Friday, August 31, 2007

This is new and different

Change is… well, it's just change.

So I started this excellent new job (yes, yay!) and I’m doing training. God, do I hate training. The only thing I hate more then being trained is training others – it’s EXHAUSTING and takes FOREVER and can never really be ORGANIZED and makes me put things into ALL CAPITAL LETTERS… But hey, at least when you’re the doof being trained (me=doof) you’ve got a couple of weeks where you can keep falling back on the classic excuse: “I’m new. I don’t know nuthin.”

The old job was in the finance area. This new one is in a hospital.

CAVEAT: I’m not a doctor, nor am I playing one on TV. Or here at this job. Nor am I a nurse, or a therapist or ANYTHING ELSE THAT REALLY MATTERS. So please, don’t bother asking any questions about “what does it mean when…” or “is it bad if…” or even the classic “it hurts when I do this.” (seriously, why do these people keep doing that?) I don’t have any answers for you. My position is administrative, and not the impressive “I’m in charge of this area – I’m the administrator!” (which is heard in a big, awesome, booming voice) kind of way. I’m administrative in the “Jean, take a memo.” kind of way. If you want help with formatting your letter or creating an Excel spreadsheet or ordering office supplies, I’m your girl. Otherwise ask Dr. Spock. He knows everything. (ok, so just there? My geek was totally showing.)

This new job is in a hospital. And here are some interesting differences between any other office job I’ve ever had and one in a hospital:

1. Everyone pays attention to how often you wash your hands. To an almost obsessive degree. Now if I were working with patients or other sick people I’d understand that. Or even if I were serving food! But I’m mostly typing and making copies, so who cares if I scrubbed my digits for a full 30 seconds or not? It’s strange.

2. You really need to know when you’re addressing a doctor and when you aren’t. Because if you call someone “Mr. Amazo” and he’s really “DOCTOR Amazo”? Yeah, he will remove your spleen. Right there. With his eyes of death. On the one hand I want to reply with a well-phrased “paging Doctor Massive, Earth-Dwarfing Ego!!” but I guess I’d want the kudos too if I went to school forever, ever, ever. Or if I held the power of life and death in my bare hands. Whatever.

3. Every writing implement in the joint has the name of a pharmacy on it. And pharmacy pens are fascinating: they’re always ball-of-point, always, and they’re brightly colored, and always a combination of these bright colors. Like the pen on my keyboard is orange and pink and sports a word that is at once both hip and trendy sounding while also sounding vaguely latinesque. Also? They run out of ink in about 4 seconds. In the time it would take me to write the full name of the drug they’re promoting I’d be out of ink. So every meeting I've been to so far has a constant stream of "do you have a pen I could borrow?" running through it.

4. Your friends' medical lives are no longer private, because you keep running into them in the halls. "Hey, I didn't know you were pregnant! Or have mono! Or filling out that perscription for penicilin!" Awkward...

5. The other things you see in the halls are sometimes bleeding and sometimes crying and sometimes about to share their tummy-insideness... These and many more things are things that you just don't see at the bank/realtor/library/marketing firm, etc. I'm perfecting my "I'm looking you generally in the face so as to not be rude but not looking you actually in the eye because if I do that I'll have to look at where you used to have 2 eyes but now have a number less then 2. In the eye department. And then not stare. but not look away. Wow, how are we still not to your floor???" mojo. because I don't want to be cold or mean, but I also don't want to be rude. and I think they still consider it rude to stare-stare-STARE with your mouth open and a horified-yet-fascinated expression on your face. Right? Miss Manners? Anyone?

Many things are the same for this office job as most others. However, the different things are pretty different. and be so proud of me: I haven't once told any of the doctors with whom I work that "it hurts when I do that." Not once! I'm so VERY strong!

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