“We are going to need you over here today.”
“Yessir!” I replied half jokingly knowing that my idle day will be no more.
It was that kind of a day well it was going to be that kind of a day but I didn’t know it yet. I just wrote about smiling and remaining positive and I was determined to do my best to keep up with this challenge. It wasn’t that hard but it reminded me that I had to maintain a cheery disposition as frustration sometimes bubbled to the surface in my colleagues.
I tend to jab with various remarks in order to get a laugh. Luckily the patients were understanding with how things were turning out. The way the system is set up with all the checks and balances it makes it unwieldy for efficiency. There are no erginomics built into the system so it takes time for each part to run its course. I got an allowance today enabling me to check and supervise one of the techs. It’s a big step as we were always standing there starring at each other with her saying “you can’t check what I’ve done!” As if to point out the ridiculousness of the situation. I can only do so much. The temporary supervisor only has so much power to change certain things. If it was up to him things would be a bit different but I don’t know how much better it could be with the input of the other powers that lord over this place.
Eventually we got through the slate of injections and I returned to my post in order to process the things left over from the morning acquired by a four. I work as a six and the banding goes up to ten I believe with letters and designations further subdividing the banding into various different levels each with their appropriate wages and top ups. It’s the system a hierarchical structure all the way up to the government and a hated minister in charge of it over all. Within this monolithic beast there are individual blocks that work within the system allowing some independence while working within the rules or their interpretation of them. It’s never quite clear if they’re local or global to the whole thing.
The day passed like all others. If it gets busy sometimes and we feel overworked may have to do with another aspect of the problem. That is the lack of qualified personnel to fill the void left by injuries, holidays, transfers and the like. It’s why I’m here and how I get to get paid for the job that I do. “Zero-hour” contracts or temporary staffing, “locum-ing” as it is also often referred to as is common in my line of work. There is a need that needs to be filled and it pays generously to a point. The system fills the void in the public system by hiring private contractors to fill the need. This discrepancy in wages between permanent and temporary staff is stark at first glance but there are hidden benefits to being permanent not the least of which is holiday pay. There are other discounts and deals made by the system in order to entice people to join the workforce. For some this enticement allows them to get into a job that is above what they should be earning while not performing to the required level. Hence the checks and balances that become unwieldy. The lack of care that is sometimes shown and the lack of advanced training.
There are a lot of unnecessary people being employed in the system in my opinion. Here in this trust the way the whole thing is structured, the renting of the hospital from a private entity and the contracting of services from this private entity goes against the ethos of a publicly run system. It’s a strange balancing act that somehow lumbers along and my internal sense has been weary of the whole thing. I keep my head focused on the tasks at hand and press on though. I need to get through this and make it to my goal.
Pressure to fulfill the requirements comes from all sides. If only the resources were available. If only the right people were there. If only it were a bit easier. If only… But that is not the reality. You have to rise to the occasion and not think about that pressure. Often times in the papers one reads about the young wanting it all, right from the get go. Here there are some things that aren’t up to par and there are political and economical struggles to get things right. These pressures do not resolve themselves at the flip of a hat. They take ages it seems but then once the banks burst the change is sudden and quick.
I smiled as much as I could and made as many laugh as I could. That extra touch pays off in the sense that there wasn’t as much stress as there could have been with all the lateness that there was. In the end I got to go home on time making my bus and subsequent train. I can’t stay and do overtime. The rules prevent me from doing that.