Bet that you never had the chance to do your work in a hospital room, especially an A class one.

Well, I had the pleasure just last week. If one could call it a pleasure.

After finishing helping my boss with the editorial work of the two upcoming medical publications, and nearly risked going blind proof-reading all the articles, I thought I could finally breathe easy and have more spare time on my hands. Instead she asked me to give the manager a hand with the application of accreditation of our laboratory by a well-recognised overseas society. I ended up giving the manager both of my hands, my feet, eyes and brain for the whole of the week. It had been a long time since I buried myself so deeply into work that even getting lunch felt like a chore and lunchtime seemed like an evil scheme to foil my plans of finishing the work on time. But I’m glad that my boss pulled me in to help because the manager could never have gotten everything done all by herself, and she was already leaving the office in the wee hours in the morning and back to work a few hours later.  

Because there was so much paperwork, and the unit happened to be not fully packed with patients, the manager used one of the spare rooms for the preparation work. It was strange to see files and piles of paper on the otherwise-very-neatly-made patient’s bed and all over on the table. It was quite a mess. We practically lived in there for the few days, except that the manager really slept in there because she was seriously sleep deprived by all the overtime she was doing.

This seemed tidier only because we were almost done with the work on the final day of submission. There was so much work because the criteria for the accreditation were stringent and yet we must make sure that we will succeed. I was so shocked that the manager had to do everything by herself, or at least had thought of doing so all by herself. To be frank, I’m not exactly fond of the manager. I thought she seems like she’s constantly hormonally imbalanced, always snapping at her staff ferociously for no apparent reason. She has even made some of them cry before. Of course for some reasons, she knows better than to mess with me. Maybe because I work directly under the director of the unit, i.e. her boss as well, whom I only have to answer to, and perhaps she knows that I share a close working relationship with our boss. Maybe it’s merely because I look like the type she shouldn’t mess with. But it doesn’t matter because I still do not like her for bullying her subordinates. You can treat me well but I do not have to like you just for this reason if I have others to dislike you for.

But for me, work is work and I will do whatever that is best for our unit, which was why I had willingly helped her with the application and did my best to meet the deadline with her without any complaint. I was kind of surprised that no one else in the unit had offered their help. But then I recalled how she has been treating them and realised that I shouldn’t be surprised at all. It is actually quite saddening and I can’t help but wonder if she has finally seen and understood how she has landed herself in this predicament. I have actually wanted to talk to her about this for quite some time but do not know how to get it started and am totally unsure if I could bear the consequences. How do you tell your superior that she is lousy at her job of managing her staff? What if she gets offended and bans me from the unit?

Urgh, all the “what if “s of life.

But at the same time, I can never deny the work she has put in for this application, not forgetting all the time spent as well. And I must remember to bring it up to my boss when she mentions the application or when it is successful. Like I have said, work is work.