The law of unintended consequences

Every action has consequences. Some are intended. Some are not intended. Some are good, some bad.

On January 1st, my company was informed of one of the unintended consequences of Obamacare. We received a letter from Medicare stating that our designation is no longer “Rural” but has been changed to “Urban.” With this change, the amount of money we are allowed to charge per mile has been cut. Our financial people estimate that this is going to cost us $500,000.00 this year.

Before you start crowing about evil healthcare finally getting kicked where it hurts, listen to what this means for my company.

First of all, everyone in the world knows that Jan 1 is not when you inform a company that they are going to lose money. We were already several months into this year’s budget. That $500k that we are not going to make already had a home in the budget. It was spent.

So we have to cut $500k.

The company is no longer providing new uniforms for employees every year.

Gym memberships are no longer paid for by the company.

The ventilators desperately needed by the Critical Care crews will not be purchased. There are some patients that we will not be able to treat. 

Eighteen months ago the company started a new program that identified frequent callers, sent someone to their home to investigate the causes, and attempted to mitigate the situation. A single medic got people the home health they needed, referred patients to nursing homes and mental health resources, and even helped rearrange area rugs and power cords that were fall hazards. The program was becoming so successful that at the beginning of the year, several more medics were hired to meet the demand of the county.

That program has been scrapped.

Thankfully, the medic that has poured his life into it is not without a job. He’s back to being a truck medic. I’m not sure that was his plan, but at least he has a job. I’m not sure of the standing of the new employees…

Eight months ago one of our Supervisors retired. They have been waiting to fill the position with one of the road medics. The retirement was about six months earlier than expected so they were waiting for a couple of medics to finish training so they could open up the application process.

Rather than fill the position with a road medic, our new supervisor is the man who used to be in charge of Quality Assurance, training, and our relationship with the local hospitals. That position has also been scrapped. He’ll have to train to be supervisor – it isn’t something that he has ever pursued. But, at least he has a job.

On a side note, my supervisor will be going to the shift that lost their supervisor eight months ago. My shift will be getting the new guy. That is our reward for being the best shift ever. 

My boss wears many, many hats. Before the new year, they opened up a second Operational Chief’s position. They wanted to distribute some of those hats to someone else. That position has now been scrapped as well. My boss will continue to wear many, many hats. I might be a little worried about him dying young…

Affordable healthcare for all has resulted in less healthcare for the community in which I work.

Leave a comment

Filed under EMS

More on growing and changing

I miss Awesome Kelly something terrible. Every time I get to work and realize that I will not be working with her something dies inside of me. There are days when I feel like I was stupid to walk away from that partnership.

One of those days happened last week.

I got a text from Awesome Kelly telling me about a transport that she had taken with two of our other coworkers. I was instantly saddened that I had not been a part of that trip. Oh my goodness, that time we would have had. We would have had to play clown music to warn the general public of our arrival.

And then it hit me.

Awesome Kelly no longer works the wonderful Fri-Sun night shift that we worked together. She has gone back to school to pursue a physical therapy degree (because she is awesome and smart like that). This has caused her to move to only working the Saturday and Sunday daylight shift.

If I had stayed, we wouldn’t even be working together anymore. I wouldn’t have been on that trip anyway. 

I mentioned that to her and she said that if I had stayed she wouldn’t be in school and she would still be working weekend nights with me. In which case we would both be happy working together, but conditions in which we worked would be sucking our souls.

So in reality, we are both in a better place.

What has brought us to these places hasn’t been fun, and it is still hard. If we were functioning under the idea that hard = God’s will, we would both be where we were nearly two years ago. Using each other as an excuse to remain stagnant.

Leave a comment

Filed under Florida Move, Just Thoughts

Hard decisions do not equal signs about “God’s will”

I have a handicapped inner voice. As a child, it was fed a bunch of lies. Though I’ve been trying to re-educate it, it is a very slow learner.

Recently, it has been telling me that because I’ve had to make so many hard decisions about buying a specific house, God doesn’t want me to have that house.

Yup. Hard decisions and road blocks mean I’m going against God’s will. 100% of the time.

Let me explain this for you.

When I was five I was taught that if I disobeyed I would be out from under the protection of my father and bad things would happen. Interpretation – if bad things are happening, it is because I did something bad. Remember, I was five.

Also, I was taught that the verse that says “the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked” meant that I could not trust myself to make good decisions. My motivations were deceitful and wicked. Therefore I was bound to make bad decisions.

So here I am, 10 years after rejecting both of these hideous teachings.

There are some roadblocks with the house I want to buy.

It is not in my favorite zip code. It does not have a fence for a dog. The sellers and their realtor are a piece of work.

But it is right in so many ways.

It has a pool. A new HVAC. It will be getting a new roof and screen enclosure for the pool. The neighborhood is awesome and it sits on top of a hill so I can see for miles. It needs just the right amount of updating to keep me happy and creative for several years.

I love it.

But, like I said; there have been many hard decisions. Mainly because of the seller and realtor being…not cool.

So that little voice has come back to my head whispering that maybe this isn’t the house for me. Maybe if I plow forward and buy it, I’ll be violating God’s will in some way.

But here’s the thing. There is no verse in the Bible that tells me what house I’m supposed to buy. It doesn’t say what neighborhood I’m supposed to live in. It doesn’t say that I must have a fence.

When it comes to God’s will in this situation, pretty much the only thing I have to go by are the various verses that talk about being wise with money. I’m pretty sure I’ve done me due diligence with that one.

So yes, sometimes God makes His will plain by disappointing us. Have I mentioned that the first offer I placed on a house was soundly rejected? But sometimes, tough decisions and frustration are just a part of growing and changing. I’m pretty sure those two are always God’s will.


Leave a comment

Filed under Florida Move, The "cult"

Wednesday wanderings

Buying a house is stressful. I know this because my left eyelid has started to twitch. Increasing my banana intake has not helped.

Some sellers and their realtors can be…words I won’t put here…

I know what happens to kitchen cabinets when they are repeatedly used as handles for getting on top of counter tops….

It has been decided that when I buy a house, on closing day I will jump into my new pool in my clothes. Photographic evidence may or may not be provided.

My class load just went from one to two. I know, you “real students” just busted out laughing. In Capella terms, this means my assignment load each week just went from three written assignments to five or six. In shift worker terms, this means I have about three days to WRITE ALL THE THINGS. This may also be contributing to my eyelid twitch…

My new class is about criminal law. It goes well with my ongoing class on corrections. So well in fact that I’m one assignment in and already using the corrections book as a supplementary resource…

I got a subscription to The Fresh 20 for singles for Christmas. Have I ever mentioned how much I love The Fresh 20? Well, I do.

For those of you who are wondering how I’ve survived the recent winter weather that the nation has been experiencing; I’ve been forced to wear my thick long sleeve (generic brand) underarmor to work. I have yet to put on my coat. Yesterday I went for a run in my usual shorts and tank. Life is rough.

How do you design a window treatment to enhance arched windows and yet provide privacy? No, there will be no hanging of shades or blinds that cause the arch to have corners. No.

If you were creating a non-Disney, “follow your dreams” themed kids room; what colors would you use? I’m asking this for a friend…or maybe myself…

I was clicking through the financial part of my school site and found out that I’ve been getting a grant. Huh. I wonder when that happened and where that money is…

Don’t ever buy a candle in a bottle shaped like a miniature old fashioned milk jug. Once the wick has burned below the first inch or two, you will need a flame thrower to light it. Also, you will have to hold the flame thrower on the wick for approximately five minutes to get it to stay lit. Fact: fire needs oxygen. There is very little oxygen in a container of that shape.

I got a pedi on Valentines Day. The dirt from the mud run was still in my nail beds and under the nails. This was not for lack of scrubbing. The pedicure lady said “You roll around in yard?”



1 Comment

Filed under Just Thoughts

Gee Dove, thanks a lot

I clicked on a video of a cute puppy the other day and got to watch this commercial.

I totally missed the cute puppy because of my tears.

My hair has always been my kryptonite. It doesn’t help that I have bipolar hair – half of it is curly, half is completely straight. The stuff cannot be controlled.

Our culture likes controlled hair. Straight and smooth hair.

My hair doesn’t fit into the culture very well. As a girl, that makes life tough.

There is nothing more depressing than watching Harry Potter or Princess Diaries and being shown that the only way to deal with curls is to make them go away.

But this commercial says it all:

“When you try to tame my curls, it feels like you want to tame me.”

The truth is, our world doesn’t understand that curly hair is different than straight hair. Because of this, us curly girls tend to look a little rough around the edges. We think that the only way to look “well kept” is to straighten our beautiful curls.

I’m pretty thankful for the hair whisperers who came into my life a couple of years ago and showed me that my curls were an asset not a hindrance. Yes, they require a little extra work (but not as much as straightening required), but they are so worth it. I never feel more “me” than when my curls are allowed to be themselves.

So Dove, I’m still a little mad that I missed the cute puppy videos because of my tears; but I’m really pleased that you are showing girls the true beauty of their curls.

P.S. I haven’t tried the Dove products and have no clue if they work, therefore I am not endorsing any of their products. However, I’m pretty fond of my Ouidad products and will sing their praises all day long. 

Leave a comment

Filed under Just Thoughts

So…about that math class

Last fall I signed up for a College Algebra class. It was online and supposed to be “self paced.” Um…it was online. Self paced it was not.

I quickly realized that I was in over my head. There were angry, tearful phone conversations with my dad as we attempted to work through the problems. I kid you not, one afternoon we spent two hours on a problem. Personally, that was completely inappropriate.

The deeper I got into the class and the closer I got to the final exam, the worse the stress became. I had no confidence in what I was supposed to have learned. I had no confidence in my ability to absorb what loomed ahead. The final exam had to be done via video and I was quite sure that I would be sobbing through the entire test.

Finally I came to the conclusion that there was not way I was going to be able to pass the class. I resigned myself to taking it twice and contacted my academic advisor to discuss my options. Much to my shock, she pointed out that the class was not required. Wait, what??

After much thought and puzzlement, I did something I never thought I’d do; I dropped the class. Yup. I told it bye bye. It is not a part of my GPA or my transcript. It just vanished.

So did my stress.

I was instantly a happier person.

We’ll see if that continues when I take the two statistics classes that are required.

Leave a comment

Filed under School

I like my school

Notice, I did not say “I like school.” I have not gone that far overboard. No, I said “I like my school.” There is a difference.

I am pretty happy with Capella.

I am working on a degree in Public Safety specializing in Emergency Management. Basically, I want to be in charge when the world blows up. Or rather, I want to help communities train for when the world blows up. I’ve had a little bit of experience in these things. Also, it is fun.

I was a bit disappointed when I learned that I was going to have to take five corrections classes. I enjoy working next to law enforcement. However, I’ve always been quite happy to get my education on police procedure from television. I yell enough at medical mistakes on TV, I don’t want to yell at law enforcement misrepresentation as well.

None of my classes thus far would have been my first choice. I’ve taken conflict resolution, introduction to investigations, and I’m currently taking American Corrections. Next week I start a class on criminal justice.

These classes sound like torture until you realize Capella’s best kept secret.

There are no tests.


We don’t memorize facts.

We don’t regurgitate someone else’s opinion.

We do research, form our own theories and opinions, and write papers.

There is a lot of reading and writing.

For me, that means a lot of learning.

I can memorize facts all day. The moment I’m done taking the test, those facts will be gone.

But when I’ve dug into the material and formulated thoughts and ideas. That will stick with me.

Maybe that’s why Capella students are called “Learners.”

So I like my school. And I enjoy what I’m learning. Yes, there is stress. Probably more than necessary. But all things considered, I’m having fun.


Leave a comment

Filed under School