Friday, October 15, 2010

Two Hundred Shrieking Nurses From Hell

Bet THAT title caught your eye. It is extremely descriptive of the day I have just had...or, even more descriptively, the day that just had me.

Off I went at 7 am to do a medical seminar for a company for whom I have worked many times. These things are absolutely easy, simple, no problems, so I picked up the morning papers, because once you've signed people in, no problems whatsoever.

Oh, hee hee hee, and giggle giggle giggle. There was not one single damn thing that worked today. And by not worked, I mean, craziness beyond belief.

Here is how you do these seminar things. When you get to your location, normally a hotel or that nutsy 7th Avenue joint that I've talked about here (the one that's a conference center and antique store), your boxes of handouts and stuff to sell and your various bits are sitting there waiting for you. You unpack everything, set it out enticingly, and then you collect your nicely faxed list (UPDATED the night before list) and settle back to welcome the hordes.

Yeah. Right. We (me and Vincent, with whom I've worked on many of these things) got there at 7:30 am for a seminar that started at 9:00. There were no boxes. There was no fax. The hotel staff had to go running around to find the boxes. There was no fax. We had to make an entire new list, damn near.

So, OK. It then was made quite clear to us that the organizers had seriously overbooked, because there were seats for 180 people. We had (and this according to the organizers) 196 people. AND we had walk ins. We had to turn down the walk ins after one or two of them. They objected fairly strenuously, but hey, they were walk ins.

This thing started at 9:00 am. Around 10:00 am, a lady (I use the term advisedly...she weren't no lady) walked in and announced that she had a seat because she had paid for it six weeks before, and we should throw out people to make room for her. She was quite determined, and very, VERY loud.

Now, you have to understand that by this time we had already attempted to make room for people by removing tables in one room...which brought down on our heads the people who had been sitting at those tables. All of them, according to each and every one of them, had terrible back problems, and couldn't do without the table. We had also, in complete defiance of Fire Department rules, ranged people along walls and out in the hall, within at least earshot.

Next, a lady turned up...this at 10:30 am for a 9:00 am thing...and she was even nuttier than old Nurse Ratched (see One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest). SHE called the cops. No, I'm serious. She actually called the Fire Department to get the whole shebang closed down, but what we got was a very nice cop. Who went away. She also called the Mayor's office and God knows who else.

And when we finally lurched to the end of this day...all of these people who attend are given certificates to say that they have attended before they get professional points for this. Because of the earlier kerfluffle about the old sign in sheet, Vincent and I had to hand write some of these (this always happens...usually with walk ins). At which point we had people screaming that their various employers wouldn't give them credit unless their names were typed.

After that, I went to Sarah's bar and got somewhat drunk. Because, to be honest, the only thing that held me together all day was the notion of nice cold beer. And, given the lovely mix of people at the is just so lucky that there wasn't a nurse in there tonight. Because I would have cheerfully strangled any nurse I saw.

Oh, and by the by, after about 16 of these damn people threatened to sue for not having seats they paid for, I happened to look at the actual title of the seminar, which was: Nursing Documentation: Legally Proven Strategies To Keep You Out of the Courtroom.

Um, yeah.

Love, Wendy

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