Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Waterboarding and other such tortures

There are all kinds of tortures out there that we use on the enemy and they on us.  If you know yourself well, you know precisely which ones will break you (did ya'll see GI JANE?  Great example).  I can withstand a lot of pain.  I could probably even handle beatings, but I have always known that sleep deprivation would break me faster than anything else.  Well, today I was finally broken. 

I have had one day off since September 1st.  To clarify, I mean a day that I haven't been on-call or been forced to use my personal time for work time.  After being in Atlanta all last week, traveling back late Friday (for which I wasn't paid for) I started non-stop on-call after only 5 hours of rest.  If anyone read through my Saturday rant you know how tired and stressed I was and now you will know how pissed I was that I was only paid 5 hours for 8 hours of work.  I did address this with my boss who bumped it up to 6 hours.  She seemed to think the fact that I was receiving time and a half pay should have influenced the number of hours I could bill for. 

I am a single woman.  As such I can not ask my 'honey' to take over chores that I can not finish.  This means that regardless of how many hours I work, I still have more work at home that can not be ignored.  If you follow that thought out a reasonable person would realize that if I am forced to work 14 hours and I still have 4 hours of home work, then I will be working for 18 hours.  So, yesterday I worked two hours over so it was 11:45 pm before my head hit the pillow.  At 1:47 am, the help desk calls me at home.  I was then forced to endure a conversation with the dumbest person I have never met.  Honestly, I am really hoping she has sort of vision impairment that will excuse her level of ineptitude.  It was so awful I told her to find someone, anyone that I could talk to instead to do her work for her (I wanted to tell her to find a patient since they were probably in better shape than she was). It was a challenge even with the second person.  Remember the whole conversation about "click the big red cancel button?" Yeah, it was that all over again and when I start getting that frustrated I begin talking very slowly and very softly.  This ignoramus actually had the nerve to ask me at 2 am why I sounded tired?!? 

After 45 minutes she had to take a break and said she would call back to finish the last item (the same thing we had already done twice!).  I called and left a voicemail for my boss in tears telling her we needed to talk because I couldn't do this anymore.  I was so exhausted, but the fear/anxiety associated with being jolted out of sleep by my phone ringing and knowing that there would be no end until next Monday, well, it broke me.  Every time I have tried to lay down and take a nap the last 3 days has resulted in being paged.  I finally broke.  I laid in bed crying and begging for sleep knowing that my body and mind were too messed up at this point to relax for sleep.  After an hour of lying there in agony I decided to get up and go about my day.  I wasn't getting paid to stay home and not sleep so I clocked in at work at 4:30 AM.  Let me tell you, I am some level of evil pissy when I am that tired.  Unfortunately, it didn't last long.  I was so tired sitting there with my trainer (who drove up from the Carolinas to work with me) that I actually started crying.  It wasn't even the fact that I was tired, it was that I was exhausted.  My boss took me off call for the rest of the week and I was instructed to finish up with the instructor and go home.  My instructor was awesome and told me she is the same way--rarely cries until she becomes exhausted.

So, now I am exhausted and embarrassed.  I felt like they made a big spectacle of it all (even though I know they took the steps they needed to take to let people know about the changes), but I still feel like a schmuck for not being able to pull my own weight.  I'm hoping this means I'm done for good.  There is no amount of money that numbs the pain of being on-call.  I am feeling so burned out right now that it makes it very difficult to go into work. 

1 comments:

Angie September 17, 2008 at 3:51 AM  

I am the same way! My counselor and I discovered that sleep is the key for me...with inadequate sleep, I am more likely to begin slipping into depression. You are not a schmuck...us single gals get taken advantage of because...well because we are single! Add stress from work...adoption...LIFE to lack of sleep and it makes for a cruel mix! Take care of YOU! Allow your mind and body to relax and get the good rest you need! (easy for me to say!)
I will be praying for you my friend! Please DO NOT go waterboarding...sleep deprivation and extreme activities don't mix! :)
Angie

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This started as my story, but has evolved to OUR story. This is the story of life as a single parent to a wonderful little boy while we wait for baby sister. China LID 2.12.07.


But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, be patient! For it will surely take place. It will not be late by a single day.
Habakkuk 2:3

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