(You are loved – Stars Go Dim)
There are about a million things in my mind right now I want to write about…
I don’t know where to start, so I’ll start on the surface…I was reading a news article that claims that the number of school shootings being reported is inappropriate and should be a lot lower. Their rationale is that one particular shooting had no deaths. In the shooting the article references a third grader was playing with a gun at school and accidentally shot it, so it shouldn’t count. I don’t see how you can even consider not counting that as a school shooting. A gun was fired. It was fired in a school. That is very clearly a school shooting. Was it a deadly school shooting, luckily no, but it is the very definition of a school shooting. This is a problem. The very fact that a third grader had access to a gun long enough to shoot it whether accidental or intentional at school means that we as adults are not doing our job of protecting children. I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, there is no reason for anyone to own their own gun. The (very outdated) constitution gives you the right to bear arms. As far as I interpret that, it does not give you the right to own those arms. If you want to go shoot something I see no reason why you can’t rent the gun like we rent out all sorts of other types of equipment. And if we agree that shooting people is wrong we shouldn’t be arming our police officers and giving them permission to do something we agree is wrong. I’m not even going to say not sayin’ because I definitely am sayin’. We can’t keep having a school shooting every week. It is not okay that there are kids who aren’t even shocked something happened because it has just become part of what happens sometimes in schools. I am absolutely not a gun hater. When I went to summer camp as an elementary schooler, I always signed up for shooting guns as one of my camp activities. We shot BB guns and rifles. I didn’t go home and ask for my own gun, because we learned gun responsibility, and that holding and shooting guns is a privilege, not a right. It seems that is something that a lot of people don’t understand.
Totally unrelated, but there is a concept I saw on pinterest recently that really resonated with me. There are two kinds of people, those that ask whether the cup is half empty or half full, and those that ask if you know the cup is refillable and who or what stops you from accessing the tap. In reality, I don’t really fit into either of those categories. I am someone who believes the cup is always full, just sometimes it is full of air, sometimes it is full of water, other times it if full of koolaid…et cetera. But anyway, I really liked that idea, and choosing between the two options in the original post, I think I fit more into the second category. I want to encourage people. I want to understand their perspective and help them live their best life.
Speaking of living people’s best life, I was reading an article about mentoring maybe like a month or two ago. It focused on non-millennials vs millennials working together and conflicts that can arise. I found that I don’t fit completely into the sides of the conflicts that I am “supposed to” as a millennial, but can definitely see the merits in being aware of these differences when working with other people. Some seem a lot more legitimate than others…but anyway…Millennials tend to prefer ad hoc as needed accessibility with frequent short meetings for direction whereas non-millennials tend to prefer scheduled structured engagement. I’m not sure that is even a true stereotype. From what I’ve experienced and my knowledge of myself, I prefer a scheduled meeting for everything to be discussed then leave me alone. I don’t want to be micromanaged. My mom on the other hand is always nagging me to go talk to someone and I whine and scream that she doesn’t get it, you can’t just show up, you have to wait until it is your turn to have a meeting! I guess it is important to recognize that some people do need to just show up even if it isn’t an emergency so if you are someone like me you can plan around that instead of getting frustrated, and if you are one of those people to limit how frequently you just show up with someone like me who feels trapped if we don’t have lines defining the boundaries of in a meeting and not in a meeting.
Next, millennials tend to prefer collaboration and diversity whereas non-millennials prefer siloed hierarchy. On this one I do fall closer to the millennial model – I see no reason why we wouldn’t want to go directly to the person who has the information we need instead of asking someone who will ask someone else who will ask someone else. Playing telephone just seems like a way for both the question and the response to be garbled and to extend the conversation into a much longer process than it has to be. I also think that some people naturally will fall into a leadership position whether given that official title or not, and it is silly to tell them they are not leading when it is clear they are. On the other hand, however, I think to prevent chaos we need a defined structure. If everyone is in charge without any real structure, rules, or defined leaders, chaos will ensue because really no one is in charge.
Whereas non-millennials value process, millennials value purpose which they define as results. At first I wasn’t so sure about this one. I felt like I was totally a process girl. I want to follow the rules to a T even if breaking the rules might be a more efficient way to work. After reading the article’s example though, I definitely fall into the category of valuing purpose. The way they explained it is that if someone discovered something that could help people, the non-millennial would work on studying all aspects of this and publishing the information whereas the millennials focus would be on using the discovery right away to start helping people without stopping to write a formal paper on the topic. I totally agree…partly because I think the formulaic approach to writing taught in school is dumb, and the “scientific method” writing is even worse. I can’t stand writing it, and to be honest I find it a frustrating writing style to read which is why I much prefer textbooks that say it like it is over research papers that say the same thing ten times and debate with themselves what is going on instead of getting to the point. Also why I LOVE the society of critical care magazines and do not like the AJHP magazines. If you want me to enjoy reading it, then avoid the scientific method style at all costs and just write what you want to say…For that matter, I would love if reference sources just wrote in bullet points as if someone was taking notes rather than structuring everything into sentences…if it is a reference, then people want a quick answer, not an English lesson. Not sayin’ just sayin’.
The rest of the article was an assortment of things like if you are getting frustrated because a person seems X, then consider how their behavior might actually be a sign of Y. For example, because someone does not see social distinctions and hierarchy the way you do, they may seem entitled to you, but instead of being frustrated with their entitlement if you try to think of them as motivated you might be able to value and embrace their attempts at autonomy. Similarly, a person who doesn’t respect “time in rank” and is annoyed by “busywork” might be seen as lazy, but instead you can try to see them as balanced noticing how purpose, mission, and skills motivate them. Other X,Y combos the article introduced are impatient vs efficient, narcissistic vs empowered, social vs collaborative, and needy vs engaged. I felt like in working with difficult people this list of negative attributes with ways to find the good was the gold of this article. It is super easy to get frustrated with someone who seems to have one of these negative characteristics, and that can be a huge barrier in effectively working with them and allowing both of you to be the best workers you can be, but if you can look for the positive side even if it seems like a stretch to call any part of their behavior positive, it totally changes your perspective. I think if you are looking for the good, you are more likely to find it and that will take your focus off of how frustrating the person is to work with which in turn over time might make them into someone you actually enjoy working with or at least don’t dislike quite so much. Not saying it’ll fix every problem relationship, just that it seems like it has a lot of potential for relationships that might still be salvageable.
So…let’s see, what other totally disparate topic should I throw in before calling this post over…lol…About a month ago I was looking up pharmacy school graduation statistics…I don’t really remember why. From 2000 until 2005, there went from about 7000 pharmacy graduates to about 8000 graduates. So some growth, but considering this was the time pharmacists were getting cars or even cold hard cash as sign on bonuses, no kidding pharmacy was a growing degree program. Soon though, growth in pharmacy graduates took off like wildfire despite the fact that jobs have become much more scarce. The last definite number of graduates was in 2014 with nearly 14000 pharmacy graduates, with projections of continued growth after that based on enrollment data. This is even more impressive when you consider that this includes both bachelor and doctorate degrees in pharmacy, the former of which is a starter degree that very few people actually receive anymore and which has not been valid credentials to actually enter the profession since I think somewhere around 2000 to 2003, so really the number of qualified graduates has grown even faster than it appears. I guess no wonder it is getting so difficult to find a residency. Although building a new pharmacy school is very possible to allow a much larger number of students graduate with a pharmD, opening a new hospital to let that many more students go into a practice is not quite so easy – there isn’t the same overabundance of patients, nor are there necessarily enough of the other healthcare and administrative professions to make that possible. There is a distinct limit on the number of pharmacists any one institution can support. Even more so on the number of residents, as a resident, unlike a student, requires a paycheck, but the resident, like the student, while present 40 hours a week (or more or less) does not actually perform the work of a pharmacist all 40 of those hours and does require some minimum amount of time from other pharmacists removed from the work pool to educate and mentor them…so while residency programs are trying to help accommodate more graduates as residents, it is impossible for them to create nearly as many new spots as the growth in graduates requires, particularly as the pharmacy organizations start pushing for residency to be required rather than recommended…another one of those things that is a problem without an awesome solution. I mean, yes, it was irresponsible for so many schools to open and churn out graduates knowing there wasn’t a market to support them, but at the same time, now that they are open you can’t exactly expect them to just close ’cause you said so, and also these decisions don’t happen in a vacuum. Very likely the ideas to open a new school started when there was a shortage of pharmacists, and just wasn’t tabled when the market turned back down a couple years later, because even if the schools knew this wasn’t a good plan, there was still plenty of money to be made because there were still students either passionate enough about pharmacy not to care about the economics, or either not knowing or not believing the economic situation…
Okay, rants over. This was probably the most useless post I’ve ever written, but sometimes there is just so much detritus in my brain I need to get some of it out to be able to do anything useful…