In just over two month a bunch of insanity is going down.
-I'm getting married
-I'll be a doctors
-I'll be getting paid
for being a doctor.
Over the past two years I have been paying to work an average of 60 - 80 hours per week at the hospital. It's been incredible. I love what I'm doing, I love seeing patients. Even an afternoon of pelvic exams doesn't destroy me when I put it into monetary terms:
Wait -- I'm paying to do what
At the end of a long day I have enough spiritual energy to work out, make dinner and still be a person. Looking at the variety of things humans do for money, truly loving your job seems rare. There are thousands of obscure jobs that can essentially be termed "accounting," though most workers in said jobs would balk at the title. There are many more jobs where the works sit in front of a computer, trying to not get noticed. And then you can be medical support staff, in the army or work at a restaurant.
I think this covers about 100% of jobs leaving out artists and athletes.
The university just hired me along with most of my cronies to help transition to a new electronic charting system. It's a system used by most of the hospitals in the metro, so we all know how to use it. The only reason that any of us are doing this is to make it rain. The university did not adequately gauge how desperate and poor students are, so starting wages were set at $75/hr.
That's right -- $75 per hour!
I would've done it for $25 -- which would still be more than I've ever made per hour ever. Also several tactless med students shared this information with nurses and others around the hospital so are now universally resented.
Nonetheless, now I am showing up at the university daily, donning a green fleece vest sized made for big people and standing around the hospital as a "green-vest" meaning one who helps physicians use the new computer program.
Most smart people can navigate easily through a system, and questions come the first time, are answered and don't come again. So most of what I do is play words with friends and angry birds -- for 12 hours. The contracting company is aware of the diminishing need for legions of tech support, and understandable doesn't feel that it is a good use of resources to pay me $900 daily to play scrabble. They have been circulating around the hospital trying to find areas to cut employees from. Naturally this is a cat and mouse game with two strategies. Primarily I try to look busy. I walk around with the care teams on rounds, shoot the shit with nurses if they are standing near a computer and sit in heavily populated areas so that at first glance it may look like I am doing something.
Next -- they can't send you home if they can't find you. I scoot around the hospital, talking to other people sitting at computers, giving the impression that I am engaging in larger-scale tech support.
There is a tremendous toll on my spirit, however. I have never had zero investment in my work. Even working as a server, I liked (most) my patrons and loved my fellow staff. Landscaping I wanted the landscape to look landscaped. But here my goal is to be there for 12 hours so I can get paid for 12 hours. My secondary goal is for the time to pass quickly, but I couldn't give two shits how or why. It's a terrible feeling. I begin each day tired and exit each day empty -- fully knowing that I have accomplished nothing.
This is how people get fat, I think. They have jobs that don't matter, and they are aware of this, and unable to change it. It's a fatness that equates to powerlessness. I do nothing all day except try to avoid being sent home, and then am too tired to do anything other than eat and sleep. I feel like a depressed panda bear.
And I fucking hate polar fleece. Probably the worst thing about being white is the association with polar fleece.