During my time as an ER crisis worker, I was written up at least once a year for accumulated tardies.
I have also been put on levels for mistakes I made.
I am one of two individuals in the history of my department that was on a “level”. (Level three is termination.) How unfair right!?
Back story: When I first started, I got so mad about a PTO policy that changed; I impulsively went straight to the CEO. 🙈😬 Soon after, I began to receive levels for “minor” mistakes.
Upon receiving this level, I went into full-on JED mode (justify, explain, defend) a.k.a JJM (JOLIET JAKE MODE) to my boss.
I was FURIOUS at her audacity because I had stayed late the night before!
HOW DARE SHE!?
How dare THEY!!!”
I then exclaimed, “It was 7:01! Can’t you let this slide?” (What about the other six late clock-ins? 🤔)
I pissed and moaned about it to my coworkers.
One day, a nurse in another department candidly told me “I’ve been on a level before. You know what? It’s just to help you learn. It’s not like a jail sentence.”
When I stopped blaming, I was able to see clearly what I did wrong and how I need to change. I DESERVED the LEVEL.
This level was about a choice I made.
This level was about a mistake I made.
My justification that it’s “no big deal” or my valid reasons for committing this violation does not matter.
It is a rule, policy, procedure etc. and I broke it. PERIOD.
I needed to THINK.
OWN IT. Learn from it. Accept. Admit. I.was.wrong.
I needed to feel the pain and shame of the consequences in order to change.
I preferred to “get in trouble” individually than have my whole team suffer for my mistake, my ignorance, and my stupidity.
Just as I HATED it when I was a kid and we lost recess because of the one asshole who wouldn’t stop talking. I never wanted to be that kid.
I didn’t want to be that coworker.
This “dumb” rule and it’s “unfair” consequences is to prevent much bigger mistakes from occurring in the future.
I attended a mandatory re-training, with clear concise examples and the consequences if not followed-ahead of time. Also annual trainings to keep this fresh in our mind.
Oh and remember how I went straight to the CEO when I wanted to have a tantrum about what I didn’t like? I learned to follow the chain of command. It is there for a reason. I get it…now. If I didn’t make those mistakes, perhaps I wouldn’t have.
Do I deserve to lose my pension because I made some bad choices?
Should my entire department lose their pension because of my mistake?
Speaking of losing pensions, here is another authoritative tale where I believed I was right…This is in regards to the countless tickets I have received for speeding, failure to come to a complete stop at a red light prior to turning right, and blowing red lights.
After my violation, I would respectfully hand over my insurance card and license to the police officer with a sweet, innocent smile. Sometimes, in a vain attempt to get out of the ticket, I may have flirted a little.
This manipulative behavior on my part would be dismissed with a “nice try” nod or a wink as if to acknowledge the effort. Then the police officer did their job by handing me the ticket.
Later, while attending court to fight this outlandish claim: I smiled, apologized and respectfully presented my case.
After all, I had VALID reasons why!!!
However, deep down I knew the truth.
I wasn’t truly sorry….I was sorry because I got caught. Perhaps this ONE time I may have been right; but what about was 27 other times I made the same mistake and didn’t get caught.
I was only sorry for my behavior because it hit me where it hurt. 💰 💴 ⏰ I could not afford the consequences.
Therefore, I was not GENUINELY sorry, but feeling sorry for myself.
After my presentation at court, you know what the police officer or judge would reply 97% of the time? Something like:
“You weren’t even close.”😂😎
I didn’t get out of it.
I didn’t have a tantrum. I didn’t persuade anyone in powerful positions that “I know” to get me out of it.
I was stuck with the consequences as I should be.
I paid the $200 fine. I went to traffic school. I drove more cautiously to avoid future infractions. I learned to stop the behavior.
Should I have gotten a lower fine because I’m a woman?
Should I have gotten a lower fine because women earn less than men?
Would a man have gotten out of this?
Was I just pulled over because I am a female?
Was I written up because I am a female?
I don’t know all the answers but I’m leaning toward a hard NO. My point is, we are all humans and make mistakes. I can at least own my part. Shouldn’t we all?
Some make worse mistakes than others and those individuals need to receive their appropriate consequences.
We still ALL EQUALLY need consequences to continue to learn and function in society. Yes, of course there are racist and sexist people in this world; but there are many more who are not.
What happened to accountability?
I knew the rules and I still chose to break them.
I am aware if I commit a serious crime, I go to jail. No getting out of it. I respect my freedom so I obey the law. (See below for Chris Rock- obey the law skit)
I DO NOT deserve special treatment because I am a woman.
I SHOULD NOT be let off easy because I’m really, really good looking 😜(Zoolander). (See halo effect)
That is the BOTTOM LINE.
There are NO excuses.
There are no valid reasons.
I should receive consequences and re-training.
It never even OCCURRED to me to argue with police or judges.
Perhaps some would call this an example of “white privilege.”
I call it RESPECT FOR AUTHORITY.
I call it RESPECT for our COUNTRY.
I call it RESPECT for the RULES.
I call it respect for those HUMAN BEINGS who are doing their extremely difficult job to enforce the rules.
I don’t know about you, but I NEED rules.
I need authority.
I’m not sure when all this ENABLING started, but it has to stop.
In a time, not too long ago, we used be like this:
How can we get back to this? Where we laughed and celebrated our differences?
How can we move forward from today and stop being so divided? In the end, we are all equal human beings, aren’t we?
Perhaps making everyone read this book below as a mandatory part of being a United States Citizen would help us remember.
Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don’t Know https://www.amazon.com/dp/0316478520/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glc_fabc_3j2aGb1RGFC5V