... the journal

The Guest
Refrigerator Door

These aren't exactly magnets, but they were off of a wonderful wall at my friend diane's house in England.

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She says:  Read me the one where women and men work the same hours, do the same jobs, and get equal pay...I love fairy tails!

* Discussion *

Talk about it here.


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Becoming a Man:
Half a Life Story

Paul Monette

My Amazon wish list


Dharma & Greg

Samples of several of the
slide shows I've been making
can be downloaded from
Beechbrook Cottage

Pictures from our The England and Orkney trip are on my own Club Photo page.

Not to be missed:  Steve has uploaded some of his new songs to the web.  Check 'em out

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That's it for today!



24 October 2001

OK...maybe it's not the wrong job, but by about 5 p.m. tonight, as I was rummaging around in drawers trying to get the lay of the land and figure out where everything was--and what the hell I was going to do when left to run the place on Thursday (he's moved my full-time start date up from Monday to Thursday), I realized that medical office managing is not what I really was born to do.

We had agreed that I would come in at 2 p.m. this afternoon for another hour of orientation. Thinking I'd be finished at 3, I made arrangements to meet friends in the Bay Area for dinner at 5. No sweat. An hour and a half drive tops. I could do that.

Around noon, he called and said he was running late and would I mind coming in at 3 instead. That made getting to dinner a bit tighter. I also realized that I have a feature article on Little Shop of Horrors due on Friday and I really need to speak to more people, so I decided not to go to the dinner, go to work at 3, and then get up to the university for rehearsal with my little hand-held dictating machine so I could interview some of the actors and write my story tonight.

Once again the office was empty when I arrived at 3. Dr. G likes to keep notes on the back of lots of business cards, and he had written up all the things he needed to talk with me about while he was driving up from Modesto the other day (I scolded him for writing and driving at the same time).

We had crossed several things off the list yesterday and today he was getting into more meaty stuff. Money. Accounting. We all know how much I'm looking forward to that part of the job. So there was a lot of instruction about where things are kept and how things should be done and tsk-tsk'ing about how they haven't been done by my predecessor. We also spent some time figuring out how I should let the patients know that she has left the job. He doesn't want to look like some kook who can't hold an employee, since I will be his third manager in 8 months.

The first manager loved working for him, but needed full time work, so left for that reason. She still comes in occasionally and I have a tall order to live up to the standards she set, because I notice that every sentence started with "When D was here..." and "D always did things this way..." F hasn't lived up to D's standards, or to Dr. G's standards, and so she was allowed to quit before she was fired. We had to figure out how to say that tactfully to the patients. (Personally, I'd be inclined to just say she left, but he wanted to get the script right.)

I got a taste of how particular he is when he was looking for the booklet that explains how the telephone works. "D always kept it under the telephone," he told me. In rummaging through the drawers, he found it on top of everything in the drawer right under the phone--where I'd keep it, to tell you the truth. "Let's just put it back under the telephone," he said. O...K. I'm beginning to get the feeling that there is only one way to do things around here. And if I follow D's careful and meticulously (if not quite spelled correctly) instructions, I should do fine.

He called the accounting firm and asked to talk with the manager and then put me on the phone to introduce myself so they would know who they were dealing with now. He then went on to explain to them about F's incompetence, which I thought was a little unnecessary. But it was a prologue to letting them know how much better I'd be because I'd "managed a significantly larger office." Gleep.

Yeah, I managed a significantly larger office, but it was so much larger that we had an in-house bookkeeper who did all the money stuff, and a whole staff to deal with patient forms, and I just managed the people. But I can do this. I can do this. I can do this.

Anyway, after an hour and a half of instruction on the real heart of the job, he left to go make a few calls, and suggested I familiarize myself with where things are kept, what's in the drawers, and "organizing things the way you want them organized" (though probably not moving the telephone book back to the desk drawer!)

So I went through all the drawers. Found the money drawer with the checkbooks and the deposit book. Found the drawer with all the technical stuff about insurance and that side of things. Went through the other drawer with all the account information on the various merchants with which we do business. I spent about 15 minutes looking at all the labels on all the file folders. But out of all of them, I only took out two: one which was a press release for a talk he was giving, and one which was about newspaper publicity.

I kind of laughed at myself. All this stuff that is going to be the meat and potatoes of my job and it's all so foreign to me, that the only thing I really honed in on was publicity. I can publicize this office just fine, if I don't run it into the ground financially!

I do see, however, why F is not working out. Simple things like entering the patient's telephone number on the charts have not been done. I found some chart notes that should have been mailed to the referring doctor two weeks ago, and Dr. G found reminder cards that should have been mailed out to patients a month ago. He was not happy. He sighed a lot.

I hope that in 3 months he's not going to be sighing a lot about what I haven't done.

This really has the potential to be a good job for me, once I figure out what I'm doing, and if I can learn to be meticulous, at least in the office. I work much better one-to-one, and being a self-starter than I do in the corporate setting. I guess it's not so much that I'm not a team player (as an obsessional people-pleaser, I have to be a team player), but the goals of corporate America are just not things that I feel are appropriate. Maybe I've been listening to Ned too long and it's finally rubbed off!

Anyway, in this office, it will be just me and nobody to lock horns with.

I've brought home the procedure manual, since I'm going to be taking over on Thursday and will be totally lost. I hope I'm able to remember enough of D's instructions that I won't make a total idiot of myself on the first day.

The procedure manual is considerably more detailed about my back office duties. Perhaps the reason F is having problems in this job is that she has too much busy work to do to be able to do all the "managing" part. What with washing stuff and helping with exams and setting up rooms, and all the other stuff, it may be that there is just not enough time left to do anything else. I'm sure that at least in the beginning I'm going to feel overwhelmed.

And now he's talking about my taking over his transcription (which will mean bringing it home to do, because I sure am not going to do it on a typewriter), and next year taking over all the accounting so he can get out of his contract with the accounting firm.

But I won't think about that now. I'll think about it tomorrow. At Tara.

One Year Ago:
Back to Home Base

Some pictures from this journal
can be found at
Club Photo

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Created 10/22/01 by Bev Sykes