Work Stuff

Doctors are Human Cyborgs

This is a picture of my inner bad bitch self. Be scared, Dr. Bob.

Well goody, I’m being assigned to one of the biggest asshole doctors in our clinic next week.

Can’t wait.

Doctors are a different breed of person. I sometimes have to remind myself they are HUMAN. They have lives, they have feelings, they have bad days, they want to be included in things because it’s human instinct to BELONG to something.

But they are also highly intelligent and sometimes I feel like THEY have to remind themselves that they are human as well.

Translation; don’t be a dick to the very staff that are being paid to HELP you.

I work with neurosurgeons – brain surgeons, if that makes a bigger impact on you. I feel like brain surgeons are in the top of the doctor spectrum. They are elite, intelligent and literally save, and change, people’s lives.

They can also allow this elitism to go to their heads and they can be moody, volatile and temperamental. But they have enormous pressure put on them too. More pressure than most of us will feel in our entire lives, let alone DAILY. Cut them some slack.

If you see a doctor for whatever issue and you feel like that doctor isn’t really listening to you or acts impatient with you, try and have some patience because you have NO IDEA what sort of day he’s having. It’s very likely he just came from a room where he had to tell a patient they have an inoperable brain tumor and only have weeks to live.

(True story).

I’m not trying to excuse the doctor’s that are flat out rude or abrupt, just know that these doctors are HUMAN and you truly don’t know what it’s like to be in his shoes, what he sees or what sort of mental anguish he has to go through every day when dealing with difficult, and sad, cases.

BE PATIENT WITH YOUR DOCTOR. You just don’t know what kind of day he/she is having.

The key, at least, in my lowly medical assistant experience of working with brain surgeons for the past eight (EIGHT!?) years, is to take your cues from the doctor. Are they smiling? Kidding around? Seem to be in a good mood? Probably a good day to give them a hard time and remind them they are human – in a tasteful, professional way, of course.

Are they expressionless, staring at images intently, or highly focused/serious? Those are the days you stay professional and focused yourself. You don’t make eye contact. These are the times you put your head down and do the best job you can possibly do and work to make their day as painless and smooth as you possibly can.

I’m very, VERY, VERY lucky to consistently work with an even-tempered, pretty chill, kind and funny doctor.  Patient’s also love him. I pretty much adore him. He’s ‘da bomb.com. But let’s be real, he has his moments, he’s HUMAN after all and he’s certainly allowed to be grouchy from time-to-time. A bad day for brain surgeons are VERY BAD. When you have to declare someone brain dead and then tell the family … most of us can’t even IMAGINE the absolute hell that must be to experience.

(True story)

And remembering they have to do unthinkable things like that makes me WAY more patient with them when they are being dicks to us that day. It’s the nature of the “business.” You can’t take it personally. You just can’t.

However, there are those doctors, and thankfully, I haven’t experienced very many of them in my years working for this clinic, but there are a few doctors that are just ASSHOLES. Not to their patients, but with their staff. The doctors I’m talking about are the doctors that literally throw things when something doesn’t go their way. Or they cut a person to the very bone marrow with sharp criticism. Or they threaten to walk out of their clinic because their computer will not respond fast enough to their liking. Or they arrive two hours late to clinic, CONSISTENTLY. That’s when you start being proactive and schedule his first round of patients at the time he rolls in because when you have to hand out gas cards to patients because your doctor is two hours late to clinic, THAT’S A PROBLEM.

(True story).

The kind of doctor who discards nurses and medical assistants like bags of dog poop. The kind of doctor who now has such a hellish reputation (not just in the clinic but in the OR room as well)  that when an applicant finds out she’s interviewing to be his nurse, medical assistant, the applicant promptly says “no thanks” and walks out.

(True story).

Which brings us to now.

This doctor, let’s call him Dr. Bob, has scared nurses away, has thrown fits and demanded a member of his team be taken off his team and has literally walked away from a full clinic for technical issues.

Now granted, let’s be perfectly fair here, he has worked with some less than intelligent people. It could be that he has scared the common sense right out of these people, but for whatever reasons, they haven’t satisfied his level of competence, I suppose. Whatever the reason, he has gone through A LOT of people. His current nurse, who we all liked, including Dr. Bob, had to quit due to family issues. We are all VERY sorry to see her go, she was a good match. But life happens. There’s not much you can do about it. And his medical assistant has reached her limit, which honestly, I don’t blame her for not wanting to work with him anymore so now Dr. Bob doesn’t have a nurse, or a medical assistant.

Management is scrambling to try and fill those holes. I don’t envy them that job. But in the interim, he has to have someone run his clinic.

My doctor, who I adore and work very hard to take care of, is in clinic on Mondays and Wednesday, he does surgery the rest of the week. Dr. Bob’s clinic days are Mondays and Thursdays.

I can’t cover him on Mondays, I have my doctor to take care of, (THANK GOD), but that means I CAN cover him on Thursdays.

And management caught me, literally as I was walking out the door on Friday, to tell me I would be covering his Thursday clinic this next week.

And I’m foreseeing, because I’m a big picture sort of gal, that I will be his Thursday coverage for quite some time because it’s hard enough to get anyone to apply for a medical assistant job, let alone get hired.

*sigh* Awesome.

A few years ago, I would have been absolutely petrified about this turn of events. I have covered him a few times over the years, but honestly, I don’t really know him and though he probably recognizes my face, I bet he doesn’t know my name. That’s fine, whatever. I’m not being paid to be the man’s BFF, but I would be lying if I didn’t admit to thinking about next week, pretty much non-stop this entire weekend.

And by thinking I mean, planning. Mentally giving myself a pep talk.

I’m not really nervous, per se, but I’m definitely not looking forward to it. I’ve been doing this job for a while now and I’m pretty confident in my abilities and honestly, I don’t give a rat’s ass if he likes me or not, I just want to do the best job I can possibly do and move on.

I guess I’m just bummed that we have, once again, reached this impasse with Dr. Bob. Surely he sees the common denominator when it comes to his staff, he’s not stupid. I suppose he just doesn’t care.

One silver lining to this situation, his mid-level is a sweetheart. He can at least act as a buffer between me and Dr. Bob. I have no intentions of interacting with Dr. Bob, and I’m quite certain Dr. Bob will not interact with me, if he needs to tell me something, he’ll tell his nurse to tell me.

(True story).

But I’m perfectly fine with that. And when, (because it will happen), he throws a temper tantrum about something, I will simply wait for him to finish his temper tantrum and continue on my merry way.

DR. BOB WILL NOT DEFEAT ME.

I’ll keep ya’ll updated.

Book Corner

Book Review: What I’ve Done

Morgan Dane’s new client has blood on her hands—and no recollection of what happened—as the #1 Amazon Charts bestselling series continues.

Haley Powell wakes up covered in blood, with no memory of the night before. When she sees a man lying in the backyard, stabbed to death, she has only one terrified thought: What have I done?

Agreeing to take the case as a favor to her PI friend Lincoln Sharp, Morgan must scale a mountain of damning circumstantial and forensic evidence to prove her client innocent. Haley couldn’t appear more guilty: her bloodstained fingerprints are on the murder weapon, and she has no alibi. But Morgan can’t shake the feeling that this shocked young woman has been framed.

Someone out there is hell-bent on sabotaging her defense, targeting Morgan, her partner, and especially Haley. Someone who will stop at nothing—and whose next move will be deadly.

Definition of cozy mystery – “a sub-genre of crime fiction in which sex and violence are downplayed or treated humorously, and the crime and detection take place in a small, socially intimate community. Cozy mysteries do not employ any but the mildest profanity. The murders take place off stage, frequently involving relatively bloodless methods such as poisoning and falls from great heights. The wounds inflicted on the victim are never dwelt on and are seldom used as clues. Sexual activity, even between married characters, is only ever gently implied and never directly addressed, and the subject is frequently avoided altogether.”

That definition sums up the Morgan Dane mysteries. Clearly, I like the character enough to keep coming back, this is my fourth time and there is a fifth story that I will read at some point but it is simplistic and though not entirely predictable, the author does a good job leading us down the path to a very probable solution.

Morgan is a defense attorney and I like how her character is learning about investigating crimes the same time as her readers. I like how she’s a strong female and has a level head about her but is still a female and does have physical limitations. Hence the reason for her love interest, Lance.

I also really like that Morgan is a non-traditional female in that she has lost her husband and is raising three small girls, lives with her grandfather and employs a rather interesting nanny. Nothing about her “family” is traditional, though more and more common nowadays and yet it works for me.

Though I personally prefer my mysteries to be a bit more gritty and messy, it’s nice to read a cozy mystery from time-to-time if for no other reason than to cleanse my rather disturbing palate.

If you’re looking for an easy, entertaining read, I would recommend the Morgan Dane series.

Cruise 20

Sailing to Northern Europe

Kevin and I will have been married 30 years in May 2020. And since we love to take cruises every year, we’ve decided to do something really different this go around.

We’re going to Northern Europe.

The only cruise line, well, aside from Norwegian, which is too expensive, that sails to that area is MSC Cruises. We’ve never sailed on MSC before so this will be many firsts for us. We’re not going in May, but we’ll go later in 2020.

It took a lot of toggling windows back and forth between the MSC cruise website and American Airlines, but after running nearly every scenario we could think of, we opted to fly into Amsterdam and drive to Rotterdam, which is where the boat will sail from. It’s about a 50-minute drive and luckily, they drive on the right side. It’s a straight flight from Dallas to Amsterdam, granted, a nine-hour straight flight, but still, it’s better than the other options we tossed around. We’ll leave from Springfield, fly to Dallas and then to Amsterdam. We’ll get in to Amsterdam at about 9ish AM, rent a car and drive to Rotterdam. Turn the car in, stay the night in Rotterdam then sail out the next day.

We’ll sail to Hamburg Germany, have a sea day after that, then sail to Paris, London, Belgium then back to Rotterdam. We’ll then rent another car, drive back to Amsterdam, check into our hotel in Amsterdam and spend the rest of the day exploring Amsterdam. We’ll fly home the next day.

We had initially thought we would take a cruise to the Mediterranean and we will eventually do that, but Northern Europe caught our attention because Brandon recently flew to Belgium to meet some online friends, (I won’t even tell you how nervous I was for him to leave the country and meet virtual strangers. Though, he said he had been talking to them for nearly five years online, the most nerve wracking part of his trip was hoping that someone would pick him up from the airport and be a real, legit, normal person. I’m happy to report everything worked out great and he had a fantastic time).

We looked through Brandon’s pictures when he got back and it was GORGEOUS. The architecture, the history … just everything. And that is when we started looking at cruises to Northern Europe. We didn’t even know there WERE cruises to that region until Brandon’s trip.

I’m beyond excited though. I’ve always wanted to go to London/Paris and I can’t wait to explore. There are a TON of excursions to choose from and we’ll probably just stick to the excursions where we walk around the cities and learn about the history. We feel like that is the best way to see the sights.

We also booked a balcony room! Kevin surprised me by upgrading to a balcony room our last cruise and I’m afraid I’m spoiled now.

I can’t wait to take pictures!

We have a whole year to plan and narrow down details, but for now, it’s a done deal. We booked our cruise and reserved our flights.

Gah! I’m so excited!

Writing Stuff

Dear Authors, What Do Readers Want?

Here’s another gal that has been helpful, lately. I really enjoy her videos. She’s approaching stories more from a reader’s perspective and I really think that a lot of what she talks about is super helpful to aspiring writers. It’s certainly helpful to me.

One of the most interesting comments from this video is the general agreement that not every interaction has to end in a romantic relationship, that a lot of readers just want the relationship to be platonic, to showcase more friendships. Actually, I would be down with that as I think that’s closer to real life. Though to be honest, can men and women JUST be friends? I know that’s an age-old question but truly, is it possible? Can a straight female and a straight male only be friends? Isn’t there always sexual tension? Actually, this reminds of a book I read recently that I gave five stars to: The Guy on the Right that started as friends and they ended up learning to love each other as the story went along. I LOVED that approach and I truly ended up caring about the characters largely because of this approach. (I highly recommend that book, by the way). This is a reader suggestion I can definitely support.

The comments about strong female characters also struck a chord. Just because a female is little and physically weak doesn’t make her a weak character as a whole. I tend to write about strong, sassy Amazon females who don’t take shit from anyone. (Gee, I wonder where I get my inspiration from). I also LOSE PATIENCE with female characters that consistently make stupid choices and yet “they are a strong female.” I guess you can have a strong female who is an idiot but that contradicts the strength of the character for me and I don’t care about her anymore. I want a physically and mentally strong female character who makes bad decisions and learns from them. And what is up with these “strong” females who act like total dweebs when they’re around their love interest? Gads …

I disagree with the comment about leaving clues for readers to figure out the plot twists. I mean …. okay … there should be some clues that point a certain direction but nothing turns me off more than knowing a 1/3 of the way through the book “who dun it.” I like Red Herrings, but don’t make them over the top cheesy, stupid or unrealistic. I want to be surprised, give me a twist ending.

I actually love enemies-to-lovers types of stories but I absolutely agree when the “hate” between the characters is not strong enough to warrant their interactions. I find myself often saying to myself, “you hate him for that reason? Geez, get a backbone.” I feel like these types of stories are harder to carry off because the reason they hate each other needs to be realistic enough to warrant the hate but also not so big they can’t get past it and develop feelings for each other. Challenging.

Anyway, Merphy has a lot of interesting points and I certainly learned a lot by watching her video. (Also, how CUTE IS SHE?? And I LOVE her hair!)

 

Writing Stuff

Write What You Want to Read

I’m embarrassed to say, I don’t have any ideas of what to write. I am one of those writers that fall into the first category that Jenna mentions in her video.

I get ideas at the weirdest times, usually when I’m driving or reading. But what I need to do and haven’t been doing, is writing these ideas down somewhere.

Never mind that I’m constantly carrying a pocket computer with me at all times that clearly has the ability to input something into it and then gives me the ability to read it later. (I.E. my phone). I am going to start getting in the habit of writing these thoughts down and stop being so lazy and thinking, “Pfft, I’ll remember it later.” This coming from the woman who doesn’t remember what happened last week, hell, the last hour. (How sad is it that I haven’t been already been doing this? I clearly have a few light bulbs burned out in my attic).

Jenna mentions music is her muse. Actually, that’s a very good point. I DO get ideas whenever I listen to music as well. Good suggestion. (My ideas when I listen to music? Sexy, dirty dance scenes. But it’s something at least, I guess!)

“Write what you want to read” is the line that really spoke to me in Jenna’s video. She is SO right. I think that’s way better advice than “write what you know.”

What do I know? Nothing much. I’m an idiot. But write what I want to read? Now I have some thoughts on that one …

What I enjoy reading the most is a hybrid of character-driven and plot driven stories. I want to get to know the characters, a relationship rich in back-and-forth struggles while simultaneously running from rabid bulls intent on impaling them on their sharp horns.

Thanks once again, Jenna, for the wonderful advice.

(Warning: salty language)

 

NaNoWriMo

Giving Up on NaNoWriMo (forever?)

So. I’m a loser.

I have given up on my NaNoWriMo project.

As usual, what happens always happens – I simply ran out of steam.

Here’s the thing. Maybe I’m going about this the wrong way. I’ve always prided myself on being a pantser – I don’t outline – it’s more fun to have my characters tell me where to go.

But clearly, this is the wrong approach for me because I get to the point in my writing, I’m like: “Wow, This really sucks. What’s the point? Where am I going with this?

And so and so on.

Please don’t think I’m bragging but I KNOW I can write. That’s never the problem. My problem is, I don’t have any idea where the story is going or how it should end.

And that’s a HUGE problem, ladies and gentleman.

I’m stressing myself out and life is too short for (more) stress. (Work is really stressing me out right. Granted, it’s self imposed, I care TOO much but that’s another blog post).

So. I give up. I’m a quitter. A loser. And I think I’m done with NaNoWriMo.

It’s like Jenna says in her video, every month should be WriMo, not just November, and she’s right. I’m one of those people who put so much emphasis on November and completing this damn challenge that I completely neglect the other eleven months of the year as far as writing. (Warning: Spicy language)

How stupid is that? (Don’t answer that question).

I’m giving up on NaNoWriMo. It was fun while it lasted but I think it has served its purpose for me. I learned a lot about myself doing the challenge and now I’m ready to get serious and actually WRITE. I can’t learn if I don’t WRITE.

And Jenna’s videos have really inspired me. I tell people all the time at work that I hate talking about something to death. Well, I’m doing that with my writing. It’s time to put some work behind my claims that I love to write.

Am I write? (see what I did there?)

I need to be patient with myself and keep searching for a story idea that I’m passionate about. And then I need to teach myself to outline. And then write something. All of this takes time, weeks, months, even, not 30 days.

I’m disappointed in myself, but certainly not surprised. This is a common habit of mine and you know what? It’s time to break that cycle and try something different because the way I’m approaching this writing business is CLEARLY NOT working for me.

So what’s next? I plan on continuing to post Jenna’s vlogs here. I’ve also found a few more writing vlogs that really ignite my flame as well as reader vlogs that I plan on posting here. I’d like to really get into book reviews this upcoming year, maybe do something with the reading group I started on Goodreads but never did anything with. I’m doing this for a few reasons:

  1. Reading never fails to spark the writer in me. I always get ideas when I read other people’s work.
  2. Writing book reviews is writing. It’s also teaching me what I like and don’t like about stories so I can incorporate this into my own writing.
  3. It will help me understand what readers like, don’t like, about a story and again, keep that in mind when I write my own stuff.
  4. I’m PASSIONATE about reading. If I can find a way to make money reading I’d be on that in a HEARTBEAT. Maybe someone will pay me to review books? (I really should look into that possibility).
  5. I LOVE talking about books. I’ve participated in a few online book clubs and I had so much fun with them. That’s why I would really like to start my own online book club so we can actually TALK about not only the stories, but the writing methods as well.
  6. Perhaps organizing a group of readers will eventually turn into beta readers for my own writing. I’ve learned from Jenna how important beta readers are and that is something I need to look into when my own writing reaches that stage.

Honestly, I’ve learned so much from just watching Jenna’s videos. I’m thinking seriously of becoming a member of SkillShare just so I can take some of her classes. She’s sassy, smart and calls it like it is. I respond to that type of personality.

Anyway, I have a lot to chew on and some new things to try for the upcoming year. I’m excited. To me, this excitement I feel is way more rewarding than writing 50,000 of utter crap.

To the rest of you doing NaNoWriMo, may your muse not abandon you. Good luck!

NaNoWriMo

Writing Process Sucks

The part where she’s laying on the bed, her knees drawn up to her chest and she’s screaming in frustration? Yeah, that’s me RIGHT NOW.

NaNoWriMo update: I’m at 14,432 words. I finished my prologue though it’s now so long that I’m pretty sure I could get two chapters out of it. I wrote nearly 1500 words tonight and that was PAINFUL. Not really because of the content, I knew where I was going with it, but because I’m having a hard time finding the mental energy I mentioned early on in this challenge that I knew I would struggle with at some point and that point is now.

I would take a night off but I really want the “update word count seven days in a row” badge. It’s all about the badges, screw the writing. This post is going to publish in the afternoon and by the time it go lives I’ll be at work and counting down the hours until I can go home but writing this right now? I’m completely brain dead and my eyes are slowly clos… ZzzZzZ