Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Feeling Restless - Jobs! Stents! - What to do? What to Do?

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!

(After having posted everything below, which I never intended to do - at all, I realize that it is more of a catharsis for me. Hopefully, when I reread this, I will gain a better insight into what direction/decisions I need to take/make. There is one cute story regarding me working as a 20 year old nanny, but the rest is just me wrestling with some issues.)

I will be posting about Christmas soon. Today, I commented on other blogs. The Christmas post on Charity Doc's "Fingers and Tubes in Every Orifice" got me all sentimental when I was reading it and I started missing my job at the hospital. I have a lot of good (some sad, but mostly good) memories from there. I really related to his post on so many levels. (am tired of working holidays tho)

I am seasoned and well trained in the positions I would apply for and so it would be a short transition period for any training I might need to meet the specific requirements of the new employer. I am at a marketable age in that my children are older and so no call outs for a sick child etc. and I DON'T care if I have benefits. I only want part time, although I would step up and help where and when ever needed. I would be so flexible that I would make Gumby look like concrete! Vacation days would be nice but I really don't care about sick days, especially since an employer might think I might cost them money down the road if they know that I might have surgery.

A few years ago, I willingly gave up my right to accrued sick and vacation time at the hospital corporation I worked for. I was the senior person in my dept. and I accrued time at a high rate and quickly, but lost all that when I cut my hours back. Even tho the total work hours accrued between my two jobs more than met the hospital criteria, they said I had to work so many base hours in one dept or I would lose the benefits. I still chose to drop the accrued paid time bank hours for more flexibility in my personal schedule. It did kill me tho every time I looked at my pay check and saw "0" accrued time bank hours because I NEVER let the hours go down low. I always carried the allowed amount into the next year and then added to them. Anyway, seems there is always a trade off in life. I'm not sorry I did it then and I don't care if I have the benefits now. I definitely don't want to pay into a health insurance plan as I have my husband's insurance.

My dilemma has been that I didn't want to let any future employer down by taking a job and then going out for surgery later on. The fact is anyone, at anytime could leave for any number of reasons. There are no guarantees in life about anything! Maybe I have been over thinking this whole thing. If I had gone to work in September, I would have had 4 months of working and PAY CHECKS! And the distraction would be good for me.

Every time I go to a doctor's office or the hospital, I want to go to the other side of the counter and work and earn money. I have a hard time being "the patient" and identify more with the health care workers. It IS really weird being "the patient" and frustrating!

Last February I was in the hospital for a few days. Even tho I was a post- op patient (nothing big) I jumped out of bed to assist a nurse in helping her move an elderly patient who was my room mate! Of course, she insisted that I get back in bed and she was right, but that is just my instinct - to pitch in and help! That little old lady did rely on me to help her tho, with the tv, the phone, calling for help, her tray, etc. She was so sweet. Sometimes, I really did just want to sleep or not talk. As an out patient at the hospital and while waiting for my tests, I find little ways to assist the other patients - steady a wheel chair, carry things, walk them towards their destination, etc.

Ironically, a couple of years ago, I actually accompanied my girlfriend and her father to the very urologist office I go to now. Who could've known then that I would've become a frequent flyer there a year and a half later? He had to go in the restroom to give a urine sample and he opened the door while holding his urine sample and was confused because he had dementia. A nurse told him where to put it but he still looked confused, so I jumped up to help him and took it from him and put it where it should go. I wasn't wearing gloves and shouldn't have done that, but again, it was just my instinct to do that. I love working around patients in any capacity and do miss it.

I didn't intend to post much. I guess Charity Doc's post really did touch me, and even tho he was basically just venting his frustration, it was all so familiar. :)

I have turned down 3 job offers now - all through word of mouth. I am grateful, but when the right one comes along or I find it - I will know. The PT guy even told me that he knows a lot of doctors and that when I am ready he will help me get a job in a doctor's office. That's sweet of him and you never know. I have 2 hospital HR departments that are interested and a woman in one of them has told me to send my resume to her and she has a friend in HR in a significantly larger hospital. Again, that is nice, but I know I will get a job when I actively pursue it.

Life is funny. I got my hospital job because of a pap test I had and I got my Lifeline job because my mother fell and was on the floor for 33 hrs. I was at her appointment when it was being set up and hit it off with the coordinator of the program. A couple of weeks later, she called me to see if I wanted to be a regularly scheduled per diem (her assistant) and I said yes! I had actually just chosen to reduce my hours at the hospital and now by taking this job, I had actually increased my total hours. (I will talk about Lifeline sometime - it is such a good program!)

So, it will be interesting to see where my next job comes from. :) The only time I ever got a job from the newspaper was when I was 20 years old. I left my accounts receivable job and decided I wanted to work in the county for the summer before getting married in the fall. It was working as a nanny through some county agency.

I went for the interview and hit it off right away with the guy and his daughters. He was a 35 yr old state trooper and widower. His wife had recently died from kidney disease, leaving behind 2 beautiful young girls who were 12 and 8 yrs old. I was honest and told him that I didn't know how to cook or do laundry but that I could clean. Well, he appreciated anything I did, but I am sure it was more about the girls having someone around all day to care for them and I really did care about them. We also had fun. I used to take then swimming at the lake and do all kinds of things with them. They were a nice family!

Bob, (my new boss) was really funny and we got along well. (I remember he liked Frank Sinatra and Chicago) The first time I did laundry, he said he had to call a repair man because I had broken the machine. Evidently, I didn't realize all the clothes had to be pushed down into the machine (I am guessing that I overloaded it too) because a sock got wedged between the drum and outer wall of the washer.

One morning when I went in, he was there, sitting in his bath robe at the dining room table. He said that the pork chops I made the night before weren't cooked all the way and that he had gotten food poisoning and spent the nite up at the ER in a local hospital. I felt bad but he was really nice about it. (In retrospect - shouldn't HE have been able to tell if the meat was white and the pork cooked? I hadn't evolved that far in my cooking skills yet!)

Every nite he would come home at 5pm and he would make a gin and tonic with a lime twist for both of us. (I rarely drink, but if I do that is still my favorite drink) I would stay and chat a bit and then be on my way. Well one nite, while I was setting the dining room table, he turns to me and says "Pat, did you make ice?"

me - "Ice?"

Bob - "Yes Pat - ice."

me - " No, no I didn't make ice Bob." (I could see that he was really disappointed)

Bob - " Pat - the most important thing you have to do here is MAKE ICE!"

me - "o k Bob, from now on I will make ice."

From then on, every night when Bob came home, as he was walking up the stairs he would say "Pat - did you make ice?" and I would say "Yes Bob, I made ice." and we continued to have our evening gin and tonics with ice, until I left to get married.

In reflecting on this, I am totally amused that- a broken machine? Food poisoning? No big deal. No ice - BIG DEAL! I also don't remember cooking anything else but those pork chops, but I must have! He also never told me in the interview that making ice was a prerequisite to the job! :)

There was one other time that I used a news paper add and it was to apply at a doctor's office. It was in our county seat and the address was where a lot of the older houses are right next to each other. I was 24 years old and not familiar with that area. I walked into the wrong doctor's office and inquired about the job. The doctor from that office happened to be right out front with the staff and informed me that I had the wrong office. Then HE offered me a job working for him! He was really nice and friendly and I don't remember why, but I politely declined his offer. He told me where the other place was, but I decided not to go there either.

Not long after that, I conceived our first son and and so I went back to work at the ski resort, but had to leave after a month because I almost miscarried him.

Ever wish God would just drop a sign down out of the sky, complete with directions for which decision to make and what path to follow? I would take a job now if I thought they wouldn't care that I am stented etc. or might need surgery down the road. My doctor thinks if I put the surgery off that I am putting my life on hold and I guess he is right - because I feel like I am in limbo right now. Sigh!

And - I don't know what to do about surgical choices either! I need a sign dropped down here for sure. Really! If God himself somehow made it clear who should do the surgery, when and where I should have it done or if I absolutely have to have it - then I would promptly comply and relax because I would know that I was making the right decisions.

It would be even better if he would just heal me directly! He could and I DO believe in miracles! :)


Anonymous said...

I came across you from Charity Doc's site. I can relate to all your going through. Different trials, but some of the same longings as well. Have you ever thought of working for a school? Just a thought. The hours are better, great benefits and the schedule is perfect for when your not feeling the best and still need to work. I wish you all the best. I will keep you in my prayers. Love your title, that's one of my favorite movies. Best to you.

SeaSpray said...

Thank you Chrysalis Angel. Prayers are always welcome and your empathy and insight is greatly appreciated! I hope the trials you are going through will work out for good and that you will be blessed.

It's interesting that you mentioned working in a school system. Had I gone to college, I most definitely would've become a teacher. I had ample time and opportunity to do so, but lost my focus, worked at other jobs and got married, but didn't have my first son until I was 25.

Maybe doctors dissected frogs when they were little, whereas I always played school and had to be the teacher. :) Everyone thought I would be a teacher, including me. (I loved giving instruction to the Lifeline subscribers and their families.) However,I have loved raising the boys and wouldn't undo any of it.

I am strongly drawn to the medical arena. I have thought about working in the office area of a hospital (because they don't do holidays)but then wouldn't have patient contact, which I love. So, if I do go back to a hospital, it will probably be in an area where I will have to make that holiday commitment and work every other weekend.

So, I am thinking doctor's office because than I would still be around medical field and patients. Also, NO SUNDAYS and HOLIDAYS! :)
I don't care if I work evenings, Saturdays or have to travel to satellite offices. After working in a hospital for 20 years (you can never really count on just your schedule or regular hrs.) I think a doctor's office would be a day at the beach. Also, after having worked in so many emergent situations at a fast pace, requiring concentration, multitasking, etc. and all with a smile - I just think that even though I am sure a doctor's office can get crazy - it would not seem as difficult to me, since I have really worked through a lot of high pressure situations. I love when things get hectic and then the adrenalin kicks in! Then when it's over, you feel good about everything that got accomplished.

I am also thinking of looking for work in a doctor's group because it may be busier than a single doc's office with more work and things to keep track of. Although, I have friends that work in a one Doc office and they are constantly busy. There is one practice that I am thinking of that has a lot of staff and is almost always busy, which intrigues me. They are my role model for what I want. I am also thinking that if I do go back to a hospital, that I will have opportunity to get to know other doctors (in time) and maybe get into an office that way.

The timing of everything has me perplexed, but I am now thinking that maybe I should just move forward, get a job and who knows maybe I will get that miracle healing too!

In "It's a Wonderful Life" I like the message that each of our lives are important and how we can effect so many wonderful outcomes, that we should never give up because we all DO make a difference in this world and we all have a purpose.

O k, another lengthy comment - my "War and Peace" version. Brevity with words not my strong suit! :)

SeaSpray said...

P.S. Chrysalis Angel - Regarding working in a school - you never know - jobs, like stray pets have their way of finding me! :)