I’m mostly not dead much


It would seem that a faithful Twitter follower called me out last night as to why I might have vanished over the last couple of days.

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.jsYa know, at least she was sweet about it.

Nothing like that.  Simply making my way through my first week back at work.  It’s been new and different.  I’ve been out of work since June, so it was definitely a relief to be back and earning a paycheck again.  It’s pretty much a starter job to get my foot in the door, but I have no major complaints thus far.  My foot is in the door and both feet are kinda hurting. I mean, I’ve been on my ass for the last 3 months, and prior to that I spent most of my time sitting on a fork lift.  Walking and standing haven’t been a part of my life for a good long while and I’m feeling it.  A lot of things are quite different about this job from the last.

      • Last job:  There were many days I rolled in shit at work.  Literally.
        This job:  I spend most of my day trying to keep things clean and sterile.
      • Last job:  I was nearly constantly outside, weather was irrelevant.
        This job:  Yesterday it rained all day and we shut the loading bay door and refused to even take out the trash.
      • Last job:  I worked almost entirely with all men and that’s all I dealt with.
        This job:  Most of the people I deal with are female.
      • Last job:  The stuff we did consisted of “this pile over here next to that pile over there”.
        This job:  Everything is precisely numbered, ordered and stored (in theory).
      • Last job:  Most of the people I worked with made you wonder how they managed to tie their shoes without a diagram.
        This job:  Ok, maybe not everything has changed.

    To be fair, where I’m working is a government facility and we are in a brand new building (brand new as in the doors opened the same day I started), everyone in there has been moved in from older facilities and everyone is out of sorts and out of place and at the top of the list in my job description is to make sure these people have all of the medical supplies they need in their respective areas.

So let’s sum that up.  Government facility.  Government employees.  Brand new setup.  I get to work . . . . with EVERYONE!

What. Could. Fucking. Go. Wrong?

Well, I’d list it, but I’ve never written a blog post that long and that’s saying something.  That, and I have to go to bed in the somewhat near future because, well, I gotta work tomorrow.

Again, to be fair, none of us really knows what we’re doing yet, but you probably figured that out way back when I said “government facility”.  We just started rolling and we haven’t reached the point yet where everyone is stocked just the right way.  We’re the supply people and WE aren’t stocked the right way yet, but we have an idea where we are going with it and we’re working on it.  As hard and as fast as we can.

Where it gets difficult is that we are probably the ONE place in the whole outfit that EVERYONE in the building has to interact with.  It’s a medical facility and medical people need their supplies. We are the supply people, so we have the supplies.  (Again, in theory) If you’ve ever been stuck, poked, prodded, gagged, stitched, tested or otherwise legally violated by a medical professional, we’re the guys that provide the tools they use to do so. We have a guy that is in charge of all these supplies.  He does the ordering, he does the receiving and he does all that paperwork and shit that I look at and think, “Damn, I’m glad that’s not me”. I’m just the guy that puts it away in our stock room, which is new, so everything doesn’t have a “place” yet so I’m generally making a place for it.  I’m also the guy that goes around to all the units in the building each morning with my trusty notepad and goes into their supply closets to see what they used up the day before so I can go down and get the proper items to refill them.  When I’ve completed those rounds, I go back to down supply with my little list and fill up a cart with all the required items and then go back up and refill the exhausted supplies.

It’s not Rocket Surgery. Mostly.

I like the job.  I really do, but there is one drawback to it.  Since I’m the guy that goes up there and does all this, I am “the face” of supply.  On day one of this job, I was trapped in a supply closet by four nurses and it wasn’t for any of that fun shit you’ve seen in those movies you bought in that store that doesn’t have windows.

These women had NEEDS, by God and I was attacked so they  could get those needs met! Still not the fun shit.

They NEEDED:  band aids, gauze pads, stool sample kits, 25 gauge needles, 22 gauge needles, 18 gauge needles, specimen bags, 1 cc syringes, ace bandages, alcohol pads, suture kits *INHALE*


I may or may not have been a tad uncomfortable at this point, and not simply because of the disturbing imagery.

Those of you that know what they are, just cringed.  Those of you that don't, revel in your ignorance.
Those of you that know what they are, just cringed. Those of you that don’t, revel in your ignorance.

But I stood my ground and let my role as the supply delivery dude be known as just that and that they needed to make a list of what they needed and to email it down to my boss and he would make sure to get everything that was necessary because we were still trying to supply ourselves as it was, so some of those things we just didn’t have yet. Speculums, on the other hand, we do have

. . . . .and of course, I introduced myself because I thought it was the polite thing to do with four women that had just trapped me in a closet to discuss their rectal speculum issue.

So it cooled down a little bit and now I don’t get trapped in a closet anymore which is both a relief and a little bit of a disappointment, but I am greeted by several “Hi, Eric”‘s upon my arrival at each unit each day, because we’re tight like that now what with all that passionate speculum talk we had on our first encounter.  It’s all good.

Then one unit touched my OCD nerve today and almost blew it for the whole group.

Everything was going along just fine.  I have a little system set up, all the closets are the same.  The supplies go into a plastic bin and the item number is written on the front of the bin, because we have the supplies organized in the supply room by item number (still, in theory).  All I have to do is go into the closet, look for the empty or nearly empty bins and write down the number on the front of it on my list.  Simple, quick and painless, right? Well someone in this one particular unit got motivated last night apparently, and decided to “condense” the closet a little bit to make some more room for all the supplies they needed that we don’t have yet.  

I arrived to find 3 and sometimes 4 different items in the same bin, and a stack of empty bins neatly piled to the side for me to take back down with me.  I’ve been there 4 days and haven’t even come close to memorizing any of the numbers yet, so now I quite literally have NO IDEA what they are low on or have used up because they have taken my very neat, very simple, very carefully planned method of keeping track of their supplies and had a frat party with it.

They kicked down my metaphorical sand castle.


I left the unit quickly, trying to avoid eye contact.

I went back down to my boss to let him know what I had encountered in this one particular unit.  He got the point, in between my sobs and bouts of Tourette syndrome.

I convinced him that he should let me make a sign to put up in their supply room warning them to not combine supplies as it would cause them to be missing items that they really needed when it didn’t necessarily have to be that way if they just left the shit where I put it.

I’m paraphrasing of course.

Because he wanted me to go up there and talk to them and I told him that probably wouldn’t be a good idea in my current emotional state.

Eventually I went back up there and have started to get things straightened back out.  My not knowing the numbers yet is kind of a handicap at this point, but it is coming back together.  It is on my list of things to finish tomorrow. Hopefully, my sign will get the point across.

Or it won’t and I’ll die of an OCD aneurysm.

Welcome to week 1 back at work, folks!  

I look forward to writing some entertaining shit this weekend . . . I got one in the hopper that is just dying to get out!


At the end of this fine day, this Tweet of the Day came at the perfect time and we can thank our beautiful friend @RageMichelle from Rubber Shoes in Hell for this end of the day gem:


17 thoughts on “I’m mostly not dead much

  1. Between my process/planning career, and my anal personality, this post just made me break out in hives. If it were me, I’d be creating spreadsheets to track what each department used the most of, so I could predict future need, and choking the departments that were consolidating supplies. My sign about keeping the bins separate would probably read about like yours. In fact, I’m betting we’d use the same language. TO THE FUCKING LETTER. 🙂 You may have a frustrated project manager in you. Which is no bad thing–there’s a market out there for us.

    1. I’m going to snap a picture of my sign today and edit it in later. I don’t remember how I worded it, I just remember it was much tamer than what I was thinking it should say. Unfortunately that’ll have to wait because first thing this morning another unit has decided that I should have fucking ESP. And also, FUCK!!

      I’m glad it’s Friday.

  2. Speculum, otherwise known as the Duck Billed Cramp Inducer.


    Anyhoo, glad that you are OK and digging the work. I hope the numbers set into your brain appropriately and the sign keeps people who apparently have no patients to tend from frelling up your system.

    1. I can only hope that they are as familiar with working with veterans as they think they are, because if they are, then they’ll know it’s a bad thing to toy with an uptight Marine.

  3. I first read this post late last night after a long and boring meeting (where I managed not set anyone on fire…phew!). I just re-read it along with the comments. Frankly, I’m still a little worried about my favorite asshat and am crossing my fingers that we don’t see something about you on the news tonight regarding homicide/suicide and SWAT teams. Please chant Michelle’s epic tweet in your head over and over again today in addition to the retweets.

    P.S. Thanks for including my tweet in your post. I’ve been patiently waiting for the thousands of new followers, but nothing’s happened yet. WTF?

  4. I’m with you and qwertygirl. That bin issue would have given me a full-on panic attack. Good for you for getting out of the unit before you lost your mind.

    You would think people in a MEDICAL FACILITY would realize the importance of being able to find things when you need them.

    1. The bin issue actually got worse today. Bad enough that I had a full on shit-fit to my boss, who then went up and looked at it . . . and then proceeded to have a shit-fit of his own at the Head Nurse for the unit. A luxury that he has that I don’t, but it was still fun to watch!

      I think when he demonstrated to her why she was always out of shit and having to call down to us crying about it, the point may have gotten through. MAYBE.

  5. It’s not bad so far, save for the one wrinkle in the linen. Otherwise it’s been pretty nice.

    The ass speculum is a new thing they’re tryin’ out. It aids in the removal of one’s head.

  6. People who mess with my organizational systems make me stabby. Very wise of you to keep your distance until you cooled off a bit.

    I hope your sign has the desired effect. If necessary, perhaps add a postscript stressing that any insubordination will only result in more speculums.

  7. That sounds like an interesting job, up until you said you had to interact with people. *shudder*
    Whenever anyone says anything like the speculum statement, my mind goes right to the movie “Real Genius’ when Val Kilmer says:
    “Kent puts his name on his license plates.”
    and the other guy says:
    “My mother does the same thing w/my underwear.”
    Val says:
    “Your mother put license plates in your underwear? How do you sit?”

  8. Firstly – Oh God, Speculums [shudders].
    Second – “Trapped in the closet”??? Teeheehee, you totally lost me at this point because I got to thinking about R Kelly’s hip-hopera and it made me giggle like a small child 🙂 (“What I’m about to tell you is so damn twisted, not only is a man in the cabinet, but the man, is a midget-midget-midget.”)
    Third – (An actual grown-up comment now) Congrats on surviving your first few days at work, dude. It sounds like it was equal parts lovely and horrendous. Which I think is pretty common for new jobs.
    Four – Can we get a picture of the sign please?!? But not the one you actually put up – the one you would have LIKED to put up [evil laugh].

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