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THE GOOD OLD DAYS
10 October 2019
First--yes, we have power. We are fortunate. Places nearby have no power but they said that they would not have to turn off power to Davis. There is breeze here, but not strong.
However, a friend with whom I had lunch, came up from Vacaville, which has no power, and she said that the drive up, fighting the wind, was harrowing.
What a lovely lunch I had yesterday with three other women who worked for Women's Health. I reconnected with Marsha earlier this year and we have met for coffee a couple of times (and she came to our yard sale), but I had not seen Barb or Ester in nearly 20 years, so it was great to see them again.
We ate at the Mustard Seed restaurant and, unable to resist anything with the word "crab" in it, I ordered a crab Louis. It was not your traditional crab Louis, but lord, was it delicious.
I had considered just ordering the crab cakes appetizer, but seeing how small they are, I was better off getting them in a salad.
We spent a lot of time reminiscing and thinking about people we used to work with, wondering how they are now. Some of us had contact with some of them (e.g., our friend Lynn came to Tom's BBQ in July...I hadn't seen her in 2-3 years)
It's amazing how time flies. I can't believe it was more than 20 years ago that I worked in that office. It was one of my favorite jobs--for the first 10 years or so. I started as a part time transcriptionist, employed by The Typing Company, for whom I filled in in several medical offices in town.
When finances got tight at the Typing Company, I was let go and Women's Health hired me full time. I worked for 12 years. As transcriptionist my "office" was a closet in the hall. My desk was in the closet and my chair extended out into the hall, so I saw many of the patients who came in. The closet was directly across the hall from the coffee room, so I was part of all the break time chatter, laughter, and whispered secrets. That was fun.
While things did not go smoothly for us all during the 10 years in that office, mostly we had a good time and did a lot of socializing through the years, the things I remember most fondly about that period of time. I also loved that it was known, among women in town, as the best ob/gyn office in Davis.
After 10 years, the private medical office was absorbed by the Big Medical Company and five private offices merged into one new building, the MOB (Medical Office Building). Shortly before the move, our office manager quit to give herself full time to her other business, and help with family issues. We were part of the Big Medical Company by then and they were already starting to make changes in the way the office worked. They hired a replacement office manager from the front office staff and then made the work load so impossible for her that she quit after less than a month.
I asked if I could take the job and, amazingly, they gave it to me. For some reason, the pressure that caused the previous manager to quit was not pressed on me and my main business at the beginning was overseeing the move to our new offices in the MOB.
I managed the office for a bit over a year. The interesting thing about that place was that each of the five offices which went into the building had its own office manager and within 2 years, each of those managers had left the job, whether being fired or deciding to quit. The Big Medical Company didn't want managers who were devoted to their doctors but to the company itself, so that when they made decisions (like having to book 2 patients in the same 15 minute time slot to see more patients) which nobody liked, they would have an office manager who would not argue the doctors' wishes, but push the Company's rules.
As far as my own leaving the job, it was shortly after David died in 1996. I was called to a special meeting with representatives of the Company, the reason given being nothing having to do with what they told me it concerned. It was two people sitting across from me and telling me how unqualified I was for my job. How they needed someone with a degree in that position and how I couldn't get a degree in time. They beat me down and down and down until I was in tears and felt worthless. Until that time there had been no complaint -- to me anyway -- about how I was running the office. They didn't fire me, but definitely wanted me to quit--I played into their hands. If they had fired me I could have collected unemployment.
I talked to my attorney friend and she advised me to write a wonderful "I quit" letter instead of expressing the anger I was feeling. And I did. (I am a writer, after all!) I listed all the things I had done and how grateful I was for having been the opportunity to take charge of the office. I left a copy on the desk of each of the doctors and the head doctor told me it was the best "I quit" letter he had ever read.
Ironically, it took them three tries to find someone to replace me and a year later, they still didn't have a permanent manager -- one guy didn't last through the orientation phase.
As for me, I was hired by another gyn office to be its office manager. I was office manager, I helped with medical exams, was the bookkeeper, the janitor, the transcriptionist, and when we got a bone density machine, I learned to do bone density exams too.
All without a degree, and for a higher salary.
But the days before the Big Medical Office took over and we were a private office were some of my happiest in Davis, and the women I had lunch with yesterday, some of my favorite people. It was nice to see them all again.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Dissecting a squid
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