Not to worry, dear friends…I’m doing fine, healthwise…but my career, however…THAT appears to be on life support!
And so, here I am, dear friends. I have not written anything on this blog for ages, and though I started it to fill you all in on what was going on with me during treatment, I find it strangely apropos to continue writing here about what is going on now, with my career. Since, what started out as a health issue, has turned into quite the career ruiner. I’ve had quite a number of setbacks since my last entry here (thankfully, none of them are health-related) but I’ve had to accept a position at much, much lower rate of pay, (about half) and I have been reluctant to admit where.
When I was at the county, I had applied for a transfer to evening shift. I would have been able to come home at night and sleep with my husband, and wake up during the day, instead of laying awake all day, trying to sleep and then working all night, as I had been. My request had been approved when I found out about having cancer, and so all was put on hold.
When it came to the end of my year-long treatments, my boss (a woman of most mercurial tendencies) informed me that my “old shift” was still available.
My old shift? There had been a new grad (our unit secretary) whom had taken over my shift, and perhaps, I’m not sure, but perhaps the thought was to put her in the evening shift and “let me” return to my old night shift—11pm to 7 am. A horrible, terrible place to be.
The thought was so bad, it prompted me back to New York, to grad school, rather than return to work nights. (THAT bad, yes)
A very long story short—I left after a year (perhaps the subject of an entry, some other time, all to itself. If you’re ever bored enough to read it and I am bored enough to write it!)
Well, combine the year off with cancer, the year off at university, and then the year it took to find work…and three years does it make. Not favorable circumstances, or something which a hiring manager says “gosh! You’ve been away from critical care for nearly three years?! Yes, when can you start!?” In fact, the very opposite is true.
Initially, I was very honest. I told them about the cancer, the year at grad school…but gradually, I learned that I was saying too much—I stopped talking about cancer.
However, my mercurial old boss, she decided to talk about my medical leave in such a way as to make it sound like I had barely spent any time at the bedside at all, and thus, she soured more than one offer. And I found out about it, and had them dead to rights, so they had to rectify the situation in writing.
So, now, I’ve had to accept an offer at an ICU/CCU in the inland empire, where I used to attend college (the first time, for architecture.)
For fear of search bots finding me and my blog, and firing me over it, suffice to say it is a small community hospital where Bill and Ted might have had an excellent adventure. YOU know what I’m talking about ;)
So, here I am again, 14 years later. In order to get back into the critical care setting, I’ve had to come south. Very few people know this. Only my closest friends will be in on this news. I figure since I will be working 12 hour shifts, and can make my own schedule, that I can manage to head back to SF at least every week or every 10 days or so for 4-8 days at a time.
The plan: Work this for 6 months and get the hell back up north. Hopefully, by then, hiring managers won’t treat me like a leper because I’ve been away from critical care for so long. Having ICU/CCU back on my resume is better than saying I had to lower myself and take a telemetry job, at which I absolutely SUCKED. Four patients instead of two, and they were certainly more acute than the management cared to admit; they should have been considered Step down, and therefore only been assigned 3 to a nurse (fuck Kaiser.)
Anyway—those of you whom have been so kind and pestered with repeated reference requests, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. Without you I would STILL be trying to find work, competing with the 300+ nurses in SF that have recently been laid off from Seton and their hospital system (gah!)
I did get a few offers, and did settle (in every sense of the word) on this one, because it was closer to home and was more in line with what I wanted to put on my resume. I did get an offer from a hospital in Tacoma, but it was in the Neuro ICU and though it paid more, and the cost of living was less, I thought this was an easy 5-6 hour drive, or 1 hour flight home, and that won out in the end.
I love you guys, and if you are reading this, it’s because I do and wanted to fill you in on what’s going on now, and that without you, none of this will be possible.
I will be (I’m sure) bitching and moaning about the conditions at this excellent adventure hospital, and this is in no way any of your doing—I and I alone made the decision to come here (at half the rate of pay in San Francisco) because it was on the table, and of those offers on the table, it was the best suited to my needs.
Try to remember, as I will, as I have written on my bathroom mirror: All things are temporary, and this, too, shall pass.
It’s not all bad—I make my own schedule, the people I work with are a mixed bag, some nice, some will take some warming up to, but you know, that’s always the case. And, at least I’m back in the ICU/CCU setting.
I’ll keep you posted via this blog, if you’re interested :)