Sunday, October 28, 2012

"New" Job Angst

So my new job really isn't so new.  I've gone back to work for a pulmonary critical care doctor that I worked for last year.  I'm not wild about being there because it ended so badly (for me) the last time, but they needed help, wanted me, and we REALLY need the money.

The last time I worked for them it was a super high stress environment, to the point that I started having crying jags nights and weekends, panic attacks, etc.

This time around I was promised that there were many changes in the office that would make it better, and there are some changes that improve things.  For example, there is now additional clerical help that comes in at 3:00 PM.  It allows me to turn all my paperwork over to her to complete after I leave.  The transition time from when she arrives until the time when I leave is supposed to be 1/2 to 1 hour.  It's been more like 1 1/2 hours because she is unable to refill prescriptions or do any clinical work, but it does help.  This time I get out after having put in an 8 1/2 hour day instead of 10-12 hours like last time. Of course I don't get a lunch break (or any sort of break at all), but it's more tolerable when working 8 - 8 1/2 hours straight than 12 hours.  (And no, my state does not have any law requiring any breaks at all no matter how long an employee works.  There are Federal laws, but in this instance, State law supersedes Federal, and my State says a worker over 18 years of age is not required to be given any breaks at all no matter how long the work day.)

On the negative side, after working one week there, I can see that the general state of dysfunction still exists in the office.  The office manager is the main source of the problem. She's utterly unstable, will sit at the front desk and just sob and pull on her hair right in the middle of seeing patients.  I mean she cries for an hour or so!  She was doing this type of thing when I worked there before.

She also has an incredible temper and an apparent need to surround herself with chaos.  If everything is going smoothly, she seems to be unable to stop herself from yelling at employees about fictional wrongdoing that occurred only in her mind.

The doctor is aware of all of this; he's been aware since last year.

The difference is that I'm going into this job with my eyes wide open.  If I get pushed too far I am OUTTA THERE!  I won't let it go as far as it did the last time.  I am going to speak up for myself and not be such a pushover.  And I need to remember that I'm only there for as long as I choose to be.  I move on whenever I'm ready.   To keep my own sanity, I am viewing this as a temporary position until I land something better (even though if it works out I intend to stay).

I make decent money there (but NO benefits at all).  Money good enough that a week at the office is equivalent to 2 1/2 weeks' pay when I worked at the store, so even if she goes off her nut and I need to walk out, I'm WAY ahead financially from where I normally would be.

I'm busy looking for another job.  I've still not heard back from the medical office near my home, but I don't expect to hear for another week.  The decision maker is on vacation until sometime this week and will be making her final decision at that time.  I've sent her a follow up letter and have done all that is acceptable to try to keep myself at the top of the pile of applicants, so now I just wait.  In the meantime, I'm putting in applications for medical assisting jobs, non-medical jobs too such as receptionist, secretarial and administrative assistant positions.

A part of me is hoping for a non-medical position.  Sometimes I think the stress of it is too much for me.  I want to do things so perfectly that I get myself in a lather (internally of course), worrying that I will make a mistake that could harm someone's health.   I think I'd rather be concerned that any errors would potentially cost a company a client or some money as opposed to health/life, etc.

Yes, I know I'm worrying excessively.  I think I may take some Holy Basil tonight in hopes of stemming the anxiety I've been feeling.

I think what I really need to do is to take a deep breath and remember that my husband is behind me in the plan that if the job ever becomes too much, I walk away from it immediately and not try to hang on like I did last time, which was quite detrimental to my emotional health.

This time I refuse to be a doormat.  I will not allow the disturbed office manager to walk all over me.  I will not be swept up in the chaos.  I will make sure I take care of myself in the situation and remember that I'm there for the patients and the money, not the nutzo coworkers.  And I will remember at all times that I am not a doormat. . .

I am not a doormat. . .

I am not a doormat. . .


  1. I didn't know you were up for this job or that it was one you'd held before. That office manager should go, in my opinion. I am surprised that patients haven't said anything to the doctor if she is doing that stuff in front of them. She sounds scary!

    You paragraph on your anxiety and fear of harming reminded me of both myself and of Michael. He was pre-med with one semester to go before graduation when he shifted gears. Apparently, his hobby used to be reading medical publications. Anyway, he decided at that next to last semester to change gears. He said the burden of worrying over hurting someone accidentally became too much for him. Now he works on medical equipment.

    Also it touched a chord with me as well. Why? I am so anxiety ridden over not being perfect all the time. Of making mistakes. Of "getting in trouble" for doing/saying something wrong at work. I've been like this my whole life, in school, in work, as a mom. For me, it has been a lifetime of never being good enough. It is so wearing. I wish I didn't care so much.

    At any rate, Ms. Non-Doormat, I am proud of you. Stick to your guns on this one. Life is way too short to put up with non-professional shenanigans at work. I hope one of your applications come through and provides you with an office that fits you like a glove.

  2. Oh "Crimson"! You sound so like me! There was great pressure on you too as a child I'd bet, to be perfect so your mother would be proud of you, yes? You sound so much like me it is amazing. "A lifetime of never being good enough" sums up my feelings exactly. And yes, it is exhausting!