Sunday, January 19, 2014

trickle down

I absolutely LOVE going to Cracker Barrel because it's where all the families come to stretch across three tables pushed together and catch up on life. Normally we sit right next to the door so mama can get out easily but that table was taken so I had a birds' eye view of people coming and going. The line starts to build around 11 on Sundays and is never ending until the last Yankee candle has been oohed and ahhed over.The clothing is awesome and I assume mostly American made...not sure about the jewelry and such. Mama always wants to get a GooGoo to go and today was the appointed day to get stuff done in one trip. We took a platter of chicken strips to go for the family of his dear friend Joe Mack who will be buried on Tuesday. I watched as he and Miss Reba hugged and cried together then he made his way back to me and mom in the Cadi to finish out our Sunday routine. He almost tripped over her walker trying to get to the next thing which is I don't have a clue. She gave me a totally cool sweater with brightly colored blocks and such. Not a chevron, but definitely trendy.

I spotted them coming through together, my former boss and his beautiful wife. Normally I just wave and say "hey ya'll" but I had to hug these two because life is short and you just never know when's the last time you get that chance. I hugged him especially hard because I know from experience what it means to be used up and thrown away by people you believed in. He is a member of the same church as me and so also felt the pain more than most others. I remember being an annual conference delegate and watching the CEO of our company do a 30 minute spill at the end of a service promising everybody that "we know what a miracle you are". Here's the thing about hospital administration in my opinion. Administrators should have some sort of clinical training in addition to that MBA that got them the job. If clinically trained individuals are in leadership roles there's a lot fewer emails and misunderstandings about what is happening in the trenches.

Mr. McCormick is a nurse which is what made him a strong leader in all of the clinical areas. I remember one time I messed up (before HIPPA) and asked a friend who got mucho blood to speak out for our volunteer blood program. Some harpie doctor's wife overhead this and ran straight to the top about my indiscretion. He passed it on and blew it off. That's how you lead people, not by punitive action. He saw my potential as a team member and active part of the community that we served. we had a chaplain on staff and an active volunteer service which both of my parents served in. My grandmother was the director of those volunteers and of the gift shop until right before she died. It was a horrid little place with silk flowers and get well cards but now it's quite cute.

After the "mission statement and vision" changed to gaining a reputation as a transplant center, the West Tennessee seven weren't part of the equation. With corporate offices in Jackson and a small hospital there fighting to survive the giant county facility, it was complicated. When Methodist Healthcare and Baptist Memorial were in a bidding war the idea was to grab up all the feeders along Highway 51 in west Tennessee. The corporate bunch went first, following by a massive sale of the facilities to Community Health Systems. That involved a six month period of IS conversion into which I was hip deep. I heard later that most of the time when a client installs a new system they pay for the installers to take it to go live. Instead (because there were so many facilities) random people from each facility were brought to corporate one last time to help decipher and standardize things like test names and billing codes. We in turn as superusers, ya know, trained everybody in the entire facility. It was something that I had no freakin' CLUE would be so stressful.

Ownership was transferred and there was almost immediately an issue that required legal intervention when the seller decided not to share blood bank records because of privacy laws. Now I'm say this from pure experience: Starting over from scratch with a patient database of blood types, problems and antibodies is scary stuff and quite dangerous. Thank goodness they got the discs needed to do a proper search until we built up our own. That was 11 years ago and I've seen a lot of things change since then. Most of it is what everybody else in the middle class deals with which is how to survive now that nobody can buy a house a car or food. Once again, I don't begrudge anybody their big bucks if nobody was intentionally hurt in the process but please don't show off your big ass cars and expensive clothes like you're somebody. It's tacky, as we say in the South. Gotta run. It's incredibly hard to get a picture of an airplane from inside the house. Later ^j^

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