Welcome to My Living Novel

In my world, the plot is always thickening.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Blood of the Lamb

The tension at work is so stiff that I can’t even cut it with a knife. The sad part is that I don’t think that there is any solution to this easily avoidable problem. The damage has been done and the things that have been said can never be taken back.

The situation is that two of my co-workers were up for their 90 day evaluations last week, and their bad performance reviews caught us all off guard. My employer told them that their contract would not be extended into the permanent positions that they were promised and that they were fired. To add insult to injury, they are supposed to finish out the last two months of the research project. What kind of company fires someone and then expects them to grin and bare months of working for an employer who doesn’t value their work? I mean these are the sweetest ladies on the planet and they worked their butts off on this project, staying late without overtime pay and working through lunch for weeks at a time. Is termination how you reward such dedication?

I just don’t understand it, and one of the ladies didn’t either because she put in a half of day’s work and left probably never to return again. The other lady, who took so much care in training me, is going to stick it out and work that ridiculous two months of shame. I'm amazed by her strength and composure. There’s no way that I could work through such conditions. My supervisors pretend that all is normal and that it’s okay to let so much tension circulate so freely in the workplace, but I’m so angry with them that I can scream. How dare they fire the hardest working women that they had working for them! How dare they put me in the middle of an impossible situation! How dare they offer me a permanent position?

It’s not official, but they want me come in to interview for a permanent research position. This is not one of those temporary four month studies, but I long term project with a salary and benefits. It’s like a real grown up job and I might have to give it some serious consideration, but I’m so disheartened by this whole experience. I’m caught in the middle of a war that I do not understand, but from my vintage point I can only see innocent blood being spilt.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Crazy Days

After 30 days of endless rain, sunshine has finally come out to play, and I’m truly grateful for these cherry blue skies because all that rainy weather, among other things, was really starting to wear me down. From my daily follies at work, to my miscommunications with the men in my life, I felt as if a million microscopic disappointments built up enough to form a visible sadness in me. Fortunately, my sadness went away with those rainy days, and my cheerful self is back to reflect about the happenings in my world.

Everyday at my new job is an adventure, and our research participants are constantly keeping me on my toes. I’m getting used to the depressed and bipolar ones, but the ones with schizophrenia really catch me off guard more often than not. I had one yesterday that made me so uncomfortable that I wanted to run for my life. This person had a fascinating story, but it really seemed like they could snap at any minute and I didn’t want to be there when they did. However, I had one participant today that I adored so much that there was even a bit of attraction on my part. He would tell me about his delusions and hallucinations and I would just nod and think in my head, “That’s okay. I still adore you,” and would admire his lips as he talked and noticed how soft his hands looked. Don’t worry! I’m not so desperate that I would take patients home with me, but that one guy was mighty fine.

Today was especially crazy because there was a bomb threat on the clinic, and we had to evacuate while the police combed the building with dogs and bomb detectors. Evidently, this clinic gets bomb threats a couple times a year from random unstable patients who were unable to get their medications. To this I could do nothing but shake my head in disbelief. What have I gotten myself into people?! I’m getting more and more glad that this job is only a temporary position.

I may complain, but deep down I’m really enjoying this job. The project is so exciting because of how significant the research is. If this study goes well, they will be introducing the new computer software that we are testing this fall in mental health clinics all across Tennessee. Patients will be able to do a quick survey on a touch screen computer before they go in to see their therapist, and that survey will give their doctor a heads up to know how they are feeling that day. It’s really exciting stuff and I’m so proud to be a part of it.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Sign Language

I’ve been so embarrassed lately about my inability to read male mating signals. I’m both inexperienced and naïve and deserve these ruffled feathers that I’ve been wearing for past four days now.

M-BMW broke my heart ever so slightly last weekend as he casually flirted with me for a full half an hour, then later that evening, publicly smooched on another girl in the middle of the dance floor. I’m not entirely surprised, but I definitely didn’t see it coming. I feel so stupid to have gotten all excited about him and now have all that excitement come to nothing. But in case you didn’t know already, my attention span can be kind of short when it comes to men so I’ve already moved my attentions to another.

At the top of my list is another Yahoo personal guy, who has one of the most lovable voices I’ve ever heard. The first time I heard his voice on my answering machine, I literally jumped up and down with excitement and called Barefoot in Blue to scream in her ear about it. She goes to school with the Yahoo personal guy and was able to give him a good letter of recommendation from her brief encounters with him. I can’t wait to meet him because we have so much in common that it's kind of scary.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

My Brain is About to Explode!

It was pouring down rain as I drove to my new job today, and I was certain that this curtain of water could not be a good omen as to how the rest of the day would flow. I tried my best to push these negative thoughts aside, remembering how easy most first days are on a new job. However, I would not be so lucky this time. There would be no gentle training process from me, no friendly shadowing of a fellow co-worker. They simply told what to do and threw me in the water, waiting anxiously to see if I would sink or swim. I am proud to say that I was able to keep my head above water more often then not, however, I did shallow quite a bit of water in the struggle.

I’m still shocked at how much responsibility they put on my shoulders on my first day. At my old research job, I had to go through several weeks of training on confidentiality, recruiting, and interviewing processes before we can even talk to a research participant. At this company, however, I wasn’t in the door but 4 hours when they left me alone to consent people to the study, administer computerized tests, answer the phones, and pay the participants for their time. I could have died of fright and of having to absorb too much information too fast.

Besides, my sheer terror about how much I had to do, I'm pretty pleased with my new position. I sat in on two interviews so far, and it was so eye-opening to talk to some of the participants. They have had such terrible things happen to them, such as deaths in the family, rapes, and physical abuse. I can’t even imagine how I would deal with just one of these situations much less all three of them at the same time. I’m both intrigued and disheartened by their stories, and I’m not sure whether being in such an environment will spark my interests or if it will bring me down in to my own little depression. I’ll guess, we’ll just have to wait and see on that one.

My brain is still vibrating from today’s experiences. I’m actually glad to be at my old part-time job this evening. Everything here is so familiar and I can at last relax knowing that for these brief four hours I have mastery over my domain. I must soak up this feeling as much as possible, because in the morning it will be culture shock in a foreign land all over again.