Thursday, January 15, 2015

And the other shoe drops...

My vacay was lovely. As will become apparent, I should have stayed there.
(If you have the chance for two weeks on Maui, I highly recommend it. Anytime.)

Upon my return, I found out the reason they were so cheerful about letting me have time off for the holidays, was that in their ceaseless efforts to not go broke implementing ObamaCare, my facility will be "re-organizing", and wished me their best in securing another position. Just. Like. That.
The fact that I'm experienced, at the top pay tier, and recently passed the half-century milestone were all purely coincidental, they assured me. And I have a bridge for sale too, right next to some beachfront property in Kansas.

Step Two was dusting off the resume, and getting a gig with any number of nursing registry agencies hereabouts that are swamped with the need for ED nurses locally, because for some reason, there are a ton of facilities with openings for non-permanent personnel on all shifts. Everywhere.
Doubtless this is just another purely random coincidence, I'm sure.

The sweetener is that they pay on average 10-20% more than my former employer, for doing the same job, and (after a few months not there), even including my former hospital home. So they laid me off to get me a raise, and set my own days and hours forever, including no more holidays at my discretion, and all it cost them was any shred of loyalty or concern for their best interests I might have had after the last ten-plus years in their trenches.

Such a deal.
The other bummer was instantly being ripped from amongst the greatest bunch of people, doctors, nurses, and staff, I've ever worked with. $#!^ happens.

The fly in the ointment was that I needed to do all the pre-employment hoops I haven't jumped through since Clinton was president, and dig up paperwork from the late Pleistocene, as well as document my decades of competencies in everything, from scratch. (Satisfying my inner hyper-anal control freak, I have so far aced everything they've thrown at me. And thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster I can do this stuff online, at home, in my pajamas, whenever I feel the urge. Yay, 21st century technology.)

During which, it turns out that between eating like a teenager, no small amount of it grazing on craft service, and the very same two decades of dealing with nightshift ED work and the lovely people deposited on my gurneys, my blood pressure seems to have decided to translate into flight data from a space launch liftoff, after being textbook normal up to at least six months ago.

Oh goody. After a quarter-century in healthcare, I always wondered what it'd be like to be the patient. (Not.)

I have consequently been just a wee bit pre-occupied with securing gainful employment, and not having my head explode, while finding a regular physician for the first time since I was a teenager, managing new meds, and embarking on a new quest to burn off at least a decade of crap daily diet and not enough cross training. With my former health insurance a distant memory.

So the 20 extra pounds around my gut are my fault, and the ED is the ED, but a hearty "Fuck You" to president for-life? HopeyDopey, and his ceaseless efforts to destroy the 17% of the American economy that has been my career, by mucking up the revenue stream for all hospitals. The only silver linings are that having discovered my new health situation, I won't be stroking out from his upcoming State Of The Union, 'cuz I've got meds to fix that now, and because of totally screwing the pooch for the medical industry, there are suddenly no shortage of doctors happy to see me for cash-for-service, indefinitely.

Regular blogging will resume when the recent roller coaster comes in for a landing.

The fivefold teaching moments are thus:

The government is not here to help you. Ever.
Neither is your employer. Loyalty is for dogs. Their end of the contract comes when the paycheck clears. Anything else is icing on the cake, but don't count on it.
Keep your resume current and updated.
More veggies, less pizza.
More PT, sergeant, more PT. Because I miss the Daily Seven like BUDS candidates miss getting wet and sandy in January.

And if you thought I was a non-cheery cranky caustic SOB before all this needless personal drama,

Back regularly as soon as I can. The medical chances of me shutting up on the internet are about 8 billion to 1, against.


Anonymous said...

Aesop, you have been missed. I am glad you are (reasonably) okay. I was worried you ended up in a Mexican jail or had dysentery.

You are smart and successful and will be okay. I am sure of it. There's a reason we don't see 70 and 80 year olds working the ER. I am about the same age as you and dealing with directional changes as well. God has plans for you. You are talented and resourceful. You will be fine.

If I may offer a suggestion, monetize your blogs. You are a gifted writer. Consider ebooks too.

Anonymous said...

Glad you are back!

Sorry about all the rest.

And agree with Anonymous above!

Anonymous said...


Check with the health insurance companies. They are in dire need of experienced nurses -- to reviewing claims to authorize for payment. I have heard they pay better than actually doing nursing (which is sad). Also, you can probably work from your home. My sister has been doing this for 7 or 8 years.

Good luck.

Aesop said...

No long term worries. It'll all work out eventually.

I'm just the kind of guy who likes every day the same as much as possible in my personal life, and being a slow learner, I'm finally realizing that that's never ever going to happen, however much I swing the machete to cut back the kudzu of personal BS and needless drama.

Oh well, it was a nice fantasy while it lasted.

Seriously, as soon as I bring this thing in for a less bumpy ride (really, I'd settle for only occasional turbulence), I'll be right back to my prior output. Not being able to devote the time now is rather annoying.

The Old Man said...

You are a pleasure to read. You are also talented - so make it work for you. If you didn't love what you were doing, you wouldn't have been so good at it.
This is Obozo's country right now. Suck it up, buttercup. We can out-reason and out-think the progressives.

Sort of time to sing "We Shall Overcome" from a different viewpoint, innit?

Anonymous said...

Glad to see you back. Beware the blood pressure meds. An aggressive vitamin and supplement regimen will bring that blood pressure down faster than a safe out of a 10 story window. Google is your friend.

Be well.

Jennifer said...

Glad you are back! I echo the sentiments of anonymous 546pm. You are a very talented writer and we want the book to come out.

My hospital's been doing the very same thing since being subsumed by the Borg hospital in nearby city. No notice, just, 'you're retiring. Now.' These nurses have been working at the same small hospital, some for decades, are frequently related by blood and/or marriage, and get disposed of by the corporation at the drop of a hat. Fire a nurse? Sure, there's plenty more where that came from. Most of us start every shift assuming it will be our last, and just try to be thankful for what we do have. You are very talented and have much experience to share - you will bounce back.

Sorry about the job and workfamily loss, but I'm really glad you're not in a central american jail.

MtTopPatriot said...

Feel your tribulations Aesop. Know what its like.
Never something bad it isn't good for something. You may find it a blessing in the long run, as that comfy ordered world we grew up in and came to live by is rapidly corroding. I know that sounds cold but it is what it is, and its time to do something about the motherfuckers behind it all.
We get the liberty we create, and it begins with each of us.

I'm glad you are still around. We are all still going to need each other like nothing before before this is over.
God bless you and your loved ones.

Anonymous said...

Very happy to see you're back!

I'll echo the sentiments of everyone saying they'd love a book by you It could be a 'Book 'o Being Pissed Off (With Bonus Movie Reviews)", and I'd buy that sucker in a heartbeat.

Sorry to hear your former dumbass workplace were dumabasses - because getting rid of competent people is ALWAYS necessary nowadays. Nurses are NOT a dime a dozen and the sooner these frigging places sort that out the better off everyone will be.

Preaching to the choir though - I just know that whoever hires you next is going to count themselves lucky.

Good luck on the blood pressure and weight front - you can do it. You're a Marine (once a Marine, always a Marine, I know that better than most because my whole FAMILY is Marines, both active and retired - well the males, and have been since at least the days of the China Marines). It's no sweat to someone like you. Well there'll be sweat involved, but it won't bug you like most. Full confidence here you'll have all that under control in a jiffy.

Looking forward to reading more of your writing when you're up to it and have time, until then look after yourself!

Anonymous said...

Welcome back. Hope all the best for you. You may be reluctant to get close to the belly of the beast, but you might consider looking at USAJobs for Federal nursing jobs in CONUS or overseas in some pretty Maui-like conditions (probably jobs in HI as well). Feds can't discriminate on age basis and pay mighty well. Cheers, JT

Irish said...

Aesop, Welcome back. Glad you had a good vacation although coming back to the crap you got handed sucks.

If I may offer you this. (As far as your BP and Stress and health)
take a look at this website:

Here is is book, which is well worth it:

I got off my BP meds after 6 months and dropped about 35 lbs.

Good luck and hang in there!


Anonymous said...


Condolences. After you get your feet back under you, look for some new opportunities too.

Consider becoming a writer, or adviser.

Friendly Aquaponics said...

Awwww....Maui. You should've waved - I can see Maui from my "office" (seven acre aquaponics farm). I'm on the north coast of the Island of Hawaii. Next time come here - this island is nicer in many ways. It's far less "touristy", much less expensive, it's more quiet and slower-paced, and the people are more friendly. Think Cali in the 50s. Glad you had a good time - sounds like you deserved it.

Non illegitimi carborundum.

daniel_day said...

Sorry to hear that. My own (freelance) income source has dried up in the last couple of years and we're looking at changing countries and professions, but enough about me. I'm sure you'll land on your feet. Perhaps it's time for you to move to a more socially and politically amenable state...

Unknown said...

Well, I've never had 2 weeks in Hawaii. And in 49 working days, I'll retire with my meager pension from my local government job and social "security". But an experienced RN can make a hell of a good living in Texas. Half the job is just showing up, not too drunk and/or stoned to do the job. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry to learn of your health issue! Spending some time reading Ray Peat articles will be beneficial as it is good to understand what is probably causing the problem before seeking health care(see here: and Time spent reading Ray Peat will help you appreciate just how far down the healthcare rabbit hole we have fallen. Here is a good one to start with: After reading this one, take a stroll through Whole Foods and consider the Supplements section for Bone and Joint Health (full of inflammatory Omega 3's); it's next to the section for expectant mothers (more inflammatory Omega 3's and DHA too, known to reduce the intelligence of the unborn). I'm hoping you will be inspired to write about these things as I've really enjoyed your writing and there is so much here that needs exposure!

RandyGC said...

Good luck on the job search and accompanying readjustments. BTDT, refuse to wear T-shirts pimping my former corporate overlords.

Anonymous said...

I love a good story, well told.
now you can tell some more. Not to play Mr Obvious, but the timing is interesting and no doubt taking you out of the loop takes away some inside the network stories. No doubt that your narrative was disturbing the programming.
ah well, first things first- get your professional and health concerns squared away and we'll wait for more stories and expand the circulation

Anonymous said...

YAY!! So glad you are back!

Anonymous said...

My sympathies-I went through that in 2008. It sure makes you happy that you worked all that overtime, night shifts, and holidays when "they" were in a pinch! (not) My mom was an RN; she enjoyed going to a private duty nurses agency. Worked when she wanted, took time off when she wanted. You pay your own retirement, etc. But there is a lot to say for being a Free Bird!
I wish that the federal government would just stop helping us. Much more help and we will lose everything! -Stealth Spaniel

Tucanae Services said...

Welcome to PartTimeNation! Here's the interesting bit -- You like so many others are on the other side of the employment bell curve. The demo 18-54 is sucking wind employment wise. But the demo 50-66 is in the highest numbers in decades. It might be bumpy but enjoy the ride. I know, I am. (@ 63) I am booking instructional time like a wild man while the wet-between-the-ears crowd have not even been at the podium yet.

Yee-Haw! What a screwed up world.

Percy said...

(Last try was incomplete.)

Aesop, welcome back!

Maui is sensational. Loved Oahu and Kuai, too. Never made it to the Big Island, though, said by friends and confirmed by FA, above, to be the best of all.

Wanted to move there without much idea of how I could afford and support it. Older, wiser Hawaiians I met while bedazzled and tempted years ago pointed out with a smile that lots who try it go island-crazy eventually and have to return to the Mainland.

May never make it back there again, sadly. (No, I did not take away any stones from the beach.) Younger wife points out that travelling there from the East Coast is a long, tough slog. As age creeps up and income goes down, she gets more right about that every year. Her own mother, though, at 90, just returned from three weeks in the Philippines, so it's probably just my wife not wanting to go through such a long trip again with me. I tend to complain, you see.

Frankly, though, I'd still like to give it a go. Close young family and a few friends here, in addition to the money factor, are in the way. So it just may not be in the cards for me. You, on the other hand . . . .

Job stuff: I, too, was involuntarily retired last year (age 72). A financial arrangement keeps a trickle coming in forever, but impedes doing my thing for anyone else. Besides the assault on my financial well-being, this hurt my pride. Had the Ajax syndrome there for a while. Recovering from that, but, if I were them, I wouldn't cross in front of my automobile late on a dark night.

Retirement may be inevitable, but seems way over-rated to me. So far.

geoffb said...

Aesop, glad you had a good rest, best wishes for you going forward.

In Ebola news.

"Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the secretary of the federal Department of Health and Human Services, issued a spending plan on Thursday for the nearly $2.8 billion in Ebola funding allocated by Congress, though the plan is too short on detail to know if New York will receive the money advocates have called for.

The majority of the money—$1.77 billion—will go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of that, $1.2 billion will go overseas to help combat the epidemic in West Africa, with support for programs such as labs, infection control and waste management.

The rest of the C.D.C. money will be used for domestic initiatives, such as preparing states to respond to an Ebola case, paying for quarantines that were put in place and worker training.

Burwell was directed to provide a "detailed" spending plan 30 days after Congress' $1.1 trillion spending plan became law. That deadline is today but Burwell's proposal provides only top-line numbers."

Details are so boring and might limit the payoffs, er, flexibility of the Secretary.

Anonymous said...

Yo bro. I did the traveler RN deal for ten years and loved it. Vacations when I wanted them at the end of my contract, new places to see once I got tired of the Frequent flyers at the current gig and good cash. Would do it now if I could get the wife to start it up again. Right now she likes her current job. Some tips, be an employee of more than one company, gives you more options and occasionally they forget that their job is to keep you happy cause you are the one with the skills. Another thing, get into Nursefinders and see if they have gigs at the local VA hospital. Quick money, your choice of shifts where and when and I love working with the older vets. The hospitals have no loyalty at all. I stress that to the new nurses. Always think of yourself as self employed and renting your skills. Enjoy! It can be a good life. -SemperFido

Anonymous said...

And again, UK news while the US papers kowtow to .gov

New Ebola scare in US: Health worker returning from Seirra Leone pulled off United flight at Newark after vomiting on the plane

Of course, "Authorities stressed that even if the woman tests positive for Ebola, it's highly unlikely that she would have infected anyone else aboard."

Except maybe anyone who came in contact with her aerosolized VOMIT!


geoffb said...

"U.S.-built Ebola treatment centers in Liberia are nearly empty as outbreak fades"

What has happened is the centers of contagion have shifted away from where the treatment centers were built.

Worst case it is a temporary slowdown. Best case is that it has gone from epidemic to endemic as deaths and new cases continue on with 400 to 500 new reported-confirmed cases and 200 to 300 new deaths per week.

Rollory said...


"Last week, even as international aid organizations built yet more Ebola centers, there was an average of less than one new case reported in Liberia per day."

Judging by Virology Down Under's page of ebola charts, Liberia has pretty much completely levelled off, Sierra Leone and Guinea are in the process of doing so, and there are no reports whatsoever of new outbreaks in neighboring countries. No more so than there are new imports into the West by travelers.

Unless the claim is going to be made that this is ALL simply lying about what is happening and the disease is continuing to spread and is not being reported at all - which would be a rather large claim - I think the conclusion at this point can be drawn, that the September/October fears were massively overblown and somewhat Chicken Littleish.

Not to say that it wasn't or wouldn't have been worth acting to prevent the possibility ... like with the nurse who should have been quarantined. But .... there was too much hype. Too much crying wolf. The wolf didn't come.

Bezzle said...

The wolf is still out there.

Bezzle said...

The most probable explanation for the current drop is that since December it is now the dry season with the harmattan blowing out of the Sahara Desert. The virus has trouble lingering on parched surfaces, and people aren't covered in a sheen of sweat like they are during the super humid summers.

If Ebola's not eradicated by the time the rains start again in May, I predict it'll re-flare.

Anonymous said...

What ever happened to the 2 people getting treatment in the US?

I haven't been able to find anything.


btw, woman on flight, tested negative. Thankfully.

Anonymous said...

welcome back

Anonymous said...

Grandpa says all the good 'n blessings above, times 7. Semper Fi brother and keep the faith, He that has closed the door has opened a window. My prayer is that you find it sooner rather than later... when my LAX job vamoosed years ago, I found easy pickings and greener opportunities with other Calexpats in LA's backyard.... Vegas. Just a thought.... this desert ain't perfect, but for those who want to work, work is plentiful. No state taxes either... it's a close drive to LA should you need... and a short drive to Flag, or up to Utah, for your into the boonies needs... I'm just saying. stormfriend

Anonymous said...