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14 November 2002

cleandesk.JPG (32849 bytes)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 wonderful moment.

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 glory.

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 " 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!

Quote of the Day

Rather than add a "quote of the day," I'm going to direct you to this long piece about Veterans' Day which Ned found. 
I think everybody should read it.

Photo of the Day

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One Year Ago
Faux Food
Is that so hard? Do we actually need a KIT to make tuna salad?

Two Years Ago
Seal of the Confessional
Now that I’ve confessed my great sin for the week, I’m feeling better. Unless, of course, the entertainment editor has taken to reading my journal. Or unless one of you guys rats on me. You won’t...will ya?

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Created 11/12/02