Worst Bosses Gallery

Friday, December 7, 2012

RIP Jacintha Saldanha

I wanted to end the title with the regular 'in hell' but this hits too close to home.  Since there are constant updates to the States, I won't publicly recall this story about Kate's health care team.  Courtesy of Yahoo News.

However, it does bring me to a pretty stressful time in my life when I was temping.

In the States, there are privacy laws called HIPAA (which stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).  Though there are many facets to this, basically it means to respect one's privacy.  Health care staff have the responsibility to not release a patient's health information to their employer, parents, Barry and Michelle, it does not matter.  And there have been many cases involving celebrities and health care staff looking to get paid by the paps.  Courtesy New York Times.

My case is not that exciting but it's a common one when a person is young and without real connections in a particular industry.

UHP (United Health Plan) is/was a non-profit healthcare system whose mission it was to assist the unemployed/underemployed receive quality health care in a number of privately-run facilities.  At one time, they employed many minorities who took great pride in helping the under-served community.

By the time I arrived as a temp doing physician credentials, there were still some who cared but many cared more about collecting a paycheck.  The staff included skilled and unskilled (paper pushers) clerical workers, interns and registered nurses who retired from the floor.

My primary job was to go through a list of physicians that were interested in participating.  There were many messages left, unreturned phone calls and most of the remainder either had their license revoked or were in the middle of a malpractice suit.  One doctor told me flat out that he would rather have a patient expire than get involved in the program.  Though he broke it down in business terms (he was an Ivy League grad, long story short), just the mere mention of this to my bosses got their blood boiling with the threat of reporting him (problem is you can't record a phone call in hopes of using it as court evidence, but they didn't think I knew this).

When that phase of my job ran dry, I noticed that many of the temps that came on board with me were now history.  Same day notification and it was like an assembly line for about six months.  Then came the guillotine.

Her name was Shawatha.  No, she was not Indian or even like a character from a 90s Fox sitcom.  Had she not been a deep ebony hue, she could have been a Cosby kid since she strived to be near perfect.  Clothes, her walk was without attitude or personality and her diction near almost over-enunciated.  I was happy to have her as a boss until she told me the following at our orientation, "You need this job."

Huh?  As I was entering my 3rd decade, the pressures to get into a real career were strong, or better, get hired by a company.  I liked the freedom that came with temping and though this was one of two events that would convince me to upgrade my hard skills, I resented her immediately.

Looking back, she may have been necessary for the road I'm on now as my day was near.

This particular day entailed doctoring up some files so that UHP would reach the quota needed to receive government assistance.  This was to be done by fax with my name attached and it wasn't happening.  I didn't make a big deal about it nor did I threaten to quit (needed to collect UI) but I knew it was around the corner.

Since then, I was chastised for coming in 5 minutes late and socializing with others.  Shenehneh knew what she was doing as one other person I become close to would be fired as a clerical worker but allowed to stay on as an intern nurse.  They wanted for me to snap but since this was not my career, I had nothing to lose but $11/hour in 2000.

The funny thing is that the person who did the official terming suddenly left after getting tipped off by the state (Who in administration does that unless they were behind something scandalous?)  Shawatha was termed and brought back and termed for good again after relocating to another facility and not long after, who gets a call saying to report to this facility for temp work?

Yep, I was older with more exp. under my belt but still willing to take clerical assignments to make bills.  The other powers that be remembered me and they admired me (I guess) for not falling for the okey-doke.

I think about others who may not have been so lucky.  An older woman I knew back then smoked herself sick (literally) because she did what she was told to do, not what she should have done - right up until she was termed.  As a result, she lost her apartment and her mind may have followed as well.

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