Because it's all just one big, happy pile of $$$

>> Thursday, March 19, 2015

There is nothing like experiencing one of your coworker's idiocy-in-the-extreme moments for the first time.

And just being GOBSMACKED by it.

Because if you have, say, multiple years of experience dealing with a certain area of bureaucracy, and you were trying to inform one of your coworkers about this bureaucracy since they literally have NO EXPERIENCE dealing with it, naturally they would listen to what you had to say, right? I mean, they have no idea how the process works, how long it takes, what a pain in the ass it can be, never had a good or bad experience dealing with it, don't even know the names of the people who run the program or what extensions to call and reach them. Surely, they would at least listen to what you had to say on the subject, right?

Nope!

And here begins The Saga of Someone Doesn't Know the Difference Between Project X and Project Y...

Me [10:21 AM]:
He said it sounds like a few have used their private insurance.
But he said no success in getting people seen through the [Project X] instead of here
Coworker [10:21 AM]:
oh
Me [10:21 AM]:
[Project X] is slow
Coworker [10:22 AM]:
Congress is slow. Implement something without a smooth transition in place
Me [10:23 AM]:
It probably works fine for appointments that are 60+ days out, but 30 days is too short for them to work that fast. That's my guess.
Coworker [10:24 AM]:
You wait how long for auth for para's...like a day? 3 days?
Me [10:25 AM]:
That's an entirely different department & process.
That's [Project Y] funding.
Coworker [10:25 AM]:
If it's forcasted that you have to wait a minimum of 30 days to be seen, that process should be the same
Essentially, that funding comes from the same pot of money
Me [10:26 AM]:
Nope. Different programs & different sources of funding.
[Project X] is entirely separate from [Project Y].
Coworker [10:27 AM]:
I know they are
but tax payers money
divided and renamed to justify how the money is spent
See, what she did there? It's all just one big, happy, pile of money! Documentation, justification, and specificity be damned! Never mind that this is someone who has a purchase card and already understands that she has to keep a shitload of documentation just for buying office supplies. Clearly, it would be too much in the thinking department to apply the same principle to something more expensive and complex. It's all just one pot of taxpayer money!! Everything is the same because it comes from the tax payers!
Me [10:28 AM]:
That's like saying Department of Labor and DoD are on the same budget because they're tax payer money.
[Project X] and [Project Y] are different staffs & budgets. Once [Project X] uses all their money, they won't exist. [Project Y] will though.
Coworker [10:29 AM]:
WE're talking about the same thing, but worded differently.
All tax payer money, divied up between gov entities
Uh, no. We are not talking about the same thing. I can clearly recognize that there are two DIFFERENT programs at work here: [Project X] and [Project Y]. When you say that one of them will GO AWAY after their funding is used, how could they possibly be THE SAME?!? How she doesn't seem to realize this is a complete mystery to me. It is well established that [Project X] will not be around forever. Everyone at work knows this. Well...perhaps I shouldn't say everyone.
Me [10:30 AM]:
All government is.
Coworker [10:31 AM]:
So the [Project X] is a newly justified budget
Me [10:31 AM]:
yup
Coworker [10:31 AM]:
it didn't exist before
right?
are we on the same page?
all of this money we pay needs to be split up appropriatly
appropriately*
Me [10:32 AM]:
Yeah, it didn't exist before and it won't exist after its budget runs out, which is approximately 3 years.
Coworker [10:33 AM]:
What I am trying to tell you is that I think the [Project X] has loopholes, and should be the same as the [Project Y] finding...wait maybe 1-3 days
to be seen
Ok, this should have been a sign early on that she has NO IDEA what she's talking about. (Unfortunately, I didn't catch it early on.) [Project X] does NOT have loopholes. [Project Y] cannot necessarily get people seen in 1-3 days like she said. [Project Y] is almost usually on a case-by-case basis, mainly because we don't even offer--for example--Service F, G, and H. If you were seen in 1-3 days due to [Project Y] funding, then likely it only happened that quickly because it was necessitated that you were seen in 1-3 days. If you don't understand the [Project X], have never spoken to anyone who has used it, and just want to use your imagination--like she did--then I suppose [Project X] has loophole. But [Project X] does not have loopholes. It has strict requirements that have to be met, and if you don't meet the requirements, you can't use [Project X] funding. It's literally that fucking simple.
Me [10:34 AM]:
[Project Y] doesn't necessarily always get people seen within 1-3 days. It's really only for things that aren't done at *****.
Coworker [10:34 AM]:
Oh [my name]
forget it
Me [10:37 AM]:
I've seen a guy [Project Y] funded to have his surgery done on the outside because it was too special to be done even at the U. Sometimes it's been used in the past to catch up when there's a lack of staff, but not always. It totally depends on what budget has been granted to each **** hospital. So the [Project Y] funding that they were doing last year for IR because they lost docs was only because they had the budget for it.
Me [10:40 AM]:
You're conflating [Project X] and [Project Y].
Coworker [10:42 AM]:
No I am not, I am suggesting that it should be the same process for that budget [my name].
From top to bottom, the money comes from ONE place-tax payers
There it is again! It's all just one big pot of money. Everything should be treated the same. Like, I am never going to be lucky enough to be around when someone other than me breaks the news to her that this shit is not the same!
Me [10:42 AM]:
It doesn't matter whether you want them to be the same. They are different programs.
ALL government money comes from tax payers!
Coworker [10:43 AM]:
and justified into separate pots
I am not arguing they are different programs
Me [10:43 AM]:
That's how the budgeting process goes.
Coworker [10:43 AM]:
Obviously, my point isn't coming across and you're choosing to argue instead of listen
But it's ok
Sadly, even as I re-read this, her special "point" that she was trying to make makes no sense, particularly if you've actually dealt with [Project Y], which I can guarantee you she has not.
Me [10:44 AM]:
I could really care less whether it's one program or two
One of them is only temporary anyway.
Coworker [10:47 AM]:
I won't argue, and it isn't even agree to disagree. This is just one sided, black and white, no other perspective. Which is fine. We will just stick with our own perspectives.
Have to run to [manager's] office
Me [10:48 AM]:
If you worked on the regular clinic side it would make more sense to you.
Coworker [10:49 AM]:
She's with someone
Actually...I have...for 13 years prior to here
But you just assumed that I didn't
Coworker [10:50 AM]:
I know that you have. BUT I'm still talking about [government-funded] clinic care.
Coworker [10:51 AM]:
Oh sure
Of course you know
See, there we go. Instead of sticking to actually discussing the issue or facts of relevance, she starts throwing down AS IF she knows it all because she worked 13 years...not doing anything related to ever processing, interacting, or documenting anything in regards to [Project X] or [Project Y]. But, of course, I'm totally wrong for trying to point it out...
Me [10:52 AM]:
If you don't believe me then go talk to [So-&-So], the head of Urology, for his opinon. Or go talk to [This-Other-Person], the nurse for General Surgery. And ASK THEM what they think of having to do all this [Project X&Y] care.
Coworker [10:52 AM]:
Enough [my name], you are prodding me. We can't talk politics, idea's again.
Name dropping, arguing...thats what this has turned into
I wanted to share idea's
but you're just shooting them down, and not listening
Discussion over.
You know, if you want to have discussions with people, the best way is to actually engage--perhaps even get out of your comfort zone--not make decrees like an emperor, "Discussion over,""You're killing my ideas," etc. If I wasn't at work, the most appropriate response to this would have been "FUCK OFF." 
Me [10:54 AM]:
I've actually had to help manage patients going back and forth with [Project Y] and [regular] care. It's not as easy as you'd like to think it is.
Coworker [10:54 AM]:
Are you serious?
Are you really serious?
Me [10:54 AM]:
YES [COWORKER'S NAME] I'M ACTUALLY SERIOUS.
Coworker [10:54 AM]:
Apparently you're not reading what I just wrote, and you're pissing me off
You want to continue and prod?
Emperor tactics yet again. Or wait, am I being treated like a child? Eh, it's probably both.
Me [10:55 AM]:
I don't understand what your problem is. [Project Y] isn't as easy to deal with as you seem to think it is.
Coworker [10:55 AM]:
I said conversation is OVER
Or should I write that in caps?
Decree! Decree! Decree! The option of not responding or just saying that I've got to get back to work on such 'n such isn't an option. Declaring your authority to DEMAND someone not respond to a statement you just made to them--on an instant messenger no less!--is quite galling and unbelievable. I can't recall when I've encountered such audacity. And let me be clear, I'm not talking about differing opinions. It's literally DECLARING "conversation is OVER." Not attempting to just extricate yourself from it, but declaring it over instead of just moving on...
Me [10:55 AM]:
doesn't matter to me
Coworker [10:56 AM]:
It does, because you won't stop
Me [10:56 AM]:
I don't think you understand the complexity of [Project Y].
Coworker [10:56 AM]:
Oh I do...I WAS SHARING IDEA'S
Now stop
Bitch is dead to me.

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And this is why I read nonfiction

I'm working on a magazine story about a woman who was fired from her job as president of Bennington College. I have read a story about her in The New York Times that says she's been fired--along with her husband, the vice president of Bennington--because of her brave stand against tenure. I suspect her firing has nothing to do with her brave stand against tenure, although I don't have a clue what the real reason is. I go to Bennington and discover that she has in fact been fired because she's been having an affair with a professor at Bennington, that they taught a class in Hawthorne together, and that they both wore matching T-shirts in class with scarlet A's on them. What's more, I learn that the faculty hated her from the very beginning because she had a party for them and served lukewarm lasagna and unthawed Sara Lee banana cake. I can't get over this aspect of journalism. I can't believe how real life never lets you down. I can't understand why anyone would write fiction when what actually happens in so amazing.
~Nora Ephron, "The Story of My Life in 3,500 Words or Less," I Feel Bad About My Neck

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Hair Dye

>> Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Many years ago, when Gloria Steinem turned forty, someone complimented her on how remarkably young she looked, and she replied, "This is what forty looks like." It was a great line, and I wish I'd said it. "This is what forty looks like" led, inevitably, to its most significant corollary. "Forty is the new thirty," which led to many other corollaries: "Fifty is the new forty," "Sixty is the new fifty," and even "Restaurants are the new theater," "Focaccia is the new quiche," et cetera.

Anyway, here's the point: There's a reason why forty, fifty, and sixty don't look the way they used to, and it's not because of feminism, or better living through exercise. It's because of hair dye. In the 1950s only 7 percent of American women dyed their hair; today there are no parts of Manhattan and Los Angeles where there are no gray-haired women at all.
~Nora Ephron, "On Maintenance," I Feel Bad About My Neck

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I Feel Bad About My Neck

>> Sunday, March 15, 2015

I don't feel bad about my neck, but that is the title. Specifically, it's I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman. Still going through one of those phases where I'm reluctant to start reading Plagues and Peoples again since I'm worried I'm going to drag my feet reading it. So I read this, which I knew I would finish very quickly. And I did. I think this took me about 3 hours of reading time. Perhaps a little more but not much.

I put this on my reading list back when Nora Ephron passed away back in 2012 along with a few of her other books. I actually picked up a copy for less than a dollar at the Weber County Library book sale this past August. I feel like continually looking at the books in my book list paid off because I was able to spot it as something on my list because those books on sale are in unorganized messes. They weren't grouped in any kind of subcategory. It was just one section of nonfiction. When I was looking for books to get on the cheap, they were going to have to be something on my list, not something that looked merely interesting, which is why I can't understand people who were buying shopping cart loads of books. Why? Why would you need to have that many? Can't you just check them out of the library?

Anyhow, now that I've finished reading it, I've already put it on Amazon to sell. Hopefully it will. But I will say that it's sad that Nora Ephron will no longer be around to write. She just spits things out on paper making it sound like she's talking to you--observations that you or your friends may have mentioned--and then she elaborates on them so well.
Because here's what happens with a purse. You start small. You start pledging yourself to neatness. You start vowing that This Time It Will Be Different. You start with the things you absolutely need--your wallet and a few cosmetics that you have actually put into a brand-new shiny cosmetics bag, the kind used by your friends who are competent enough to manage more than one purse at a time. But within seconds, your purse has accumulated the debris of a lifetime. The cosmetics have somehow fallen out of the shiny cosmetics bag (okay, you forgot to zip it up), the coins have fallen from the wallet (okay, you forgot to fasten the coin department), the credit cards are somewhere in the abyss (okay, you forgot to put your Visa card back into your wallet after you bought the sunblock that is now oozing into the lining because you forgot to put the top back onto it after you applied it to your hands while driving seventy miles an hour down the highway). What's more, a huge amount of space in your purse is being taken up by a technological marvel that holds your address book and calendar--or would, but the batteries in it have died. And there's half a bottle of water, along with several snacks you saved from an airplane trip just in case you ever found yourself starving and unaccountably craving a piece of cheese that tastes like plastic. Perhaps you can fit your sneakers into your purse. Yes, by God, you can! Before you know it, your purse weighs twenty pounds and you are in grave danger of getting bursitis and needing an operation just from carrying it around. Everything you own is in your purse. You could flee the Cossacks with your purse. But when you open it up, you can't find a thing in it--your purse is just a big dark hole full of stuff that you spend hours fishing around for. A flashlight would help, but if you were to put one into your purse, you'd never find it.
Or, as my friend Katrina said more than 15 years ago about purses (while carrying a small purse): You never downgrade. You always upgrade to something bigger.

Although, I have graduated to a larger purse, aka a bag, I am able to keep mine rather neat. I only have a large purse/bag because I can fit a book and a water bottle in it. I can't imagine having one bigger than what I have now. Really, I can't and prefer to keep it that way.

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