Welcome to My Living Novel

In my world, the plot is always thickening.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Yes, I’m Still Alive (Barely)

I’m out of breath, have aching muscles, and I’m sure that it won’t be long before the gray hairs start to spout officially making me the oldest young woman alive. Oh, my new job! How I love to hate thee! You give me so much pain and satisfaction at the same time, but I’m starting to realize that maybe the pain overshadows the satisfaction.

Yesterday, especially, I was truly at my breaking point. My car broke down, one of the therapists at the clinic was annoyed with me, the front desk staff was annoyed with me for moving the furniture around in my office to suit my needs, and my supervisor was breathing down my neck for me to recruit 300 people to the project and I just don’t know if I can do it all!

But just as everyone else in the world was discussing how much they hate my guts, I was surprised at how hard the guy who hired me was working to get me hired into a permanent position. He’s really pushing hard to convince his colleagues to hire me for a new Research Associate II position that just became available. This job is a lot better than the one I turned down a few weeks ago, because it doesn’t require any life-threatening trips to patients’ homes and it’s even more prestigious than all of my other positions combined. If I’m lucky enough to get offered the job, there’s no way that I will turn this one down. However, I wonder if I’m really qualified for the position. A big part of this study is drawing blood and administering EKGs, and they are currently interviewing several people who have experience with both. My supervisor brushes such requirements off as no big deal, saying that I can take training courses on how to draw blood and do EKG’s. I just find it curious that I’m suddenly being thrown so haphazardly into doing such technical, medical tasks. I mean can you even imagine me poking people with needles or straping them into some type of electric wave measuring machine? It’s kind of an eerie thought.

Everything about my work days is haphazard. Today for example, my supervisor had the audacity to ask me to interpret Swahili for a client. I may have put Beginning Swahili skills on my resume, but I never thought that anyone would actually take that comment seriously or put my non-existent skills to work. I mean saying “Habari zako,” and helping someone through a major depressive episode are two totally different things. Oh, I just know the gray hairs are coming. I can feel it. I can feel it...

Friday, June 02, 2006

I Need Your Input

The weekend could not be coming at a better time, because my new job is really making me lose my mind. I can deal with the patients and the basic tasks that are in my job description easy enough, and I actually enjoy my work on most occasions. It's my co-workers and my supervisors that keep making my job so confusing and who keep adding more drama to an already tense situation.

Since they fired two of my co-workers, they have been doing a corporate re-shuffle. Today, they interviewed me for one of their permanent research associate positions, but I felt so underhanded interviewing for the same job that was supposed to go to my fired co-worker. My supervisors all told me not to tell her about it so I didn't, but it just felt wrong doing so. I hate keeping secrets, and it's just making an already tense work environment even tenser.

Anyway, awkward work situation put aside, I don't even know if I want the job. At first, I was overjoyed about the job because it would be a salaried position with benefits. I've been drooling over jobs like that ever since I graduated from college. However, I'm starting to wonder if a salary and benefits is truly worth the stress and the risk to my physical well being.

For this project, I will be going into the homes of mentally ill adults who are also working on their substance and alcohol abuse problems. My job is to enroll them in a trial treatment program and then interview them 6 months later to see if the program is actually helping them. In general the study sounds fascinating. My main concern is going into these strangers' homes. I don't mean to be so discriminating or biased, but these people have been diagnosed with some serious mental illnesses and then add substance and alcohol abuse on top of that. It can't be a good combination. I'm perfectly fine meeting with these people in the clinical environment, but outside the clinic, I'm not so sure. It's not that I truly believe that I would be butchered and torn into little tiny unidentifiable pieces, but I just think that there is a security risk there that I'm not willing to take. Please let me know what you think, cause I need all the input I can get.