When I started out as a fledgling FM'er there was no way I  could have known what I was in for in the way of all the different codes and
regulations we are required to follow. The idea of Life Safety was how many people I could push out of the way on my dash to the nearest exit in an emergency. The Joint Commission, NFPA, International Building Codes, and all of the other pain-in-the-ass standards that would eventually lead to the acceleration of my mental decline, were new to me.

My first healthcare FM'er position came at either the best possible time, or the worst, depending on how you look at it. Exactly one week after starting the new job, the Joint Commission walked through the door. I remember it clearly, walking up to the hospital from my car, smiling like a boy who saw boobies for the first time, thinking how great it was going to be, to be able to contribute to the maintenance of a 24/7 facility. Just as I was about to enter the building the Director of the Environment of Care came briskly walking out the door yelling
"JAYCO IS HERE!". It was as though there was a bomb in the building. "Who the fuck is Jayco? What a stupid name." I remember thinking to myself. I didn't know whether to run after him and start shouting too, or get back in my car and go home.  Following a thorough inspection two things became crystal clear to me:

1) I didn't know dick about healthcare FM
2) Neither did anyone else

Immediately following the inspection I was given the responsibility of assembling all of the documentation we were missing (funny how you can always find this information afterwards) as well as keeping and organizing all future records. Sure "We fucked it up, let the new kid have a crack at it!" Over the next year I became nauseously familiar with the Joint Commission's elements of performance or "EP's". The problem was the more familiar I became with them, the more confused I grew. Many of the standards seemed to contradict themselves,
  and the "experts" and newsletters seemed to do the same. I could see I was thoroughly fucked and in for a long career of more fucking.

Like I said in the beginning, this was either a blessing or a curse. One week on the job and I was balls deep in the most important inspection in three years, with practically no knowledge of what to expect and none of the documentation we were required to have. On the other hand, I was so new that very little, if anything, could be blamed on me (or so I thought). And, if the documentation had not been
so fucked up, I wouldn't have had the opportunity to spend the next year learning so much.

Looking back I now believe this to be one of the best learning experiences of my career and certainly a blessing. This not only kicked
my healthcare FM'er education into hyperdrive, it also gave me a quick dose of reality. Sometimes being an FM'er is a real MF'er.


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