Working in Healthcare vs IT

I turned 51 a couple of weeks back.

I’ve had a few different jobs over those 5 decades.   The majority of the first two were pretty much being a major pain in the rear to my parents and any associated adults.

I think the two careers I’ve had where I’ve been most useful to society was my time as a military medic,  and  the last 16 years or so working in healthcare IT.

 

There are advantages to being a front line clinical worker.  You get to drape a stethoscope around your neck and yell “STAT” at various people.   If you’re dressed in scrubs leaning against a wall looking pale and haggard,  people just assume that you’ve pulled a 36 hour shift and not that you’ve only been at work for 5 minutes,  but are very hung-over.

If you work in IT,  and you look haggard,  people presume  you’ve been at work for 5 minutes, but pulled an all-nighter raiding in World of Warcraft……even if you’ve just pulled a 36 hour stint trying to solve a critical issue.

Don’t even ask what happens if an IT guy dons a stethoscope and starts yelling “STAT!”

But there are some distinct advantages to working in IT instead of healthcare.

In healthcare, if you have a patient that you’re having problems diagnosing,  there’s no way in the world you’d get away with telling your patient this…

Look,  you’re baffling the crap out of me,  so I need you to sit here and wait while I go get a coffee and think about what’s wrong with you.
I might end up googling you,  and/or talking about you with my friends.
It might even come to discussing you and your condition online in forums and chat-rooms…..maybe someone there can help me figure out WTF is wrong with you.

Yeah…trying saying that to a patient….

We’ve all heard stories about surgical mistakes where somebody literally hacked off the wrong leg,  or a case I remember reading about years ago where a teenager went in for brain surgery and ended up with a vasectomy….

In the IT world (if you’re smart),  mistakes of this magnitude are embarrassing,  but not fatal (career or otherwise).   That’s because we can always revert to the last good configuration!

I will admit that I miss my days as a medic.  There’s great satisfaction in seeing someone walk out of your facility who otherwise might not have.

I might have a similar blog in the future as I’m contemplating another career change….I just need to figure out how one goes around becoming part of the Idle Rich.

 

OK Google! You’re really pissing me off now!

A couple of weeks ago I discovered the joy of talking to my phone,  and having it answer me back!

I’ve used the voice to speech function before where you enter by talking instead of typing,  but “OK Google” is completely different.

When you want to talk to your android phone,  “OK Google” is how you put it in command mode.

There are fun things like asking it “How much wood could a woodchuck chuck”,  but I’m more interested in not having to touch my phone when I’m driving.

I’ve gotten into the habit of asking my phone how traffic is during my daily commute.

After the “OK Google”,  you can ask, “How is traffic home,  or to work?”

Last week I was heading to work in Guelph,  and encountered two lanes of bumper to bumper traffic on Victoria Road in Kitchener.

OK Google told me that traffic to work was “light and I should arrive in 22 minutes!”

I called bullshit,  but 21 minutes later I was pulling into the parking lot.

This morning OK Google was sick or something….

After I picked up my morning coffee at the Tim Hortons down the street from where I live,  OK Google told me I had an hour and 5 minutes commute to work.   That’s not bad…

When I hit traffic in Kitchener (around Victoria and Lackner) OK Google told me my commute was still an hour and 5 minutes!!!

I wondered what was backing traffic up,  but then realized that the time was the same as my last query.

So I asked OK Google where I was.

“Here is a map of Stratford Ontario!”,  was the cheery reply.

I told it to turn on navigation and guide me to work.   Glancing down I saw the blue dot was in Kitchener…

So I asked Google again where I was…..again I was told I was in Stratford.

I tried various voice commands to get it to update my location to no avail.

I even pulled over and rebooted the phone and stabbed at some settings.

Nothing worked.

For some reason I just needed to have OK Google tell me how long it was actually going to get to work!

With increasing frustration I yelled different commands at my phone.

Nothing worked.

It insisted that I was in Stratford.

Then it occurred to me to do what I would do if I was talking to a human…

“OK Google!”

phone chirps

“I’m in Guelph!”

Nothing…

“OK Google!”

phone chirps

“Where am I?”

phone: “You are in Gulf Ontario!”  (that’s Google for Guelph)

“OK Google!”

chirp

“How’s traffic to work”

Phone: “Traffic is light and you should arrive in 3 minutes!”

That was really weird that the phone knew where I was, but OK Google didn’t…..

There was the time too when I was showing off “OK Google”….I didn’t mean to put it in command mode,  so I told it “Nevermind!”

It played the Nirvana album….well it tried to…I was on mobile data so I quickly stopped that.

 

RTOD: Other Drivers II

Some more questions I would like to ask, or things I would like to say to other drivers during my daily commute:

 

Seriously,  why did you speed up while I was trying to pass you???  I know you fricking well increased speed because I had my cruise control set!

 

Thank you so much for coming to a complete stop in the travel lane,  and then proceeding very slowly into the vacant left hand turn lane!  Seriously,  thank you!  Oh look,  that light half a block away is red now!  Yay!

 

Where did you learn to apply make up and drive at the same time?  Oh wait…you didn’t….

 

WTF is so interesting over to your left that you have to slow down and look????  Oh hey, now you have lots of time because we missed the light!

 

Wow,  thanks for giving me the opportunity to closely examine the grill of your pick up truck in my rear view mirror.  I know that from your aggressive driving that you are probably a world famous heart surgeon who is the only doctor on the planet capable of saving a small child and therefore really need to go faster,  but there’s only so much one can do when stuck in a line of traffic over a kilometer long!   Oh,  btw,  you can’t see my tail lights…

 

No,  it’s okay….I’m perfectly happy to wait here at a green light while you look at your phone.

 

MIRRORS!!!!  Look in your fricking mirror, or do a fricking shoulder check before making a lane change into what is usually referred to as the FAST LANE!!!!!  AND WHY THE FRICK DID YOU SLOW DOWN????   There isn’t an intersection in sight,  and you change into the fast lane and SLOW DOWN!!!!   Good thing my brakes work….and I was paying attention.

 

I’ve probably done some stupid things too….you can post them here if you’ve seen me do them.  I drive a  [static][garbled]

RTOD: Other Drivers…

Hey, it’s been awhile since I regularly drove any distance,  but since starting to commute over an hour each way there’s a question I keep asking….

Is ‘Keep right, except to pass’  still a thing?

Because I’m thinking it’s more

Drive in whatever lane you want, even if you’re driving slowly,  right beside another driver whose driving just as slowly!’ 

featured image: www.fairalbertaroads.ca

Is the quality of Game of Thrones Episodes Slipping?

People were asking me if I was excited to be starting a new job, and a new chapter of my life on the 20th of June 2016.

I told them I wasn’t.

I was too busy being excited over the Season 6, Episode 9 Game of Thrones episode “Battle of the Bastards”.   Seriously,  I was very excited!

*****SPOILERS******

This is the first season of GoT that has gone past the books.

This is the first season that I recall where there were serious criticisms of some of the plot lines.   Complaints of bad writing.  The most obvious of these was where the whole Dorne plot line was utterly destroyed by who ever wrote the televised dreck.

I haven’t heard anyone complain,  but there was a scene in Battle of the Bastards that was so predictable, and poorly done that I actually groaned.   In fact, if it had been the opening of Season 1, Episode 1,  I likely wouldn’t be an avid fan of the GoT series.

I’m talking the confrontation between The Masters and Daenerys atop her pyramid.

It fell apart when her dragon Drogon flies in.  There’s a big dramatic part where he flies around all intimidating,  then this part where Daenerys clumsily climbs atop him to ride of to destroy the invading fleet.

What followed was a predictable few minutes of dragons putting the fleet to flame.

Order was happily restored when Tyrion started talking, taking our attention away from the “oh look at the cool dragons” sequence.

Seriously,  it was predictable,  and kind of terrible in a story telling sense.

When The Mother of Dragons struggled to climb aboard it just set the whole thing off on a sour note.

If I would have had anything to do with setting up this sequence,  here’s how it would’ve gone…

Dany would tell the Masters that she was actually there to discuss their surrender.

Cut to the Wise Masters looking amused.

The smarmy head guy would turn to her, and finger raised would open his mouth to respond…

His eyes would widen in shock..

Camera would widen to show the similar expressions on his compatriots faces….all starting to gradually look up.

Cut back to Team Dany,  with her three dragons doing a formation fly past

Wise Master flinch when they roar…

Maybe 15-20 seconds of them watching their fleet being destroyed

Cut back to Dany who says, “So, about your surrender?”

It likely would’ve been cheaper to shoot, and in my opinion a much better scene as far as story telling goes.

Sometimes less is more…

 

 

 

An Impasse

 

I haven’t worked since the end of November.

I became embroiled in a dispute with my employer after I filed a complaint naming two senior employees.

It took months, but that issue was resolved in my favour.  Leaving me unemployed but with adequate resources to start life anew.

In the past few months I have battled severe depression,  anxiety, and a fair amount of stress.

3 days after everything was over,  I suffered a heart attack.

Just as I was getting to the point where I could return to normal activities, I badly sprained an ankle.  So bad that I couldn’t sit for long periods of time without elevating it.

My ankle is almost fine (although its throbbing while I sit here typing this).

So now that I, in my own opinion, am ready to tackle life again, I find myself at an impasse.

I’m trying to decide whether to look for work,  or take a serious, honest shot at getting a software company off the ground.

For years I was offered jobs where potential employers would, in the words of one, “treat you like a rock star because you’ll make us tons of money!!”.

While not motivated by money,  at age 50 I’m thinking about my future and retiring with no mortgage and “tons of money” sounds very appealing.

But, I’ve lots of ideas for marketable products, and would really like to make a go of starting my own company.

I figure that I can go a far number of months with no income.   That will give me enough time to develop a product to the point where I could look for investors, if not out and out have it generating income.

But, there’s always the possibility of failure and ending up with nothing.

On the other hand,  if I went back to working for someone else,  that money could go towards needed things for the house, and wanted things…like my dream vacation to St. Petersburgh Russia and a multi-day tour of The Hermitage Museum.

I’m coming out of a week long heavy depression,  so this issue is taking more brain power than I have on hand.

Anyone have any thoughts they’d like to share?