Thursday, January 20, 2011


Last night I realized something. I was tired of hearing the same conversation that I've been hearing recently. It's possible I've been hearing it the whole 6 years I've been there, but maybe only recently have actually paid attention to it (for some reason unknown to me). I mentioned this to another co-worker and they agreed - they didn't want to hear it anymore either. Nor did we want to hear any of the conversation that took place between two folks simply because of this: if it had been us talking like that, we would have been told that we were too loud.
Last night was another long night at work. For some of my newer followers, I work graveyard. Trust me, the hours suck. But it pays the bills. Back to last night. Two people called in sick, which meant that we had no one. Here's how it should go: 3 people each running a hematology analyzer - one of them running a chem analyzer as well. One person mans the main chemistry bench. One person processing all the urine. One person reading all that urine under a microscope. One person processing cytologies for the pathologists. A minimum of 3 people reading CBC diffs. And one person doing hematology miscellaneous testing.
That's, what, 10 or 11 people. Here's last night: Two people on hematology machines, one of them running a chem analyzer, the other person was borrowed from another department. One person on the main chemistry bench. One person processing the urines. The person reading the urines had to be pulled from diffing CBC's. That leaves two differs - one of them having to cover breaks of those running the analyzers. One person processing cytologies - only because they were super sweet and came in on their night off. And one miscellaneous hematology person helping cover breaks. And we had to call the boss to come in to help, on their night off.
To you, it may not sound like we were short-staffed, but trust me. We were. Had two people not come in on their night off, and one person not come over from another department to help out it would have been down-right ugly. In reality, we only 6 people in total last night. That makes it really hard to get done on time. Oy. Ve.
Now, on this conversation. One person was running a hematology analyzer, the other person was on the other side of this machine at a scope. Hollering was involved to be heard over our machines. To be anonymous, they will be called A & B.
A: I'm so tired. I was here until 1:30.
B: I'm tired, too. I got out at noon.
A: I didn't sleep well. I was up at 5.
B: I went down at 2. I got up 6. And went back down at 8.
(This continues on as a repetitive conversation for awhile.)
B: I don't feel very well. I think that's why I'm missing stuff. (meaning that she's missing things on the diff cards or mixing a stack of cards with the wrong stack of slides)
A: Why don't you feel well?
B: I don't know. I'm wondering if it has something to do with the patch.
A: Why are you wearing the patch? You don't need the patch.
B: Yes I do. I'll smoke otherwise.
A: No you won't. You don't need the patch.
B: I wonder what would happen if you were to smoke while wearing the patch?
A: Maybe you could try the gum. You don't need the patch.
(This continued until even I was a wee bit disgusted by the topic. Something about guzzling down cigarettes or something. Whatever. It was disgusting and it was obviously worth repressing from the get-go.)
B: Well, it starts at 2, but she wants us there at noon.
(Obviously some party . . . I missed what kind. But if it starts at 2 . . . why do you need to be there by noon? Assurances that you'll show?)
B: Jday was already worrying about tomorrow night.
A: Why is she worrying about tomorrow? Tomorrow should be fine.
B: I don't know. I heard her telling someone earlier that she's worried about tomorrow.
(FYI. I wasn't worried about the next night. And dude, you're talking about me whilst I'm directly behind you? Yeah. Professional.)
Me: What? No I'm not.
A: Jday, why are you panicking about tomorrow?
Me: I'm not worried about tomorrow. I had been talking about tonight.
B: Oh well I guess I didn't overhear the whole conversation.
(Obviously not.)
Seriously? For starters, I hear about the whole bedtime thing on a regular basis. I don't give a shit what time they went to bed or what time they woke up. It's none of my damned business and I'd like it to stay that way. For those that I like, I don't mind hearing something like, "I had the weirdest dream" or "I couldn't sleep for shit today" or "My neighbors kept me up". Also, it's awesome that their quitting smoking. Really, it is. But I don't need to know that you're still craving cigarettes to the point that you want to eat them smoke a pack. For those of us that don't smoke, that is nasty. If you feel you need the patch and the gum, by all means, knock yourself out. Maybe you should save that yummy chat for the break room. And for Pete's sake, don't repeat a third of the conversation you think you heard. And don't be talking about me when I'm right there. Talk about me behind my back, like proper girls do.
And lastly, if the everyone else had been talking that loud and that often, everyone else would have gotten in trouble and told to basically shut up. However, some folks seem immune to some rules.

Now. Let me point out who these two folks were.

The supervisors.


  1. You know I work for a company that has over 20 offices, and I work in a substation mostly by myself, the bosses turn up a couple of times a week, but basically I man down the fort. And there are times that I feel pretty lonely, it's just me on a whole floor of a building and my radio, but then I see posts like this one and I think thank gawd I am by myself. I feel for you chickadee!

  2. Oh god yes I sympathize entirely... My night shift seems to consist of the same people bitching about the same things, whilst doing the same old routines.

    I may have to sneak a bag of hungry monkeys in some night, just for giggles...

  3. AG - Sometimes I really wish I worked alone. This just happens way too often. Totally unprofessional.

    Moody - Oh please do and do tell! LOL


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