Back when I was contemplating getting my Master’s degree, I was going to do my thesis on Guys.
That’s so much crap even I can’t believe I wrote that.
I have never contemplated getting my Master’s. I’m pretty sure I’d rather got dead than go back to school. Hell, I’d probably rather write another book than go back to school. School was one of the reasons I decided to flee BannerHealth. One of the requirements of being a manager was having a degree, and I didn’t have any. Zero. Zip. Nada. None.
I graduated from a Diploma Nursing Program. I don’t even have an Associate’s degree.
And after my darling boss, Jane Stevenson, was eviscerated and terminated, I was pretty sure I was next in line, so that was a strong motivating factor as well. I think one of the reasons BannerHealth wanted me to disappear as a manager was because I was a guy.
Disclaimer: I am not a classic, stereotypical guy. I’m an atypical guy. I might be the only complex guy on the planet. My lovely supermodel wife says I’m way more complicated than she is, and I’m not sure that’s even remotely possible. However, neither am I sure a complex guy can exist outside of an Hollywood movie. For example, probably any movie starring Nicolas Cage.
Guys generally make lousy managers, in my opinion. Men, on the other hand, make much better managers. Believe it or not, there’s a big difference between Guys and Men.
The latest election is a perfect example. Donald Trump is a Guy. Barack Obama, and probably Hillary Clinton, are Men.
Guys tend to be the opposite of circumspect. When it comes to sharing their point of view, guys tend to shoot first and make friends later. Tact isn’t a tool most guys use a lots, if ever. Guys tend to react to any given situation, not respond. And there’s a huge difference between those two actions.
Shortly after I accepted the clinical manager position at Del E Webb, I told Jane that I was a lousy manager. I actually told her that more than once. I clarified my statements by adding I was an effective leader, but that didn’t make me a good manager.
This is how I believe leadership works: Good leaders lead by example, and I spent a lots of time modelling the behavior I wanted my staff to emulate. They knew all the medical stuff far better than I ever would. They didn’t need me to manage those situations, but they weren’t psych nurses. They had no idea how to manage crazy people.
Another thing a good leader does is support his/her people. Never make them work short, if you can avoid it. Help out where help is needed. I passed meds. I helped old ladies to the bathroom and back to bed. Serve and support, that was my focus. As a very last resort, I told them what to do.
I was a good leader.
Management is all about meetings and reports and paperwork, and I hated each of those things. In my humble opinion, they were an immense waste of time. As near as I could tell, if you ever wanted to make sure nothing ever got done, all you had to do was schedule a committee meeting to discuss changing something.
I was probably the worst manager in the hospital.
Case in point, the Falls Committee. As a manager, I was required to attend these things at least once a month. I had to explain to the Big Administration Bosses and Directors why any of the patients on the SAGE Units fell, and what I was going to do to prevent future falls. It was a torturous experience.
One disastrous month, we had twelve falls. Even I had to admit that was a lots of falls for one month. However…
“That’s an anomaly. We’ll go three or four months now without a fall and it’ll all balance out by the end of the year.” I said. Hard to believe as that might be, that’s a true statement.
“How do you account for this anomaly?”
“All of our patients are elderly. They’re sometimes confused. They think they can make it to the bathroom by themselves, and they slip on the floor and fall.”
“Your staff needs to be more attentive to the the needs of their patients.”
“My staff is incredibly attentive to the needs of our patients. That’s not the problem.”
“Then what is the problem?”
“The problem? My staff hasn’t figured out how to be in three places at once. Look, these are old people, with small bladders. If one of them says they have to go to the bathroom, all of them magically have to go to the bathroom at the same time.”
Seriously. When an old person tells you they have to pee, urine is already running down their legs. They’re like toddlers, only worse. A toddler doesn’t know any better.
“Maybe they could wait and take turns.”
“Yeah, that’d be nice, but it doesn’t work that way in reality. When they want to do something, they want to do it now. They’re old, and depressed, and cranky. And when they have to go to the bathroom, it’s a damn emergency. That’s another part of the problem, they all think they’re going to pee their pants, so they move too fast on those slippery floors. And they don’t want anyone telling them what to do. They’re seventy, going on three. And if you try to do that, they’ll barbecue you on the Satisfaction Survey. Look, SAGE was one of the pilot units for the latest fall prevention protocols. We’re already following the most current interventions in the hospital! My staff is doing everything they possibly can to keep all of our patients safe. This stuff just happens from time to time, trust me, it’ll all balance out.”
“Well, what would you suggest to ensure these falls don’t continue?”
“Beyond what we’re already doing?”
“You could give me more CNA’s, and we could put everyone on 1:1 observation.”
“Are you… serious?”
“Do you see me laughing?”
“Do you have any other ideas?”
“I suppose we could close the unit down for a couple months. We wouldn’t have any falls then…”
“Do you have anything…else…you’d like to add?”
Did I ever, but I doubted telling them what a bunch of stupid bitches I thought they were would accomplish anything.
“No. I think that’s sufficient.”
“Well, I think you’re being rude and sarcastic.”
* * * *
My first ex-work wife, Deb Goral, would’ve appreciated my candor, and she would’ve understood my rationale. That’s why she was such a great supervisor to work for. She looked out for her people.
Now that I ponder this deeper, Deb would’ve made a great guy.
As sad a truth as this is going to sound, Big Administrative Bosses and Directors in healthcare could care less about the well-being of their employees most of the time. They don’t exist to make anyone’s life easier. They’re far more interested in their next promotion and making money for themselves and their facilities.
It was after that committee meeting that I finally realized I needed to find another job.
* * * *
Back to my theory… Bikers are guys. Mechanics are guys. The more blue collar the job, the greater likelihood of it being filled by a guy. Your plumber, the guy that exposes the crack of his ass every time he squats or bends over, is definitely a guy.
Guys are good with their hands. They’re not really deep thinkers, in fact, most guy brains aren’t properly wired for deep thought. There are always exceptions to this rule. I’m a guy, and I have gone deeper into the abyss of thought than I should have. I should’ve remembered my own rule about diving too deep.
After all, I don’t know how to swim.
Ever see a person of the masculine gender appear to be deep in thought, and then you asked what he was thinking about?
That, is a guy response.
Guys, and men for that matter, have a Nothing Box inside their heads, and can spend seemingly vast amounts of time thinking about absolutely nothing.
And to clarify that a bit. We’re not thinking about nothing, exactly. Just nothing important.
Man, those ribs I ate last night were really good! I wish I had a truck like that… Am I going bald? Whoa! Nice tits. Yep, I am totally going bald…
Seriously. We can think about tits for hours on end and nothing else. Unless those ribs were really, really good.
Guys are simple creatures; amoebas are probably more complex than the average guy. For example, most guys can’t correctly spell amoeba.
Men are a bit more complex than guys, if there’s such a thing as a complex man. I’m still not sure about this. I think men are far more confused than complex, but they say they’re complex because they think it makes them appear mysterious.
Men tend to become professors, doctors, layers and politicians. You know what? Men appear to be the root of all evil… Bastards!
Men have aspirations, and plans, and they don’t let much of anything stand in their way. Guys have dreams, and they’re by and large content to dream. However, do not, under any circumstances try to destroy a guy’s dream. He will fuckin’ kill you.
That’s pretty much it. If you made it this far, I commend you. Thanks for hanging in there.
Okay, Mr Noble. I’m ready for my prize.