Every three or so years a rather large entity comes and surveys our hospital. This ensures our accreditation.
Every three or so years our hospital loses its collective mind. This equates to ten hour days (or more) for yours truly, because (at the last possible minute) items that might be of interest to Said Entity come to light.
So, something did come to light about fifteen minutes before quitting time the other day. It was this past Monday and because it is a four day survey, if Said Entity hadn’t shown up Monday morning, it may show up the following day, as surveys don’t roll over to following weeks (in all of my years of experience in our facility). We are almost to the end of our 18-36 month window, so we know this is happening on any given Monday or Tuesday in the coming 4-5 weeks.
I think my first survey was while I was still an administrative assistant, back in 2003. We’ve been through surveys every three years (+/-) ever since; our last being back in 2012. I’ve been with our organization an unbelievable (to me) 14 years this July 16. I seem to remember sitting in our old auditorium by a series of seven tri-fold poster boards that highlighted “must know” facts about Facilities’ area of expertise pertaining to the upcoming survey. The theme that year was “The Wizard of Oz” to make it fun for the employees. Well, after having manned our team’s booth for several (long, boring, gouge-my-eyes-out-with-a-fork) hours and watching a continuous loop of the aforementioned movie for as many hours, I don’t EVER flip the TV channel over when that particular gem is on. //shudder//
But I digress. Apologies all around. I remember my boss, at the time, being under the (perceived) iron fist of my current boss, and he was demanding; it stressed her out. Hell, it stressed us all out, but I’m fairly sure that we’re all pretty much familiar with the phrase, “Shit rolls downhill,” right? If I hadn’t been, prior to that, I surely would have been. I remember getting crap tons of overtime pay that year, because it was justified. I also remember going home stressed out and in tears, thinking we would surely never live through it.
Of course we lived through it; and lived to see another survey (or three). I remember my then-boss still reporting to my current boss during my second survey and everyone going more than a little nuts. I ended up on blood pressure and anti-anxiety meds during the prep for that second survey. I had my first ever anxiety attack during the prep for the second survey and those grew up to be full-on panic attacks. No bueno, for sure, right?
From the second survey -on, I was the supervisor of our little Support Service team, and I swore up and down (and up, again) that I would never be the boss that stressed out the team.
I did really well during the ’06, ’09 and ’12 surveys. I kept my cool and rolled with the punches. After all, by 2012 was over, I was a four-time veteran of such festivities and could handle just about everything. I actually prided myself on being the boss that didn’t flip out and let shit roll downhill. That has to be why I let my guard down this year. Has to be. 😦
Something came up on Monday late-afternoon that created a situation that kept me till after dark that day. I couldn’t understand why the situation was the way it was and I vocalized this, hardcore stress and frustration oozing from the tone of my voice. My administrative assistant said nothing (God bless her; oftentimes she just knows) while my stress levels were rising to near epic proportions. I stressed her out. I know I did, and I am not anywhere near proud of that fact.
This is where I hang my head in actual shame, because I rarely do things I am truly ashamed of.
As I was walking across the parking lot to the Pit, where my car was parked, I called home to let my better half know I was on my way. I was explaining to him what had gone down to cause such a late day and it hit me.
It was my fault. MINE. Not my admin’s, not the coordinator upstairs; mine. I recognized it as stress-induced selective amnesia and told him I needed to go, I’d be home shortly, and then dialed my admin. I apologized profusely during that phone call. I had forgotten that *I* had been the one that had told her to do what we thought needed to be done the way that it had been; because, after all, the documents in question were set up to be viewed online, not in hard copy format, so I (in my infinite wisdom) told her, when we changed format, to just keep doing what she had been doing. Mind you, it’s been about a year since that situation went down, and while it isn’t a valid excuse, or ANY excuse, for that matter, I’ve slept a LOT since then, and taken on a whole new realm of responsibility. There has been a lot of water under our office bridge during that time, and it seemed like such a small detail at the time…
At any rate, she graciously accepted my apologies and said, “I knew you were stressed out and I didn’t want to argue with you, but I knew we just needed to get it done because it didn’t matter how it came about, whether you remembered or not, it still needed to be handled.”
Holy crap! Who says that? I felt even smaller than ever after that, but also thankful that she has such a huge heart. And then, as I was hanging up the phone, it dawned on me…
OMG! I am THAT boss!
Have you ever inadvertently done something that you swore you would never do? Said something you said would never say? Been someone that you tried so hard not to be? Yes? Please share it below.
I don’t want to be alone in my shame. That, and “asshole” does NOT look good on me.
Until next time…