Friday, June 4, 2010

Work it.

So I work at a place that's not unlike any other workplace. I'll get more detailed on how we're different in a minute...

As for a bit of backstory, I started at my current company when my youngest kid was two. He's 14 now.

I work at a hospital. And I have a journalism/political science degree. Go figure.

My future in advertising was very bright pre-kids. But I made the choice to put them first.

So in deference to saying goodbye to my career in lieu of being with my lovely boys, I took a job completely out of my ken.

I think I made the right choice.

My hospital vs advertising decision sometimes compels me to question the then vs now reality of things.

It's such a Sophie's Choice conundrum - I could have been a contender had I not had kids, but I feel complete on very tangible levels, having had this beautiful run with these two amazing people who sprung from my loins.

Regardless of having gone through almost every Kubler-Ross stage, however, it's rare that I walk into my job without thinking to myself, 'how did I get here?'

So anger turns into acceptance, and then it eventually finds its way to humor.

I don't think Kubler-Ross had humor on her list of stages, but I'm adding it right now.

Humor is definitely a coping mechanism.

Like any workplace, there's the go along to get along component. There are people who you connect with, and there are people who require a certain level of polite dissociation in order to retain sanity. That's just life.

And like any job, probably more likely in a hospital environment, we have a language all our own that ties us together.

There's the medical technology. There's the scripted patter. There's the high-tech micromanagement.

And there are punctuations in every shift that make it plain how truly odd our environment would seem to anyone else.

I wish I had a dime for every time I've used the word 'diarrhea' in one context or another. I would be so freaking rich.

In any other environment, let's say an interior designer's office, if you were to say, "What color is the stool?" it would mean something completely different than it does at my job.

Because I work at a hospital for children, I hear very age-specific suggestions from our health care professionals. "Stroke his little anus" springs to mind, in reference to a method employed to get a youngster to poop.

All of these odd terms spin about our work world with such regularity, so to speak, that they become normal.

And then there are the names....

Often times, name choice can be reduced to four simple words: Parents Can Be Cruel.

Take, for example, young Onyx Stone and her mother, Opal.

Or siblings Luke Skywalker and lovely Princess Leah.

There's Abcde, pronounced Absedie. Or Female, pronounced Feemahlee.

And one I heard recently; Lily Flower.

All of this job-related humor, ignored due to repetition or highlighted because of oddity, makes what I do interesting.

It's not brain surgery, god knows.

It's not journalism or political science.

But it's what I do for the time being.

There could be worse ways to make a living.

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