8 August 2002
Now right off the bat, I know that there will be someone (and you know who you are)
who will read this and want to lecture me on how I'm overworked and underpaid ... and yes,
you're right. But for the moment, this is where I need to be...OK?
That said, I'm thinking of the greeting card that I've seen which has on the front some
tranquil nature scene and some wording to help you feel calm and centered and
relaxed...something like "think of a beautiful forest with birds singing and flowers
blooming. Think of a pleasant stream running through it...." and then when you open
it, it says something to the effect "now think of holding an annoying person's head
under water and choking them until they stop breathing" or some such thing. That's
the general gist, anyway.
So to keep centered and calm today, I'm remembering that stream, and having absolutely
no problem whatsoever picturing the neck around which my hands have clasped, or the face
that is staring up at me through the pleasant running stream.
It's not easy working for someone with ADD. And for those who have children with ADD
and think they may outgrow it, when, dear lord? Is 59 old enough? Not from where I sit.
Yes, it's been a couple of fun days around the office. Actually it started last week.
There was a day when Dr. G's wife called and I confided to her that it was the very first
time since I started there that I was feeling job stress. She probably shared that with
him, because he was quite solicitous the next day.
Why is it so stressful? Hard to say, except that my job duties seem to increase daily.
He also can't stand to have things clutter up his desk, so he'll have me take them to MY
desk, which has no free space whatsoever. I end up with books on top of piles of
paper on top of files on top of the check book...and then he'll come out to have me write
something up for a patient and comment to the patient about how my desk is so messy.
Yesterday was our "morning day," which means we start at 9 a.m. and go until
about 2 p.m. Only by 3:00 he was still there, still tossing me work. I had a 3:30
appointment and when I mentioned I had to leave, he said I really, really needed to type
just one letter (and fax it to 20 people) before I left. I told him I simply couldn't, but
agreed to come back after my appointment and do it then. (Bear in mind that I had no
I went to the appointment and when I got back to the office, he was just leaving. I
went in to type the letter and on top of the big stack of stuff was a tape for
transcription. There was a note on it, which said "This is a pretty full tape. I need
it tomorrow." So that means that I worked 7 hours (without break or lunch) and then
had a tape that had to be transcribed overnight.
I got up at 4 to transcribe and then went out for an hour and a half with Cindy (biked
12 miles...and broke my bike...it's in the shop at the present time), and then back
to transcribe furiously until time to go to work again.
Today I had medical assistant chores to do in addition to the piles of stuff. Dr. G is
working fast and furious on the book he's writing and I swear can whip off a chapter in
between patients. And as soon as a chapter is finished (or he's thought of corrections),
it comes right to me and he needs an overnight turn-around time.
Today he came up with a design for the cover of the proposal he's submitting to
publishers. It takes fairly complicated desktop publishing skills to create. It's
the sort of thing I enjoy, but I'm having to do it in Word, so I'm doing desktop
publishing with a program I've never used before, while he watches over my shoulder to see
how quickly I'll be finished. (And in the meantime he's thought up about 14 other jobs
that I can do when I'm finished.)
At one point he was standing there with a flyer in hand trying to decide if I should go
to a course called "MBA in a day" but decided that this probably wasn't a good
year--I could do it next year.
When I look at the totally impossible mess that is my desk and on which I can never
find anything, when I feel the stress begin to rise when I have too many things to do and
not enough time, I cringe when he reminds me that we are going to start doing our own
billing soon. Not, fortunately in the foreseeable future, but definitely in the future. I
sure don't know how I'm going to find time to do that, especially since the word has
gotten out about what a good doctor he is and I'll bet we've had at least 50 new patients
in the past 3 weeks.
I've been making new charts fast and furious and happened to run out of pre-made charts
one day. When Dr. G came out and saw me putting a chart together for the patient who
had just arrived, it prompted him to give me instructions on how things would go a lot
faster if I just got the charts made up ahead of time.
I didn't hit him with the chart, but I sure thought about it.
It's days like these that I'm sorry I gave up drinking. But then, since I have to
transcribe all night, I couldn't drink even if I were drinking because I would be
in no shape to work all night.
(OK...now you can all tell me what an idiot I am for doing all this for only $13.50 an