(Time to read: 4 minutes)
By Nicola Davies
I’m writing this piece in a moment of solitude and reflection. No, I haven’t gone mad before you ask. I’m just taking a breather because honestly, it feels like the whole world is against me at the moment. Probably a tad over-dramatic but you know me by now!
We are 24 hours away from a migration to a new computer system. The move has been relatively smooth, but definitely NOT painless. The amount of data that hasn’t transferred in one piece is giving me a large headache; the number of tasks that we have to do behind the scenes is causing my blood pressure to rise – and if one more person tells me they are a bit anxious about working on the new system, I shall have an aneurysm! I cannot tell you how much training has been provided, how much support has been given, how much discussion we have had about the before, during and after phase. And yet, still they sweat. Documents are being copied, records are being retrieved – all to ensure that everything that should go into the new notes will go into the new notes – but are they happy? What do you think?!
I have a plan for this, a system for that, a process to cover the ‘unlikely-but-possible’. I have done the hand-holding, copied out training notes, reminded people to log in and ‘have a play’, “don’t be anxious” I say… ”I’ll be around if you have any problems”. The fact that we’ll have official trainers on site for the first five days is neither here nor there, obviously. But I am on board to soothe the fevered brow, to wipe away the tears (there will undoubtedly be some – probably mine) as we move into the 21st century, at long last.
I know that any change can be viewed with suspicion, and often, we as managers, must do our utmost to ensure that we have crossed all the T’s and dotted all the I’s. It is our job after all to remember everything, to plan for every eventuality and ensure that no stone is left unturned in our role as the ‘All Seeing-All Knowing Oracle’. However, sometimes, just once, I’d like to be left alone in my office (with a bar of chocolate) and not have to solve every bloomin’ problem, before it’s actually become a problem. I know that’s a lot to ask, and part of my Control Freak nature is a need to be in several different places at once making sure that everything I want to happen is actually happening in exactly the way I want it to happen Not much to ask, surely?!
I have messed with my diary so I can go to the branch sites on different days to support different people. I have made sure that my work is up to date by scheduling bills to be paid in advance, I’ve emailed people to say I won’t be available on particular days, just in case. I’ve sorted out communications for patients to let them know what’s happening and will they be ‘patient’ patients. I’ve spent additional time playing with the new system so I don’t get caught out by someone who thinks I’m a know-it-all but they might just prove me wrong!
Consequently, my stress levels are now at a peak. I’m an insomniac by nature, and this isn’t helping – and I have to confess, not aided by the fact that I’m trying to assist my mother in the sale of her house up t’north, organising remotely, the sale of my house in Gloucestershire whilst simultaneously trying to sort out a mortgage on a new property down here in sunny Cornwall (which unfortunately still isn’t that sunny) and that’s all getting rather complicated to say the least!
I am trying to retain my sense of humour and optimism; I’m trying very hard to keep a lid on my frustration; I’m also trying extremely hard to keep things ‘light and breezy’ as I keep saying it will be all right… it will be all right… it will; won’t it?!
There doesn’t appear to be any respite at the moment, and I’m also having to work at the weekend while the IT guys come in with new bits of kit that we need for our 21st Century Leap. Rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic would be a far easier task at the moment! And whilst I could, if pushed, just say “enough is enough”, I won’t, because THAT isn’t in my nature.
Am I therefore to blame for my stress level being so high? Probably.
Could I operate in a slightly different, less ‘control-freaky’ kind of way? Definitely.
Will I effect such a change in my behavior? I doubt it.
I’m far too old to be changing my ways at this late stage, although, as we brave this bold new computer system, this old dog will have to learn a few new tricks, won’t she?!
By Nicola Davies
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