Drama rises with you. As you move forward at work and at home, life throws new complications your direction. It is the ever present paradox of progress. Upward mobility whether at work or at home is always coupled with a downward force. For each step forward another sixteen are encountered, steeper, and far more treacherous than the last. When we were kids we longed for the next grade up and continued in this direction until we finally remembered the finger painting, napping, and playtime paradise that was kindergarten. It is at this moment we look back at our life and wonder, how did it all happen? It was the ultimate question, but I already knew the answer, Adam and Eve. Those assholes ruined everything.
Life was perfect. We had access to food, drink, and all the joys of ignorance. I’m not sure what our earliest years on the planet involved, but I’m pretty sure a large part of it involved the four F’s of food, fornication, fun, and fruit which screwed up all the other three f’s. This is why I am an obligate carnivore.
All my other favorite animals do it, so why shouldn’t I. Dogs do it. Cats do it. George Foreman does it. He’s made millions off meat. Sure my cholesterol is high, but what does my doctor know. If exercise strains your muscles, creating microscopic damage we adapt to making us stronger, then why can’t fatty plaque do the same for my venous system. It’s science. If one thing creating damage to my outsides makes me stronger then why can’t the other thing creating damage to my insides do the same. Still, we ate fruit and no amount of meat can make up for our greatest mistake. Genesis clearly outlines the price of our folly.
One bite and we gained instant access to knowledge and ironic understanding of the term ignorance is bliss. Adam looked down and realized he was naked and further realized how pathetic his genitals were. After all, that thing can be hidden with a fig leaf. Eve looked at Adam, then looked down at his genitals and sighed. After all, he was the only game in town. Suddenly Adam had to impress Eve. This led to all the advancements in science and technology today as we race around each other to impress each successive Eve or Adam, but as much as knowledge brings with it progress, it also brings problems. Knowledge allowed us to gain further understanding of our emotions and when you combine these two forces trouble inevitably brews.
My last job did not have quite so much drama. Work was work. I showed up, clocked in, and clocked out. Now work has a layer of melodrama sweeping across every aspect of it. Nursing is full of type A neurosis. Just to make it into any of the programs requires a level of dedication and perfection few can manage. Most programs require a four point grade average plus several years of experience within the field as an aide. Finish this and you will then experience a grueling two years of classes a third of the students will fail. Getting in is hard, but getting in with the gang can be even harder. People are petty. Gossip is everywhere.
When I had first started I didn’t think this would be a problem. Why would it? It had never been a problem with any of my other jobs. For some reason nursing is a haven for it. Everyone seems to have an opinion about everyone else. The worst of it involved a worker who no longer works on our floor. This individual made mistakes and instead of confronting the nurse directly, people decided to talk behind the nurses back. What purpose does this serve? Are you somehow improving the situation by talking about it to everyone but the person involved. Is your self esteem so low you need to ingratiate yourself by cowardly remarking at how horrible the other person is doing? Let’s discuss how awesome we are by putting down this other person to make ourselves feel superior. Nope, not superior, just cowardly.
They have a saying, nurses eat their young. Google this phrase and you will see its far reaching effects within the nursing community as a seemingly limitless number of pages reference it. Why is there so much coworker cannibalism with this profession? It’s interdepartmental and international. A pandemic of our profession that disrupts health care on a fundamental and devastating level.
Our hospital is no exception. We have a great team and we all work together well, but every place has its bad eggs. We have one clique in particular we jokingly describe as The Mean Girls. For months they have teased another nurse into requesting more float days off the floor. No one should have to fear their work place. There is enough stress in the job without adding any unnecessary complications. I’ve talked to nurses who have left the hometowns they grew up in because of this. It’s become so rampant they warn you about it in nursing school. Talk to people who have come and gone from our hospital or any other and you can see its far reaching effects. The New York Times even wrote an article about it. People complain about other people and form teams, reminding you of high school cafeterias and not professional work environments. It’s junior high justice, It’s everywhere, and it needs to stop.