Friday, August 05, 2016

Culture Of Blame

Is it a sign of the times or what? Perhaps it's always been there but it's more raw and exposed because of these crazy times?

I'm talking about the workplace environment here where I'm employed. I've posted about it many times in the past, most notably during some of the "wars" between the dynamically distinct polar opposites that still seem to exist, year after year here.

But lately I've started to vocally call out this pervasive vitriol and label it for what it is. It's a Culture of Blame.

I first noticed it back in 2011 when dealing with the then Clinical Assistant Stephanie who apparently clearly forged an appointment book entry after the fact in order to sneakily cover her ass and falsely implicate my shift in the scuttlebutt over a never-completed task. The deftness in which she committed this blatant fraud was shocking at the time but actions like this have been noticed time and time again the longer I'm here. To the point of now where it seems to be so ingrained and propagated by even some of the newest-of-the-new staff, that it threatens to embroil even jaded ole fucks like me into some serious reactionary measures.

This place isn't unique in this demagoguery. I've seen it almost everywhere I've ever worked. But maybe it's the juxtaposition with this current mood in our country, IMHO, that it seems so very near to boiling over to outright revolution (of a sort).

I present as evidence, if you will, the following account of events that can only be ascribed to a sort of hive mentality mass psychosis, perhaps akin to the rise of fascism in early to mid 20th century Germany and Italy. Or just simply the millions of votes in favor of Donald Trump making him, embarrassingly, a major party candidate for the presidency of the most powerful nation on Earth.

One of the simple, yet incredibly important tasks we need to keep on top of on our shift is managing the timely display of resident and staff posters and cards celebrating birthdays. We have a list of dates and names, a folder of pre-printed small posters and birthday cards that have been passed around, signed by everyone and then stored in the said folder. During the wee hours of a person's birthday, we night staff must post one poster in one location, another in another and the card in the appropriate third location. Where and what these locations are is moot. You don't know these places. But I do and so do my coworkers, many residents and most especially the management team. And that's all that matters.

Last week one of our soon-retiring employees who is a sweet old lady and beloved by all had her birthday. But the night shift staff, tasked with preparing her acknowledgement posters and her card neglected to get them out of the folder and put them in their appropriate spaces. The two staff on shift were not including me. It was a Sunday night, my night off.

When the CEO was made aware of this neglect of duty she did like she often does and prepared a very neatly printed and precisely worded note, signed it with her neat-as-a-pin signature and left it in the night staff office. It was gone by the time I came on shift the next day but it likely looked like this:

Dear Tosha and Eric,

I am disappointed that there was no poster pinned up or card submitted for Miss Jane's birthday today.

Sincerely,

[in handwriting:] Helen

(Except her version was, I'm sure, grammatically perfect as she's like that and I'm just a freakin' hack so mine isn't.)

Fast forward now to two days ago...

I personally took charge of the duty (as I usually do when I'm on shift) of checking the birthdays of the upcoming day. We had two folks due but, since one other guy, who's actual birthday fell on the next day, was leaving on a vacation, we got a message asking that his poster and card be displayed and delivered respectively along with the other two so he'd see and get them before he left. You confused yet? (Probably my horrible writing...told you I'm a hack.)

I put one set of the posters for each of the 3 guys on the med room/waiting area window (one of the designated areas) and place birthday cards for each, as per guideline, in their respective med boxes.

Morning staff and the residents apparently see and acknowledge the posting for two of the guys but no one sees the third. Including him, the guy it was for...and his visiting mother. This, of course, upset many people. And, if the poster had been omitted, I'd agree that it's a bad thing. Especially as this guy really is into his birthday and looked forward to seeing his poster.

This was abruptly and coolly brought to my attention by the incoming staff the next day who insisted to my face that the poster for this gentleman was not there. I calmly, but firmly protested since I had just an hour before removed the posters from the window in lieu of a new day. They still didn't accept my affirmation.

I went to the trash can where I had tossed the discarded posters I had removed, un-crumpled the THREE of them on the conference table in front of them and LO AND BEHOLD...THERE IT WAS! The poster for the guy they said was not there. The one NO ONE could see, was right there with his name in bold letters.

One of the staff nodded and seemed to accept the fact that they'd been mistaken and simply hadn't noticed it but the other said: "Well someone must have put it up later because it wasn't there in the morning."

What?! Does she presume there's a nefarious secret conspiracy to hide birthday posters only to have them reappear where they were supposed to be later? Or is she saying that I tried to cover my ass by corruptly posting his poster after the fact and lying about it? My fucking God, why the fuck would I do that?! Do I think I'd be fired if I forgot a fucking poster? And that I'd be so twisted to fake the "evidence" in order to avoid blame? The sad thing is, as the Stephanie incident from years ago proves, there are some that WOULD do such a fucked up thing!

I held it together and went home after that scene and though it took effort, I was able to calm down and not dwell on it. But it didn't stop there...

At the start of last night's shift, Charmaine showed up. This is very unusual for a supervisor to show up like this. Sure enough, it was about this poster issue. She wanted to know why it hadn't been posted. I told her about the incident that morning in the report room when I unfolded the crinkled up posters and showed that they all had been up, including the one in question. Then she says both her and the Clinical Director had not seen the poster that day either. And that they found the poster in the folder along with his birthday card.

Now, of course, several hours after the morning evidence was displayed, since I re-deposited the posters, including the one in question, back in the trash, there was no proof of my version of the story. I just look like a big, fat liar.

How the fuck is this real? Was all this some fucking Berenstein/Berenstain Bears alternate reality, parallel universe shit?

That's it. I'm joining the fray and I'm calling it out...it was an alternate me! He's the fuck up! Make him walk naked down a long road flanked by commonfolk throwing refuse at him. Ring a bell and proclaim:

BLAME!

BLAME!

BLAME!

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