Passing It Forward
Several truths I learned over the years, I tried to pass along to anyone who oriented to the supervising position. One of the first and foremost was “to never let someone see that they have upset you. Excuse yourself and go somewhere private. (Like our office, it was separate from most of the hospital.)
“Go inside and close the door. Then you can scream, cry, or kick the furniture, but do it in private. If they see what buttons to push to upset you, they will repeatedly do it just to frustrate and anger you.” I explained.
The other was not to get comfortable either at lunch, on break, or with the job of supervising in general.
It never seemed to fail; I would no sooner get my lunch heated and sit down ready to eat, than I would get a page or a telephone call. Many of the times it would mean leaving my food and going somewhere to handle a problem or situation.
I would return later to cold, dried out food or because the situation took so much time, putting it away to take home. (Have you ever tried to eat Tater Tots after they had been reheated three times?)
Another time, I was distracted when I planned to reheat the food I'd brought. I had to do something. When I came back, I stuck a bowl in the microwave to reheat. I started to smell onion. The item that I wanted to reheat didn't have onion. Have you ever tried to eat a wilted, hot salad.
The other part about getting comfortable is thinking you knew all there is to being a supervisor. Nothing could be further from the truth. Almost every day the supervisor is called upon to do something new. They can involve complaints, staffing, bed assignments, or those things that fall outside of the normal policies and procedures.
Believe me, after twenty-eight years supervising and dealing with complaints, call offs, and unusual happenings, I was happy to hang up my spurs before I poked a hole in the water bed.