Writers & Bloggers, Do You Have a Job?

That’s a very good question to know of your fellow bloggers. Me? I work full-time as a Surgical Instrument Technician- a job that I used to enjoy and felt proud to do.
Long story- after 2008/9 most hospitals began to fall as a domino effect of a struggling economy. Where most claim the “non-profit” status (such as my employer) we had the unfortunate but all too common trend of hiring the CFO (Chief Financial Officer) as the CEO, thus the hospital began to operate most similarly to a bank. It does especially so, still to this day.

“What happens when that happens?”- You ask?

In places such as hospitals- generally there used to be a non-verbal ranking of order of importance that used to be;
1) tie: level of care/patient satisfaction
2) fiscal responsibility
3) employee wellbeing
4) anything else not covered by these blanket terms

Fast forward a few years as the economy continues to struggle and the bounce back is taking longer than expected. We start seeing more ‘suits’ around (aka million dollar consultants) that for this amount of payment begin to suggest layoffs at a continual pace. Patient volumes ebb and flow from quarter to quarter so we begin a basic feast/famine style of staffing which tends to reflect patient census amounts from previous months (as formulated on bar graphs by the experts).

Fast forward to now, after years of various departmental staff reductions- the most recent being the one I work in and we’re basically working by numbers and instructed about our staffing requirements by people who’ve never done my job, who’ve if they’ve ever cared for people in healthcare capacity- it was long ago. Long forgotten.

Our hospital looks beautiful though- because they continually update areas that mostly don’t need it (it was in the ‘budget’ though) and skip over areas that could use the most attention.
As it stands, my hospital no longer has employee well-being even on its list in regards to a hospital work environment. There are only two things on the list:
1) Patient Satisfaction (at the top only for a very specific reason)
2) Fiscal Fitness

Patient satisfaction is no doubt at the top spot ONLY because Medicare and other government funded health insurers will only pay out if the patient satisfaction and level of care is at a certain amount. This comes from those surveys you get after you’ve given the hospital your insurance information.

Stay with me here…

Patients are getting smarter. With Google around and other sites for information regarding illness and treatments patients have become empowered more now than ever. That is good, but…
Patients still only think about their care in terms of Doctor, Nurse, and maybe one or two other people (assistant/techs they see while receiving care). Hospitals that operate like banks are aware of this and ‘profit’ because of it.

What you don’t know is that when you’re a patient and come into the hospital particularly for surgery, there are perhaps dozens of people who are preparing for your course of treatment. People that prepare your particular set of surgical instruments, people that sterilize those trays, people that had to drive in and bring in extra instruments/implants, people who had to assemble your surgical cart (which can contain up to 100 different items), people that had to get your cart to the OR suite once you arrive, people that had to get YOU to the OR suite, people who wait for a call to get extra items to your room be it anesthesia related, be it blood from the ‘blood bank’- be it IV poles, people who take specimens to the lab, etc. These people are NOT nurses or doctors. They often go unnoticed, unknown but were a vital part of your care. Once your surgery is over- someone has to clean up the mess (and sometimes it’s messy!). When you’re in your hospital room the nurses are busy ordering items on a continual basis for your care. Someone has to answer that call and it’s often only 1 person covering the whole hospital! This is work that with the exception of the washers that clean/sterilize the instruments (which have to be handled and sorted manually)- cannot be done by machine. Those specialty items have to be returned, etc. Everything has to go back in place for the next person awaiting surgical intervention. I digress slightly…

You the patient being unable to judge the level of care based on these unseen individuals gives the hospitals that operate like banks (HTOLB) a chance to save tons of money by limiting staffing in these areas because they are not judged by fitness by you for Medicare and others to decide if said hospital is worthy of payment. Instead, the HTOLB will only put monies into things a patient will notice and score high on in the survey.
“Look at the pretty wallpaper! Isn’t it soothing? Though when I was here visiting someone 6 months ago they had a slightly different color scheme. Taupe must be the ‘in’ color this season!”

That wallpaper and those new comfy chairs that are mostly empty after 5pm cost a lot of folks their jobs and the old furniture wasn’t despicable. You may think that furniture and color scheme is important but what if it were you that got laid off? What do you tell that newly unemployed person’s children? Can anyone of the thousands get a job at the hospital furniture factory? Probably not. Enjoy the comfort though… You can probably come back next year to my hospital and they’ll have new furniture yet again because they’d rather not hire any more ‘unknowns’. The spreadsheets and bar-graphs told them not to.

So yeah, I aspire to be a full time writer. I will continue to do the best job I can under the tremendous added pressure and unstable work staffing. In my spare time however, I’ll prepare to be the best author I can be through the meticulous process of creating and writing. This is my passion.

And My Favorite Zombie Horror Movie Producer/Director Is…

An accomplished Mr. Romero. Photo courtesy of Google images.

An accomplished Mr. Romero. Photo courtesy of Google images.

Hey.

You guessed it probably within the first few tries… I know it’s technically unfair to call out just one- seeing how there are quite a few good one out there. For this blog though,¬†I’ll do just that. I promise I’ll cover others in the very near future. ūüôā I love good zombie movies.

George C. Romero. Why? because in the order I watched horror movies and got exposure to the genre I saw numerous films of his throughout the years. I saw the quality, dedication and the hard work he put into his scripts and the love of the fans that followed which says bluntly, this man is indeed innovative and a trailblazer for modern horror films overall. Everyone interested in making such films should use Mr. Romero as the standard.

This is not to exclude the work of others. Greg Nicotero- famously known for his special effects role in The Walking Dead has my attention at all times,¬†Lucio Fulci’s City of the Dead will definitely satisfy ‘a dead craving’ among many others.¬†For me, it’s just that Romero’s work¬†defines¬†longevity and I’m sure other directors and producers of the awesome horror genre look to this guy and strive to be like him, be it in secret or not. My dream¬†is and seriously I feel like this would be the equivalent to making passionate love, would be for Romero to direct not one, but a few episodes of AMC’s hottest show The Walking Dead. I scratch my head in wonder at how he chooses to pass this opportunity up- for the sake of his fans just because he feels it’s different than he’d imagined. C’mon Mr. Romero, I’d love nothing more than to see you behind the camera on that set!

What's left of this group would probably be honored to be directed by Mr. Romero. Photo courtesy of Google images.

What’s left of this group would probably be honored to be directed by Mr. Romero. Photo courtesy of Google images.

I’ll continue to watch tons of horror movies, especially zombie films, regardless of who’s behind the camera. If there is a film you’d recommend, by all means- let me know! We’re heading into October- the season of Halloween and there’s not a more fitting time for it all! For now, I’ll be waiting for Michael Myer’s and Jason Voorhees¬†to make¬†their return. By the way, I consider Jason to be zombie-like because technically, he did die (by drowning) and then returns to kill others. What do you think? Let me know!

13 Million?

Clooney and Alamuddin are hitched! Photo courtesy of Google images.

Clooney and Alamuddin are hitched! Photo courtesy of Google images.

Hey.

While I don’t usually chat about wealthy celebrities because I feel they live a life that a wage slave such as myself can’t even fathom, I felt I would briefly (very briefly) cover this.

In case you live¬†under¬†the proverbial¬†rock (like I do most times) George Clooney and his fianc√©e Amal Alamuddin got married earlier today in Italy. That’s right, old George’s playboy days are now over! The former Ms. Alamuddin is now Mrs. Clooney! I was watching some programs on DVR and they covered a segment about the lavish pre-ceremonial parties as well as the guest list and how the ceremony itself spares no expense.

What stuck in my mind though was the staggering price tag for this wedding. As the title mentioned, it was going to cost around $13,000,000.00 for this weekend to remember. Mind you, guests will be staying at the finest hotel in Venice (Cipriani Hotel), dining on the finest foods (tequila was main liquor) and all the usual fare that comes with a $13,000,000.00 price tag.

They better stay together for eternity.

My disdain is not about the money that was spent because obviously George and his lovely bride can afford it.¬†From what I’ve seen of him lately he’s a nice guy and¬†Amal¬†seems to be of¬†an¬†equal caliber. They even seem to be truly in love with each other (which is most¬†helpful in a ‘Hollywood’ marriage). My problem is how much¬†weddings cost in general.

I’ve never been married, so forgive me.

According to Google, the average cost of a wedding is over $25,000 here in the US. Though many people spend much more and many people spend much less,¬†that’s equivalent to half of the median income of US households according to the census. In other words, the Clooney-Alamuddin event this weekend was equal to the average cost of 520 weddings or the yearly incomes of nearly 255 households.

Should I ever get married, in addition to marital vows, I vow to¬†have a nice cake. The cake will be the focal point cause who doesn’t like a¬†beautiful cake, right? Besides that feature everything else will be standard.

I vow to¬†request that depending on the season everyone will be required to¬†have on lounge attire. Sweatpants? Fine with me.¬†Yoga pants and a loose-fitting t-shirt? Sure thing. My only request is that the attire isn’t¬†riddled with holes. For goodness sake, do go out and buy¬†some¬†new lounge wear for my gathering!

I’ll also request that you bring your own chair but I’ll put it in tiny print somewhere inconspicuous on the invitation just to see who paid attention. Just to see who will sit and who will stand at my wedding event. There will be a volunteer photographer and there will be pictures of this.

Sorry but there won’t be any boat rides to any nice private island for¬†my wedding. Nope. Just a¬†backyard affair¬†and afterward¬†some of those meatballs in BBQ sauce, and a few other tasty but not wallet-breaking hors d’oeuvres.

Don’t forget my¬†beautiful cake.

I’m kidding about all the cheapness,¬†but after¬†seeing¬†all these over-the-top celebrity marriages only to¬†hear about them divorcing quicker than Sunday goes to Monday is nothing short of disappointment.

Again, I wish the happy couple decades of happiness.

$13,000,000.00 is a lot of money.

Oh No, I’m Becoming One of THOSE People!

Oh NO! Photo courtesy of Google images

Oh NO! Photo courtesy of Google images

Hey.

Ever remember how when you were little you swore you’d never do certain things that you saw older people do- then only after so many years you find yourself doing those exact particular things?

Today I was at the gas station and there were some pre-teen kids there buying the usual unhealthy, sugar filled snacks. They weren’t doing anything too¬†bad- just the occasional swear word and the multiple trips to the counter to fill up their bag. Suddenly they started just placing their money on the counter and telling the attendant what they already put in the bag.

My lecture alarm went off.

I went into ‘old person’ mode and begin to tell them all the things they did wrong and how these little consumers should conduct business while at the store- much like¬†their mother would or should’ve done¬†(though the only child I have has 4 legs).

“Yes Ma’am.” Was their response, once I finished.

I’m not old enough to be “ma’am” yet but for all intents and purposes my point was made. Still, how did I get so old as to give a damn about this kind of stuff? I sit here thinking about this now as my inner young-self rolls her eyes and giggles at the irony.

I suppose the world won’t get any worse if I do actually show concern about these little things. Too often the public is only concerned about themselves and no one pays attention to help out today’s youth who truly tend to be lost in this overwhelming world.

As long as I don’t get too preachy, I suppose what I did was okay (laugh).

What are your thoughts? Are you becoming similar to what you agreed you wouldn’t?

Sometimes There’s Nothing (Contentment). Thanks!

Hey.

Yes, indeed sometimes there’s just bliss and readership among the blogger who’s supposedly supposed¬†to be writing all the time. Heh! I say good writing is 30% writing, 40% reading, and 30% thinking (or any combination thereof just as long as it includes the three). I’d even add¬†a¬†4th component to the mix: living. I don’t know about you but I have a ‘day’ job and quite the demanding home life too. Add actual book writing and other ‘side’ stuff and I run out of time more often than I’d like to admit. Anyways as I digress…

Instead of strictly¬†blogging about what was on my mind for my sites: The Write Perspective and Author Dottie Daniels here on WP, I wanted to spend¬†the time I allocate every few days or so instead for blogging- solely for¬†reading/commenting on other WP sites that I follow (sans the tiny blog here). If there’s a good site you can recommend please comment below as I love perspective and quietly spending time reading about the lives of others I wouldn’t otherwise meet in person.

This post is for these guys: Thanks for entertaining me and allowing me to be filled in on your daily activities and thoughts. They are important because I find myself thinking about similar (if not the same) things! Kudos to you, I say and keep me posted!

When it Comes to Zombies: Location, Location, Location!

Photo courtesy of Google images

Photo courtesy of Google images

Hey.

Most of the fans of the zombie genre know that location plays a key to¬†a character’s¬†survivability- just as if there were other emergent crises that were to appear at any given time in real life. There’s an interesting site that I came across that uses some awkward but useful data to determine zombie survivability by state.

My argument goes either way when it comes to the location you’re writing for in the zombie apocalypse (ZA). As I wrote Affliction I had to think about this quite often as the plot of my story moved along. It takes real world data and an active imagination to write what’s best in a fiction story. ZA locations tend to urban, suburban, small town, and rural (which I consider¬†to be¬†extremely ‘small town’). For Affliction I had to¬†analyze¬†situations in¬†3 of the 4, so far.

Believe me, in the coming days and weeks I’ll be disclosing more of what will become on-going promotion for¬†Affliction and why if you’re a fan of the ZA how this novel will fit in perfectly with your collection! ūüôā

If the ZA¬†occurred in a large¬†city that you happen to live in- depending on where that is, a lot of sites/theories suggest that you’d be in trouble. Frequent and close contact with a large population is no good when it comes to a contagious disease (any contagious disease). I happen to think though if you are prepared to begin with there are more resources in that geographical location¬†to be able to maintain your safety for a longer time overall. Again though, you’d have to be prepared and have thought out this kind of scenario to begin¬†with.

Suburban¬†areas would likely have similar resources in my opinion as they tend to be overbuilt with mini-malls. Keep in mind the¬†battles for goods¬†that would likely take place in the first few days and weeks. Most ZA¬†literature acknowledges the frenzy that ensues following an outbreak. Again, being prepared in the first place gets any family ahead of the game. While I don’t believe having a 2-year food supply is necessary. Certain survival skillsets are important for any scenario.

Small town areas in my opinion are a good option locate to but again, preparation is key. You have to know your landscape well and the resources within it in order to do the best for yourself¬†and your family. This includes the elements- as rural Texas may have advantage over rural Montana in January. In the beginning of the ZA the rural community likely has food and supplies on hand to last a longer time than the aforementioned areas¬†because they’re used to being farther away from goods and services.¬†During the time of the onset ZA, they’re definitely not going to¬†need to ‘drive into town’ for anything. The downside of that is likely going to be that¬†the rural stores¬†never carried much stock in the first place so one should expect those stores to become barren¬†within a short time frame. My¬†opinion is that without those skillsets, in the event of a ZA rural areas could end up becoming about as¬†survivable as a desert.

Forget NY, in the ZA if you can make it here- then you can make it anywhere! Photo courtesy of Google images

Forget NY, in the ZA if you can make it here- then you can make it anywhere! Photo courtesy of Google images

Again, my thoughts here are not focused on an actual ZA event in our lifetime- but rather the lives of my characters in a fictional sense. What do you think? Would a ZA character be able to survive in your location?

Photo courtesy of Google images

Photo courtesy of Google images

Zombie Conversation Just for You

Pretty cool huh? Photo courtesy of Google images.

Not sure if I see anything, do you? Photo courtesy of Google images.

Hey.

Warning: the title is exactly what this post is about. While some people may give the thumbs up- there are certainly some people who may roll their eyes and continue to scroll on to the topics that are more relevant to their interests.

That’s fine- but whenever the zombie apocalypse (ZA) does occur, don’t say I didn’t warn you and try to save your life ahead of time. Ha!

I’m laughing¬†with you, because I’m not that type of fan of the whole ZA movement- I find it to be¬†genuinely entertaining and yes, I’ll be tuned in to AMC’s The Walking Dead when season 5¬†returns on October 12th. I’ll be just as interested in the fate of¬†Rick and the rest of the group¬†in the train car. I’ll be tuned in to find out if Carol and¬†Tyreese save the day¬†and if Sasha and Bob hook up after all this mess is temporarily settled- because yes, everything¬†tends to be¬†only temporary on that show. http://www.amctv.com/shows/the-walking-dead

***Those weren’t spoilers by the way- those were my predictions so please don’t take¬†offense.***

As I mentioned in my last post: Tis the Season for all things Zombie as we settle into Fall.

Did you know that October 8th is¬†World Zombie Day? I¬†was unaware of this day until recently but it completely aligns with the weekend festivities of¬†the Zombie Pub Crawl events which happen nationwide during the span of either weekends around that date. In Minneapolis¬†it occurs on October 11th and in Kansas City it’s on October 4th. If you aren’t familiar with the¬†ZPC you can check it out¬†their website www.zombiepubcrawl.com – it’s pretty impressive and there are other cities that tend to be involved with similar festivities during that time. Last year in Minneapolis there were¬†over 30,000¬†participants dressed up as zombies or survivors going from bar to bar, seeing the various concert performances¬†and ‘living it up’ so to speak.

I plan on spending the next few weeks blogging as often as I can about the different aspects of the ZA. There are¬†plenty of things I’ve learned while writing my ZA novel,¬†Affliction (http://www.donnaink.org). I’ve found that I’ve come to¬†respect the dedication of the ‘experts’ on the topic and the different websites that fans of the genre have created. It’s pretty cool when you think of it all. As a writer,¬†I hope to do my part to grow the fan base.

Photo courtesy of Google images

Photo courtesy of Google images