     Yes, I KNOW I have no one but myself to thank for this...but...I am making a written list of who to blame!!!

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