Friday, September 11, 2009

9/11


We woke up early this morning to watch the balloon races, but none of the hot-air balloons floated over our house. Darn! Not much wind this morning, so they more or less stayed where they were.

We did hear roaring engine noises, though, and looked out a window to see small planes flying in formation overhead. I'm not sure if this weekend is also the Air Races in Stead, or if those are next weekend (and I'm too tired and lazy right now to look it up!) but this was clearly connected somehow to that event.

As I told Gary, "Hearing very loud airplane engine noises that sound like they're heading straight for your house just isn't an experience you want on 9/11." Or any other day, really. But today especially.

Tomorrow morning we'll wake up early again -- not a natural situation for either of us! -- to go to Katharine's annual Balloon Party.

Meanwhile, my to-do list is getting longer, even though I've been able to cross off several items. My car registration expires in a week, and although we have very convenient online registration here, I do have to have the car smogged, and I just haven't been able to get that done. And yesterday my insurance company sent us a letter saying that they won't pay for my CPAP unless I have another sleep study, since my last one was six years ago. Groan.

These are very minor problems, I know, and I'm grateful. (For one thing, I have insurance, even though it's paying for less and less.) But there are so many minor problems! Twenty items on the to-do list, to be exact, and that doesn't include teaching or grading or committee work, all of which are constant presences. I feel like I'm surrounded by a swarm of stinging gnats.

One of the twenty items is mandatory training for hospital volunteers. We used to fill out short questionnaires every year to show that we knew what to do in case of fire, understood basic stuff about patient privacy and preventing falls, and so forth. The quizzes were annoying, but painless. But a few days ago, I got a letter informing me that all volunteers are required to undergo sixteen-plus hours of on-site training -- during weekday work times, mind you! -- by September 30. Since we volunteer four hours a week, that meant they were asking for more than a month's time commitment on less than a month's notice. I went to talk to the volunteer coordinator and found several people in her office venting about the same thing. It wasn't her fault, poor woman: this was handed down from On High, and she didn't have much more notice than we did.

The upshot was that I got permission to do the training online. Yay! The hospital sent me website instructions. Yay! I got onto the website without any problem. Yay! None of the twenty-four training modules I need to take are there. Boo!

I've e-mailed the education person at the hospital (hello? y'know those mandatory courses? um, where are they?), but haven't heard back yet. I'm pretty sure I can complete the supposed sixteen hours of training-and-quizzes in substantially less than sixteen hours. Even if I can't, at least I'll be in the comfort of my own home. But this particular bit of bureaucracy is still an unwelcome addition to the to-do list, particularly at a time when I'm trying to take a break from the hospital.

Oh well.

Kvetch, kvetch, kvetch.

Repeat after me: It will all get done somehow. It always does.

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