Workplace abuse abounds

show appreciation

Workplace Violence PreventionOur family veterinarian sent their customer base an email letter this month. It indicated that several of their customers, many of whom had adopted animals during the COVID pandemic, had made appointments for their pets, but failed to keep them, and in large numbers. This meant that the vets had to institute a policy of requiring a downpayment for their services.

Also, the letter indicated that some of their staff had experienced workplace abuse, not from the animals but from their human companions. Unacceptable, the vet office proclaimed.

On CBS Mornings, some doctors in Idaho were uncomfortable wearing their scrubs in public, lest they rile up someone. One technician quit and took a job as a Walmart clerk. These were the groups of people who were HEROES in America not that long ago.

Recently, I was in an urgent care facility in my area that has been hammered by the number of people needing COVID tests. We were told at 4 pm that it would take about an hour to be seen, and that was about right. About 5:30, a woman came in with her son, who was maybe 8 years old. She was told that it may take as much as two hours. She started SCREAMING at the intake person. “What if my son were in need of immediate care?” She carried her son out – though he had walked in; maybe she went to an actual emergency room.

Violence against Healthcare Workers is A Worldwide Phenomenon With Serious Consequences. 


From an email I received:

In Indiana, school board members were forced to flee and escape to their vehicles to escape individuals who tried to intimidate them by force.

In Idaho, school board meetings have been canceled because the school couldn’t ensure that the scheduled event would be secure and free of violence.

In Maryland, school board officials began receiving violent and personal threats from individuals in retaliation for supporting the wearing of masks.

Also,  Justice Department and FBI investigating a “disturbing” uptick in violence against school employees.

Did it happen?

 The Scale of Under-Reporting is Widely Acknowledged. This predates COVID, and health care providers were the most regular targets. And I don’t know what to do, baring getting physically involved if it comes to that.

BTW, it is not just an American issue, as this  UK article can attest.

The phenomenon has redoubled my effort to try to show appreciation to what they call the front-facing workers. They are the grocery store clerks, bus drivers, retail clerks, bank tellers, the people who you meet each day.

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Elegy by Mark Camphouse

I heard this song called Way Less Sad by AJR this week for the first time last week. It came out in February 2021. For the life of me, I recognized but could not immediately place the horn riff. No, not Chicago or Blood, Sweat and Tears or Earth, Wind and Fire. Finally, it came to me, without looking it up: the way too sad My Little Town by Simon and Garfunkel! Paul Simon even gets a writing credit for Way Less Sad.

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Steve Derrick; beautiful nurses’ eyes

portraits of healthcare workers

eyes.Steve derrickOn the Road with Steve Hartman introduced me to Steve Derrick, an artist from Clifton Park. He “has produced more than 100 portraits of healthcare workers as they ended their shifts, many of them nurses at Albany Medical Center.”

The artist paints portraits of medical workers and captures their exhaustion treating Covid-19 patients. The subjects are weary, tired, brave, bruised, and raw. “Steve Derrick’s paintings depict the spirit of healthcare heroes on the front lines.”

“To escape the overwhelm of the pandemic, he engaged in painting. He says, ‘there was so much negativity on the news. This gave me something positive to think about while sitting in quarantine.'”

I found the story so touching, so compelling that after seeing it on the CBS Evening News on a Friday, I watched it again on CBS Sunday Morning. “He presents the finished portrait, a moment in time that omits no detail, to each of his subjects, and refuses payment.” Herrick’s actions have become part of a movement.

The eyes have it

Beyond this story, I’ve discovered that I have spent a whole lot more time looking at the eyes of people wearing masks. I find almost all of them are beautiful. Without seeing the whole face, it’s been necessary to discern how another is feeling. I’m required to actually look at people in a new, and arguably, better way.

Googling “eyes,” I came across a poet and short story writer named Avijeet Das. He wrote: “Eyes speak. Eyes say the unsaid words. Eyes express feelings. Eyes convey emotions. Eyes are eloquent. Eyes are tender. Eyes are sensitive. Eyes are captivating. I can’t help looking into eyes. I am always fascinated by eyes. If I were a painter then I would love to paint the eyes of the people I meet and come across.”

CBS’s Steve Hartman asked painter Steve Derrick if he were painting the nurses at their worst. Derrick totally disagreed. It is his belief that he has captured them at their best. I believe he is correct.

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