Monday, September 14, 2009

Announcement: Part-time work found. More tired.

"Good morning, this is Rebecca calling from Dr. ___'s office to confirm ___'s appointment tomorrow, ___day, at _:__(am/pm). See you then. Thanks."

I now work about thirty hours between Monday 8AM and Thursday 1PM for a family friend and local optometrist. I believe the office folk refer to me as the 'front desk girl.' I make the phone call above every day I work. I also answer the phones, greet patients when they enter the office, initiate the processing of insurance claims and help with the general 'flow' of the day.

Blah blah blah. Who cares.

It's not so much about what I do, but rather, what goes on in (and sometimes out) of the office.

All of the employees (optical technicians) are women. I guess that is pretty common in the medical support fields? I worked a front desk job at a VA clinic during a long ago college summer; the support positions were also staffed solely with women.

All of the ladies I work with now, except one [married] twenty-something, are middle-aged mamas. And they've all worked together for over several years, most over fifteen. It's a small office but a healthy practice; it can feel a tad claustrophobic during the rush hours [before and after work/school]. Nothing I'm not used to though, after living-in and eating-out-in NYC.

Everyone is on their feet all day. The ladies like to wear cross trainers to preserve their tootsies. The hot new shoe that everyone is into, is the exposed shox. Guess what? I, too, own a pair of black/hot pink/cool blue exposed shox clown shoes, which I bought in NY almost a year ago, so I guess "styles" these days are translating within one year, instead of three. Yay for us!!

[I used to work near Times Square. One day, before my aerobics class (taught by this guy) at NYSC, I ran into the Foot Locker on 8th Ave. All the seventeen year olds working the floor told me how cool the shoes looked on. I kind-of believed them. What did I know about trainers? Well, I guess everyone in Brooklyn knew a heck of a lot more, because boy, did I get a lot of business on the city tennis courts. Come on, like your ugly sauconies really need comparing. You'll all be happy to know that my tennies have since retired and are now designated for dog-walkin and lawn-mowin. OK?]

There really isn't so much of a thing called 'break' at work, except for lunch. However, the proverbial water-hole [three-inches deep with kringles, donuts, cookies, candies etc] is always booming, regardless of the schedule. Today, for instance, I had to twist and turn between eight bodies anchored in conversation just to get to the doctor's charts for the day. When I'm sitting up-front I can still hear the ladies chit-chatting about about so and so's kid's dance troop and how they are up in arms with their school's cheerleading squad, how last Sunday's sermon failed again, and so on. If the 'private' conversation turns too personal, or to the patients as the subject, I try humming or talking to myself to try and mask the specifics from the folks in the waiting room, who are pretty much welcome to eavesdrop at will.

Everyone is super quirky, which is cool. And everyone tells me how great I'm doing everyday, which is also really sweet. They treat me like a daughter, and boy, would they like to set me up with their sons, except I'm not really close to anyone's age (or a lot of other things). But apparently that isn't too much of an issue for one, who last month paired me up with her 21 year old son for the upcoming Christmas party. Oh boy.

You know, I think it goes without saying: talking about work sometimes makes you feel like yer still at work. And I just got done with a ten and a half hour shift. So...I'll leave you with this: tomorrow I start dressing in uniforms. Scrubs, styled a la theme from Star Trek. Use your imaginations.

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