Friday, August 31, 2007

Decisions Decisions

Got the results of my CNA state exam, and I passed. I wasn't really worried, but it's always a relief to not have to think about it anymore. When I finished my CNA class, I actually graduated #1 in the class of about 30. Out of 600 test questions throughout the course, I missed 3. Granted, this was not a difficult class, but it helped my confidence a little since I'm not actually a very good student. I was in the lower 1/3 of my high school class, and nearly didn't graduate because I was failing gym. How stupid is that?

So now I'm wondering what I should do job-wise. I worked extremely hard to get into cellstore to shake hands, but now with my certification I can work in a hospital that might increase my chances of getting into school and then pay for it too. I don't want to work at cellstore forever, but it's good money now, and I'm trying to get a different job there that just opened up actually repairing phones, which would be about $4/hr more, and I'm sure that's more than a hospital job. I'll have to see what happens in the next few weeks here, and make a decision. It wouldn't hurt me to apply at the hospitals now anyway.

The baby is not the best study partner. I have to say, he's kinda insane since he started crawling. Insane in a good way though I guess. He's just so curious, he's into everything. But then he's so full of energy, he wants to skip all his naps, and party all night. I don't get it, you would think I'm feeding him Starbucks instead of Similac. Oh wait, that must be it, I'm not breastfeeding, so that must be why he's not wanting to sleep. Formula is evil! But, that's another topic altogether. I'm fairly convinced that he doesn't want me to go to school, and that's why he's making it so difficult for me. Or, more likely, he's 7 1/2 months old, and hes just being a baby, and I'm taking a difficult stressful class.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Battle of the Non-Traditional Students

Well, I'm one week into my Anatomy & Physiology class. I have to take it this semester, and then Microbiology in the spring, then I apply for the RN program and (fingers crossed) begin that in the fall. So, as you can see, I'm blogging to avoid studying phospholipids, isotopes, covalent bonds, and all that other chemistry/biology review stuff.

Chemistry is not my strong suit. I took it in high school, failed it one semester, got a D the second semester. Repeated the first semester the next year. Took it in college, got a D. Repeated 2 years later to try to get into the nursing program, got a C. Started taking Organic Chemistry, was failing miserably, and dropped. I took A&P in college about 8 years ago, so I need to take it over again to refresh my skills and to get a higher grade than the C I got the first time.

Being the non-trad I've become, I'm doing ok. Can you believe there are some other non-trads trying to be more even more non-traddie than me? I'm sitting in the front row all the way on one side, they're in the front row in the center, right in front of the instructor's desk. They've already been chatting with the teacher at breaks too, opting to bring their diet Snapples from home so they don't even have to leave their seats to get a drink. They have superior bladders too, and don't need to pee during break. They can just sit and chat about hydrogen bonds while I'm off getting a Snickers. The one has discovered and printed out the same study materials from the internet that I did. They're good. Of course, they have at least 15-20 years on me. At least they're in the front row with me so I can keep my eye on them.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Customer Service

I got a really nice compliment from a customer today.

There was an older Hispanic gentleman that came in talking on his cell phone in Spanish. He tried to hand his cell phone to the other greeter that was working with me, who flat out refused to take the call, and basically made fun of the guy for trying to give her the phone. Obviously the person on the other end was someone who could translate for the man, and get his needs across to us. I took the phone from him, and talked to his son, who told me that his father no longer wanted his phone, and wanted to know when his contract was up. I helped him the best I could, and handed the old man the phone back, and he hung up with his son.

I had spoken to him a little in Spanish when he first came in, and he assumed I was better at speaking Spanish than I am, but I tried my best. I explained to him in Spanish that there would be two associates working at noon that spoke fluent Spanish, if he would like to come back to cancel his phone then. I gave him their business cards. He told me he needed to pay 2 bills, so I helped him with that. We tried our best to understand each other, and I apologized for my poor vocabulary. He told me that I spoke better Spanish than he spoke English, and I guess that really was the case. We thanked each other and he left.

After he left, another customer called me over. She said, "I just wanted to commend you for how you treated that gentleman." I'm confused at this point, wondering if she knows something I didn't know. Apparently she had been watching the entire interaction from the time he came in the door. "You were extremely patient with him, and I could tell by his speech that he has had a stroke besides speaking with an unusual dialect which makes him difficult to understand. He wanted someone to listen to him, and the first girl he went to for help ignored him, where you went out of your way to help him. He'll probably look for you now when he comes back. The other girl needs to learn how to treat people."

I thanked her for her compliments, and told her how much they were appreciated. I told her that I was trying to get into nursing and that I've worked with people in nursing homes that have similar problems (language barrier or not), so I've gotten to be rather patient with them. She told me that the medical field would suit me well, and that I would make a great nurse.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not great with customers all the time. I'm often silently cursing them, or judging them, or writing blogs about their clothing.

So, I guess my point in all this is... giving compliments can really change a person's outlook on their whole day, and sometimes even more. A few people close to me have said, "you'd make a good nurse, I think you're doing the right thing," but I have to wonder if they're saying that only because they feel obligated.

Compliments come few and far between, but this one meant a lot, because it came from a complete stranger in a cell phone store. If a stranger thinks I can be a good nurse, I can almost believe it too.

Friday, August 3, 2007

More Reasons Why Nursing Has to Work

No, I didn't abandon my blog. I've been ridiculously busy. No, I don't mean extremely busy, I mean busy with ridiculous things, namely, my new job. I finally got in at Cell Phone Company X, after several months of background checks, drug tests, and interviews. My job is to greet customers as they walk in the door, take their names, and ask them to wait ala a restaurant hostess. Smoking, non, or first available?

I have to say, I've worked on and off in customer service jobs for 15 years and I have never seen people like this. Good preparation for nursing, because I always consider these people could be my patients someday.

I don't like the job especially, but it pays more than McDonalds. I'm not surprised by anything at the job, because it was exactly what I expected it to be like working for a large corporate-esque place again. Lots of acronyms for intangible feel-good things. Lots of rhetoric and brainwashing. A diversity training webinar.

After I was approached by a manager who asked me what percentage of people I thought I was able to connect with a handshake (and I responded 93 or 94% since I thought he was joking... he wasn't...), he made some small talk with me, then said: "hmm... pretty snappy shoes there..."
"Yeah... hmm... I don't know how I feel about those shoes..."
"Do you not want me to wear these shoes?"
"OH! Well... um... I don't know... I mean, we can talk it over with the store manager later on and see what he thinks..."
"So you don't want me to wear the shoes."
"Hmm... well, I don't know, we can talk about it and see how it falls into the dress code and decide what's in the best interest of the customer..."
"You know what? I won't wear the shoes. Don't even worry about it. You won't see them again."

We're lucky if we can get our adult customers to wear shirts. A four year old came in the other day wearing a tshirt, Barbie panties, Crocs, and green marker all over her legs. Unlike other associates, I have no piercings, tatoos, or unnaturally colored hair, but I wear these shoes

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and need a big discussion. Oh well. More motivation to finish school. Not that I think there won't be crap like this in a hospital. It's always something. I need to win the lotto.