14 November 2002
Look at that clean desk. I mean...just look at
it! No only that, but there are no piles of work stuffed off in corners so Dr. G won't see
that I haven't done them. I'm caught up.
And believe it or not, it only took one day.
Last week, I finally told Dr. G that I was on the point of burnout.
He had pointed out something I'd forgotten to do--my screw up, and it was not a good
one--and I let him know that I was drowning in work and that things were falling through
the cracks because I just couldn't keep up.
After giving it some thought, he suggested that perhaps my friend,
whom he recently hired as a contract patient biller, might be willing to help out. That's
all the invitation I needed. She has a regular 8-5 hour job, but only works 4 days a week,
so I asked her to come in on Friday and help me catch up.
That we were able to make so much headway was due to two things: She
knew what she was doing and zipped through it, while I'm still learning, even after a year
(mainly because this is a part of the job I've been letting slide), and secondly, Dr. G
wasn't there. No phone calls, no work to finish while he was away. Just the whole glorious
day to do what I wanted.
"I'm almost finished," she said around 2 p.m. I looked at
my part of the job and saw that I, too, was nearly finished. It was as if a huge weight
had been moved from my shoulders. All these months, I've felt like Sisyphus, struggling
mightily and getting nowhere fast.
It's amazing what feeling caught up can do.
Suddenly I was no longer sitting there staring off into space, not
knowing where to start. Within a day, I had worked my way through all of the piles, had
filed everything, calculated everything, written everything, and my desk was cleared.
I had to leave early that night (to go review The Full Monty).
As I left, I went into Dr. G's office, told him good bye and, as I walked out, pointed to
the mess on his desk and said "Do something about this clutter, will ya?" A
But even better than that is the fact that it is now four work days
later and my desk is stll cleared. In fact, yesterday I had to sit around and try
to think about what sort of project to begin. The only thing not done is balancing the
checkbook, but that takes a day with no phones, no Dr. G., no patients. So that will be
the plan for Friday. In the meantime, I'm just enjoying sitting there in all my pristeen
Dr. G will be going on vacation next week, leaving me 3 weeks with
no work to do. So I'm going to take the opportunity to computerize the office. By the time
I finish, we'll have everybody's records on the computer and I'll be able to pull out any
sort of statistics at seconds' notice. He who had been dubious about the value of a
computer to the office is now letting me know what sorts of (sometimes impossible) things
he wants me to do on the computer. I feel very smug.
One thing which has been very encouraging is that I guess he's
satisfied with my performance. He was walking by my desk the other day and said
"Oh...by the way... give yourself a dollar an hour raise." Which I did.
Then two days later, he said "Oh--you know that $1 an hour
raise I gave you? It should have been two. Add another dollar an hour."
So in the same week I've had two raises, hired an assistant,
and have been able to tell Dr. G that his desk was messy.
Kind of a good week!