The Day I Went Missing

The day I went missing was Friday.  This Friday was like any other Friday except for the unexpected knock at my door.  I was still in bed, as I didn’t have to work until 2:30 pm that day.  Since I live alone and don’t really know anyone I was a little hesitant to open the door.  I looked through the peep hole to see a nurse, dressed in a Healthscope uniform.  Odd. 

Dressed in my pajamas and bed head hair I opened the door.  “You are here!” The nurse exclaimed.  Why yes I am here, I thought.  She was one of the in-home nurses who was sent to my apartment because I was not answering my phone calls and I was supposed to be at work at 7am.  They were so worried they sent someone to check on me.  I was a little shocked as I had not received one phone call disrupting my sleep.  Also I was confused because I was sure that I didn’t have to be at work until 2:30 that afternoon. 

After the nurse left I went to check my phone.  Sure enough, 15 missed calls.  Hmmm.  Yup, ringing mode set to SILENT.  Shit.  I always turn my phone on silent at work and I must have never turned the ringer back on.  Oops.  Despite the missed calls, I was POSITIVE that I didn’t work at 7 that morning.  I checked my calendar, yup, it said 2:30.  Just a few days ago I had sat down with my unit manager to schedule me for the next few weeks.  I wrote down the days as she said them.  I am not sure where the miss communication had come from. 

I called in to work and was greeted by a verbal lashing about how people who live alone should always keep their cell phones on.  I was told that I was written in the roster for 7 am, being that it was around noon, they no longer needed me at this point and I could come in at 2:30 anyway.  My manager was less than thrilled with me.  She scolded me for not checking the roster before going home. 

FIRST OF ALL.  I am glad that someone would notice if I went missing for real and they care enough to send someone to my house to see if I am alive.  However, I do not believe that scolding me for not having my cell phone on was in order.  Later that day, when arriving at shift change, in front of the entire staff for the afternoon, I was again scolded and the manager proceeded to tell everyone what had happened.  She said: “It is none of my business if you choose to live alone, but you could have the decency to leave your phone on.”  YUP.  In front of everyone this was said.  I definitely did not appreciate it.  Like I said, I am glad she would notice I was missing and make an effort to see I was alive but was it necessary to reprimand me on the phone and then again in front of an audience? Not only did the entire day staff know about it all but now the night staff did as well.  Not that I care if people know, but it was how it was said and approached, like I was a stupid little kid getting yelled at in front of the class for not having my homework.  I was less embarrassed than I was annoyed.  And for the record, NO, it is none of your business if I live alone.  And what did she mean by saying: “if you choose to live alone?”  I thought it was a little condescending, like I am a big weirdo for living alone.  Excuse me for moving someone I didn’t know anyone.  And then there was the part about “having the decency to leave my phone on.”  What if my phone had died, what if it had been stolen, what if I accidently put it in the washer?  EXCUSE ME.  I am sorry it was on silent.  I don’t know how many times I needed to apologize when I was on the phone with her that afternoon for her to have needed to make note of it in front of everyone in the manner that she did.  Obviously I was a few sorries short.  I just thought it was tacky and I did not appreciate it.  Also, about the rosters, if I had been given a proper orientation to the unit which would have included telling me where the roster even was or what it looked like, then maybe I would have looked at it.  Also, we had just gone over it two days earlier.  How was I to know what she said was not what she had written down? 

My other manager on my other unit found me and instead of yelling at me just said: “I am so glad you are okay, I was worried.”  Being that I did nothing wrong really, I felt that this was a much more appropriate response.  I then told her how I was yelled at in front of everyone.  She responded the same way I did, with shock.  She also felt it was tacky and uncalled for.  I obviously know which unit I truly belong on. 

So, following this incident I did feel bad about the miss communication and fuss that was made over me.  However, I feel less bad about it each time I think of how it was handled.  A few days ago, something happened to make me feel even less bad about the whole thing.  Thursday morning I was awoken by a phone call from my Alison (my Oncology manager, the unit I belong on) saying I was supposed to be at hospital wide orientation that morning.  Um…no.  I told her I knew nothing of it and I was scheduled to work on the Surgical unit that afternoon.  Alison told me that my other manager had scheduled me for orientation and assured Alison that it had been done.  Well, she had scheduled me but never told me a thing about it.  Alison said she would take care of it.  See, I hardly think it was me who is having a hard time with communication.  So I missed orientation because I was never told I was to attend.  After all, I checked the roster before I left the day before (now that I know where to look for it) and I was indeed schedule for 2:30 that day, no where did the roster mention anything about orientation.  After I got to work that afternoon, I was looking for the manger to ask her about the whole thing and she was gone.  She has been avoiding me ever since.  I passed her once in the hall way and she didn’t even bother to make eye contact with me. It was just me and her in the hallway.  Well, I guess this is just nice.  I start working nights on the Oncology unit for 10 weeks straight so I guess I won’t have to deal with the other unit for that long.  It will be a nice break.  Maybe after 10 weeks I will be worthy enough to make eye contact with again.