Just as I was getting ready to write this column, I received an email through LinkedIn. It was from a BMET I don’t know, but who writes me every once in a while for advice. His letter (heavily edited below) is pretty shocking. Please read it and continue with my comments after it.
“Hello Patrick, Once again, thanks for connecting with me over LinkedIn. Let me tell you a little about myself. I graduated from a three-year college program from a college in my hometown. I moved away from home and got employed at a hospital as a Biomedical Tech in 2010. Since then I have been married, have 2 children, and just turned 28 years old. I have been trying to complete my bachelor’s degree in management online. I am now a member of AAMI and our local biomedical association. I am pursuing the CBET certification. I am also looking at various schools regarding their MBA programs.
“Now, if I might ask some advice from you. What advice would you give a young-ish Biomed, working in a unionized department, who wants to pursue professional development, in the midst of constant opposition? My concern is not only for myself, but also for other young graduates getting into the career. Here’s some background for the question (and I don’t wish to shame/slander my colleagues, but … ) I recently encountered great opposition to bettering myself as a Biomed. My department is union, and at my main hospital, I am the youngest employee. Hurtful words like “you are a bench worker. Stop trying to be more. Your only job is to fix equipment.” The tone was such that it belittled my worth, and how dare I aspire for more – I am not worth more than what I already am! There is no interest in my department to become certified, even when my manager encourages it. There is such animosity against those that strive to ‘meet the bar’ with peers around the world. Just yesterday, I was told that I come off arrogant, stubborn. I have a concern, not just for me, but for future Biomeds that will graduate. Even if I don’t hear back from you, I do thank you for reading this message, and wish you all the best. Sincerely.”
The entire tone of this letter disturbs me. I don’t think it is a union thing, although there is a slight possibility that it may play a role. There is definitely a culture in this shop that wants to keep people from excelling. The older workers seem to want to keep everyone younger than them from rising to any higher level. This, in some perverse way, must validate that they themselves never rose any higher in their jobs and provide them an excuse.
My advice to this young man was to ignore his ignorant coworkers, keep his talk about his formal schooling to a minimum, and look for every opportunity to get the hell out of that toxic environment. I understand that the attitude of these other workers may not directly impact their job performance, but this attitude is not healthy.
If anyone has any comments or other advice, please place it on the TechNation Listserve at 1TechNation.com/listserv.
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