Thursday, July 24, 2008

Department Meetings and Birthdays

Yesterday was a couple of things. First of all, I'd like to say "Happy 31st Birthday!" to my sister, also known as Aunt Kelly on this blog. Yesterday was also the day I had to drive into work for a department meeting. I don't know why this happens, but every single time I drive in, it rains. And I absolutely hate driving in the rain. Plus, I had to leave the boys at home alone for a few hours so I could go to the meeting.
You would think that my bosses in management, in their wisdom (!!!) would think, 'our reps are not working on accounts, so lets make these department meetings short, sweet, and relevant.' You would think, right? Hahaha, if you think that way, then you're not qualified to be in management.
I showed up about 15 minutes early, said hello to everyone, cracked a few jokes, answered hair questions again (I'll explain that later) and then moved to the conference room. This is where I learned that our department meeting would be about hurricane preparedness. I inwardly groaned, as there was no reason for me to be here. Let me explain why.
As I'm sure you may have figured, hospitals do not close when hurricanes hit. And I live in Florida. I work for one of the busiest hospitals in the state. Nurses, doctors, janitors, and cafeteria people still have to show up for work during hurricanes. Now, my department (financial services) is responsible for providing child care to these other people, so that the hospital can still run smoothly, at a time when most daycare centers shut down. It's brilliant. It's needed. Unfortunately, I am exempt from this process due to Bucket.
During the crazy hurricane season of 2004, I was called to give child care services at the main hospital in Orlando. I begged my boss to let me out of it. I knew Bucket would not do well there. He was 6 years old at the time, had just gotten out of diapers, was still not completely verbal, and terrified of crowds. I was told that if I didn't show up for childcare services, I would be fired. So I packed up all three kids, and drove an hour south to work. Right before a hurricane. I was there for less than two hours when one of the management staff came to me and asked me to leave. It appears that Bucket was so distraught, he was in a corner banging his head on the floor and biting his own arms. Biting my own tongue, thinking, "I TOLD YOU SO!!!", I signed out, grabbed all three kids, and ran to the parking garage, and drove home in the beginning squalls of the hurricane. It was awful. The kids were crying because the weather was so bad, I was pissed because I knew Bucket couldn't handle the pressure, and I was wasting gas too.
Wisely, that winter, they put someone (possibly a mom, since this makes sense) in charge of hurricane preparedness. And they decided that some people needed to be exempt from childcare due to other family commitments or medical issues. I had to fill out paperwork, and attach a letter from Bucket's physician stating that Bucket does indeed have autism and I don't just make stuff up to avoid childcare. I am now exempt for life (or until Bucket improves/moves out) from childcare. I don't mind doing it, but Bucket needed me more.
So imagine my dismay when I drive about an hour to attend a meeting dealing with a subject that I am exempt from! I pulled my manager aside and said, "You know I'm exempt from childcare during hurricanes, right?" and he said: "You may be exempt from childcare, but you're not exempt from meetings."
Brilliant! So I sat there for two hours listening to them discuss how the childcare would work.
At least I was able to turn in some receipts for payment (I pay for my own printer ink, turn in receipts and get reimbursed) pick up some paper, and I got a roll of tape. Oooooooh.

Hold a Meeting
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