Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Fish Out of Water

I made it through the first day, though I confess it was a LONG one. I like the office and the girls working there. I like the Dad doctor. I will meet the son tonight at their weight loss surgery seminar, which they do every two weeks. I may be at those on a regular basis or I may not. It depends on how they decide to finalize my compensation as either salary or hourly. I am just kind of letting them work that all out. There are three other women working in the office. It is a very small but very profitable practice and they are like a family. All of them have been there quite a long time, so for them to be as open and relaxed with me as they are is truly impressive to me. I would think bringing in a stranger to a mix that has worked well would be a little bit unnerving for them. I think they just have really needed the help badly. All of them are extremely devoted to the physicians they work for, which is good to see. Not a nasty word whispered about either of them or about one another. They don't, however, have a clue about how to get a new employee up to speed, nor do they even have a desk really available for me yet. We'll be moving to a new office in Plano toward the end of this month, so I don't see that being remedied until then. They must have told me five times throughout the day how glad they are I was there, which was nice. By the end of the day I was going a little stir crazy from just sitting and watching, so I helped prompt them to think of some things I could actually do now to start getting things caught up, and I took the initiative to actually answer and begin to learn the phone, which seemed to either freak them out or thrill them, I am not sure which. I think it will take some time for them to trust me even though I have been doing this for a very long time. That's pretty understandable.

I could never get them to officially "show me around". Turns out that is because there is nothing to show! There's a waiting room, a front desk area, one exam room, one work room, two bathrooms and two physician's personal offices. That's pretty small on the scale that I have become accustomed to, but what I found the most odd and interesting is that there is no break room. No coffee! I will have to get a fairly large travel mug or do my sipping prior to leaving for the day. The floor plan for the new office doesn't show a break room either. Everyone eats lunch together clustered around the front desk. One of the nicest perks I have ever seen though is that the physicians buy us lunch from the hospital cafeteria downstairs every single day. Every day. That's impressive! That benefit will go away probably when we move to the new office as there will be no hospital downstairs to do it at. But it will be nice while it lasts. So I had a delectable plank of catfish for lunch along with grilled veggies and came home to find Joe had bought some Chilean sea bass to make me for dinner along with lime-steamed veggies. It was odd not to be in touch with him all day long. His hug when I got home was so welcome. I feel so out of place in my life right now. Nothing feels firm, secure or sure. Nothing. I feel a bit like I am stepped off to the side and watching how things play out. The depth of fear in the news about the economy continues to affect me and to affect Joe. I am glad right now we didn't sell the house. We purchased this one very modestly compared to what we could actually afford and it seems like a really good thing now given the way the world is turning and will continue to for some time to come.

Driving to the new position was hard yesterday morning. I should not be complaining, and honestly, I'm not, more just acknowledging what's going on inside me in hopes that looking at it can help it along its natural path to resolution. I just got in such a funk on that drive, back toward an area of town so different from where I had been with Cooper. Polar opposites really. This office is at a hospital in a far more economically depressed area, and it was never really pretty. Its even less so now. People's faces are tense and suspicious rather than open and confident. I knew as I drove I would have to find a way to put all of the internal sadness away. I was thinking about the girls I used to work with and how close we were, how much fun we had, thinking about how much I didn't want to be doing this. There's nothing wrong with my new job. They are fantastic people and I think it is going to be a very good fit. Its just the sensation of having been forced into it, of not having a choice I think. Its a loss. I am frankly a little startled at the depth of my yearning for my "old life", which was intact just two weeks ago. I know it will pass and I will adjust. I think it just kind of peaked as I pulled into the parking lot and turned off the engine and just sat there with glumness descending. I did a Joe trick and built a little box in my head and envisioned putting all that weary sadness into it and told myself I can come back and open that box up at any time, but that right now I need to close it and put it aside. That it will keep, but it would and will not do for these people who gave me these opportunity, who were excited for me to join their team, to think I am depressed because I work for them. That isn't professional and I do pride myself on being good at my craft and happy in what I do. In any case, its not accurate. I am actually really excited to get out from behind a computer screen and to have more daily interaction with other people and patients. I love that and chose this position because of that.

Everyone in the new office wears scrubs, but it is not a requirement. I wore business clothing yesterday. I actually just got rid of all my scrubs to Goodwill a couple of months ago. Go figure. I hate scrubs with a passion. They don't look good on anyone and look even worse on me. I am pear shaped and they are always ten miles too big on top and then shamefully tight around my hips and rear. They get faded so quickly too. Its like wearing pajamas to work. But I have to admit, I am wondering if I should cave in and get some again. I would fit in better with the environment of my new office even if I look like a giant pea (or grape or marshmallow or lime, all depending on what colors I buy of course). I am losing weight and scrubs are relatively adjustable. I would actually need to buy new clothes less often if I have five or six pair of adjustable waist scrubs. When we all went down to get lunch yesterday I felt conspicuous in the clickety clack of my kitten heels while everyone else trucked along silently in their tennis shoes and I had trouble keeping up due to fear of falling on the polished hospital floors. I suppose I could get some scrubs and on days I felt like it, I could wear business clothes instead.

I am sure this is just scintillating to read about.

So for a fish out of water, I had fish twice yesterday. Today feels marginally less uncertain and I at least have an idea of how the day is going to go. I do really like the people I am going to work with and am excited to get in there and get my nose into the nitty gritty of the position, which is going to require a degree of patience. I look forward to the seminar tonight and meeting the son physician of the father/son team.

1 comment:

karengberger said...

I love your stream of consciousness; "just scintillating"...you are so sweet and funny! Courageous and in touch with your feelings, too. And I love "the box." I know that men have those compartments in their minds, but I'd never heard anyone describe it and how it works. That was priceless. Now I know how Gregg actually DOES it. Thank you, and please thank Joe for me.
Love from the NW.