Thursday, March 18, 2010

Things you may not have know

Where does the time go. The writers block continues. I've sat here and started so many posts only to just abandon them. Keep up on reading everyone else's blogs has become increasingly difficult as well. My unread posts in Google Reader is getting ridiculous. Heck, Twitter and Facebook only really get updated now by automatic processes. C'est la vie. Our kids continue to grow and amaze me each and every day. Maybe it's old age (I know, I'm not, just sayin') but my usual time to write was in the evening, but by 9pm, my brain is ready to go into neutral. Zone out to some TV, play a little poker and fall asleep while doin' it.

But I have so much I want to say. I'm still really stuck on the whole health care reform debate. I have a very strong opinion. I know my opinion isn't popular. My reasoning is different from everything most people have heard. Ugh. This is so frustrating. All I hope to do is share my ideas in a way that doesn't immediately piss people off. I'll keep working on it. Hopefully before Sunday's ridiculous vote.

There's another problem I've been suppressing and I'm finding very difficult to talk about. It's something I'm very sensitive about but usually just express with cold, dead silence. I think the only way I'm ever going to talk about is just to lay it out there and let the cards fall where they may.

You may know this, you may not, but I write software for a very large, not-for-profit health care provider. I'm assuming you are all are smart enough to figure this out on your own. Google really does index well. Sigh.

Any ways, this place is, in many ways, a truly amazing place. There's definitely parts of my job that suck. I have to wear a tie and "business formal" every day. I satisfy my inner-rock star and disdain for this by wearing a lot of Jerry Garcia ties. Yo, make me wear a tie and I'll wear one designed by a highly respected hippie.

Writing code all day can be a grind. In my last job, I wrote software for money grubbing scumbags. They weren't all scumbags, but many that I met were definitely soulless people. In this job, I write software that helps cure people of cancer. It's an amazing feeling. I found out that one the projects I did saved 15 minutes on a patient treatment. I can't go into too many details, but that's actually are really good thing for the patient, it also meant we could see one more patient a day. I know there will be some people out there that read this as a money thing. But we look at it as one person potentially cured. You see, no one here gets paid by the patient. We ALL get salaries. The Doctors, nurses, technicians, therapists...everyone. Seeing one more patient just makes us work a little harder for the same pay. I'm sure the foundation makes a bit more, but amazingly, we just keep pouring that money into cure more people.

Like I said. This place amazes me every day. I see miracles. I see hope in people's eyes that had no hope. For many, this place is there last hope. We are the biggest hospital in the middle of the corn field. (Technically, this is one of the biggest medical facilities in the world...besides being located in the middle of a cornfield...but hey).

One of our driving principals is the mission, "The needs of the patient come first." Here, they mean it. There is also a philosophy that every cog in this giant machine is important. From the chief surgeon to the person greeting you at the door to the guy that makes sure the signs are straight, every job is vital to our mission, "The needs of the patient come first". I wish every medical facility was run like this. I'm sure there are stories where someone feels they were wronged by this organization. There are 35,000 employees at this location alone, someone is bound to screw up the mission.

Since I diving into this online world of blogging, I've seen so many good causes and people working really hard to change there part of the world. I've been quite moved by much of it. For the non-poker people reading this, you'd be amazed at just how generous the poker world is. It could be our complete disregard for the value of money and our keen insights into the psychology of people, but what ever it is, the poker world opens up all the time to help people and causes.

And here in lies one of my own personal struggles.

I am a person that absolutely LOVES to help others. Working here has been fantastic. I get to help people every single day. I'd never seen a place give so much back to the world until I came here. There are miracles every where. People from around the world come here for treatments, lots of the for free. We do all kinds of events to raise money/awareness/or just do something. You want to sell raffle tickets for a good cause, they'll be sold in minutes here. When I go for my walks at lunch, you walk past The Ronald McDonald House, The Gift of Life House, and many others I can't remember. These are places that allow patients and families to stay for free or stupidly cheap fees for as long as they need care. In this town, we raise funds all the time.

So, I open up Google reader, and I read about something that just tears me up. It's a story about someone that really needs help. I feel torn inside. I'd love to help, but frankly, I'm tapped out. Some of the people looking for help are people I consider very good Internet friends, aka - invisible Internet friends.

I've tried very hard over the years to do what I can to promote some of these events and causes. I have a platform that will reach some people. I can do that. I'll retweet, post links, but sometimes I feel terribly guilty because I've not sent the check or click the send button in PayPal. I just have to have some limits.

Working here, I've realized that there are just too many people in need for me to help everyone. There are an endless supply of causes that need attention. I'll do as much as I can, but sometimes, people may just need to understand, there's only so much many of us can give.

I don't really know why I'm writing this. I don't really know if people will even understand where I'm coming from. I just thought I'd put it out there, kind of a disclaimer about why, sometimes, I may seem like someone that doesn't care or isn't working hard for some issue. It might be that I'm just booked working on something else. In the end, I really do care. Sometimes, you may just find me be quiet angel in the back. Anonymously giving through an account you don't recognize. I don't want and don't care if I get recognized.

Thanks for reading this far. This one more thing done that I know was blocking up the works. Clear out the clutter and I might just get back to writing more regularly. Now, go out there and give back! Pay it forward! Just Do It! I've got code to write, maybe we can be out of work because we've cured cancer. I could only hope. That unemployment check would absolutely rock. By the way, if this makes absolutely no sense what so ever, yeah, my stream of consciences go like that sometimes. Try living inside this head...yeah...


surprised mom said...

I know where you're coming from. I also think I know where you work at. It's amazing that you can feel good, overall, about what you do. I know that every job has aspects about it that stink. I like that you think outside the box and wear those Jerry Garcia ties. :)

As for as donating for good causes, like you I'm just tapped out. There isn't a penny to spare and I'm in the red zone. I feel bad about this because there are many causes supported by fellow bloggers that I would love to donate to. I can't.

I just entered the medical field, but am on the outskirts. I'am the one at the front desk of a doctor's office, pushing those forms at you and asking you to sign in. But, the knowledge I've gained is such a benefit. I like what I'm doing.

Good luck to you and I hope your writer's block has eased a bit.

The Father of Five said...

It makes PERFECT sense...

And you are not alone in this struggle... I think MANY struggle with the same issue.

Hang in there...

Rian said...

Ok not to give you new anxiety, but I want share something that I'm excited about in this area.

Last year, I heard Dale McGowan speak. He's a Humanist author ( He talked at this event about charity, and about how it can be a challenge to know where to put your money, how to pick from the many ways to help, and wouldn't it be great if there were a way to do it smarter. And about 6 months ago, he made that happen. He and some others started a group called "Foundation Beyond Belief". The Foundation takes donations from people, and every quarter it identifies 10 target charities in the following cause areas:

Health, Education, Poverty, Environment, Child Welfare, Human Rights, Animal Protection, Peace, The "Big Bang" Fund (small charity, big impact), and Foundation Beyond Belief

Each giver can divide their own donations by category, sort of like how you can direct your 401K to 10% bonds, 90% stocks, or whatever mix you like. And each quarter, the Foundation does the legwork to select worthy charities in each category.

I think this is a really exciting concept, which I think speaks to some of the anxiety you're talking about. When you CAN give, I think this is a neat way to do it. Obviously when you're tapped out, it's not much help. But personally I see this as a way for me to be disciplined about giving while removing the anxiety of picking and choosing causes.

So I rambled on a long time there. But maybe someone who reads your blog will find this concept interesting and check out

seashore subjects said...

I absolutely understand where you are coming from. I honestly believe that people give what they can when they can. Whether it is through their time or their pocketbook. And working for such an amazing facility is part of your giving everyday!

WeaselMomma said...

and this is one of the reasons I have always known you are a good guy, someone I long to sit and have a beer with and am proud to call friend.

I think you were damn well eloquent. Consider the grammar in that last sentence and take that compliment with a grain of salt.