Well, I haven't said goodbye to anyone yet, but this afternoon I took the plunge and resigned from my day job. It was gutwrenching for me. As I knew it would be. I'm terrible at goodbyes. I cry when I see strangers at the airport saying goodbye. So, of course, before I could get the words out of my mouth, I was in tears.
Those close to me know that my work schedule has been absolutely insane. I have gone through several different contract jobs or part-time jobs, trying to find a good combination with my day job at the ortho office. I have reached a place where the compensation factor is working well for me-- however, the hours required are just killing me. It's not so much the actual hours worked. I normally put in 12-13 hours a day, as I have done for most of the years since I was divorced in 1992. It's just that by the time I do the girl thing to get ready for work, travel to the office, take an hour for lunch, travel home after work, grab a quick shower, then start work by 6p or 7p, I'm still at my desk at 10p to 11p Mon thru Thurs. Then I work four to five hours on Saturdays, then six hours every other Sunday afternoon. I'm just tired. I'm overwhelmed. My health is suffering. My mental health is suffering. There is no time for anything. (Uncle Ricky would feel vindicated if he saw the unfolded laundry on my bed.) I've been out of water for two days and no time to go to Wal Mart for more. I'll squeeze the last of the toothpaste tomorrow. For many years I have focused more on being thankful for having a skill that allows me to work a second (or third) job from home for a pretty decent wage, and less on whining about how tough it is. And I am truly thankful, on so many levels. But it is tough.
I've been working part-time for the hospital since April. It has felt really good to be back into the mainstream of health care. I was concerned when I left the hospital that I would lose my edge, since my transcription focus would be exclusively orthopedics. Use it or lose it kind of thing. So, I've enjoyed getting back to multi-specialty and hospital transcription. A full-time opening has become available at the hospital, and after much consideration, I have accepted the position. I know this won't be a perfect solution to all that overwhelms me. There are further steps that I need to take in order to regain some control over the chaos that is my life. What this will allow, however, is more free time in which to tackle those tasks. I will still be working 10-hour days. I'll be paid based on the amount of work I produce, which means the time I'm not working, I'm not paid. No fingers on the keyboard = no money in my pocket. No more sending/reading e-mail on the job, no more chewing the fat with my co-workers. Shoot, I won't even get paid when I have to take a potty break any more. But the up side to this is that I'm pleased with my productivity rate, and though obviously, some days won't be as productive as others, I am optimistic that I can easily reap in 10 working hours what normally takes me 12 working hours. The beauty of this whole thing is that those ten hours will be compacted together, not spread out throughout the day and night. No travel time, no unpaid lunch hour, etc. After some schedule negotiation, it looks like this: Sundays- eight hours- 12:30p to 9:00p. (This allows me to go to church! AND watch Desperate Housewives!) [What a combination of benefits!] I'm currently helping to cover second shift priority on Mondays, so in order to make up for the two hours lacking on Sundays, I'll be working 11a to 11p on Mondays, allowing me to continue covering second shift priority. Then Tuesday through Thursday I'll be working 7a to 5:30p. That still hasn't sunk in yet. Whatever will I do from 5:30 till bedtime? Well, besides catch up on folding my laundry! I will be off on Fridays and Saturdays. Yipeeee!!! And I can work from home in my jammies.
Yes, I'm very excited about the change. But I'm also very sad to say goodbye to my current co-workers and my boss. He can be a grumpy old bear sometimes (but no worse than any of the other many grumpy old bear-doctors I've worked with through the years). I have enjoyed what I hope he also feels is a mutually good working relationship and personal rapport. It was very difficult today to tell him that I would be leaving. Of course, I'm just a body at a desk, and anyone can be trained to do most of my job. There is the inconvenience factor of finding and training a replacement, I know, but as soon as someone is trained he won't even miss me. I just always feel some insane sense of loyalty to an employer. I am so blessed that with every job I have ever left, it has been on good terms, and I am still on a hugging basis with all my former doctor-bear bosses. I am lucky. But there is still a part of me that feels obligated to stay the course. Today I had a court case, and the entire time I was sitting there, I was just wondering if the next person would really care as much as I do. If the next person would want our office represented in a concise, professional manner. If the next person will be from the old school like me, and realize that our work in a physician's office is not just about "what's in it for me", but how can we serve our patients and our physician. Will the next person understand that an ounce of kindness, no matter how grumpy I might be today, is not a reflection on me, but a reflection on the physician? I hope so. I guess I just want to think that maybe I might go a little extra distance. Maybe not a whole mile, but further than I have to sometimes. And I hope the next person will too. Okay, so I guess that sounds really conceited, and like I think I'm All That. Nah, I just have my own work ethic. Perfect? Absolutely not. I can goof off with the best of them. But I do have very strong feelings about how patients should be treated, and I hope that the next person who has to call people about their delinquent accounts will have a measure of compassion, and will treat them with respect.
And I must also admit that old control freak in me is rearing her ugly head. Now you all know how badly I hate numbers, and how I can hardly change out a 20 dollar bill with three fives and a ten... (told ya!) but I seem to have implemented an accounting system that (though it confuses even me sometimes), seems to serve its purpose. I worry that whoever follows me will not only think I'm the most anal person who ever lived, with all the steps involved in keeping track of patient accounts, but that somehow it will be discovered there was a much easier way of doing it. Ha! How in the world will I ever explain to someone "how to do it?" I will likely already be gone before someone is hired anyway. I suppose the best I can do is leave my phone number. And try not to be hurt when they just chunk it all away for a more efficient method. :-)
Okay, so I'm sitting in his office, sobbing my heart out, telling him that I'm leaving. No doubt it hurts me more than it will hurt anyone else. Why is that? I have so much to look forward to! I am delighted, though, that he said all the right (very kind and sweet) things, was very understanding and encouraging, and didn't laugh or scoff at my tears.
And though I am very excited about the possibility of doing something besides driving my car and sitting behind a desk from sunup till way past bedtime, I So Hate Goodbyes. It will be a difficult two weeks. Keep me in your prayers.