Tag Archives: job

Bad Yelp Review

15 Apr

Yelp and other reviewing sites are nice because they give customers a voice.  Before social media, it was a lot harder to have a voice, and often even if you went through all the effort of snail mail letters, making phone calls, or asking to speak to a manager–your opinion didn’t go anywhere or count for much.  That public component, makes any comments more relevant, and allows other people to jump on and agree also.  It just might lead to change…

But also, it’s a double-edged sword:

-It’s bad statistics, because not everyone goes on those sites, so it catches a certain demographic that isn’t a representative sample.  And like polls, most people with middle of the road opinions do not take the time to comment.  So you get the very bad and very good at either end of the spectrum.

-The reviews are not very accurate for the unsavvy.  Some things a business does are technical, and non-experts do not have the background information to appreciate why things are done that way.  In a restaurant setting, for example, someone may complain that the milk was pasteurized.  This reviewer wants only milk that is “natural” (aka they are a fucking idiot that doesn’t understand science and only hears the latest buzz words) so they left a bad review about it.  But they don’t know that milk is very regulated and it has to pass certain tests to even go to market.  So the restaurant couldn’t legally obtain or sell raw milk.  This also goes for medical.  What is good medicine isn’t necessarily popular w/the public.  Some things are done at the doctor’s office, dentist, and vet because they are science-based and ethical and legal.  And many people are going to be inconvenienced or angry about many of those things.  So giving that bad review lowers the ranking of the business, but is nonsense, you see?

-Someone called in sick and I got stuck working reception at a vet (lucky me) and this high-maintenance client came to pick her pet up from a dental.  Before the surgery day, she had gone over the estimate with the vet and techs.  And they each explained what would happen as they did with every client.  We always explained which costs were firm and which might change depending on what was going on in the mouth.  You can only get a cursory exam on the inside of an animal’s mouth when they’re awake, so there may be many surprises when they’re anesthetized and you can get a better look at things.

Anyway, it was guessed that only 2-3 teeth had to be extracted.  But on the big day, more like 7 had to go.  So the cost was more than the owner expected.  I was the lucky one that had to try to convey that to her, but she went hysterical, started making a scene in the lobby and was screaming and crying.  After like an hour of emotions running high (the owner’s) and price negotiations (on the part of the vet) the owner came out to run her card.  I said something offhand (honestly, I can’t remember what at this point, but nothing crazy) and she hated it and went hysterical again, refused to give me her card, and asked my name so she could give me in particular and the whole practice a terrible Yelp review.  I won’t be bullied so with confidence I spelled my name for her.  She looked shocked that I didn’t get upset or grovel to her, and asked to see my boss.

I got the vet, and could hear the owner fussing about how she didn’t like my attitude.  And I am just not going to let that kind of stuff bother me.  Also, none of this was my fault, I was just trying to check her out and feeling awkward with her scene like any person would, so I did not get reprimanded–as I shouldn’t have.  And P.S.  I checked a few times, and I don’t think that owner ever did write that bad review…

-Which brings me to my next point that it’s not all that fair that 1 really bad or really good review can ruin an overall rating.  People can just be angry and go off in a rating, and actually put people out of business over it.  And if it’s a highly specific situation, or a very one-sided story, or a non-technical opinion that’s not right.

What I really don’t care for is when staff becomes fixated on the online review and panders to it.  It’s lame to ASK customers to complete them.  And it skews the accuracy of reviews if the business asks for it.  Oh well.  So reviews are good for entertainment, but also be a conscientious reviewer and take other reviews with a grain of salt.

Working Interview (Part Deuce)

14 Apr

I feel very strongly about this subject.  See my first post [I think it’s titled:  The Working Interview:  A Concerning New Trend in Veterinary Medicine or something like that just type key words in the search on my blog] about it to get one (of at least 4) examples of my personal experiences with going through working interviews.  And it’s become totally commonplace in veterinary field.  And I’d like to comment how it’s unethical, and suggest different ways to forge that trust with potential employees–rather than exploiting them.

-Firstly, I’m not talking about your veterinary observation hours to beef up your application, nor am I talking about shelter volunteer hours for community service.  Finally, this is not a story about an internship for grades, school credit, or required experience where you know the expectations and are guaranteed to get something (NOT money, but letters, hours, recommendation, etc. . ., etc. . .) back.  I am referring to an additional interview where you perform duties and give your time to a for-profit business with the HOPE of receiving employment.

-Secondly, I feel like veterinary hopefuls want to feel righteous in giving their time away.  Like they have more passion if they are willing to work longer, crummier hours, for no benefits, and little/no money.  This is untrue–giving away your time and services doesn’t make you a better vet school candidate, show that you have more passion, or prove that you are a genuine, and better person–it only makes you more naive  AND helps the conditions at veterinary medicine stagnate.  By allowing these practices to continue by participating in them, remaining silent about them, or stigmatizing others for speaking out–YOU are contributing to unfair, unethical, and unsafe practices in a field that we all love.  Stop it!  Read some history about the industrial revolution and see how the workers who went on strike (against conditions appalling to today’s standard, and just well, standard practice back then) were emotionally, psychologically, and sometimes physically beaten down by big corporate, middle management, and peers–to see how the working interview is a repetition of by-gone times.

Job-hungry, interviewee, what to do If the WORKING INTERVIEW comes up:

-Most importantly, be aware what you are giving up if you agree to an interview.  Maybe you don’t care, in which case refer to #2 above.  Maybe you’re desperate for a job, in which case, I’m sorry.  I’ve been there too.

-Ask what to wear.  Chances are, if the potential employer requests you wear scrubs, they are expecting you to perform hands-on work, not just observe.

-Ask exactly how many hours and days will be required.  If they are non-committal or shady, I would think twice about working there.  Because, if they’re already trying to get work out of you before you’re even hired, what will it be like when you are totally dependent on that employment once hired?

-I never feel comfortable bringing up compensation, especially before you are hired, but if you have the guts (and are willing to gamble the job position) ask if you will be compensated for the time.

-DO ask what will occur if you happen to get injured during the working interview.  And don’t let them slide past the question without a firm answer.  Veterinary medicine is fraught with potential risks and harms, and you need to know how this will be handled.

-Ask what tasks you can expect to perform.  If you are uncomfortable doing any of those things as a non-employee, DO bring up why you are concerned, ie–I’m not certain I feel comfortable accepting the risk of monitoring antithetic when I am not familiar with your particular equipment or procedures.

-Don’t sign anything you are not comfortable with–and this might mean walking away from the job opportunity.  I signed stuff, and totally regret it.  It’s not right, and they know it.

-Lastly, get it in writing!  Make sure the above answers to your questions are in written form and both you and the business has a copy.  This is for everyone’s protection–and imperative.

-And the very worst part about the working interview:  Saying no to it is saying no to the job opportunity.  And that’s not ethical or right on the part of the hiring entity.

Of the employer/head vet/office manager requesting the working interview, I say:

-Would you feel comfortable defending your hiring practiced to the Department of Labor?  If not, than you need to adjust things, because you realize what you are doing now is NOT legit.  If so, proceed to my next question.

-Would you, and DO you tell your best, most particular client–this person does not work here, b/c we can’t trust the resume alone, and is going to practice technical skills on your pet?  If not–that’s not OK.  If you would–first, I give you props for having big kahonies, and 2nd continue to my third question.

-What are you going to do if this working interviewee gets injured while performing the duties of this “interview?”  This is a big question, and huge liability.

-And finally, what are you going to do if this working interviewee hurts/damages/kills a patient?

Ways for Employers to Circumvent the Working Interview:

-Look at your trusty volunteers or observers and hire the worthy.  I know the flakes are more common than not, and you should be hiring those that prove they are dependable over time.  You already know and trust them, AND they’re giving their time on their own accord.  Win-win.

-For added emphasis, I make this it’s own point.  Check out all references.  Actually talk to the people that worked closely with the candidate and listen carefully for subtitles/discrepancies.

-Make a test.  Time them filing a series of files (include business names starting with “the” and difficult ones like O’Hara, deWitt, etc…).  Have them write an essay.  Have them fill and label a prescription.  Have some math on there.  A whole thing, not just basic typing, but things they will actually need to know at your specific practice.

-Hire the good interview candidate based on resume, interview, and CHECKED references.  But do it on a fully-disclosed and discussed, paid, probationary period.  Have that person work, with highly-supervised guidance, and after a certain pre-determined, pre-discussed (PAID) time-period do a full evaluation/review where both parties talk about the good, the bad, and whether to continue the working relationship.  Honestly, this is good policy anyway.  I always had questions at jobs that I hadn’t anticipated at the interview, but there never seemed enough time to address them once I was already working.

-Hire the person, and if they don’t fit, do a shitty job, or mess up hugely–terminate their employment.  Yeah, it’s more trouble, but such is owning a business.

I would like to see the end of exploitation of all workers.  Even in the health care and service industries.  I don’t think that money is a good excuse to keep these kinds of things going–just ask Jeff Bezios or the Waltons/Lowrys how popular it is for them to keep it up.  Let’s stop making excuses and start finding solutions to change these things for the better.

LVT vs. Assistant

9 Apr

I wrote this at least 5 years ago, so things may have changed since my experiences (I doubt it) so remember that as you read.  I still stand by my assessment of LVTs.

In the modern schools, veterinarians are being taught to only do tasks that require their license.  Staff should do EVERY thing else, in order to be most efficient and practice at the top of the profession.  This philosophy is fine in theory.  In practice (they call it that for good reason) most vet hospitals do not PAY well enough to entice skilled employees to work for them.  With skills and licensing comes demand for better pay–and most vet hospitals are small, privately-owned operations that just can’t make that scenario work.  So what you get is what you pay for a lot of the time.  And that can be very scary if your vet sticks with the same mentality they were instructed to have in school.  Most of the vets I worked for did way, way, way more then just what was required by their license.  Because it’s ultimately their business, and because they cared about the animals and their clients.  They wanted things done right (and sometimes quickly).  When I worked for vets that didn’t do things that their license wasn’t specifically required to do, I thought they didn’t really give an eff.  And I looked down on them.  And I’m sure their clients wouldn’t have loved what they saw many of the times.

Back in the late 90s when I started volunteering in vet hospitals, most of the help were just on-the-job trained.  That’s who vets could find, and that’s who most vets could afford to pay.  As things have slowly tried to go the same way as the human side (and for-profit technical schools started popping up), there were more and more LVTs on the scene.

-Licensed Veterinary Technician (LVT).  It’s veterinary medicine’s effort to standardize care. Which in theory is a good thing. In practice, I’m not sure how great those 2 year tech programs ARE. For example, teaching how to calculate anesthetic doses seems to be a primary portion of programs, but is certainly NOT a primary duty for the majority of teching jobs. If the vet trusts the tech to do it at all (many don’t) it’s like 5 minutes out of an entire day.  There is a big discrepancy between what the technical programs are teaching and what veterinary employers want in a tech (and are able to pay that tech).

I think mostly vets want someone who:

1)  they don’t have to train (there’s no time, they’re probably already short-staffed by the time they get to the hiring process)

2)  someone will will show up.  Availability during peak times (weekends, +/- holidays, +/- nights, and mostly full time (or more) hours.  Willingness to come early, miss breaks, skip lunch, and stay late is a bonus, and sometimes necessity.

3).  Someone self-motivated that they can trust and don’t have to baby-sit.

And the daily skills commonly required on the job are things like:  Restraint times a billion, autoclaving packs, vitals, blood draws, ie simple, repetitive tasks that have to be done with competence, but don’t require any sort of genius.  And CLEANING *pet-peeve alert*.  Always the cleaning.  And everybody in the building needs to help with cleaning–don’t you dare tell me any position in a vet hospital is above cleaning.  It’s one of the most necessary and frequent parts of any of the jobs.

-I think the technical schools have their ideals in the right place, but they also need a substantial program.  If people are PAYING to attend, they have to teach something that requires skill and support it with theory.  And so to make a more legit course-load and take up a decent 2 years, they teach unnecessary things.  Things that aren’t all that useful in the real world.  Unfortunately, the schools also (either directly or indirectly, I’m not sure) teach that LVTs are PROFESSIONALS.  And as such they are 1) superior to “unskilled” assistants 2) anything that doesn’t require their license is beneath them.  Both very, very untrue sentiments.  And detrimental.

Vet hospitals need to rely on EVERYone.  And at the same time everyone is just a body and easily replaceable.  Also, everyone from the vet to the techs to the receptionists need to be able to step up (or down) to do what is needed at that moment.  That means–(again) everyone cleans.  My personal joke:  What is the difference between an LVT and an assistant?  An assistant is willing to clean.  And that comes from direct and varied experiences in multiple types of vet setting and in multiple states.

-Another problem with distinguishing licensed and assistant techs (and the resultant pay-discrepancy) is:  1)  You can’t account for on-the-job experience, nor can you teach all on-the-job skills in a 2 year span.  2)  You can’t TEACH motivation or work ethic.  I would say I was easily the hardest working employee at (at least) half of my jobs–and the ones where I wasn’t the hardest working person, it certainly wasn’t tied with any LVT.  This isn’t a brag, it’s the truth.

Do I think assistants are as good as LVTs?  Mostly.  Sure, missing a formal education taught by accredited instructors may leave gaps in knowledge.  Assistants may not know the whys behind a task.  But I would argue, the LVT often has a shaky idea of what goes on in real vet hospitals.  Often, they have an idealized view of what should happen, verses what actually happens because of realities, and also because of limitations to client money and willingness.  I think vets themselves probably go through this as well, studying what should happen then seeing what really happens.  And I do think assistants come out on top as better employees than LVTs overall because they are trained on the job so you don’t have to un-train any bad habits/expectations, they are more willing to commit longer hours and forgo breaks and come in early, etc… which is a very desirable trait to vets.  And assistants are more willing to jump in wherever necessary (phones, lugging dog food, cleaning) because they don’t have allusions that their license somehow makes certain tasks beneath them.

But it’s beginning to be a new time in the field and the LVTs have saturated the market (and set a precedent for accepting lower wages) so it’s beginning to be easier and easier for vets to require this license for hire.  I would just say–don’t forget the assistants.

My Job Description in 2018 was Much the Same as 1995

6 Apr

I wrote the majority of this post in 2014, after getting out of my assisting job (for what I thought would be) the final time.  The point:  It’s a dead-end job.  Sure people love it and do it because it’s their calling and for the fun of it.  But also, a dead-end job (I think) leads to inevitable burn out and dissatisfaction.  I stand by it, and had some fun, learned some skills, met some good people and animals both.  But in general, I’m relieved to be out of it.  All of that very hard work, for little pay, and low appreciation.

I have been thinking about my 19 year (meaning volunteer + employment) stretch in veterinary medicine. I’m sentimental and relieved, happy and sad to be leaving the field. One of the problems in the animal industry is that without more education there’s not much upward mobility.

I started volunteering for Dr. Hulme the summer of 1995, when I was 11. I worked under the supervision of Claire, who gave me my first scrub top, a purple reversible number that I still have. I cleaned kennels, filed charts and x-rays, cleaned tables after they worked on animals, restocked drawers and filled supplies, counted pills, restrained animals, set out and cleaned up supplies, groomed and did many nail trims, wrapped and autoclaved surgery packs, organized drawers, walked dogs, helped make confirmation calls, and cleaned the building. This was also my first introduction to veterinarian behavior. I was frightened of the volatile doctor, and he kicked a hole in the surgery room wall out of anger.  Still, I loved the job and was determined to be a vet one day.

By 2000, Dr. Hulme sold his practice to a different vet and my responsibilities increased to include developing x-rays, painting, changing the x-ray dip tank out monthly, deep-cleaning inside and outside the premises, lab work on IDEXX equipment, organizing the whole place, filling prescriptions, cleaning instruments, giving SQ fluids, and scouring the surgery room. At the time, the vet was a new former resident in town, 5 years out of school, and full of potential. It was like a breath of fresh air.  I worked closely with Kim, though everybody was friendly, informative, and took an interest in my life inside and outside of work.  I wanted to spend all my free time at the hospital, and I became a fixture there.

After a year of volunteer work, I was officially paid to do much the same work in June 2000. When I became legit-employed my duties included taking vitals prior to exams and monitoring anesthetic.  I was occasionally allowed to try my hand at drawing blood, but was only 17 at the time so the vet worried about liability and her clients (she needant have, b/c that’s commonplace throughout the field, but whatever).  I also got to do fun chores like traveling to the next town for Starbucks, picking up lunch, washing personal vehicles, and going outside to clean/organize the hospital’s storage unit.  I loved my job, and the people I worked with!

When I found a veterinary job in Missouri in 2004, there were more dogs to walk.  It was a larger enterprise, more clients, pets, coworkers, and vets.  More to do on a daily basis.  Boarding was a central aspect to my job.  I walked, cleaned kennels, bathed dogs, carried out a board-full of treatments, and wrote up files for most of the hours in the days, with heartworm batch tests in between (in addition to the aforementioned duties of my home-town), covered reception overload by answering phones (bane of my assisting existence from this time forward), checking appointments in and out, and helping customers, and I very rarely collected blood.  The vets did their own vitals, prepped for their own procedures, and even cleaned up after themselves!  Noah’s Ark became my home, and the Chapmans who owned it, my family.  I not only spent most my time there, including every other weekend, and all holidays, but they once paid to have my car fixed, and the frequently bought staff lunch and treats.  This is also the only time I was paid what I am worth (given the midwest’s low cost of living).  I made more then employees at the other vet hospitals in town (as heard from pre-vet school-mates, and Lori and her friends who worked at a vet hospital).  and I also got scrubs 2-3 times yearly and large bonuses at least twice a year.  I could tolerate (but still hated!) the shenanigans of my coworkers, the politics within, and the massive boarding load for those incentives and that camaraderie.  I may have never left if I wasn’t accepted to vet school at Saint George.

In 2007, I had a brief stint back in my hometown (Cabin-Mansion) and worked solely reception for the first time.  I prepped charts, faxed and did office work, worked with the schedule, and counted money at the end of the night.  The vet was going through her mid-life crises, Kim through alcoholism, and their marriage was all but disintegrated so they were not pleasant to work with anymore.  The staff had changed and grown too, and the techs were gossipy, but my fellow receptionist was sweet and big-hearted.  Work itself was manageable (and might have even been enjoyable), but our personal lives became intertwined and sloppy, making the experience more bad than good.  I wanted out of there, out of their lives, and away from that situation forever.  What a disappointment.  I thought after 7 years, you would know people, but it’s either not the case, or I had overlooked some major personality flaws the first time around.

I took a job at an emergency hospital in 2009–and felt thoroughly out of my league.  With little to no supervision or guidance, I had to collect blood, place IV catheters (for the first time in 9 years of veterinary work), run all kids of lab work including blood-gases and manual CBCs (which I had not done prior to that point), and carry out diagnostics such as hyperbaric chamber and blood pressures that I had never done before.  With zero training.  And on a time-table.  My co-workers collected urine by cystocentesis and intubated, but I was scared and uncertain so I never jumped in on those–even though I easily could have.  I didn’t feel like it was ethical for me to practice skills I had never formally been taught or shown.  I was afraid I would do more harm than good, so I usually jumped into the restrain role.  I also had to do a daily inventory of supplies and prep items so they were ready to grab quickly.  My co-workers were friendly but dysfunctional and the turn-over was rapid.  I saw little of the vets, but when I did see them they were gruff and I never got to know them.  I truly was just a body there, and I was constantly worried about liability and quality of care the entire time I worked there.  It was not a good situation.

My vet school loan fell through at the literal last minute (a week is last minute when you’re going to a foreign country) so I was not going to vet school.  But I had quit, and moved, and packed, and prepared for vet school so I had to regroup on short notice.  Put my finger on a map and just jump.  I was watching Fraiser a lot, so I decided to give the Pacific Northwest a try.  In Seattle, I worked as a receptionist for the second time.  Then, transitioned back to assistant once the real receptionist was recovered from surgery.  I think all the tech/assistant duties were the same, except I always got stuck with changing processor chem before we got digital x-ray.  I also got to do dentals by myself for the first time.  The real difference was more tech support since we were in a big city, clients who expected a lot more (and were a lot more fussy), and technology was better (digital x-ray, brand new IDEXX equipment) and the mentality was more serious and pretentious.  I heard “gold standard” more then ever before.  The vets were superficially friendly, but I hardly had a rapport with them.  My coworkers were chilly right from my first introduction during my working interview, and never warmed up (who knows why-Seattle freeze?).  I never felt part of the team, and never felt camaraderie from the rest of the staff, and soon felt overworked, underappreciated, fatigued, and burnt out.  I thought it was just big city stuff, and wanted to move somewhere a little smaller and more down-to-Earth.

In 2010, I was relieved to find Cat’s Meow.  It was perfect!  Cute name, remodeled building, small staff, less clientele.  It was all the same tasks, except no more blood draws or placing catheters, because of my inconsistency in both, and my superior restraint skills.  I had a stint managing inventory.  I feel like by this time I was super-proficient at radiology (because that’s one thing vets can’t really put their own stamp on, it’s consistent everywhere).  I also restrained for the I131 buddies, which is like all other restraint, but your docimeter gets read more frequently.  I consistently roomed patients by taking histories and collecting vitals. And I think I was the best at restraint, and best at “reading the room” a.k.a. ascertaining a client’s and pet’s demeanor quickly, and adjusting my routine to accommodate that.  In other words, my soft skills had come to fruition, which are really just me trying to do my job-job more efficiently by preventing problems before they occurred.  Except at that job, I also never felt part of the team.  When I first got there everyone was substantially older, so I figured that was it.  But as an equal number of younger people started getting hired and seemed more a part of the group then me, I realized I just wasn’t part of their club.  That made me resent my job and hate the constant bitchy-drama. I wanted out of a life-or-death job, that was so demanding, yet so underpaid.  I was going to try to get an adult job.

But it’s not easy getting a job when your resume is full of only one type of work, but that’s not the type of work you want…  So I segued into the human side and did accessioning (entry level laboratory science stuff).  But it can only start after all the doctor’s offices and hospitals and everyone closes for the day, and after the couriers get the samples to the lab.  So my shift was evening to midnight, or one, or once even three AM!  And I am a morning person.  After my ‘retirement’ I had to get out of my specimen processing (on the human side) job.  I could not handle swing shift.  My body would pop up in the early morning hours no matter how late I got home from work.  And I could never nap.  So I just kept getting more and more sleep-deprived.  I think I aged a decade in those 2 years!  And my coworkers were crap.  Lazy and bitchy, so I had to go back to veterinary hospitals just to get out.  Back to square zero.  Again.

I worked at the most high-end hospital in a ritzy suburb of Salt Lake City.  Owned my daddy’s little princess who had about a (literal) 2 million dollar hospital, but was already getting burned out by the profession only a couple years out of vet school.  She was not open on weekends and didn’t board or hospitalize.  So for the first time ever, I didn’t work weekends or holidays either.  She wanted to play after work, so she left at 4 and we were nearly always finished with tech appointments, treatments, and cleaning by 5 PM.  Unheard of.  It felt weird, but also still demanding too much, still stressful.  The vet didn’t really want to do all that much so her ‘head tech’ pretty much carried the place.  On top of all the afore-mentioned duties, I got more practice with digital radiology and dentals (including extractions) and dental x-rays.  I practiced my blood draws, but was never even offered to place an IV there.  And I watched some emergency cases (suffer) while the vet went out of town.  Which I think is deplorable, and not good for the pet, owner, or an ethical position to put me in.  My major duty was selling things.  Which I didn’t see as problematic, because animals should be getting heartworm prevention, etc…  But there was a definite emphasis on sales at that job.  Which was different.

The point is, my job duties didn’t change very much after all the time.  And you have got to not just get along with every vet, but your coworkers to really enjoy going to work day after day.  At this kind of job you have to think of them or friends and family or the long hours, low pay, nonexistent upward mobility, physical work, angry clients, etc, etc…  just isn’t worth it.  My favorite jobs were the ones where the people made it awesome.  But assisting just could never satisfy me long term, because I need goals and something to aspire to throughout my career.  So that’s that.

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“I cain’t quit you.” [Part 5]

26 Mar

Written 6 years ago, but I read it today and thought, ‘go me!’  It’s funny how things may come to fruition easily when you don’t want it or don’t care.  I was not intentionally playing hard to get or anything like that, I really wasn’t invested.  But it seemed to help.  Also, having a strong background in negotiation skills from my parents making me haggle for spending money or on chores, etc… is really a priceless, valuable skill set to have.

During the dental yesterday, my boss teased me (in a half-serious) way about how she wished I would re-consider and keep cleaning.  It’s a difficult position to fill because it requires trust to let someone come in during off hours.  I told her I had made up my mind and wouldn’t be pressured!  Also jokingly.  And she talked about how it seems like an easy job, but she is having trouble finding someone to work few hours, on off-times, and trusting said person would show up, work, and do a quality job.  Which I told her were all traits I was excellent at, but I didn’t want to have any crutch with this new move of mine.  I had explained how I didn’t test into my LVT (even though it would garner me a job anywhere, be an instant, raise, and “legitamize” me in any setting.  If I had my LVT and failed at any new career endeavor, or couldn’t get a job–it would make sense to use that and work in vet hospitals.  And that’s not what I want for myself.  If I can’t be a vet–I don’t wanna ever be satisfied with a thankless, dead-end, menial job.

And that’s why I couldn’t work for my current job–in any capacity.  It would be just too easy to get scared, and back-slide right back into my comfort zone where I have most experience and where I have an “in.”  Because I know if I wanted it bad enough my work would be happy to have me back.  They know the quality of work I deliver, and vets never want to trust anyone new–and they can always use the help.  So even though I could make the TIME work, I didn’t want to keep even one finger in my past.

But my boss said don’t give a negative answer hastily–just think about it.  And just that little bit of (half-joking) pressure got in my mind.  I thought it would be some income for me.  And I could easily do it.  There would be a flexible schedule and I wouldn’t SEE anyone so nothing could irritate me.

But I really didn’t think about it that much because I didn’t think my boss would press the issue.  And before work I told Cool that IF my boss brought it up, I would just ask how much it was worth to her.  Because I didn’t really think it would come up, and if it did I was almost certain my boss wouldn’t agree on a sum I’d be happy with.

But at work, my boss made a quip about it, then quickly said she was kidding–so as not to be terribly obnoxious.  But I said I had taken her seriously and thought about it.  And she practically scampered across the room asking if I would really be willing to do it.  But I wanted to know the expectations.  And she started saying every day (which is MORE then I currently do). . .  to which I was like–no, no never-mind that won’t work.  But I could see she was desperate because she asked what I was thinking.  And I told her 2, 3 times a week max, on a flexible schedule.  At this point I showed her my checklists that I date as I accomplish things.  I pointed out the frequency in which I currently do things is not as often as she thought (proving vets really don’t know who does what or when just as long as it doesn’t directly affect them).  She said she’d have to think about it–and I figured she wouldn’t go for it and oh well–no loss to me.  But 2 minutes later she came up to me and said that would work.

But I persisted that I needed to know expectations–just to make sure the cleaning I’m doing now is what they want.  Because my work isn’t the greatest at communication, and I didn’t want anyone disgruntled in the future.  So all these talks were loud and in front of everyone.  Which I am normally not a fan of–but I wasn’t all that invested in this.   I had already planned to quit all-together and if I could help without too much headache on my part, great, but if not, great.  But once the ball got rolling, and it looked like I WAS going to keep cleaning, I got a little worried I had not mentioned the financials.  That was the thing that this decision would be about.  Because it did go against what I had decided, was because I bent to pressure, and would hold me back from my future field just a little).  So I wanted to feel like I wasn’t totally being a push-over.  I needed to get MORE out of the deal–and I apparently had leverage.  That is not a very familiar place for me to be.

I tried to deviate from my normal ultra-serious talk and keep it light.  I told my boss we would have time after the dental to talk 1:1.  And she was like, more?  And I was like of course.  So we get up there, and I told her I broke the cardinal rule and told her what she wanted to hear FIRST so she stopped listening.

I said any monkey off the street can clean–you are not paying me to clean.  You are paying for the trust, my dedication, my work ethic, and the fact I already know her expectations.  But of course I was getting nervous–despite having nothing to lose and coming from a position of leverage.  And she was like, calm down you’re just talking to me. Why are you getting worked up?  And I was like, I don’t know, I’m just putting myself out there I guess.  You make me nervous.  And she said, I’m that way too–I wonder why it’s so hard to ask for what you think you’re worth?  And I was like yeah it’s a funny thing because I KNOW what I’m worth, but the asking is awkward.  So I still felt like I had to put out the disclaimers, and included that she wouldn’t be paying a new person what she had paid me so it would save money.  I also said I would be working less hours, but still had to account for the gas, the time, and going back on my plan.  She asked how much I made now.  $12.00.  I think it’s $12.25 she says.  No, $12–and believe me, I know–b/c it’s been more then a year (even after my stellar evaluation) since I got a raise.  Then she put the ball in my court and asked how much I wanted.

Fail!  I hadn’t really thought that far ahead, because I honestly didn’t think the negotiations would get this far.  Always have a number in mind ahead of time!  But I didn’t. . .  And I was nervous, and too flustered to do any math in my head.  So I said I needed a calculator.  Maybe I could clear my head and walk away from the table for a second to gather my thoughts.  She handed me her phone.  With shaking hands (remember I’m nervous and completely unprepared) I plugged in my anticipated monthly fuel cost and my highest utility bill.  Then divided that into an hourly amount for the cleaning hours.  I know–totally random!  It came to $12.66.  But even in my nervous state, I know you aim high in negotiations so you have somewhere to go.  But for whatever reason $13 seemed scary.  I didn’t want to see some sort of horrible expression on my boss’ face or hear that my work wasn’t worth THAT much.  So I went for a nice round quarter-amount:  $12.75, with the expectation we’d go down a little.

Without batting an eye my boss said they could make that work.  And immediately I was regretful I didn’t go higher.  Both people should feel just a little uncomfortable if you arrive at a good number, and my boss had answered all too readily–apparently I had underestimated how much the cleaning position meant to her.  Damn–it was a 6.3% raise!

But I will just consider the extra 25 cents I should have asked for as the benefit of a flexible schedule.  They did try several times to get me to commit to certain days.  But I resisted for study/school/future commitments/vacation purposes.  So I will consider that my “benefits-package.”  Which I guess for janitorial is pretty good, and better then I would have done had I readily agreed to keep on cleaning.  And better then no income at all.  So everyone IS a winner?!  Maybe.

In summary:  Working at veterinary hospitals falls under the heading “I can’t quit you.”  Also, everybody needs to have some negotiation skills at the ready, because you could need to use them at any time.

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Fall-Back LVT [Part 4]

26 Mar

This post was written 6 years ago now, and I still agree with the sentiment.  I had to close the book on veterinary work entirely in order to move forward.  And it would have been too easy to fall back on that job had I tested into my (licensed veterinary technician) LVT.  Which I may have done because it took me pretty much 5 of the last 6 years to get into a new field.  There were entry-level jobs, bad hours, nonsense social situations that I had to go through to start over.  But finally, finally I got through it and into something else that works for me.

It wouldn’t be a big deal time-wise to keep Saturday and do the cleaning. And I almost agreed to this right when I was resigning.

BUT–part of the reason I had to resign in the first place was to stop living by fear and just pull the trigger. You can’t reach for new goals in life, if you’re still grasping onto the past. I need to fully let go of the veterinary part of my life. It’s sad because it has been a huge part of my whole being. For 14 paid years, and longer then that it’s all I’ve known. But I’ll always be that person (a little bit) and I can hold onto the memories without holding on to the job.

I relate my LVT story to my boss: Washington lets people with such & such experience test-in to their LVT credential. You have to jump through a few hoops, but it’s easier then paying for 2 years of technical school. And I would have to study for their standardized test, but I know if I tried for it, I would be successful. And if I got those letters behind my name it would be beneficial. I could get any job because of the LVT + my experience. I would command a higher paycheck automatically. I would be seen as “legit” to anyone.

I ultimately decided not to do it. Not for lack of time or fear of failure. I did not want to be able to fall back on tech work. I didn’t want to even have the option of turning back on this new career path and settling for my current job. I didn’t want to feel fear or experience failure and have the ability to regress back to what I know best–veterinary assistant/tech work. I want to grow and move forward, and the LVT could potentially stall me and hold me back.

And so it goes with my current job. Even though I could get it done. And it would alleviate some financial stress–it would be too easy to fall back into veterinary assisting. If I got scared or failed in my new field, I could so easily crawl back to Cats Meow and beg my job back. And I don’t want that to even be an option. Despite my great fear of the unknown, financial instability, and failure–I want to make a clean break from veterinary medicine and move on.

I will be scared. Scared about money and scared about being able to break into a new arena where I have no experience. But that fear will be what compels me to whole-heartedly, without reservation sprint to my goal of being an audiologist.

Goodbye veterinary medicine (hopefully forever). It’s been good, it’s been stressful. It’s been rewarding and thankless. I’ve had fun and I’ve also been burned out. But it had comprised the center of my life, and I’m closing the book so I can start reading a new one. Hello, audiology–I’m ready to embrace you with every fiber of my being!

Loyalty and Fear [part 2-ish]

6 Mar

Also a post from years ago that I never posted.  I reaffirms I didn’t get out of the field lightly.  I agonized.  But I ultimately did it because I was giving my everything and people still treated me–just politely.  They acknowledged how much they needed me and how much I was doing, but I still wasn’t part of things.  It just wasn’t worth it.

I didn’t know what to do–I felt uneasy.  Worried.  The longer I have the 4.0 GPA, the more I fear losing it.  At this point, I would do just about anything to maintain it–those grades weren’t easy to get.

So I called my parents.  My mom would be at school until 6:45PM, so I talked to Dad.  I told him of my latest work saga, how I was stressed and worried, and confused.  And he reminded me of where I got my work ethic and sense of commitment from–he told me to buck up.  Not in a mean way, just in a this sucks, but you can do it, and that’s what needs to be done.  I told me to do the extra work, study, and sleep less.  Bathe less if I had to.  He talked of 4 on-4 off shifts in the Navy and how rigerous it was and how painful the lack of sleep had been.  He didn’t like it, but he put his head down and got it down.  He reminded me of working the potato farm for 2 cents an hour–back-breaking, long work, with prick boss and coworkers giving him constant $hit.  My dad had done thankless, physical work with no thanks and little pay his whole life–I could make it for half a semester.

And I thought-Yes!  THAT’S who I am as a person.  I’m hard-working and dedicated.  When my team needs me to step up, I will do it for the good of everyone.  And I decided I would just have to buckle down, work required 35% more than I already am, AND maintain my grades.  I had to do it, so I might as well get on board.

And later, I read my mom my glowing work evaluation from 12 days before–all the lovely things written about my productivity, motivation, knowledge, judgement, excellent animal restraint, that my boss prefers the days I work, the A-team comment.  Then, I read the texts between my boss and me from 3 days before (10 days after the eval).  It proved they acknowledge how hard I work, and how I benefit the business, and the way they still treat me.

But then, I still couldn’t sleep.  And I thought–why am I still unsettled about work?  I made my decision.  I’m going to pull this out–what’s left to toss and turn over?  And it kept nagging at me.  So I prayed.  I prayed during my sleepless night for a sense of direction.  Please help me make the right decision so I can feel better and so I can sleep again.  And I tossed and tossed some more.  No sleep–and no answers were had.

Then, a literal 2 minutes before my morning alarm was to go off, and I still had not slept.  I dosed off very briefly and had a dream (I rarely remember dreaming) when I did.  In the dream, I was working at the boarding facility that I had interviewed at this last August, when all the Friday-schedule drama was going on at work.  In the dream, the owners were talking and laughing with me, and my co-workers were friendly and seemed to genuinely like me.  Our employers were taking everyone out for fast food, because we had done such a good job at work.  And I felt like somebody in the dream.  They were treating me like a person!

Then my alarm went off.  I knew the answer, and also know the dream was a result of my prayers.  I had confidence.  Something I had never felt about this decision before.  I had to resign.  And it wasn’t in a mean way or on a whim.  It wasn’t even based on this current situation.  Mostly, because I also woke up with this overwhelming sense that I had been fighting the right decision this whole time.  I had known for a long while that I needed to quit–but I had stayed out of loyalty and because of fear.  But this morning, it all fell into place and I felt at peace with it.

And of course I’ll be scared.  Losing stability and income.  Facing the unknown.  Change.  Complete loss of that part of myself–veterinary employee.  That’s 14.5 years of my life and all I know.  It’s scary.  But not worth staying.  Even if I can’t find a job, and even if I’m worried and scared about money–I’ll know I made the right choice for me.  I won’t regret it.

Like I will tell my boss–I didn’t make this decision lightly, and it wasn’t based on any one factor.  Also, I’m sorry that the right decision for me may negatively affect others–that’s not my intention.  That’s what I will say if when people ask me why, or confront me.  And when they treat me badly in those last 2 weeks:  1)  I won’t like it.  2)  it won’t be so different from the way they always treated me.  I never felt a part of their group.  At first I figured it was because of the age-difference, but now that newer, younger hires are included and treated nicely–I know it’s just me.  Maybe it’s because I’m not all i-phone-centric.  Who knows.  3) if they get nasty and say salty things, I will just tell them if that what they think of me after almost 4 years–it just re-affirms that I’m making the right decision.  Because if they don’t know my work ethic, sense of duty, or moral compass by now–they are never going to.

Switch Career Paths

4 Mar

Less like paths and more like swimming across an ocean and climbing a mountain, maybe two mountains.

I was always wanting to be a vet from the time I was little, all through grade school, and even in college and beyond.  And that didn’t work out. And I have many things to say about how I would have been great, should have gotten in to vet school, should have been able to get a loan or cosigner to attend vet school when I did finally get in…  How people got in that shouldn’t have.  How coworkers of mine gamed the system or just had more money/opportunity so they got in over me.  But this post is not about that (though the sentiments still stand).

It works out now.  I never thought I would feel that way.  But now work-life balance, my relationship, my home, fun activities–those are all really important to me.  My life is a lot better now than it would be if I was consumed by my work.  And I don’t see any other way to be a good, caring vet then to be invested in your work, patients, and clients most of the times.  I wouldn’t be able to just put it out of my mind.  I’d be preoccupied with cases, the stresses of what to prepare for daily, and what to finish.  And if I was a vet I would be mostly working, or tired from work.    It would be never-ending, all work, work, work.  I’m glad that’s not my life.  Now.

At the time, and when it was all falling apart, that’s all I wanted.  And understand, I would have made it work!

But after going after one thing for so long, everything pointed toward that thing:  My degree, my experience, all my jobs, the things I knew, the skills I had–pretty much all geared toward that failed dream.  You can’t just jump right into something else.  Or anything else.

It was difficult to decide what to do–I wasn’t really interested in anything else.  And it was hard to sell a resume full of vet-preparation to ANY other job.  I had a big challenge getting out of that field.  I worked at the YMCA, a lab, then had to go back to a vet hospital for lack of anything else at the time.  It sucked.  Then I did healthcare call center.  And I was really good at that.  But I didn’t like that much structure and micromanagement.  And now I really like my Insurance Analyst job:  Not client-facing, no phones either, autonomy, detail-oriented, helps people still.

But it took from 2012 to 2020 to get into anything (stable) aside from vet hospitals or animal-related stuff.  That’s 8 years!  Of actively trying to get into any other job.  That’s crazy.  It’s so weird to think about.  Anyway, that is all, just everything in my life had to change.  And I was upset at everything being thrown away, no dream/goal accomplished, so much time wasted, so many things I should have been doing instead…  But I’m happy now, not burned out like I might be.

best of 2019

4 Jan

Day of the Dead

I painted my face and wore my senorita dress and monarch butterfly wings to work.  Cool and I did an offrenda to our deceased loved ones, and I liked having a happy time to think about them and remember them.

 

work x-mas party

One of the supervisors really outdid herself and planned a fun party with catered food, nice decorations (including wine glasses with our work and the year etched on them as memento), a photo booth where we got copies of the pictures, cash bar, and a dj.  Cool wanted to go very badly, and even though parties are later than my bedtime and make me stressed out and anxious I agreed to go.

And once I got some wine in me, I loosened up and had fun.  The people that sat at our table were tipsy to drunk, but that made them really talkative and friendly, and it was nice to finally interact with people at work!  Some coworkers dressed up as Santa and Mrs. Claus and really put a lot of effort into the costumes, so we asked them to take a picture with us.  And it turned out really cute.  Maybe we’ll make it a future Christmas card.  And Cool and I took a picture together with a giant rose as a prop, which turned out really cute.  And it’s special because we never get pictures with both of us.  I even got up on the dance floor and did the 7 moves I know–and people were trying to keep me to come dance in the middle of the circle (I did not).  It was a success!

 

played Jenga at Social Hall

After we went to the zoo (also one of our favorite things to do) we stopped at Social Hall for lunch.  It turned out to be happy hour and our server was really nice and good too.  This never happens in Arizona.  We noticed when we first moved here that the service pretty much everywhere and every time of day, is bad.  Like abyssal.  But she was friendly and efficient so it was a special treat.

They have games inside and a big patio with a jumbo Jenga game made of 2×4-size wood.  Cool and I played and generally just had an unexpected fun time.

 

parents visit

I wanted my parents to see where we live, our cute house, our favorite spots…  So they came, but it was July when everyone is hot in AZ, and un-acclimated people want to die.  Not the optimal timing.  And I am very much conscious of utilities and we usually keep the temp no lower than 90F because in AZ you could easily spend $300+ on utilities if you let yourself be comfortable.  Anyway, so it’s not a good time of year for visitors.  But I wanted them to see and have fun, and that’s when they could come so we tried to make the best of it.

I planned a very detailed itinerary to try to accommodate everyone’s needs and desires:

zoo-because all 4 of us are animal lovers.

Sephora- to try scents and makeup and lotion.

heard museum-because it’s personal history to all of us and I knew they would all like it.  Also, it’s free the first Friday of every month.

aquarium-this was not on my itinerary, but we had time between plans so we made it happen.

movie-Cool and I are addicted to the luxiorious movie experience with the comfy seats and restaurant-food and bev brought right to your seat.  So I wanted my parents to enjoy it also.  And–it’s an AC space (AC I’ not paying for).

book store-  All 4 of us are readers and we have a local bookstore that also serves snacks, coffee, and adult beverages.

casino & buffet- to bring a little of my parent’s home to the visit.

brunch-for my birthday!  I love brunch so much!!!

WNBA-I wanted to go to a game for my birthday, and I got us 1st row tickets (closest seats of ever) to enjoy.

We really packed in the activities and they are already Cool and my favorite activities, so it was fun to share them.

 

color run

Not only was it a color run, it was unicorn-themed and that’s like my favorite ever.  Cool was a good sport and even dressed up in complementary-colored tutu with me.  They had all kinds of selfie stations, and threw color on us as we ran.  The location was beautiful, and the sunrise in AZ is always gorgeous.  So it was a fun time with tons of cute stuff!

 

tour de fat

We discovered this in 2018, and at that time I spontaneously danced in a talent show.  Which was very fun.  Except I finished the routine with crowd-pleasing splits (with zero stretching/preparation) and messed up my hamstring for the 8 following months.  But it had been a real fun time, so we went again.

This year it was much hotter, so I was drenched in sweat the whole time.  But we dressed adorable, tried new beer, and spectated some of their quirky contests and shows.  It’s always a unique and entertaining time!

 

pride wk at work

Since Phoenix summers are uncomfortable (an understatement) the city has Pride in April.  Which is really a terrible idea.  Because everyone else is doing Pride in June and nobody in the spring, so AZ is out of sync, and it ends up being lackluster as a result.  Also, it can still be 95-100F in April, so it’s not really even a nicer temperature to most people.  I could tell the people in the parade were hot and uncomfortable, fizzling, and spirited by the halfway mark.  They really need to find a stadium with a roof or somewhere cooler to hold the thing–in June.

So that’s why when work agreed to celebrate a Pride week in June it was like the best thing!  We dressed up and got to partake a little bit in what the rest of the nation was talking about so much.  Also, I’m really proud of my company for being inclusive, accepting, and going as far as celebrating the week.  Makes me feel safer and more welcome.

 

AZ fair

So in AZ, it’s less of a fair with animals and crafts and more of a carnival.  Which I guess for a city in the middle of a desert makes a lot of sense.  It was just different from what we’d experienced before.  Animals were hard to locate, and there weren’t many.  Crafts were not plentiful either.  Plant stuff was literally 12 pumpkins and the honey people–that’s it.  So that felt weird.

I found residential parking so we didn’t have to pay the $10 or fight the crowd, and that made me over-the-moon excited.  We just had to walk an extra mile, which is no problem for us.  We walk all the time.  They had all kinds of giant fair food and beverages to pick from.  There were rides, but the safety of those sketches me out so we didn’t do any of those.  But we did try our hand at a couple of the games, knowing they are rigged, but just wanting to enjoy the experience.  I did the Wack-a-Mole, and am so good at hitting those vermin that I won a prize!!!  Which never happens to me.  And it wasn’t just a little dinky thing, it was a good sized purple sparkly unicorn!  So that was super-cool.

 

brunch crawl

I saw it on social media and spontaneously (which I never am) bought tickets for the next day.  As you know I love a brunch!  All around town there were deals at the restaurants on pre-fix brunch stuff.  So we got to try a few different places all in one day.  And we found some new gems in town that we had gone to before and ended up being tasty and pleasant.

 

Halloween costume

I always think I’m going to lazy out of the costume and just wear something easy from a previous year, but then the spirit hits me.  This year I went from easy bear I already had to…fish!  I learned how to do mermaid face-paint that looks like fishnet.  Got some purple tights.  Painted my Mohawk blue.  And made a fin out of closed butterfly wings.  I looked amazing (if I do say so myself).  And I enjoy painting faces a lot, and am getting better and better at it.  And the planning phase is fun too.  Also, not gonna lie, but the accolades are fun to get as well.

 

my mohawk

My hair was long, just out of laziness and being cheap.  But I made the mistake of trying to save money by box dying it.  And Cool and I were actually getting really good at the process.  Even the lady who cut my hair said she has worked with professionals that didn’t do as nice a job of even coverage as we had–which I took as a major complement.  Anyway, box dye does horrible damage to hair.  I knew that before, but I didn’t realize just trimming it wasn’t going to fix it.  It was the kind of thing that I was going to have to trim and trim until all of it was cut off so I could start fresh.  And that sounded like a long plan.  But Cool suggested I get a mohawk.  And I’ve had short hair before, but nothing so dramatic or trend-specific.  But I am feisty and fun (and also thought it would be easier to just cut all the dye off at once) so I found some pictures.  The haircut went well and I felt cooler than I actually am.  I got a lot of genuine compliments at work–like people coming out of their way to tell me they loved it.  Not just the ‘I noticed a change and say nice hair’ stuff that you sometimes get with a fashion risk.  And not everyone liked it, but I was totally OK with that too.  Some people are old, gender-conforming, or conservative.  And I don’t care about any of those group’s opinions.  I thought I looked awesome and that’s what mattered!

 

 

#3:  Left Mck

I had been relieved to have a job after the terror of both my mate and I losing our jobs in the same week.  And for over a month.  I was really afraid.  But then, the job just wasn’t what I can accept.  I don’t want to be treated as dispensable.  Don’t want to be micromanaged and watched to the extent I feel like I’m living in a Big-Brother world.  I want to know ahead of time if I will be in my same team, position, or location–not told right as it’s happening.  I don’t want to constantly be training new people all the time all the time, without being in some leadership position or getting a raise or recognition for doing that.  And I sure as fuck don’t want to commute.  So I was ecstatic when I got a job close to the house and could leave all of that behind.  I just wish I hadn’t had to lose all the acquaintances/friends I was getting to know.

 

#2:  10 year anniversary with my mate- Nov

What a special time!  Cool and I have made it ten years and now it sounds just as substantial to others as we always felt about ourselves.  It’s really neat to be able to say ‘decade’ and also really a relief that this is it.  Love.

 

#1:  Got a permanent job

As much of a relief as it is not to be a precarious temp having to worry constantly about messing up and losing a job, and having to save every penny for just in case–this happened really late.  It was promised that in 90 days I would go perm.  Feet were dragged for additional months.  So when it did happen, it was less of a happy occasion and more of a what took so long?  But now life in Arizona can truly start and I’m really happy for stability.  I want 2020 to be the year of stability!

worst of 2019

31 Dec

So from bad to worst here are the least pleasant times of 2019:

 

10. new mck program ridiculousness

At work my supervisor (more on her later) told us our jobs weren’t in danger, nothing was changing, she doesn’t want to see us taking our stuff home out of fear.  I took my stuff home.  Because as a temp, you have zero job security.  You can always get the phone call that says you are no longer needed, don’t report to work…  And sure enough that very evening I got a phone call from my temp agency–don’t report…  I thought my assignment was over.  Temp to hire is a carrot so they can use you when they need you.  But then the lady continued–report to Scottdale (the palace).  So unceremoniously, McKesson switched my program, switched my job duties, and switched my work location from one city to another–as of tomorrow (the day back in March? this occured).

 

And the new program was a relief–new people, better building, better seat where I could see out a window, good cube-neighbors.  Easier tasks.  But less tasks.  So many less.  I went from averaging 110 calls to doing 6 in a day.  And calls were the only thing we did.  Dramatically less work.  And I found out even if you do the job properly, it’s not McKesson leadership’s job to be fair to employees under them–they must cater to these clients that hire McKesson as their middle-man.  However stupid, disorganized, and redundant those clients are–and believe me this client was all those things.  So between just uprooting me with no notice (DISLIKE) and then not supporting me even though I was doing everything outlined in the rules (you should see this email chain, it’s fucking ridiculous), I just didn’t want to do that anymore.

 

9. being cold in the new house

We got out of that mother-fucking horrible, tiny apartment-yay!  Our new house is adorable and (nearly) perfect, but has no insulation to speak of.  And AZ, which is supposed to be warm all the time, has been unseasonably cold now for 2 winters in a row.  I was icy cold and uncomfortable last Jan-March, and now I’m freezing in Dec.  I don’t like it.  I don’t want to pay even more utilities since AZ had 96 days over 100 degrees in the summer and you have no choice but to pay 24/7 AC.  And I can’t find a B-pair of cuddle-duds so these just keep getting bigger and bigger.

 

8. social problems at new job

So I get a new, better job where I did actually go permanent (eventually and finally!) but it’s all weird.  Training is set up for extroverts so I was completely anxious, stressed, and as a result I shut-down.  And my particular class had really super-fast learners, so I also felt like I didn’t want to slow anyone down with confusions or questions.  And I just didn’t really interact, because I never really got to know anybody, and I was really uncomfortable the whole time.  Nervous, stressed out, awkward…

Then my dink supervisor didn’t even introduce me to my new team.  What?!  And when I’m at my cube, I am legit trying and concentrating on the work (and still shy, awkward, uncomfortable) so I never got brave enough to introduce myself to anyone on my team.  So now, it’s been a weirdly long time and it’s too late to introduce myself to my team–so I just literally don’t know most of them.  Like their names or anything.  And that is weird and terrible.  And even though I never got to know anyone from my training class, some of them acted like we go way back, and were mad when I didn’t really engage with them (because I don’t know them either!  We had never talked in training) so they seem disgruntled.

So that’s weird and unpleasant.  And even at McKesson, I had some friends and some acquaintances, because they warmed up and initiated real conversations with me, then I didn’t feel uncomfortable so I felt like I could chat with them and stuff.  Cause eventually I do open up to people, but only when it doesn’t feel forced or strained or superficial.  But so far, no one has made any effort to really talk to me at all here, so it just keeps getting worse and worse socially…  I hate it, but don’t know how to change it at this point either-I’ve been pigeonholed.

 

7. being fat

I lost my metabolic gift when I turned 34.  And now I have to pay attention to eating and exercise in a way I never even had to think about before.  So that’s a bummer.  And all my size 2s are dead to me.  And I put my suits in the give-away bag, and that sucked.  And my Lucky jeans, which were my #1 staple jeans are a 4, and I’m out of that zone now too.  And putting those in the bag, really hurt my feelings.  So I don’t like anything about that.

 

6. parents visit fighting

My dad was shaving his face with an electric razor on my living room couch-what the fuck?!  And I said, “Are you getting whiskers everywhere????”  And he said, “Yeah, so.”  And I went ballistic (of course!  nobody wants stubble all over their living room couch and floor) and told him not to do that-go in the bathroom over the sink–probably with some curse words peppered in.  And then my mom said his shaver collects the hair, it doesn’t make a mess.  So why didn’t he proactively tell me that or answer no when I asked about hair?  Who knows (turns out he hadn’t actually heard what I asked, but bluffed and pretended he had).

Then we went about our business.  I had painstakingly created an itinerary so everyone would have fun and be comfortable and that day was casino and buffet (my dad’s favorites).  And after eating, Dad went to gamble.  And Cool of course had sick belly.  Leaving my mom and I alone at the table.  And that’s always a risk because fights can touch off pretty quickly.  Cool is supposed to be my buffer…  And in 1 min my mom wanted to tell me something.  And I was like, “Don’t whatever it is, you’re going to make me mad.”  But she just has to go there-like always.  And she said whatever it was–I actually can’t remember, but I ended up storming out of the buffet, pissed off.  And there was some loud family arguing on the casino floor (ghetto) and anger all around.  Threats on the way home they would fly out early, and I had had enough so I was actually for it.  And it generally just escalated into an ugly thing that let resentments, grudges, animosities, tiredness, control-issues, and everything negative out from just under the surface, into the open.  Not optimal.

Come to find out, the shaver incident had hurt my dad’s feelings and made him mad.  But instead of telling me, he whined to my mom.  And she has to get in the middle of everything so she confronted me.  But that’s kind of been her thing ever since I was a kid:  Telling me that both of them felt this or thought that as a way to give legitimacy and weight to whatever was her gripe.  Because she always felt I liked my dad more, and listened to him over her–neither of which is true.  Anyway, since she had used this tactic a lot, I just made an assumption she was doing that and blew up at her.  Turns out it was actually my dad this time.  So the whole incident was bad.  I felt bad.  I was upset that my dad would do that knowing my mom and my history, and I’d say it put a major damper on their whole trip.  They’ll never come back.

 

5. worrying about no stability as a temp

Really the worry and insecurity with this is an understatement.  It really impacts your whole life and finances.  Knowing you could be told not to come back at any time is terrible.  Having your work location change cities with hours of notice is awful.  Having to try to be perfect in performance and quality for fear of being let go is stressful.  Not having any sick days, vacation, or time off is exhausting.  No/bad benefits adds insult to injury.  I hope I never have to live this way again.

 

4. felissa hating on me

I thought I was having another situation with the big boss.  Things kept happening at work to make me uncomfortable, and undermine my progress and upward mobility.  Pointed comments were made to groups that I was certain were directed at me.  But my supervisor was kind of a dink-bimbo.  So I didn’t think it was her.  And I had been sent home early by the big boss when I made it known I thought he was sexist toward my work.  I just assumed some sort of retaliation was happening.  I was producing numbers DOUBLE of what they were asking of us.  And I got FIVE 100% quality scores in a row.  The quality guy loved me, because I took pride in my work and made an effort to hit every expectation on all of my calls.  But I was passed up for a promotion.  They picked the top 30 (I don’t remember the exact number now, I think 30) out of like 200 of us in the program for a special project/recognition.  I was not chosen.  But I know I belonged in that group.  And I know for a fact that my work was better than at least 2 people chosen over me.  Not to sound arrogant (and the quantitative data backs this up), but I was absolutely safely in the top 5 of my whole team, and probably if not THE top performer definitely the 2nd best.  But I wasn’t included in this top 30 group.

So I asked my supervisor why.  And she said it wasn’t the ‘top’ people.  But the big boss had said in front of all of us that it was, and I reminded her that.  She said it was productivity.  And I pointed to my numbers that she had just provided me of my performance–and said these are over expectation by a lot.  And she mentions quality.  So I reminded her mine was great.  I really pressed her as to why I wasn’t in the group, because I thought I had been blacklisted by the big-boss, because I accused him of sexism (I was sure this was the reason).  And she told me the people were chosen for their critical thinking skills.  I asked why leadership was doubtful about my critical thinking skills–after all just that week, she had put 4 different people with me as a side-by-side to teach them the job.  If they didn’t believe in me, why the fuck would they have me training people???

And then I was moved to a different program without warning.  No word.  But when I got to the new program a gal from my former program, that had been on my exact team was there too.  But the supervisor had discussed the move with her the week before.  My supervisor told 1 gal–“in a week you will go to a new program.”  And that same supervisor had a team meeting and said–“I don’t wanna see you guys taking your stuff home, nothing is changing nobody is moving or getting fired.”  And that day my recruiter told me–tomorrow you move to a new program/city.  Bitch, please!

It had been my supervisor working against me the entire time, but because she seemed like a damn flake, I had underestimated her and didn’t even realize everything was because of her.

 

3. commuting from scottsdale to here

Having new people around was great, as was working in a palace of a building.  But I had specifically signed a one year lease to be close to work (the former building).  It was within walking distance.  And now I had to drive diagonally through one entire city, and from the very south to the very north end of a 2nd city to get to and from work.  I hate commuting and I know that about me.  Driving through a college town with bad drivers and crazy pedestrians OR taking the freeway that gets bogged down right when I get off work = 2 bad choices.  The drive was eating up a lot of my day.  I was tired all the time.  I started getting road rage from dealing with constant shit-driving shenanigans.  Meanwhile, my new house was right next to a work building that I no longer worked at.

 

2nd.  awkwardness at cmm

I made a pretty awesome training power point.  I gave it to every leader in my program.  Nothing came of it.  Despite people liking it and the fact it was a useful tool, the thing went nowhere.  Fine.  But then a co-worker boy saw the power point.  He loved it.  He said it would have been super helpful if he’s had it when he was starting out.  He asked why it wasn’t in use.  I said I’d given it to leadership but nothing came of it.  He asked if he could show it to them again.  After he showed it to them, my power point was used to help train people THAT day.

I felt like it was discrimination.  It was the exact same power point.  Only difference was that a boy presented it.  I made it known that I was unhappy about it.  And the big boss called me in a private meeting.  He was not happy with my accusation.  He even sent me home from work midway through the day.  I was convinced I wouldn’t be invited back (temp, remember).  It didn’t happen that day.  I became paranoid it was only a matter of time.  Nobody talked to me about it, but it was the holidays so people were on vacation, and things were not running as usual.  I was waiting for a meeting…  No meeting occurred.  But I knew the big boss was unhappy with me, so I figured he was just waiting for me to mess up, so he could site that as the reason for letting me go.  So I became hyper-paranoid about not making any mistake on anything.  And that’s a lot of pressure, paranoia, and fear.  And it lasted for two-ish months.  Every day.  Miserable.

 

1. worst ever:  thinking Goose (my beloved maine coon buddy) might die

Last winter, we moved.  It was also cold.  Goose lost weight, and I know that’s bad.  I’ve seen it over and over, they start losing weight and that’s the beginning of the end.  He was lethargic.  Stopped playing.  Didn’t groom C.L. like he always had.  But when he stopped grooming himself I knew he was about to die.  He has always taken great pride in his coat.  It was so greasy, it became matted, and I had to give him a scraggle lion cut so he had less to maintain.  I was so scared and sad.  We went to the feline exclusive vet.  They suggested a $500+ diagnostic.  I love Goose, but when both you and your mate could get a call any time saying you don’t have a job tomorrow–well, you have to save every penny.  $500 is a lot any time, but when it might be your cushion in unemployment–I just couldn’t spend that much.  Not on anything.  Also, the vet didn’t call with the in-house lab results for 6 days.  Deal breaker.  We went to a 2nd vet for a 2nd opinion.  Except he pretty much reiterated what the first vet said.  And even though we had mentioned the slow communication on lab results as the primary reason for changing vets–the 2nd vet didn’t tell us lab results for 6 days!  I didn’t wanna be that client, but I know better.  So we went to a 3rd vet.  Which seems ridiculous.  And we didn’t tell her about the other 2 vets.  And she put him on blood pressure medication and arthritis injections.  No expensive diagnostics–and he’s doing awesome, I’m happy to report!  So false alarm, but I still felt horrible.