My Boss Told Me I Need to Watch My Drinking

…I can kind of see myself doing that, but a bigger mirror would help

My managers are so out of touch they think I’m really good at role-modelling good hand-sanitising habits. I’m actually plotting against them.

Much like the discovery of penicillin, my nursing career was an accident waiting to happen.

One minute I’m working in IT —

spending my days asking a bunch of self-promoting psychos questions like “have you tried turning it off and turning it back on again?” “why didn’t you back this up?” and “with all due respect my friend, I don’t care how much money we’re down, can I just get on and do my job please?”

The next minute I’m suddenly working in psychiatry —

spending my days asking a different bunch of self-promoting psychos questions like “have you tried turning your mic off and turning it back on again?” “Why did you cover this up?” and “with all due respect Matron, I don’t care how much money we’re down, can I just get on and do my job please?”

Who’d have thought it, two seemingly opposite industries with so much in common?

Given the universal knowledge that I should never be left unsupervised, nor be given any kind of responsibility, and most certainly never be put in charge of a psych ward during a global pandemic and the fact I take great pride in my contempt and disdain for all things authority, it should come as no surprise that my time in this role has rocked the boat of management, upset the corporate apple cart and thrown a spanner in the Orwellian works of the management-culture I currently work in.

During the last 4 or so months I’ve seen enough bureaucratical bullshit, corporate coercion and Machiavellian-style management to suppress even the most innovative, inspiring and compassionate of future nursing leaders.

Admittedly, I’ve made more mistakes than a dyslexic man makes jugs and vases at a weekly poetry club, had more close-shaves than a Bagdad barbershop, and taken more risks with my career than US infectious disease chief Dr Anthony Fauci takes with his, but when all’s said and done, I’ve always stood up for what is right.

I know what you’re thinking, “Lee, you’re an absolute idiot, just get to the point!”

Here are some words of wisdom from my recent soirée into the murky world of management:

1 – Standing up for what is right is a necessary path to a meaningful life.

2 – Even if someone is talking absolute bullshit, still take the time to hear what they’ve got to say, there’s a lot to learn from listening to idiots.

3 – When detractors attack your weaknesses, use this as an opportunity to test your strengths.

7 – When it comes to productivity, do whatever it takes to make a list look longer than it actually is.

8 – Be as creative as you can in your shit-storming*.

9 – Practice the attitude that giving up is not an option and it will soon become a reality.

10 – Even when you feel like punching someone straight in the face, count to 5, take a deep breath and respond with grace and humility.

“The world is a dangerous place. Not just because of those stupid people that change the words to famous quotes, nor is it because of those who do evil; but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”

Elbert Ainstein

*Shit-storming, verb /ˌʃɪt ˈstɔːrmɪŋ /

— a group creativity technique by which a team or collective attempts to find a way out of an adverse situation.

Example: ‘Yo, dude, get the team together we’re gonna have to do some serious shit-storming if we wanna get through this.’

Originally published in Medium publication The Swipe, 2nd August 2020.

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