TENSE? WHO ME??
31 January 2003
I pulled the car into the carport and there it sat. The very thing I didn't
want to see. An envelope from The Psychiatrist (the one I transcribe for).
I rarely see the Psychiatrist. We communicate via this little blue box. When he has
work for me, he clips it to the outside of the box; when I've finished it, I put it inside
the box and he, or someone who works for him, comes to pick it up. We've had this
arrangement for literally decades.
It's not that I don't like him. He and his wife have friends of ours for about 25 years
and we spend New Years Eve at their home. It's just that he and I are busy people and our
paths rarely cross, so t his system of transferring work from him to me and back again has
served us well.
He's also the least demanding person you'd ever want to meet. I don't think that in the
25+ years that I've worked for him he has ever once gotten mad at me, and that he has
never once forgotten to be effusive in his gratitude for my getting his work done--even if
it's late, which it often is now that I work full time again. He pays me on time and has never ever questioned my fees. When I raise them, he
never questions, he just writes a check. We had a mixup in billling last month and he
ended up paying me about $250 more than he should and when I returned his check to him, he
said I could have kept it and he'd never have known.
But I wouldn't do that.
However, there are days when the sight of this innocuous little envelope clipped to the
front of the blue box is close to being the straw that breaks this camel's back.
I'm almost 60. I'm getting too old to be holding down 3+ jobs. Especially when things
are going hot and heavy at the office.
There is a big problem working for someone who is able to concentrate on 15
different things at once. He's kind of the hydra-headed gynecologist. But because he
can have 15 different projects going at the same time, doesn't mean that I can keep up
The past two days have been brutal. I'm dealing with the accountant about our end of
the year profit and loss statement, with a sign painter about painting a new sign for the
new machine we're getting, I'm calling prescriptions in to pharmacies, setting up cardiac
assessment for patients, opening and dealing with the mail, watering the plants, sitting
on the phone trying to get through to insurance companies, trying to fix the copier,
fighting with the computer software guy about some memory upgrades we need, counseling
patients, making corrections on the draft of his soon-to-be-published book, paying the
bills, helping with exams, vacuuming.
In the middle of all this, we had a mini performance review, where he pointed out that
things were going "OK," but that I lacked "organization." No argument
from me there, but it's hard to be organized with no flat surfaces on which to organize
anything, and mountains of work of such varied nature thrown at you. And the
ever-disapproving eye when the desk is messy, which leaves me spending more time
straightening it (unsuccessfully, I might add) which tends to sometimes bury important
"timely" stuff under something less timely, but which was in the latest stack
that got dropped on my desk because he doesn't like HIS work area to be messy.
Normally I just kind of ignore him and do my own thing. I stick with him because with
all his foibles, he does have a good heart most of the time. But this week, my ability to
cope is a lot weaker. Yesterday I seriously considered walking out the door and just not
Today was better, but by the time I left the office, I was aware that I was wound up
tighter than a spring, that I wanted to scream, and that I had a desperate craving for
peanut butter. I do wish I were the sort of person whose stomach wouldn't let her eat when
she was upset. But no, when I'm upset I get ravenous and eat everything in sight.
To my credit, I knew I had some dried raspberries (2 points for a lot of them)
and I just ate those and it got me through the munchies. I'm going to take this eating
thing one day at a time at this point, set shorter term goals (as someone suggested I do)
and see how that goes.
I'm sure it doesn't help the stress level to bring home his transcription and try to
get his and the psychiatrist's kept up to date plus running out to review a
show a few times a week, which means staying up until 1 to write the review--and then
getting up at 5 to meet Cindy to go bike riding.
Does anybody have any hint about why I might be the teensiest bit stressed at the