Monday, April 11, 2016

Telling of Gelling

My former company offers employees health account money each year for completing fairly easy activities. Basically, it’s free cash, so last Monday I began that process, but got a password error on the company website, which happened a couple of weeks prior, as well. I called tech support and they said that the company site, as seen by semi-employees like myself, only works with Internet Explorer. The last time I was laid off, I had no problems using it with Firefox, but the door appears to be shut now.

I called the health people directly, a separate company, and they showed me how to get to the stuff I need to see without going through my employer’s website. In the course of troubleshooting the difficulty logging in, I aggressively cleared my browser cache and history, and when I next visited this very blog, I needed to sign in anew, and got a password error from Google, which owns Blogger, along with practically everything else. Uh oh. In an attempt to authorize my signing on, they asked what day my Google account was created. I can remember my own birthday, and I can remember the birthdays of the people in my immediate family with relative ease, except that I sometimes can’t remember if my father’s birthday is on the 28th or the 29th. As for the birthday of my Google account? This I do not know.

Another question asked was “What’s the last password you can remember?” The last password I could remember was the one that was currently returning an error! Do they think we keep a list of every Google password we’ve ever had, perhaps in a handsome frame on the living room wall? Furthermore, the email address associated with the account is long gone. What saved me was being able to have a code sent to my cell phone. That was a chilling experience. For a few minutes there, I thought my relationship with Bugwalk the blog was permanently severed.

The next day, I poked around my Google account settings to see if it says somewhere what day it was created. Apparently, the only way to know this is to consult the first automated email sent by Google after account creation. Needless to say, I do not have this. There formerly was a second method by which this date could be obtained, but it is not available any more.

However, I came upon a means of archiving my entire blog in case I want to move it somewhere else, the first good thing Google has ever done, as far as I can tell. I promptly did this and ended up with a huge file that can be opened with a text editor. It contains several miles of HTML, some Japanese kanji, every comment ever posted (I guess), including some comments I don’t remember ever seeing before, and the posts themselves. I don’t know how it handles photos, but I have a folder where I keep every photo I’ve ever published, just in case. This blog archive also appears to contain all the exchanges that were posted by the members of a Google group I used to belong to. Odd. I did a search for the very first words I ever published on Bugwalk and, yep, there they were, along with the most recent! For just a moment there, I loved Google.

The one other thing I managed to do last Monday was send emails to five Buddhist chaplains known by one or another of my teachers in the Sati Center program. I would like to ask them how they did their M.Div. equivalents, how they got ordained or endorsed, where they did clinical pastoral education and how they liked it, where they work now, if they would be able to do their work without having a car, and if they make enough money to live on.

I heard back from two of them immediately. One said “M.Div. equivalency is a strenuous process, took me a long time and a lot of effort.” I don’t like to do things that are hard and take a long time. I like to do things that are easy and take a short time. Like post a blog entry! This very warm and effusive woman also congratulated me on what she said was a very prestigious placement at TWMC, and she said, “Sending metta [loving-kindness] and deep congratulations to the path ahead! Hospital chaplaincy is a wonderful service—I am delighted that you are joining us!”

Besides hating to do anything long and hard, I’ve lately started to worry about, of all things, hand sanitizer. 1) I don’t like gloppy stuff on my hands. According to my mother, as a preschooler, I refused to finger-paint. When my hands were put in wet paint on an expanse of paper, I burst into tears. 2) I am highly allergic to all sorts of substances, breathing them or touching them. I got a large stack of paperwork from TWMC, and signed a form stating that I will “gel in and out” when entering or leaving patients’ rooms.

At Laguna Honda, there was never any mention of this. I also virtually never touched anyone. A few times, I held hands with patients who wanted to pray together. I hope the TWMC paperwork is just standard forms that everyone signs, and that chaplain trainees (and chaplains) don’t actually have to put sanitizing gel on their hands 50 times a day, or that soap and water will be an acceptable substitute.

It occurred to me that there have to be nurses who are allergic to sanitizing gel—what do they do? I found an ominous thread online started by just such a person. The advice she got was to make sure her malpractice insurance was current—it wasn’t!—and to consult these and those experts, to refuse to sign anything, and to contact her attorney.
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