In John 10:10 Jesus promises His followers abundant life. This blog is about my life as His follower.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Weird Work Stuff

Picture taken from
This job is definitely the biggest roller coaster ride I've ever been on.

I've shared before how:
I was just thrown into opening up the medical department of this newly opening facility without any knowledge or training on the company's polices or procedures, without having ever walked into or seen a functioning medical department with this company or any other correctional facility, without anyone to mentor me or show me the way, and without any prior exposure to ICE.  I've lamented here about all the over the top long hours I was working to try to figure it all out and put it all together, while building a team and training my staff (not to mention while taking care of patients).  The customer ICE wasn't happy so the company finally brought in someone  as my boss and made me the assistant Health Services Administrator (H.S.A.).  This new boss had worked in corrections for around 14 years, had worked for this company 2 years, was an RN, and and had worked as an H.S.A. for a few years.

I've complained about all the challenges with my new boss over the past 5 months, but I've also shared some about how God's worked.  How I kept praying that God would change my heart and then, one day when this new boss shared about her lack of friends, I started finding it easy to love her.

Love's like that you know; we just love people how they are.  Even though they have flaws and irritate us, we just can't help it, we still love them.  It started being that way with my boss; don't get me wrong, she still drove me crazy with her lack of leadership and planning, and her dumping stuff on me, and the way she thinks she's being direct with people but she's really being mean.  But I also started appreciating how thoroughly she knew the company's policies, how good she is at administrative stuff like organizing employee files, getting policy books together, and getting medical records organized, and her clinical skills and knowledge as a nurse.  I stopped even trying to get her to get together with me frequently so that we could game plan together and just started going with the flow since that was my only option.  Interestingly enough she started coming to my office and seeking me out and sometimes that game planning happened after all.  Other times I had the opportunity to just emotionally be there for her.  If anyone could understand her struggles and challenges in her job it was me.

To my surprise this past week they walked my new boss off the job.  They let her go from this job because the customer ICE is not happy with her.

Basically the same thing happened to her as happened to me.

Like me, the company didn't fire her.  They demoted her to being a floor nurse at another correctional facility.  She'd moved here from Colorado, so they paid her moving expenses back there and gave her a job at a facility of theirs in Colorado.

Imagine my pleasure and gratefulness to read these words she emailed me the day after she left:
" Miss u already. U deserve so much more. Keep your chin up and I think of u as one of the few friends I have tracy!"

Wow.  You just never know what's going to happen.

When the warden and the regional director came to my office to talk to me after she'd left I was glad for how different I felt then when 5 months ago I was with these men and a couple of other "suits" in the warden's office being demoted.    This day I felt confident, I had energy (before I'd been working so many hours that I was just plain frazzled and used up), and there was a certain sense of detachment.  Although I still work  hard, still seek to have a vision and a plan for the big picture as well as the daily details one, and every day I want God to minister to others through me, I've already been disillusioned with the job and this company and am just not concerned about what they think of me.

I told them that I really liked ___________ (my boss' name).  The warden told me "me too".  Then the warden talked about what an extremely easy person I am to get along with, and he spoke with an air of this being an unusual thing; I'm hoping that somehow this might be a witness to him about God.  The warden and regional told me some concerns that the customer had and I didn't act worried; I let them know even more details about those issues and others like them and how I'd fixed the specific problems, what we were doing systemically to prevent those problems, and about the tools we had already created and were working on creating to conduct ongoing quality checks to ensure we avoid these pitfalls.  The regional first of all was confused about "tools" and then wanted me to have myself or someone else check every single provider order to follow it through and make sure that nothing falls through the cracks (it needs to be mentioned here that we have hundreds of orders daily).  I explained about the double-check on the orders that we'd just trained on twice over the past two weeks that still isn't being consistently done.  I continued to be candid and let him know that this in itself won't perfectly ensure that no follow up items fall through the cracks and that I'm working on figuring out how to monitor/prevent these things from occurring.  I could tell he wasn't happy with my response but I was confident in the truth of what I was saying and the fact that I'm right.  And I really don't care what he wants to hear because I know I'm doing my best and if he's got someone with some real, down and gritty, answers I'm totally open to hearing them and working with them.  The warden talked just like he did in the meeting where they demoted me about how much they appreciate me; who knows if this is real or not but I can at least rest in the assurance that I'm seeking to do exactly what God desires for me.

Later the warden's secretary came to me to help her with some stuff she wasn't sure about.  She told me how much she admires my attitude.  I told her that God's good and I'm grateful; I also told her that ICE is really difficult to work with!  She said that she'd use a much stronger word than difficult.

So who knows what tomorrow will bring at this job.

I continue to pray for another job and keep my eyes open and apply when anything comes along.  But I also continue to acknowledge that maybe, and apparently, God wants me here for now.  So may I be obedient every day that I am.


RCUBEs said...

Sister Tracy, can I work with you? :)

I lost my battle at work and though I never wished those mean people who held high positions any bad things, I was surprised to hear that one they didn't even have a clue what happened to her because she was one who abused her power. I kept praying instead for the Lord to direct me on what to do now...and for Him to change people's hearts at work where back biting and gossiping are rampant. I believe we, as believers just
never stop in being worn down because it is a process at the same time for us to remove those things that don't belong in His Kingdom...

I was surprised to hear with what happened with that nurse but surely glad that you were able to repay with kindness and love that He approves of. I know it's never easy in loving those kind of people but the true reformed heart by His grace would never get tired paying bad with good...

My husband works in ICE so you coukd imagine the frustrations we both had from work...

God bless you and always guide you.

Tracy said...

Oh boy do I wish we worked together!

It's so interesting because there were 3 things that 1st attracted me to your blog: 1)Your heart for God, 2)How well you tell a story; I'm totally captivated and feel like I'm right there, 3) what an absolutely wonderful nurse you are. When I 1st started reading your blog I was working as a licensed nursing home administrator running a secured psych facility that was licensed under nursing home regulations. Because I've worked with so many nurses over the years, I "got" some of the situations you described and recognized how good a nurse you are. Then I ended up in a correctional environment which is what you've been doing for awhile now. Now I find that your husband works for ICE.

Sure shows what a small world it is! Also helps me know even more how to pray for you and yours.

Ruth Ackiv said...

I enjoy reading your blog and have followed it. I would like to invite you to follow my blog at

And I'm glad your job is going well.

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