Among other areas of study – like astrology, Buddhism and emotional-process-oriented-bodywork – I also work in a restaurant to pay the bills.
According to most people who pay attention to benefits that employees offer, they would say that my job is a great one. We have good health insurance, an HSA account, good 401K program after working there for a while, etc etc. We have great benefits yes.
But I have noticed a trend over the past few years. And I think in management’s defense, it is / was a response to the recession of 2008 / 2009. The trend is to cut and slash one thing from employees each year. In 2008, they slashed away tenure based raises – seriously – most people who had been working there for years saw their wages slashed by $2.00 – $4.00 / hour. That was the worst. I wasn’t working there at the time. As an employee who primarily makes tips, I would not have seen a cut from my $2.13 / hour wage…
But each year, we have less positions, less staff to do the same amount of work. Basically management is wringing all they can get out of their lower staff members. And still they make cuts. It doesn’t exactly make sense to us employees – we have only one host on staff and yet the restaurant is open from 7 am until 11 pm, 7 days a week. What that means is that there are people who call to make a reservation and they don’t get called back for at least 3 to 4 days. Some people are growing upset. And we lose more and more business as a result (management doesn’t seem to realize that sometimes, to make money, you have to spend a little to begin with – or at least invest in your employees!).
But here is why I mention this: I am also in nursing school. And I for the most part, I am noticing that same trend in hospitals as well. In nursing school, we are taught in a very strict manner, that everything must be done a certain way – doctor’s orders are meant to be followed explicitly. But when you are short one or two nurses on a floor… some things start to go. The first hospital I was in actually had a surplus of nurses – I have heard that they pay $2 – $3 / hour less for their nurses, but at least there is not the intense stress of having to give medications to eight patients within an hour – if each patient is getting an average of 8 – 10 meds… and as nurses we are supposed to do a thorough assessment on each patient the first time we are seeing them. But giving all those meds and doing a thorough assessment on each in one hour? Are you kidding me?
As a future nurse, I don’t want this level of stress. Yes nurses do pretty well – they start out making anywhere from $21 to $26 an hour depending on the hospital and the work load. And it swiftly goes up from there. But they have to be able to predict what the doctor is going to order, they make recommendations to doctors about what a patient might need, they are responsible if a patient starts to take a turn for the worse and they do 90% of the patient care (when compared to doctors).
I’m at the point where I just have to accept what I am seeing. Right? Maybe this is America. Corporate America. It really is all about the bottom line. Hopefully I can swallow my desire for a constantly safe working environment that has very few stressors in it. Because it seems that if I am working as a nurse in a hospital… I will have to develop a thick skin and constantly move forward – to expand my nervous system’s functional range, and to self-regulate over and over again.
In order to end on a positive note… at least as a nurse I can get paid to be of benefit to others. In this time, in this dense frequency of a planet we live on, finding a job that is truly right livelihood is difficult (trying to cause zero harm to self or other is nearly impossible). But I think nursing can come close – at least that is the initial intention anyway!
Well thanks for reading my ranting… and feel free to leave a comment 🙂