Category Archives: jobs

so very thankful…

i woke up this morning and it was hard to believe that it is thanksgiving!  another year has almost passed by and i have so many things to be thankful for – here is my short list (in no particular order).

  1. andy and our marriage – and for always being there in my best and worst times.  always quick to reassure and quick to point out my irrational thoughts.  my rock.
  2. my parents – who have always been so supportive and loving and welcomed andy with open arms
  3. my friends – past and present.  even when only in my life for a designated time – lessons were learned.
  4. my family – blood relatives, andy’s family, and people so close they might as well be family.
  5. otis – my little heater and snuggle buddy.
  6. my job and coworkers – for the ability to work and actually like the people i work with.  and for those who are working today.
  7. our story – as heart breaking as it has been, we have learned so much and are thankful that we have the option and are able to adopt.  (next year i hope to be able to put a specific name instead of just the idea).
  8. our animals – they bring an element of peace and furry happiness that makes me smile.
  9. our house – the one we live in now, but also the one we put in an offer on this past week – it is conditional but we are thankful and hopeful that it will be ours in the near future.
  10. God for all that he blessed us with

happy thanksgiving!

no…i’m so sorry

I am going to jump on my soapbox.  I will try not to stay up here too long for fear that I will fall off and hurt myself.

I have been contemplating the idea of work policies.  this is not a post to bash those policies but to reflect and yes to complain about them.

for the past 7 months I have been working in a surgical office.  it has been a fun experience with fun people to work with.  I am not going to say it has been perfect because Thursday and Friday would fall into the not so perfect days, but it has been a wonderful learning environment and I am blessed to be there.

most of the time it is really “easy.”  I get there and do my job and don’t worry about it when the clock hits 5:00.  for the most part it is low stress and everything works out.  notice I said “most.”

I work front desk and part of my responsibility is to schedule appointments.  it is part of my responsibility to filter people who need to be seen asap and who can wait a week or two.  some of time it is easy to figure out.  routine follow-up (be it breast cancer or colon cancer) patients can wait a few weeks to be seen.  newly diagnosed cancer patients that need a port for chemo need to be seen asap (or yesterday as the nurses say when they call to make the appointments).  this can be slightly stressful when we have no available spots to put these patients in.  it becomes a gamble of which doctor will be the most understanding with the added work load and will they be on time for clinic.  there are so many variables…but it is something we have to do.  it is our work policy to get them in our office in a timely manner.

another work policy is that we take referrals from other doctors office.  meaning that if you think you have a hernia we need your primary care doctor to call us and make the appointment.  this also goes for abdominal pain and a few other ailments.  this line is constantly blurred because if you are an established patient we sometimes can make an appointment for a mole to be removed or (for breast cancer patients) breast pain and lumps without talking to a primary care doctor.  we have our policies of what we can and can’t do…but those lines are a little blurry.

the last one I am going to touch on is the one about insurance and payments.  unlike some doctors in our town all of our doctors will see “self pay” patients which means people with no insurance.  we offer a 35% discount to those patients and we allow them to set up payment plans (unlike some offices that require people to pay it all in a lump sum).

defining both of those policies leads me to this: several months ago when I had only been working there a few months I got a call from a man about his 24 year old son.  his son went to the er for gallbladder symptoms and was uninsured.  they did some tests but determined he wasn’t a candidate for “emergency” (admit to the hospital and do the surgery right them) surgery – his symptoms were bad but not bad enough.  they sent him home with the order to call the surgeons office the next morning when we opened and make an appointment.  his dad called to make an appointment and I told him that I could and made it for several weeks out. (because that is our policy).  the dad started crying because his son was laying in the floor crying in pain and that his son had a drug problem and the er thought he might be seeking drugs and that he didn’t know what to do and the no insurance thing would be bad trying to pay off the hospital bills.  he went on to say that he didn’t understand what he had done wrong and if he had done this and that differently maybe his son wouldn’t have gotten in with the drug crowd.  I told him I was sorry I couldn’t do anything else for him but that was all I could do but if his son was that bad off he needed to take him back to the er and hopefully they would admit him.  it made me incredibly sad because I talked to this gentleman for about 15 minutes assuring him that he wasn’t a bad person and neither was his son and that there is no way to determine if his actions in the past would have impacted what his son was doing now.  I felt awful because I know he wanted his son to be better, I know that it must have been awful to see him crying in the floor but my hands were tied.  there was nothing I could do to get him in any earlier.  my doctors were already overbooked and that was that.  even though my heart went out to him I could do nothing other than offer a few encouraging words and my apologies because that is our policy.

Tuesday of this past week I got a call from a frantic lady asking me what kind of “deals” and financial assistance we offer.  I told her 35% discount and payment plan.  she asked if we did anything else.  I told her no (without hesitation).  she said well can’t you ask someone.  I said I could double-check with my boss but the last time I asked (which wasn’t that long ago) she told me our policies.  the patient said she contacted another office and they “forgave her debt” and wrote her off and that another office was going to do the same and why couldn’t we do that too.  I said I was sorry but that is what we offer that is our policy.  she started crying (and not the sniffling cry but the “ugly” cry where I only caught every other word).  she said she didn’t understand why I couldn’t help her and didn’t I understand what she was going through and told me most of her life story.  all I could offer was “I am so sorry.  I wish it were different but my hands are tied.”  I felt like a mean cold-hearted person when I hung up the phone.

these policies at my office and feeling like those patients must think I am cold-hearted and mean because I am the one that delivered the news made me think about other places with policies that are annoying.

like when I go to a fast food place and they start off by saying “would you like to try…?” or after I am done and they say “would you like a hot apple pie with that?”  I always get so annoyed because I will tell you what I want from the beginning to the end.  no I don’t want your starting suggestions and no I don’t need dessert ideas – if I wanted it I would have included that in my order.  so when I say a number 1 combo and that is all – I wasn’t joking that is really all.  thanks but no, sorry.

or like when I go to walgreens and put my purchases on the counter (right next to the LARGE display of candy on sale – that is so big my items are falling off the counter) and the cashier says “would you like some candy while it is on sale?”   no I don’t.  do you see that in my stack of items I would like to purchase?  I didn’t think so.  thank you but no.

or when I power walk into home depot or lowes and am walking straight to the one thing I need to get and get out of there or if I am arms full walking to the counter and I get within 4 feet of an employee they ask “may I help you find something?”  I am either a. already know what I am after or b. arms full checking out – I think I am good.

or (last one I promise) when I am in a store with a buggy full and I get to the cashier and they say “did you find what you need?”  no I have almost 200 dollars worth of merchandise but nope I didn’t find what I needed!

I know that those are all policies that the workers have to say.  and I think they can all be good things (like when I am strolling in lowes really looking for something it is nice to be reminded there are people that will find it for me!)  but working at the surgical office I am now realizing and trying to mold my brain to be reminded that these people are forced to say these things and to follow the rules because they are their work policies and their hands are tied.  I don’t need to be mad at the person holding me up in walgreens because she is trying to sell me stuff I don’t want…but I need to be mad at the work policies and the people who made them – not the people who have to actually carry them out.  because truth be told I am sure they are wishing they didn’t have to say them.  I am sure they are thinking I am sorry I have to ask you this but do you want an apple pie with that.  I am sure they are tired of people snapping at them when they are just doing their job.

i want to remember not to hold it against them and i hope that one day if they ever call my office and ask me to get them in sooner and i say no…i’m so sorry.  or if they as me to forgive their bills and i have to say no…i’m so sorry.  i hope that they look at me as a person just following my work policies and not a cold-hearted apathetic person.

job developments

so when i took the job at the surgeon’s office, i knew it would be a temporary job.  that is how i was interviewed for the job and was told that i would only be needed for 3 months.  my last date to work would be towards the end of may.  (back story: if you don’t know i was filling in for a woman, ls, who was diagnosed with cancer and she had to go to nashville to have a stem cell transplant and would be gone for 100 days).  i was just keeping her seat warm and her work caught up until she was able to come back to work.  part of the excitement of being in her position was that it allowed me to get my foot in the door with the hospital and everyone said they would keep their eyes open for a position that i qualified for if it opened and would keep me in mind for any new job leads.  i was so excited – part of getting a job now a days is having the right connection and having my foot in the door was that connection.

ls had some set backs and so she wasn’t able to come home in may.  so my job stretched out a little longer (which was fine…having an income is nice).  it turned into a few more weeks to we have no idea when she will be back.  i told my boss that i would show up each morning and work every day until she told me to stop.  ls was finally released to come home and my boss called me to her office and told me that they wanted to keep me on until ls was back to work full-time.  (she was only coming back a few days a week until she knew that she would be strong enough to do the job).  i said i would fill in whatever capacity they needed me too.  a few weeks later i was asked if i would stay on full-time and PERMANENTLY!  that is right i have a full-time, long-term job!

i am happy to report that i love my job and the people that i work with.  there are days that are a little boring but being around the people that i am makes it really great.  there are days that are really stressful but being around my coworkers makes it almost fun.  in a few months my job position will change but it will be exciting and i can’t believe how lucky i was getting the lead for the temporary job and that they liked me so much they created new positions so that i could stay with them.

bitterness party of 1

ok wow look at me 2 post in one day…but this isn’t a good post this is a post that i need to vent and why not write (since this might be a new thing for me).

right at 5 (our time) andy’s phone rang and it was little rock.  this was one of those phone calls that he had to wait on (he got an e-mail to expect the call) so  all day we have both been praying like crazy and our minds have been going crazy with what happens next.  well, the call came and it wasn’t good news.  i mean i guess in a way it was good news because that means that we can fully decorate for Christmas (we are still deciding if we are going to do a big tree or a little tree) that makes me happy.  it also makes me happy that we won’t be leaving and trying to move over the holiday.  it makes me happy that maybe we can find something a little closer to our families.  it makes me happy that we got to fly together and see part of the states that we haven’t seen together.  and it makes me happy that we were able to go through this together with little bickering and a lot of love and support.  it makes me sad and mad also.  it makes me sad because we have to stay in our current situation which doesn’t make us feel warm and fuzzy.  it makes me sad because we don’t get to buy a new house right away and we don’t get to “move” together (with a moving truck and everything).  it makes me sad because i know that the church was really cool and the people seemed really nice while we were there.  it makes me mad that they said no.  it makes me mad because i know that andy could have done a great job and that he was qualified to do the job.  it makes me mad that we flew all the way there and gave up a weekend (my mom’s birthday weekend) to go there and spend time apart instead of taking an “us” vacation.  it makes me mad because we have to start back at square one.  it makes me mad because i feel like we were led on.  but when i sit back and think about it we did pray that if it wasn’t right that it wouldn’t work.  and we prayed that it would be clear if we were meant to be there and obviously we weren’t.  with the rollarcoaster of emotions that we are both feeling right now we know that we are in this together and that there are possibilities out there and that the right thing will happen.  we know that we love each other very much no matter what happens.  andy is my hero and i am constantly amazed with his strength and love and passion in all that he does in life.  we will close this door and not dwell on it and not let it ruin our holiday season or dictate who we become.  we will let it shape us and we will move on.  in my honest humble opinion little rock is missing out (but we still pray that they find the right fit for them).

dinner and a panic attack

now doesn’t that sound like a fun date?  dinner and a panic attack?  ok well no i don’t guess it does…i will start with dinner first

in middle school i gained a new friend (we didn’t go to elementary school together) and her name was carol hill.  we used to have sleep overs, call the radio station at all hours of the night, hike on her grandpa’s farm, play with her brothers, and she even went to TN with me one time.  in high school we didn’t have many classes together but we kept in touch and in senior year we had biology together.  we had a blast sitting in the back (not really listening) and since it was the first class of the day we would take turns bringing in chick-fil-a for breakfast.  she helped me through that awful year of school.  she is not carol hill anymore because she married her high school sweetheart (awww’s would be appropriate now) she is carol miller.  we have always been those types of friends that can not talk for a few months and pick right back up, but we know that during the times we aren’t in constant contact that if either of us needs something we are right there.  all that to say that last night was a me and carol dinner night.  we try to meet and have dinner and catch up on life.  well carol didn’t bring q-ball but we still had a great time catching up.  (she adopted a sweet boy see how cute he is?)

we always have fun on girls night.  🙂

ok panic attack.  i applied for a few jobs last night and it was very stressful for me.  i guess i don’t really feel qualified for anything else since i have been here so long.  but i filled one out for the children’s hospital.  it makes me a little nervous that i haven’t heard anything from another person that i e-mailed but i am sure it will be ok.  at least i hope.  andy hears today in about 30 minutes if the job is a go or not.  i am just praying that if it is a go we will know what the right thing is and that things fall right into place.  after i cried crocodile tears into my computer (because the application was so annoying) i felt much better and have been fine all day.

in other news.  my living room is still a disaster and i will work on it tonight and this weekend.  we also got the insurance money for the roof.  we are going to call the roof guy tomorrow or saturday and get moving on that.  wish us luck.

shopping, cleaning, and the vet

sorry for the lack of posts…(and sorry for the lack of pictures with this post – i will get better at taking pictures during the week).

shopping: friday we celebrated in the good old tradition of “black friday” shopping.  the first year that i made andy go with me we got up at 4am and started at walmart and drove all around town.  we saw how that was and realized that we were too tired at the end of the day to function so we slept in and left our house around 620.  (i will admit that when the alarms went off i almost begged to skip shopping and to go back to sleep).  but we went all around.  we started in matthews and ended up at concord mills came home for a break and then went to target and walmart in mint hill.  the hardest thing about this year was that we aren’t really sure what we are getting people.  we have some ideas but we hadn’t nailed down anything for anyone.  so a lot of our time was walking around stores (avoiding crazy people) and trying to remember who was on our lists and what could we get them.  it wasn’t as crazy as i thought it would be.  it could be because we got a later start.  i think most “black friday” shoppers are crazy for getting up so early (and standing in lines) and rushing into stores and standing in really long lines.  i think most of them would deny being crazy (i guess you could include me in that list because i’m not one of the crazy ones everyone else is).  anyways.  we got a TON of things and are a little closer to being done christmas shopping.

cleaning: while we had some time off work we decided to work on our “putting the house on the market” list.  we got the list off and started in the back of the house (our room) and started a deep (late) spring cleaning.  we got so much done.  but now our living room is a disaster with things that we are purging and things that we are going to pack up so that when we do put the house on the market certain areas won’t look as cluttered (linen closet mostly).  i scrubbed base boards straightened our closets, cleaned windows (they were so gross), went through files in the office.  we still have so much to do (and we will post pics of the rooms as we get them completely done) but we have gotten a lot of things off the list.  the funny thing is that even if we don’t move to AR it is still a list that needs to be completed.  we hit a few road blocks while cleaning.  i bought blinds to replace the ones in our room (from an otis attack a while ago) and i got the wrong size so we have to exchange them.  also we have glass windows on our bed and when i was cleaning them i pushed too hard on my side of the bed and it fell out.  i was lucky that i didn’t break it and that i didn’t cut my self.  (as we speak andy is in our room putting new thingys on the door to hold the glass in place – sorry don’t know the right name of them).  i normally get really excited about cleaning things up and going through things and purging and organizing.  (i think it is because i love to change the look of things – which is funny that i don’t like too much change as it is).  i got done with the base boards in the office and walked into our (disaster area) living room and almost had a panic attack.  i don’t know if it is because the mess was too much to handle because i was tired or if i realized that i could be packing things up for nothing.  i don’t want to pack things up if we aren’t going to move because that means that i will have to unpack it because i won’t live our of rubbermaids or boxes.  i hate that.  the other things is that we haven’t put out any christmas stuff and i think it makes me sad that we might not get anything out this year and i really do love christmas.  but we will see what happens this week.  still praying for God’s will and understanding and not just our own.

vet: while i was in the floor scrubbing those blasted base boards otis was running around our bedroom going crazy.  this wasn’t the pre seizure crazy this was like someone was poking him with a sharp stick and he was running from them (which make me think for a few seconds that maybe i woke up a ghost by stirring up so much dust moving the curtains around) but i got him to come to me and i saw blood down his back (it sounds really dramatic and i am intending it too – he is our dog and i can make it sound as bad i want but in reality he had a spot on his back that had blood oozing out of it and matting in his fur).  we think he was going crazy because the blood was matting in his fur and causing his skin to craw.  so andy got the dog and they took off toward the vet while i got on the phone to let them know that they were on the way (they are only open half a day on saturdays).  they said come on since they were on the way but that they might have to send him to another vet or something because they were so busy.  andy said that the vet said that it was a cyst that burst and was ok.  he is on antibiotic to make sure that it doesn’t get infected.  we can have the cyst removed for just 500 dollars or wait it out because it isn’t really bothering him.  (but that if we don’t get it removed sometimes if he hits it just right it could bleed again).  we are going to wait it out.  they shaved a little square around it (he looks so funny) and he seems to be better now that the fur is gone.  is stopped bleeding and oozing and has scabbed up.  i think it will be fine until the scab starts to itch and we have to do this again and again.  since otis had a hard day saturday i let him decide what we did this afternoon and he wanted to take a nap.  so we did!

i am not looking forward to getting up and going to work tomorrow.  i have enjoyed my time with andy and otis (and away from work).  but i am grateful i have a job to go back to.  i am grateful for the time this weekend to spend doing all sorts of things tradition (ordering chinese, watching david letterman, hanging out, shopping on friday) and not tradition (spring cleaning, eating dinner with my parents).  gotta love the season.


happy thanksgiving!

i am so thankful for my  husband.  i can’t imagine where my life would have taken me without him in my life.  we don’t claim to have a perfect marriage but what we have is perfect for us.  he is my best friend, my rock, and my soul mate.  i love you andy.

i am so very thankful for family.  i know growing up i could be a pain and moody (but really what teenager isn’t?) and my parents were always there for me (usually giving me really early curfews – thanks dad or threatening to throw my toys away – thanks mom).  but i learned unconditional love from them and for that i will always be grateful.  i love you two.

we are so very thankful for our home and that we have shelter each night.  we are thankful for our jobs (even if sometimes we would rather sleep in and not go to the office).  we are thankful that we are able to cook and eat yummy food and clean and take care of the things that we have.  we are thankful for being able to get our and about and for our car.  we are thankful for being able to laugh until we cry and cry until we laugh.  we are thankful for our friends and for family.  we are thankful for the changing seasons.  and as much as he can drive us crazy we are thankful for our gee.  as i sit here and watch santa arrive on the macy’s day parade i realize that i need to make my list for black friday shopping.  happy thanksgiving!  enjoy your day and don’t eat too much!

blank stare

saturday morning we both rolled out of bed and ambled down the hall for breakfast in the hotel.  i will say i perked up when i got close because i remembered that i could make waffles BUT when we got to the little breakfast area there were about 10 7 year olds and they were surrounding the waffle maker.  bummer.  oh well we ate and packed our things and checked out of the hotel.  we sat in the lobby and waiting on our ride.  pam came and took us to look at houses in the area so that we could see what the market looked like.  i will say i was surprised at how much house you can get and for the money.  we saw several houses, some we didn’t like, some we liked, one we wish we had the money to fix it up, and one we loved.  (in this case i am assuming that andy felt the same way that i did about the houses – normal i won’t speak for “we” unless i know that it is true, but today i didn’t make sure that he totally agreed with me).  after we drove around for a few hours we went to the youth building and had pizza lunch (it was really yummy) and had doug’s first pie that he has ever made and some great brownies made by maggie (a youth on the search committee).  we watched a slide show of the past year that ken put together and had a debriefing meeting.  i will be honest i felt like i had a blank stare on my face from the time i woke up until the time i went to bed that night.  it took me a little longer to process what people were saying around me because i was so tired.  i felt like we left there with a lot of questions answered and more asked and next steps talked about.  we said our goodbyes and monica (member of the search committee) and kyle (her son) took us to the airport.  we checked our bag and went through the searches and walked to the gate.  andy got us a drink and we waited.  we tried to talk a little bit but we were a little mentally overloaded.  we had no problems on the plane ride to atlanta.  when we got to atlanta we weren’t hungry enough to eat dinner so we split a cookie and had some coffee.  we waited at the gate and waited at the gate.  we learned that we were about to board a plane that was from honduras and so they had to do a sweep of the plane for extra security measures.  once they did that (45 minutes later) we got on.  it was the biggest plane we were on this trip.  andy sat on the outside aisle, i sat in the middle, and a soldier sat next to the window (which i was glad since we were on an emergency exit he could get the door open).  i talked to him a little bit.  he was from nappa valley, ca and has lived all over.  he currently resides a few miles from my parents home.  he is getting home from 7 months away (i believe he said he was done and home for good) and is leaving in 2 weeks to see his wife (hasn’t seen her in almost a year) because she is in training etc so they are meeting in vegas while she is on leave.  i over heard the solider sitting behind us telling someone that he is on leave to see his mother that has stage 4 liver cancer and he said he hoped that he would make it to her house before she passed away.  the lady he was telling said that her mom passed away the week before.  at this point i realized that i am listening to too many conversations so i try to sleep.  doesn’t work.  we had an uneventful flight about 30 minutes and landed.  got our bag, caught a shuttle, found the car (unharmed), and drove home.  we got home to an otis free house.  it sort of makes me sad when we walk in and he isn’t wagging his tail.  but we ate (im pretty sure) and we passed out in bed.  the next morning we over slept (who didn’t see that one coming) so we got up a little in a rush and we went to church. 

we have been doing a lot of reflecting on this past weekend and have been  going crazy with making our pro and con list.  regardless of what happens with this job and a potential move we got to see a really cool city and meet some truly wonderful people.  so while we wait on final answers we pray and we remember our whirlwind weekend in little rock.

face to face

so i left you guys in the airport trying to find baggage claim…

it was one of the longest walks of my life…we got off the plane and started walking to where the people picking us up would be.  we knew they would have a sign but this was the first face to face meeting and first impressions mean a great deal (no matter how many times you try to deny it).  we expected to see a sign with our names on it next to the baggage claim but we were surprised to see 4 people standing as close to the terminal they could get without having to go through the security gates.  as we approached we say a sign welcoming us and 4 people: cathy, eric, ian, and lindsey.  i honesty thought i would have a few more feet to compose myself and prepare myself for our first face to face impression.  we shook hands and andy grabbed our bag off the conveyor belt and we walked to the parking lot.  eric and lindsey went to their car and we got in the car with cathy and ian.  before they took us to the hotel we drove around little rock and saw things at night since everything was beautifully lite.  we drove by the clinton library, heifer international’s head quarters, the capital building, the river (and saw the pedestrian bridges), and the church.  we drove by the church but an event was just letting out so we didn’t pull into the parking lot.  it was such a beautiful city and i was really surprised by it.  i don’t know if it was because i was expecting something much bigger or if i was expecting to see crazy monsters behind trees.  but it was beautiful.  they drove us to the hotel and we unloaded our stuff and checked in.  when we got to our room and went in there was a beautiful basket made by the search committee.  there were shirts, bracelets, cards, candy, fruit, rice (local), bbq sauce, and a lot of other things with a sweet letter.  it really made us smile after the long plane rides to get there.  we talked about the next day a little bit and were asleep before we finished our thoughts. 

friday morning we woke up and had breakfast at the hotel.  it was really good.  we met eric and cathy in the lobby and started a long day of never stopping.  *side note: to get everything done in 1 and a half days we had to go go go, we knew and expected that and i thought that i was trained and prepared for that, but we were both wore out when we got home* we drove out to the beautiful camp ferncliff and had a brisk tour.  we flew around in the solar golf cart and saw the camp.  it was completely evident that they care about the campers with the attention to detail that they have put into the camp.  after that we drove around a little more and saw more of little rock and went to lunch at bosco’s.  we met doug and debbie there.  we had a great lunch and time to talk with more people on the search committee.  after lunch we had to rush to the church so andy could meet with the staff and i had a meeting with howard for potential job leads.  (he is the dean of social work program so we also talked about that).  after my meeting and half of andy’s meetings we had a tour of the church (it was beautiful).  after the tour cathy took me back to the hotel and andy had more meetings.  he came back to the hotel in time to change clothes rest for a minute and then we went to dinner at debbie’s house.  (have you noticed that food plays a lot into our days?)  it was wonderful!  andy went with a few of the youth to get yogurt and i stayed at debbie’s house and talked to the rest of the adults.  we had a good time and laughed a lot.  it really amazed me how comfortable i was (sometimes it takes me a while to warm up to new places and people).  andy got back and we sat around and talked and laughed a lot.  we went back to the hotel and crashed….