We noticed participation has decreased, though whether due to layoffs or malaise we can’t be sure. While the survey is anonymous, if you filled the comment boxes with These questions suck or Stop wasting my time, we probably know who you are, especially if you mentioned your division, duties and job description, and even more so if you signed your name. We’re sorry you’re suffering, but we doubt work caused your divorce. We’re also dismayed by demands for better leadership. While you’re welcome to select Somewhat or Not at all in response to Do you find management effective?, we’d like you to imagine how that makes us feel. Perhaps it was insensitive to ask which of your coworkers are seeking other jobs, but we really need an estimate. If you left that question blank, it’s not too late to pass some names along. The news isn’t all bad. Even with increased co-pays and deductibles, our health plan is a hit, especially for those with anxiety, depression and insomnia. Although we can’t eliminate long waits when contacting HR, you can now turn off the music while on hold. Widespread raises are impossible, but we’ve found funds for better toilet paper, ice cream once a month. In the coming weeks, a new task force will form to brainstorm future questionnaires as well as cost-effective ways to ease— if not eradicate—your pain. (Though we’re aware of some survey fatigue, this instrument was too expensive not to use.) The next window for feedback opens soon. We’ll keep asking what you think until your answers change.
Prayer to Our Lady of Waiting Rooms
Let the seats be plentiful and padded. Let the magazines be recent or let the book I’ve brought last until we can leave. Let the TV on its bolted stand be off, muted, or showing something I can ignore— weather, gameshows, CNN. Let the room be mostly empty—no one shouting, sobbing, asking about my husband’s health. Let everyone be strangers except the staff. Let the walls be freshly painted, soothing to behold. Let my husband be there for a physical or routine checkup. Let no one comment on my clothes or unwashed hair, how I can sit so calmly while he has staples or a catheter removed, his lungs or heart or kidneys tested, an infected wound debrided. Under no circumstances let me be called into the back by a nurse who touches my arm, says I’m sorry but— Let my husband walk out whistling before I’ve finished my book, looked at my watch too many times. Let the news be good or benign, his next appointment not for months. When the waiting is over, let us walk outside feeling better, or at least no worse, than we did before.