4.30.2011

a weekend of angry amy

So we have this guy who's expected to arrive tonight with a closed tib/fib fracture. impressive to see on xrays. i do my bit, i tell the bed manager and the ED guy and i tell my boss. everyone knows he's supposed to come. ED calls up just now with the simple message "your patient has just arrived." my initial reaction was "so? (long pause)"

ffs, even if it was an expected transfer from another ED, shouldn't our ED at least LOOK at the patient? i already told 'em to please have a look at the patient when he arrived to make sure pain's ok and he hadn't developed compartment syndrome. so really.. they can work him up for calling me outright without looking at the patient.. and if they argue that he was a direct admission, then why is the patient in ED and not on the wards in the first place?!

*angry face+++*

the world tonight is full of horrible bitches

what's the male equivalent ... a jerk? doesn't quite have the same oomph as calling someone a bitch, especially if that someone is a he. anyway, just had to let off steam. just got back from work. one forty in the morning. need to wind down before i can fall asleep. good time as any to whinge and let it all out so i can hopefully get some sleep before work starts again at about 8am tomorrow. indulge me.. i'm tired and hungry. i munched on all the snacks the nurses brought in for their night shift already, and ate the hospital sandwiches and gobbled up my two milo bars meant as an emergency food stash. but i'm still hungry and tired =(

so, the last straw came in the form of a forwarded email from my home hospital (which isn't very home-like at all!) asking me to redo my timesheets because they didn't correspond to the pre-existing pay periods.  How hard can it be to understand that I'm off by a week but so what? The next timesheet follows on and everything matches up except for the fact that I've got the pay periods they want technically on two different pieces of paper. Isn't that payroll's job to sift through it all? Isn't that what they pay 'em to do? Sorry man, they aren't paying me to re-write my fortnightly timesheets to make your job easier, you lousy payroll department. All you can do is write out asinine emails shifting responsibility because "medical admin didn't forward us your payslips, please take it up with them for a breakdown of your payslip." So, you're telling me you can't dig through whatever files you have and explain my payslips to me.. the same ones you've emailed me in pdf form?

so before that, everything was building up. it's been a lousy day for everyone here... except for possibly william and kate, and all the people stalking watching their wedding. My home hospital was being obstructive as usual. I'm staying on out of sheer stubborness. Would've cut and run long long ago if not for my pride in keeping promises i've made, and to be contrary and show 'em i can survive whatever shit they throw at me.
I had a guy fall from 2.7m off a second storey platform he was working on. The guy's broke both his wrists and his left eye's so badly bruised and swollen that he can't open it at all. Even though he hadn't passed out from the fall, he should have a CT scan to rule out any fractures or bleeding inside his skull from the fall. The surgical registrar at my home hospital agreed. The question was now about when to send the guy up for the CT scan, given that we don't have access to a CT scanner until Monday. The ED person was such a bitch about it all. I told her the above and she started getting all uppity, saying it was a soft sell. I'm sitting here twitching, thinking to myself "you moron, what part of it do you not understand? you and i both agree he needs a CT scan and we can't get one until Monday, so it would only be logical to send him up there for his scan, no?" Of course, i phrased it in a more civil manner but they she got up even higher on her high-horse and cut me off with "well it looks like you guys aren't coping too well with him there"... so that really got me twitching and it was my turn to cut her off with "excuse me, we're coping very well here thank you. i just wanted to know from you when we should send him up for his scan (you bitch, i thought)"

And then there was the ED moron from my current hospital. Doesn't bother to look at the patient because the doctor before her had seen him. Doesn't bother to re-examine the patient. Calls me at midnight all chirpy and fake nice to tell me that this dude has a small bowel obstruction and will need admission. In my head, i was thinking - well if you've decided already, then what the hell are you calling me for? I've had several other previous run-ins with her and her mismanagement so i immediately get my angry face on when i hear her name. Run-ins like the time she refused to take bloods and run basic tests on a lady with lower abdominal pain who was five weeks pregnant based on a home pregnancy kit. She didn't think it was important to know what this lady's B-HCG levels were and refused to do 'em. That same night, she also didn't send any bloods off for a man transferred by ambulance with VT.. or so i heard from the medical ward nurses later on. So anyway, I digress. She doesn't do jack shit for this patient except read his xray report, assume he's got a small bowel obstruction and therefore automatically needs a surgical review and admission. I told her i'd go and see the guy in Ed, and not 5 mins pass when the bed manager comes up to the ward and is trying to arrange a bed for the guy. good thing i was there and had whinged to the ward nurse, because both of us said "hang on, he's not coming in to stay overnight" The ED bitch had already told the bed manager otherwise, how presumptuous! IF she was going to be admitting patients without them having been reviewed by the people she called, then she should either call the consultant to take over care, or admit them under her own name. How rude of her! anyway, when i went down to ED, the guy was walking around comfortably and was able to puff his tummy out all big and rigid to show me how distended it was when it first happened. He's since passed wind and opened his bowels. He's even said he feels sheepish about coming to ED at all because he feels fine. We came up with a plan - that he could go home knowing it was a bit risky, provided he was pain-free with no analgesia for at least 4 hours after his last pain medication, and that he could tolerated a normal diet (ie sandwiches) without any symptoms. The guy was shovelling down yogurt after managing to have some OJ when I left...'nuff said.

Urgh, so i ramble. Have run out of steam. Shall end it here for now. Hope to get some dinner, and then some shuteye =(

4.19.2011

corporate callousness

so the spate of unfortunate events continue.
goody goody gum drops.

we had finally decided to book our flights for our getaway mid-year. thought everything was hunky-dory. had connecting flights booked, was going on a five day tour of the country i was born in but never got to know. it was gonna be fun.. being a tourist in one's own country, exploring it with the hubbs.

and then i get a call from singapore airlines.
they would have to rebook our 1.30am flight from singapore to taipei to a 12.20 flight the same date.
*shrug* no biggie. thank goodness we picked the earlier flight and was landing in singapore at 9.40pm the night before.

or so we thought.. until i got the confirmation email with our new flight times. 12.20 PM.uh-oh.
our tour was meant to start at 11am and with the new flight time, we wouldn't have even left singapore at 11am, let alone be in kaohsiung to start the tour. the rep on the phone only said twelve-twenty. never said am or pm. i had assumed. still, it would have been nice for her to be more thorough and confirmed. the time properly.

so, the calls to the customer service center began. and man, has it been a journey. the fiasco hasn't even ended yet. for nearly every day for a week, i would call 'em and get a different person each time. some were more dense than others when i had to explain my situation for the umpteenth time from the very beginning with each new customer service rep. my calls have been "escalated" to a different department (or a supervisor, depending on what rep i talk to) three different times now. each time, i've been told to call back in the next 24 hours to get an answer. i give them some time. i call back in another 2 - 3 days.. and get more irate each time that i'm back to square one. at one stage, one very rude rep placed me on hold while i was still talking. he had assumed i would answer yes when he asked to place me on hold. he put me on hold for fifteen minutes, only to get back to me and offer alternate flights. i bluntly told him that if he had bothered to listen, he would have known that i already knew of these flights he was "offering" and the purpose of my call was to CONFIRM my flight schedule change to these "offered" flights. the guy then put me on hold for close to ten more minutes to tell me that i can't confirm my accommodation request but can confirm my flights. again, i told him bluntly that if he had bothered to listen to me at all for the thirty seconds i managed to talk to him for in our twenty five minute phone call, he would have learnt that i called only to confirm flights and not accommodation. idiot.

they don't seem to understand that regardless of any of the flights they've offered to rebook us on.. including the current ones that reach singapore at ten past midnight and leave singapore for taipei at 8.35am, each combination of flights would require us spending a night. now, correct me if i'm wrong but i'm under the impression that if an airline cancels a flight, they are obliged to provide their customers with alternate arrangements that include rebookings, refunds, providing accommodation if an overnight delay occurs and some even provide airport meal vouchers. oh ho ho.. not singapore airlines. each rep has maintained that the airline policy was to rebook the customer to another flight with the shortest connecting times and their obligation ends there. when told that the umpteenth time, i asked the rep if he thought what he proposed was reasonable to any sane person - that we would spend the 8-odd hours between our flights in the airport terminal and sleep on the terminal chairs when it was through no fault or plan of ours to have to spend the night in singapore. he may not have seemed to think it a big deal but out of principle, i don't see why i have to either fork out money to get accommodation or have to sleep on airport terminal chairs when the airline cancelled our flights and can't book us on any other.. PLUS to be further inconvinienced by having to miss our 5-day tour at our destination. they're lucky i'm only asking for them to provide us accommodation for the night instead of making them pay for the tour they're making us miss - all because they cancelled flights due to "operational reasons" as i was told by the rep.

at this rate, i'm irate enough to stamp my feet and ask for a refund. ranked one of the top airlines in the world my ass. maybe so, but they sure are lacking in basic courtesy and goodwill.

4.09.2011

travel troubles

so..
we've decided to postpone our honeymoon and do a proper family holiday instead of trying to cram too much into the little precious leave time we've got.

we're now trying to confirm accommodation and man...tripadvisor.com has the most hilarious reviews. helpful and entertaining for us, unfortunate and sad for the people submitting the reviews to have gone through such vacations from hell. wasn't too surprised at the lack of quality, but more at the extent.

hoping to spend some time as "tourists" and see singapore in a new light, we decided to revisit sentosa. that's fine and all. the problem is with the hotels. all the pros mentioned were standard things expected of four and five star hotels, so it's nothing to pat them on the back about. the cons mentioned are the bits that scare us. couldn't help but share. here are a few recent gems (as current as april 8th)  from the tripadvisor site that is making us shudder and cringe, and laugh... holy moly.

"The hotel is a little run down, with koi fish dying in the ponds and unkempt lawns."
"I was put in a room with a view on the wall of a neighboring building"
"The main bed was rock hard....although we were provided with a mattress cover which helped."
 "We also didn't like that there was pump soap, shampoo and condition. The previous guests could have used it, someone could have put something in it as well as there was no seal on them - very unsanitary."
"Balcony door handle came off within 10 minutes of entry into room"
"Found in the bedside drawer a shopping mall receipt the previous guest left behind."
"No "Do Not Disturb or Make My Room" signs/indicators."
"Holder of the above bottles badly installed and comes off the wall"
"There were no drinks in the minifridge. There were no snacks available either."
"To be fair it had a nice big balcony. Which is probably the best thing I can say about the room."
"Now, in the room, there is a sofa bed which is supposed to open up in to a bed for my kids. And when we went out for dinner, we had expected a turn down service when we returned at nearly 9pm. There wasn't any. So I had to work out how the sofa opened up myself. Then put the sheets on. The worst part was the design of the room was terrible. When the sofa bed opened out, it blocked the cupboard. So once it was opened, there is no way of opening the cupboards. And guess where the extra pillow and blankets were? In the cupboard! What a waste of my time!"
"The fridge had a half drunk can of beer and the carpets were very dirty."

For hotels that bill themselves as 4 - 5 stars... honestly. such a load of crap being offered! they'd have to throw in way more than the breakfast that they didn't include to entice us to book rooms with any of the hotels there. Even if they included the $10,000 drink at the Blu Bar on 36 at the Sydney Shangri-La that comes with it's own room and diamond into the room price, I'd still have second thoughts about staying at any of the hotels on the island.

So.. we're back to square one for now. =(