NOT MY PROBLEM
22 July 2003
Dr. G was camping with his children up in the high Sierras this
weekend. He happened to spy some sort of communication tower and, since he doesn't know
the phone number of his new office manager by heart yet, he called me on his cell phone.
He called me to ask if I'd work "a bit" this week to give
Replacement #2 more orientation. Then he painstakingly told me all the things he wanted me
to do...all the things I had already done.
I know what his problem is. He expected R#2 to be me instantly. He
wants there to be no transition period. He and I had reached a place where I could second
guess him and he was starting to feel comfortable with that. Well, when she has four
things to do at once, I'm betting it may take her a few minutes to remember where
something is, or how to do something. This is apparently being chalked up to "not
(I'm remembering the days when he thought that patients didn't show
up for appointments because I didn't know how to give driving directions; he's lived here
2 years; I've lived here 30 years and the office is 2 miles from my house, but he wrote
out a script for directions and how I was to give them to the patients. The first
patient I tried got lost. After that, I just ignored his "script.")
It's a 2 room office, for Pete's sake. How much
"orientation" can you do??
He says "just go around the office and touch everything and
then talk about that thing. Like the water--where do we order water from?" (we don't;
it's delivered automatically)... "maybe go through the rolodex and talk about each
card," (pulleeze...), "maybe go through all the things in the exam room,"
(did that) etc.
I told him that I could come in for an hour on Monday, but that I
had a doctor's appointment on Tuesday.
"Is it better for me to be here or not?" he asked.
"NOT!" I said.
Then I called R#2 at her house to explain the plan.
"What does he think I need orientation on?" she asked.
Ahhhh....I was beginning to get the picture. I explained what
he'd said and told her that really, I didn't think it was necessary, but that if I came in
for an hour, I could get paid for an hour and we could, maybe, sit and chat or something.
We agreed tentatively that she would pick me up as soon as he left.
Well, close to that time, I called her and asked when she'd be
coming, so I knew whether to eat lunch first or not.
As we talked, it became very clear that she didn't need me (which I
never thought she did anyway). She said she would give me a call later with questions, as
they came up. That was perfectly fine with me (except it meant I wouldn't get paid because
the telephone call would be so short, but it would be worth it not to go to the office).
Ultimately she called me with four questions, we talked for five
minutes, and she's just fine.
I was also supposed to be taking in a disk with the final revision
of Dr. G's book, which I finished over the weekend (a project I wanted to see through to
completion). I knew that if I didn't make it to the office, he'd stop by here to see about
it, and I preferred not to have him do that, so I sent Jeri to the office on her way out
of town to drop it off.
Thing is, I just do not care any more. There are things I have a
certain sense of pride about--I want to finish the book myself because I've put so much
blood, sweat and tears into it, and I want to finish off his web site because that's fun
to do. But as for the rest--not interested.
I really think R#2 is going to do just fine. She seems not to become
ruffled by dealing with him, seems to be able to multi-task just fine, and best of all,
the reason she didn't want to come and pick me up was because.......
she wanted to clean her desk off first.
I think he's going to love her.
After I wrote the above, R#2 called again. Dr. G is adamant.
I have to come in and "take her through every eventuality." So
we've settled on Wednesday. She realizes it's pointless. I realize it's
pointless, but he isn't going to be satisfied until I've shown up, so what the
hell...I'll collect the salary. (Wouldn't it be wonderful if I could drive on
Wednesday--I doubt it, but I have this fantasy...) I did send him an e-mail, though, letting him know that this is the end. I will not do any more in-office orientation. Period.