Well, it appears that I have survived my first week at my new job. In fact, not only did I survive, I earned the respect and trust of the hardest-to-please doctors and staff members, I earned tail-wag status from several of the hardest-to-please patients, and I did it all with a 100.3 fever, and an ear infection that I dared to get in my way. The determination didn’t come from a career drive as much as an “I have a mortgage and can’t afford to screw this up!” situation. I get to use the skills I’ve gained over the past nine years to help animals i critical health situations. That is a perfect job for me. It’s not necessarily a challenge, but that actually works out just fine for me. What I want in a job at this stage of my life is one in which I am able to make a positive difference, but which doesn’t require me to sacrifice any part of myself. I just left a toxic, all-encompassing job that ate at my health and my soul, and I don’t believe that any job is worth that.
I spent the first week training on the day shift, but I am technically an overnight technician. I will work my first overnight shift ever later on this week, but in the meantime I am staying up nights to try and get used to it. Staying up all night has proved the be no problem. It’s like my body clock is saying, “Finally, our schedule is correct!” The day shift also gave me an idea of what the hospital is like and what the staff is like. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve gotten my foot in the door many places by feigning confidence that may or may not have actually been there. This time, the confidence really was there. I knew what I wanted, I knew what I was capable of, and I went in there and made it happen. I also don’t give a shit what people want to say about me behind my back. I know they are saying things, I mean 90% of the place is women and gay men. I’m being “trained” by a 22 year old kid who is a very talented technician, but also an ego-fragile insecure kid who needs to feel like he’s better than everyone else. I was warned before I met him, even by people from our satellite clinics, that he can be a jackass and that he will talk down to me. Bring it on, hell, give me your best impression of a jackass, and I doubt I’ll flinch. I met him and realized he’s just a moody kid who thinks his life is awful because he hasn’t seen how good he has it yet. He’s welcome to be sarcastic, he’s not allowed to be racist around me (he’s Canadian, he’s not used to this much color), and he’s not allowed to talk down to me. He respects me, and we get along fine.
He likes to tell me about the dramas that happen between our coworkers, and warn me about the doctors’ tendencies to get emotional when their patients take a turn for the worse. I laughed when I realized that what he told me was the extent of the drama. It was adorable. I asked, “Has any of them ever become emotional and thrown a telephone at a technician?” He seemed appalled that I would even suggest it. No, they would never do anything like that. I said, “Then it’s going to be just fine.” He honestly didn’t know why I wasn’t horrified at his complaints.
I have worked with a man who has no soul, my friends; one whose only goal is destroying everything around him until he feels richer and more powerful than anything he destroyed. I worked with such evil for 3 years. Give me your best complaint, and unless it is something about that time the hospital hired a convicted rapist to help him avoid jail time, it will not bother me much at all. So, while I love what I do for a living, I don’t plan to be at this particular job forever. A few years, sure; as long as it takes to get to whatever my next step is. Until then, I am going to feed and rehabilitate my soul for a change. I plugged up that slow leak that has been depleting my resources over the past few years, and now is a time for healing.