Friday, October 28, 2005

Checking In

Damn, so here we are at Friday, again. Staring the end of daylight savings and Halloween square in the face, which means over the next 8 weeks, comes the machine gun fire of festivities: Sara's birthday, Thanksgiving, Colin's birthday, Christmas, Charles's birthday, New Year's. With a healthy slathering of holiday cheer-ing over the top. Please don't get me wrong, I absolutely adore the holidays. It's just from this perspective, when I haven't started doing anything for any of them, that it looks a bit dizzying.

I am more "chestnuts by the open fire" than "hustle and bustle".

And what the hell are we going to get Charles's mother this year. (Inside joke, that. Every year, at varying times, Charles and I face each other with panic-eyes and mutter that question.)

Mom and Morris's visit was lovely. Grandchildren were hugged and made much over. Toys were played. Food was eaten. Wine was sipped. Horrible ceiling lights were converted to attractive ceiling lights. Soap dispenser was attached to kitchen sink. Emma was confounded by the classic dilemma of whose feet to plop on and whose hands to seek pats from. Poor pup. A dent was made in the almost 300 bulbs that needed planting. It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown was watched 157 times. Sara now quotes freely from it, resulting in a ban until next year, as she accompanies the performance with Lucy "slugs".

The grass is now frosty for several hours each morning and it is the first week without soccer in over a month. Is it bad of me to rejoice in that fact? Probably.

Work is getting busier in spits and spats. Summer is usually fairly busy with vacationing physicians and out-of-towners. Winter is usually crazy-busy with all the cruds and falls. Spring and fall are usually slower. Feast or famine.

The little black car is finally back from the shop, two weeks and some $2800 smackers later. Thank god we were insured. Can't wait to see what it does to our rates.

I think that's about it. Nothing funny. Just a chat among friends.

Oh, wait! I nearly forgot!

Tuesday, I went in to work, as I only had enough vacation to cover Monday and Wednesday, expecting to get out of there around 5 pm (have I told you lately how I love my job?) when I check my messages and find one with many exclamation points in the title. Exclamation points adorning the words "reminder for the mandatory meeting, tonight".


You see, every so often, and this year it seems they are doing this every month or two, we have these mandatory meetings of us network physicians to help us in our practices and boost, yes, you guessed it....morale! One of them was Tuesday night and I completely missed all messages. Which in and of itself is very odd, as I am not the sort to miss such things. Well, couldn't I have just skived off and said, "Whoops, forgot!" Of course I could. This is America. Sadly, the Powers That Be would respond with, "Hey, no problemo, old bean, and please take note of the lighter paycheck." $250 lighter. Ouch.

So, instead of going home at 5 pm to husband, kids, and parents and eating the lovely African Peanut Chicken soup with homemade bread I had prepared, I got to listen to this bozo discuss how to deal with difficult people and eat cold sandwiches. Normally, I'd have been fine with it, but that night, I was just mad. Mad, mad, mad. Still mad when I got home at 10 pm. The talk was fine, most of what he went over is what I have been doing for years, I just didn't know there was a copywrighted name and series of book-tours possible to go along with it. (I never did think big). And Oprah. Apparently, he is thisclose to Oprah, or at least her show, as he made sure to let us know he was one of the ones who was called upon to give expert advice. I got a couple of tips out of it, not to mention copies of his book, 4 set CD of his 4 +1/2 hour full lecture (we must have gotten the "lecture lite") and handy desk reference, all bought and paid for by my employer, whether I wanted them or not. At the end, he let us know that he was available for questions and (snicker) book signings. I briefly considered going up and asking him to sign my jiggly post-babies-belly, but instead beat cheeks down the hall.

I just don't do smarmy well.

But it is fun to mock.

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Anonymous Kate W. said...

Geez- how can you NOT love those extracurricular work activities?! I drew the line last year when we were being forced to play this weird twister game.With CO-WORKERS!Hello?!
You do have lots of shopping to do! I love to hear what other kids are getting! Do tell!

10:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recall many years ago driving 30 minutes back to school in the rain for "Back To School" night so we could schmooze with parents. Not one of them showed up!!! And then I drove 30 minutes home again in the rain. When asked the next day in the faculty room "how many parents I had", I think I indicated "1" in a rather inappropriate manner


12:42 PM  
Blogger CarpeDM said...

Gee. I just love his website. He looks so, well, idiotic comes to mind.

"If you’re looking for dynamic, fun, high-energy programs that your audience will love, you’ve found the place!" Please. And the pictures of him jumping around? And the fact that he refers to himself as Dr. Rick? That annoys me.

You should just tell them to hire me and I will regale all of your co-workers with fun and exciting stories about...damn, I can't think of anything right now. Um, why not to put fish hooks in your mouth? How about that?

1:33 PM  
Blogger Teri said...

You were wrong. you were funny. And I am terribly, terribly sorry that you had to attend the evil bozo's talk.

I think I owe you an e-mail (okay, I know I owe you an e-mail), and since I am currently studiously avoiding that which I really should be doing (a tediously boring assignment), there's a high probability it will arrive this afternoon...

1:47 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Kate- Twisted Twister! Wow. How horrible. Nothing like forced bonding. I am glad you didn't ask what I am getting Charles as I have no idea. The adorable jerk buys his own presents as the whim hits. Let's see...Colin is getting several Lego sets and probably some Star Wars action figures. Sara, probably a few more bits of furniture for her doll house (gotta love those gifts that keep gifting!) and a few Dora duplo sets. Your turn!

Dad- That sucks. Here in Smallsville, parent-teacher conferences are terribly well attended, as there just isn't anything else to measure up on the excitement.

Dana- Isn't it gloriously cheesy? Yes, he did leap about the room and shout. The thing was held in a conference room in the hospital basement, down the hall from the caffeteria, all muffly and carpeted with rows of rectangular tables. It was sort of sad. He needed a stage. He is from Portland, my former hometown. My chiropractor colleague, who for some reason is exempt from these meetings, loves to mock those who go by the monniker "Dr Firstname". I can't wait to "share" with him on Monday. Guess that makes me a "sniper" according to Dr Rick. You know, he did do some schtick about a fish mouth. There's your next career.

Teri- Thanks. I wish I had my blog friends there to snicker and make snide comments with. My usual cohort, who I usually sit next to and try not to obviously laugh with, was not there. It was probably for the best, though, as we would have certainly gotten ourselves in trouble.

2:20 PM  
Blogger moegirl said...

I feel so lucky to work in the meeting-adverse culture at my workplace. We hardly EVER meet. (Since there is only 11 of us, its not all that necessary) I think we only meet once a year to discuss the insurance benefits and find out how much the co-pay is going up.

3:04 PM  
Blogger brooksba said...

I agree completely that the holidays are lovely, but the work behind them are a bit too much. You'll get through it.

Long meetings after work to "boost morale" are never a joy.

I like your writing style. It really grabs the reader.

3:30 PM  
Blogger beckyb said...

The holidays are upon us??? EEK!! Time for me to snuggle under my covers for the next couple months.

I agree, you are funny and I missed reading your blog during my self imposed swearing off from reading blogs period. And since I didn't get anything more done around the house when I wasn't reading blogs, here I am again.

One perk of working for yourself is no late "motivational" meetings. Unless it included a glass of wine...that would be motivating!

The kids are fascinated by the frost and I am not so about the foggy minivan windows in the morning. Who else uses their garage as storage and parks on the driveway? :p

7:07 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Stace- Yeah, that's what I thought about medicine, then I entered the real world. Rude awakening. Had I wanted meetings, I would have go into business, which are the degrees, oddly enough, of those inflicting and running the meetings. Stepped right into that.

Beth- Thanks. The only meetings I hate more are the bi-weekly ones, also manditory, at 7am on Mondays. I kid you not. Yes, we are grumpy and surly.

Beckyb- You're back! I thought you'd gone forever! I left you a note just a bit ago. I don't think my in-laws ever used their garage for the car. We have a former horse stable-ette in the pasture, so that's where our crap and flammable gas cans are. Cheating, but anything to avoid scraping ice at 6am for 6 months of the year.

8:20 PM  
Blogger Rozanne said...

Oh, yes. It is fun to mock and I am so glad you did. And what a mockable face "Dr. Rick" has.

BTW: I have never cottoned to the Dr. Firstname thing. I hope your patients don't call you Dr. Diana.

OK. I just noticed that you already covered the whole Dr. Firstname thing in your previous comment. Glad we are on the same page with that!

Oy. To think that I might run into this jaboney on the streets of PDX!

9:36 PM  
Blogger beckyb said...

Diana- I had my comments settings messed up so I don't think your note posted. I love our Dell and the scroll button on the mouse but I am forever messing things up because I forget I haven't clicked out of a line before I try to scroll the page...ugh!

10:12 PM  
Blogger Babs said...

Oh god. Bozo doesn't BEGIN to describe that half-assed numpty.

7:13 AM  
Blogger Teri said...

My kids' Dr. is a Dr. Firstname, but that's because there's another dr. with the same last name in the practice.

11:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Next time a meeting comes up try some of my schemes.

1. Email back saying that if you promise to vote with the majority, may you be excused.

2. If a meeting is actually cancelled--with or without majority voting--email back to REPLY ALL nominating the cancelling authority for King/Queen.

These never really worked for me, but it was always fun trying.


1:54 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Rozanne- He is about 15 years older than his picture suggests, somewhere around 50s, I'd guess. You know, I don't mind if my patients call me "Dr Diana", I just don't call myself that.

Beckyb- Check, I'll go back and re-reply. I always blame Blogger when things go wrong. It is never MY fault, see...

Babs- And sadly, the website does not even begin to do justice to the numptyism that is Dr Rick.

Teri- That makes sense, especially in a pediatrician. Peds docs get to do all sorts of things, like wear banana stethescopes and sit and color with their patients and go by Dr Firstname, even if they are the only Dr Lastname in the place. I am fine with being called "Dr Diana" by a patient, I just don't refer to myself in that way. I call myself "Diana" and have done with it.

Dad- Sadly, the voting meetings are NOT manditory.

2:39 PM  

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