Friday, April 17, 2009

Talk to Me

During the course of a work day, my only usual communication with colleagues is by text or email.  Since I work the off shift, I usually don't speak to anyone outside of the triage nurse, an occasional doctor and my patients.  This depersonalization can be very frustrating.  This week, I've found myself completely overwhelmed by my schedule and the lack of verbal communication.  It seems the 4 schedulers have absolutely no clue as to who is on first.  They don't talk to each other either and this causes huge issues.  For instance, if Scheduler A tells Scheduler B that I have nothing going on, Scheduler B looks for an opportunity to make me busy.  Scheduler B does not tell Scheduler A that she has filled my dance card, and the next thing you know, Scheduler A does the same and I need to be in two places at one time.  This leads to ticked off patients and exhaustion for me.

Last night, I sent a rather scathing email to my supervisor who is probably as overwhelmed as me.  It was laden with complaints about my work burden.  No surprise, she sent me a response that I felt was dripping with sarcasm.  Knowing my style, you can guess that mine probably was also and she was just giving it back in kind.  Over the years, I've been careful not to send these types of emails (they're a lot like drunk dialing), preferring instead to save them as drafts and delete them at a later date.

Do you work in a similar situation where verbal communication has gone away and all that is left is the printed word?  How do you handle communication during times of crisis?  There are things I'd never say in a face to face meeting (or phone call), that seem to spill from my fingertips to the keyboard with abandon.  I wish there was a message that popped up asking me, ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO SEND THIS MESSAGE?  

16 comments:

Rose said...

Sorry it's so frustrating for you right now. I know the feeling. You already know that saving and rereading is the way to go but sometimes you just gotta let it fly and pick up the pieces later. Been there, done that, will do it again. Good luck!

Poetikat said...

First of all, "scathing" is probably the sort of e-mail I'd sent - and regret, and secondly, I love that ELO song!

I've posted a couple of comments on blogs 'under the influence' (at Christmas and St. Paddy's Day) that I wish I could take back.

I'm generally pretty careful with e-mails, unless I stupidly send something by mistake!

Kat

Sandy said...

The only time I have problems anymore like that is with a few of the "girls" in my son's lives, one in particular that isn't a part of the family anymore and has caused havoc amongst everybody. Must be so frustrating for you.

Miss 376 said...

I remember writing a letter to my dad's new wife over her conduct towards my children. Several pages long and I felt so much better even though it was never sent.

Rositta said...

I've done that too, hopefully it will sort itself out. Now when I write something when I'm mad I re read and think carefully before I push that send button...ciao

Kathleen said...

I often get someone to do a "tone check" on my e-mails if I have any question. It really is a strange form of communication--but I love it!

Brenda said...

I tend to stuff everything inside and then let it build up to what ends up looking like a bomb exploding when I let it out. I was just thinking about doing a little journal post about this subject. I have a feeling most of us react to frustration with anger in some form. Especially these past few years with the economy being so stressful. Your story reminded me of something that would take too long to leave a comment about here. Something that happened in the family with visiting nurses and some similar things that you described. Hope you are able to have a relaxing weekend and enjoy your class. Hugs!

distracted by shiny objects said...

Oh, so easy to do. I really try to let those types of emails marinate overnight. A lot of times I find that I can better convey my frustration without spreading the aggravation if I sleep on it.
On the other hand, you don't often communicate in this way, might wake and shake some folks up.
Our unit??? It's like the damn tower of Babel except no one's talking with the right person.

Lisa L said...

Rudee - I hope this gets sorted out..omg...I can only imagine the hospice hell of being 'double booked'....Jeez...let us know how it pans out.

laurie said...

i have sent many many emails like that. we used to have an email system that would allow you to call back a message, and i did that way too many times.

with our new system, we cant call them back. sent is sent.

that has stopped me from sending many a message.

generally, if you know tone is going to be a problem, wait to write the message. or use the phone.

flydragon said...

Sarcasm? You? I don't believe it!

Cheryl said...

It sounds very frustrating. Talking isn't always the best thing, but I like writing/typing a professional (dripping with kindness, even when I don't feel it) with a cc to my boss or whoever. It covers me, when co-workers claim I never told them something or I never brought up that concern. I have my own back, lol.

Hope it gets worked out. You don't need that kind of stress, Hospice work is tough enough.

Betty Flocken said...

Oh Rudee! I'm sorry to laugh but I totally get that. I never did anything as important as you but the stress at month end could drive me over the edge and many days it did..(12-13 hours of unpaid overtime didn't help). I've also sent e-mails under the influence of Ambien.. Hope things get better for you soon at work

Jadekitty said...

I did have a job where we had 3 Owners/Bosses (who each had a dept) and then 4 managers in those departments. I worked in the service part so most customer would end talking to me and having each of those men giving different instructions.
Hopefully it gets better soon.

Winifred said...

That must be so annoying for you.

I had a boss who hated you complaining, she used to say "Don't bring me your problems, give me the solutions". Needless to say when you did she didn't always like them but at least she couldn't accuse you of being negative.

I tend to be careful emailing people. I usually wait until I've calmed down. You can recall emails with Outlook but only if the person's system hasn't been opened.

Djinn said...

Oh, gosh! As if being a Hospice nurse isn't frustrating enough, being double-booked - ouch!

I usually grab some one I know to be pretty laid back and simultaneously politics-savvy to "edit for B****iness" before I hit send. Although, I think b****iness is, in some cases, wholly justified.

Instant-messaging and e-mailing are just not at all the same as talking in person, or even over the phone.