Sunday, February 24, 2008
Friday, 2/22/08 will be burned in my brain. That day was the most important day for me in my career at the hospital. I had to summons my union to lead me into battle. My reputation (and the simple fact that they broke my contact) was on the line. I had been accused of misspeaking to an employee. Which in turn upset a patient. I can't get in to all the details but trust me when I say. Once they pulled me in the office to explain things to me, I knew I had to get my union involved. It caused me great pain to be accused of certain things, and KNOW them to be so untrue. I did just that,pulled my ACE and called my union in and that was before Christmas.
Friday was my day to say what unjustices were brought upon me. I had organized my paperwork, retyped notes and tried to steady my nerves. I had to work Friday on top of that. Once, I got to work I jumped right in to my work with both feet. Soon, that tightening in my throat disappeared. The phone rang at 1230pm, I answered. It was Barb, my union rep. The lump reappeared. She said to come down to the cafe to go over things a bit. I did just that. Barb, instructed me to not over talk. And not over explain things. I nodded. She stood up and said...let's get over there.
My feet felt like lead weight. I began to make my way across the street to the HR office. The walk seemed long and full of dread, I thought to myself...this must be how a new prisoner feels on their walk to their cell! I too, felt this would be a make or break deal. Before I opened the door, I sighed so loud I am sure the people who were walking their dog turned around. The head of HR met us at the door, with a look that certainly was meant to intimidate. He shook my hand (thank god I just had wiped them on my scrubs). We moved past him to the conference room.
My union rep, Barb, began to set up her laptop to take notes. I sat like I was a school girl with my hands clenched together and sitting atop my typed notes, looking straight forward. I very thin bead of sweat began to form on my forhead. I was letting my nerves get the better part of me.
Then the head of HR came in to tell us, that one my manager had called in sick that day and the other manager would be 15 minutes late. I slumped back in my chair by then. I was deflated. I soon grew angry. They make me wait...NO WAY! I had to get a few things off my chest. Damn it I was going to say what I needed to say.
Soon the other manager emerged from her dark hole, she calls an office. She sat there all perfect and wearing too much perfume, it had my stomach churning. And on top of that it was cheap perfume. She looked relaxed. She began small talk with Barb. They were smiling. HR manager, cleared his throat and said, shall we begin. He spoke to Barb, Why are you here? And what actions are you trying push forward?
Barb said her thing, then the other manager said her thing. Then he turned to me...I was not done and I had to say what was on my mind. I didn't believe that I deserved a written warning for what had happened. It was a first in my 10 years at the hospital and it certainly wasn't started by me. And I should have never been PULLED out of my lawful, clocked out, lunch. To be given the written warning. When it did happened I was floored, just floored. And my manager speaks of RESPECT. He must not realise that for one to get respect, one must earn it first.
The Head of HR couldn't believe that they pulled me out of lunch to do this. He was very angry. He asked me point blank if I had signed a 'no break' voucher. I said had no idea what he was talking about. He made note. Soon the meeting was over. Head of HR said thank you for coming and he would let my union rep know what was deceided. She gave me the cue not to say anymore in that room.
We both walked out and I sucked in a big glup of fresh air. Barb turned to look at me, and gave me a hug. She said...you were brillant in there, nervous my ass! She was right, I had held up my head high, I spoke firmly but pleasantly. I made the other manager uncomfortable. By the way she kept shifting in her chair and what she kept saying..."no way did I say that" "come on Robyn you know that was not the case!"
I never let my eyes cast downward, I laid them directly on the person I was speaking to. Barb, turned back to me and said these words to me..."we have had our small VICTORY today, remember Robyn, you ARE a person of value, not just another person who gets a paycheck....truly someone of worth, and today they KNOW IT too!"
I have missed you all, but kept you all close to me with all the kinds words you wished upon me. That night a doctor friend gave me free tickets to see his band. I took them gleefully, I knew I would need an outlet. Jim and I and my bestfriend, Adrien, went to the Folsom PO'Boyz Bar and Grill. What great music and great beers! I had dressed up and moved to the music and shared some great laughs with two (of many) wonderful, supportive people in my life! Yes...my friends I was celebrating my small VICTORY that night!
With much love,
Posted by Robyn Haas at 10:43 PM