15 May 2003
It was a speech I've heard countless times in the last year and a half.
"I like things to be organized. This is your work area, but it's my office and it
reflects me. You need to clean some of this area so it all looks neat."
Suggestions followed for how best to organize it, suggestions of where to keep various
things. The lecture takes about 10 minutes--longer if he has nothing pressing going on, no
patients waiting to be seen.
This day the lecture didn't bother me as much as it usually does (I get it so
often...always in a tone which suggests that he just thought of it and perhaps I hadn't
given any thought to the fact that my own area might be a bit better organized. Usually
delivered just before he drops a 1 foot pile of assorted jobs on my desk.)
The reason why the lecture didn't bother me as much as it usually does is that he wasn't
giving it to me. Now that "C" has joined the team, he has a new audience. And it
was her turn to get the "organization" lecture.
C has a "desk" which is about 2 feet square and she hasn't been here long enough
to really have "stuff," but has lots of paperwork involved with the job she's
been hired to do, as well as bottles of "goo" to use, notes on what she's doing,
an in and out basket, etc., etc. I'm not sure how/where she's going to organize it, but
suffice to say that it was nice to hear the familiar lecture being delivered to someone
My brain is in a weird place right now. I guess I've entered lame duck mode. Actually,
there has been no time at all for us to discuss my future. Other than a 30 second
conversation as he was leaving for a meeting, we have not even mentioned my impending
departure, so I know nothing about plans, hopes, desires, when we will put an notice in
the paper, etc., etc. For all I know I'll still be there the week before I leave for
But the main point is that I am leaving, and somehow pressing things just don't seem as
pressing any more. What seems pressing to me now is getting things in a state where I can
pass them along in a way that will help my successor...and in a way that my successor
won't say (as I did when I took the job), "what in the world did she DO?...this is a
I'm thinking back to my orientation to the office--and how little of it there was.
Essentially: "don't worry about it; he won't notice." It became very clear very
soon why she was being replaced--he does notice and as I started going through my
"legacy," it was clear to see that she had done very little--or didn't
understand the job or something. I remember her saying that he would come out of his
office everytime he sent a patient into the bathroom so he could check on what I was
doing. He did. But that lasted only a couple of weeks. Once he decided I could handle the
job, he stopped checking up on me all the time.
I remember her telling me that he would never ever say thank you. But he does. He may not
make a big fuss over "miracles" I'm able to pull off, or complicated forms I
design, or a lot of the things I take on myself to do on the computer, but he does say
thank you from time to time.
This was the perfect job at the perfect time. He hired me when I didn't think I was
hireable (because of my weight). He trusted me to take on a job that I wasn't sure I was
completely capable of handling. He's stuck with me as I've gained more self confidence
(and lost more weight). It hasn't evolved into the perfect job. As the office has become
more busy, my duties have increased and (obviously) the stress has increased. I've learned
how to be a person and a half, if not two. To juggle the job of front office person and
back office person simultaneously.
It's been missing a certain element that I can't quite put my finger on. Somehow we've
never bonded in the way I have in every other job I've held. I don't feel a part of the
creative process; I don't feel "pride of accomplishment" that makes me want to
go the extra mile to do things. I just feel that I'm doing what I can and stressing over
what I don't get done.
But whether this is the perfect job for me now or not, the fact is that it soon won't be
my job at all, and that changes how I view doing it from day to day now. Things just
aren't as important today as they were last week. It's hard to get worked up over things
that I won't be around to watch develop.
Basically I'm thrilled that now that "C" is around, the "neatness
lecture" can be given to someone else from time to time. It's nice to know that I'm
not the only one with "organizational problems."
I'm using Fotolog for
some of the more "unusual" photos that don't really go in the journal proper.
The artsy-fartsy stuff (some things that were posted here, but most not)