IN MY OPINION
Books Read in 2006
TO WORK, OR NOT TO WORK...
10 July 2006
I had an interesting phone call, totally out of the blue the other day. It was a guy calling from Woodland Memorial Hospital. He said he had seen a resume that I had posted on line in 1991, which indicated that I was a medical transcriptionist and he wondered if I would be interested in a job.
Whoah. 1991? Heck, I was still working for Women's Health (before it was taken over by Sutter) in 1991. That was five years before David died. I don't remember uploading a resume, though it certainly sounds like something I might have done to pick up a little after-work money doing at-home transcription. I certainly am not in the market for another full-time job at this point in my life.
Then he talked on about how there were full time jobs, part time jobs and "on call" jobs available.
Hmmm...on-call. Now that sounded interesting. The guy said that the pay for on-call transcriptionist was $22 an hour (which is more than I was making as a medical office manager/medical assistant back in 2003!)
I didn't give him an answer, but told him I'd like to hear more about it, and he said that someone from the hospital would call me.
My friend Diane, a transcriptionist in Seattle, wrote "WOW, $22/hour is great! (at least by Seattle wages)." I could always use a little more "disposable income."
I was concerned about the backlog of transcription I already have here at home, but thought that if I actually were to get an out-of-the-house job, it would give me the impetus to become more efficient here at home and clear away all these tapes.
A very big part of me wanted no part of being tied down to an office again, but there was that $22/hr carrot being dangled in front of my nose. I made no decisions and decided to wait until someone contacted me with additional information.
Someone contacted me, all right, and that settled my mind once and for all. But the someone had no connection with Woodland Memorial Hospital.
The someone was Ashley.
Three 4-day old premature puppies. The only survivors of a litter of 11. This sounds fraught with disaster, and another ready-made tragedy waiting, but how could I say no? Babies that need me. Maybe I could save one of them. Maybe I could save all three of them. But I couldn't turn my back on them.
That's when I realized that if I take a job out of the house, I would have to give up fostering puppies. Puppies can sometime go for several hours between feedings, but sometimes need more intense care. I couldn't give that if I worked, even if I worked on call.
I've been thinking about puppies a lot since Elmer died. People a lot of people have said that they don't know how I can keep doing this. But the thing is that somebody has to do it. You either have to give up on these little guys, or someone has to risk having her heart broken when they don't make it. Because there's always the possibility that they will make it. Up until recently my record had been pretty good. A whole year of puppies that made it and got adopted out.
There is nothing more painful than holding a tiny puppy who is struggling to breathe, who is crying out in pain, and for whom you can do nothing but give comfort.
But by the same token, I try to imagine the alternative, if nobody cared. An orphan puppy dying alone in the elements, or being eaten by a predator, or dying in some cold cage somewhere, only to be swept up with the waste products when discovered.
So I have decided not to take the hospital transcription job, and to continue taking in puppies, even when they don't make it. I've learned a bit with the last two litters and it might help me do a better job the next time around.
Unfortunately, Ashley called around 6:30 to let me know that the woman who was giving up the three puppies (they are Chow-Dingo-Irish Setter mixes) had decided she couldn't bear to separate the puppies from their mother, even tho the mother was not taking care of them and 8 of their siblings had already died. So there are no puppies here tonight, but there will be others soon and the mental debate over job vs. puppies made me realize that I really do want to keep taking in puppies.
I'm sorry to miss these three though. They were born on the 4th of July and I was going to call them Yankee, Doodle and Dandy.
Come to think of it, maybe it's just as well I missed this litter!
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Tom and Laurel's dog, Akila