Tag Archives: jobs

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Ten years ago, I took off for Washington, DC, for a three month travel nurse assignment. All by myself.  Was I scared?  Yes, indeedy.  But good scared, if you know what I mean. My family was not exactly in shambles, but a reasonable facsimile thereof, and I wanted to get away.  Far away.  My heart was still heavily bruised from a relationship that fell apart. And, I wanted a challenge professionally.  I had heard horror stories about the hospital where I’d be working, but I didn’t really care.  (They all turned out to be true, by the way, and then some!!!)  I mainly wanted to be where I only had to take care of myself and my dog.  And where at any given time, nobody would know exactly where I was, or who I was.  The travel company would pay for my furnished apartment, utilities, and travel expenses.  Sounded good to me.  So I hit the road.

My apartment was just a couple of minutes away from National Airport, the Pentagon, all kinds of cool things.  I got all moved in pretty painlessly.  My best friend had ridden up with me, and we did lots of sight-seeing that first weekend.  At one point, we were waiting for the Metro at the Pentagon (I hadn’t quite figured out the system at that point), and I thought I’d snap a picture.  From somewhere up above, a deep voice boomed, “Don’t take that picture!!”  I stopped, looked up expecting to see God, and heard the voice again.  Then I noticed a security guard slowly driving past.  Whew!!  I was kinda freaked out, I must admit!!  I showed them, though.  Later, I took a photo of the Pentagon from the top of the Washington Monument!!

Yep, the hospital where I worked was pretty much a nightmare.  I worked in the Pediatric ER, which was SEVERELY understaffed and VERY busy!!  The people I worked with were nice and for the most part helpful, but it was just crazy all the time.  For the first time in my life, I lost weight without trying, because I never had time to eat while I was at work, and when I wasn’t, lots of times I was too tired to eat.  And if you know me, you know that’s TIRED!!!  It was really weird, I was expecting all top of the line, cutting edge equipment and facilities.  Boy, was I wrong.  Some of their stuff had been around since the days of Ben Franklin!!  Thanks to a fellow travel nurse, I managed to figure out which section of the ER was the best to work in, and was quick to volunteer for it. Helped that most of the other nurses didn’t like working in that area, but for me it was great. The doctors only came over when necessary, and I was pretty much able to do my work without much interference.  But, damn, that place was busy!!

On days off that I was’t exhausted, I’d go exploring.  DC was great!!  I loved walking around the National Mall, and going to all the museums.  I had never been so alone in my life, but I really kinda liked it.  It was fun not having to answer to anyone, to just go with the flow.  My apartment was small and cozy, my nearly blind dog adjusted easily, and I had everything I could ever need just a stone’s throw away.  Several friends came to visit, and it was fun checking out all the coolness of DC with them. Before it was all over, I even met a guy I really liked!!  If I had liked the job, all would have been perfect!!!

Hard to believe that was TEN years ago.  Man, it seems like yesterday in so many ways. I’ll always be glad I did it, because if I hadn’t, I would have regretted it for the rest of my life.  In fact, I enjoyed DC so much that I came back the next year.  Well, kind of.  I lived and worked in Virginia, out in the burbs of DC.  That hospital was like a vacation.  I even extended my contract and stayed three extra months.  If the cost of living weren’t so outrageous, I’d have stayed there permanently, that’s how much I liked working at that hospital.  Fun, nice people, EASY workload, low aciuty patients for the most part.  What more could you want from a Pediatric ER job???

But, as they say, all good things must come to an end.  I came back home and to my old job.  Not a bad gig, and great people.  But I will always treasure my DC adventures…

 

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Shouldn’t you be working…

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So, I’m sitting here at my desk in my little cubicle, doing anything but work.  Just can’t seem to make myself do anything productive today.  I’d love to go home and get on the sofa with my snuggly little Stella and take a long, cozy nap.  But I have to try to at least look busy while my mind wanders all over the place.

For some reason, I keep thinking about a lost love.  He broke my heart into a million pieces…just walked away without a word. And even though it was years ago, sometimes it still hurts.  I hope he wasn’t the love of my life, but I strongly suspect that he was.  I haven’t even come close to that feeling with anyone since him.  I can’t help wondering now and then…if only…I suppose everyone does that once in awhile. Makes for a melancholy day, though.

On a cheerier note, I have a trip planned for January.  I’m going to Big Sky in Montana with my friends from Minnesota!! They’ve been going for several years now, and the other night I got a call inviting me to go along.  I don’t ski, but there will be lots of other things for me to do.  Like hang out in my PJs all day and read, sip wine, cook.  I can have dinner ready for the skiers when they come in from the slopes.  One day we are going to take a snow mobile tour of Yellowstone, something that’s been on my bucket list for a long time!!  But just spending time with friends will be the best part of all.  They love me in spite of my many quirks, and accept me without question.  Can’t really ask for more than that!

I’ve also got my annual sister trip coming up.  We try to go the first weekend in November to celebrate my late mother’s birthday.  It would make my mom so happy.  We shop, eat, drink, laugh, and just generally enjoy each other’s company, which we don’t get to do nearly enough.  I’m glad we have managed to keep our trip alive all these years, it’s good for my soul.

Hard for me to believe that Christmas is just around the corner.  So much to do.  I have bought a few presents, though. Always nice to have a bit of a start.  I can’t wait to get my tree…makes the house smell so wonderful.  I love to turn off all the lights in the house except the ones on the tree and watch my favorite Christmas specials–A Charlie Brown Christmas and How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the original cartoon, NOT the Jim Carrey movie).  On Christmas Eve, I’ll watch A Christmas Story over and over…I’ll go to sleep with it on and wake up to it on Christmas morning.  A little tradition of mine…

Well, I’ve managed to kill a few minutes anyway.  Time to actually do something work related for the last thirty minutes of the day…

Well, how did I get here?

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If anyone had ever told me that I’d end up being a computer analyst (well, kinda) for a living, I would have laughed them out of town!!!  And yet, here I am.  I’m in my 4th year, and still don’t feel like I have a total grasp of what I’m doing most of the time.  I do not consider myself a computer person, and there’s a ton of the jargon I still don’t get.  But somehow I muddle through.  It helps that I have the best boss on the face of the earth.  His patience and sense of humor have made me able to get past all those times I wanted to take a sledge hammer to the damn laptop!!  He gets that I’m not a computer person and frequently reminds me of all I’ve learned over these past few years.

Twenty years ago next week, I started nursing school.  Wow, that is so hard to believe…in many ways it seems like yesterday.  I had been doing a job I hated for so long–10 years–that I found it hard to fathom that I had left it and was looking into a brand new future.  I know some people will find this hard to believe, but I really enjoyed nursing school.  Oh, there were parts of it I didn’t like (*cough* OB *cough*), but by and large, I liked being a student again.  Most of my instructors were great, and the two years flew by.  Post-nursing school, I started out working in adult ICU.  Not really a fun job, but I learned a ton.  Two years later, I transferred to the Pediatric Emergency Department, and I had found my niche.  I did that job for twelve years, with two travel nursing stints thrown in.  My last couple of years in the PED were spent away from bedside nursing…I was doing Quality Assurance/Performance Improvement. An okay job with better hours, and I wasn’t on my feet for 12 hours 7 days in a row. Just too damn old to do that anymore.  And then the computer job fell in my lap.  My hospital, like so many others, got a system for an electronic health record, better known as computer charting.  I was on the fringes at first, just reviewing workflows and recommending things that the PED needed.  Then, someone else’s misfortune became my blessing. My now boss called me and told me that one of the ED application analysts was “no longer working here”, and I was the first person he thought of to fill the position.  “Me?!?!?!?”, I almost yelled into the phone.  Me, indeed.  A few weeks later I was in my first training class up in the Midwest wondering just what the hell I had gotten myself into.  But there was some part of me that kept thinking, at my age, and at this point in my career, for something like this to just come along…I’d be a fool not to give it a try. For someone who used to fear change, I seem to have embraced it in my old age.  My motto has become “I’d rather fail than regret never trying”.

I think it’s serving me well…