Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Fun through seriousness

I'm in my second week of "Legal and Ethical Issues in Health Care". If I said that I'm having a lot of fun with the material, you might get the wrong impression. This is a serious topic. However, I am really enjoying awakening a long dormant part of my mind.

One of the course requirements is an 8-10 page research/opinion paper where we examine an ethical issue and take a stand on that issue, supporting it using ethical arguments. I picked my topic before the course officially began (knowing the assignment from the syllabus that was posted online two days before class began). My instructor has approved my topic, though he says I've picked a challenging one. I've already pulled together a pile of research readings. And, tonight, I came up with a working title for my paper, which I'm hoping will focus my efforts: "Consent verses Assent and Influence verses Autonomy: Self-determination in pediatric and adolescent health care decision-making"

Basically, I'm interested in how involved children should/can be in their own health care decision making. As a parent, I feel like I know what is best for my child. On the other hand, my "child" will be thirteen years old in a few days. A few hundred years ago, many societies considered thirteen to be a milestone marking adulthood. Should my "child" or any "child" have a say in what treatments/therapies they receive, or should the decisions be totally up to the parent? Should participation in that decision making process really be dictated by the somewhat arbitrary industrial-society delineation of attaining eighteen years of age?

My teenage years are not so far away that I cannot remember what it felt like to have most of my decisions made for me by my mother. Most of the decisions made on my behalf were fine with me. Most. On the other hand, it felt unfair and stultifying to have decisions made for me with little or no input from me.

This class is going to be more mentally challenging than anything I've been involved with in twenty years. It's a little scary. Then again, it's kind of invigorating.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Less taxing times

While today is officially "tax day", I almost never wait until April to file. This year was no exception. Not only have we already filed, the refund is already spent, sadly. Most of it went for school and vacation.

Things are looking up. I am just about over my massive disappointment at not being able to take the hospital job. Though my new class is pretty challenging, I am having a great time with the material. Who knew that medical ethics could be so engaging? Work still stinks, but there's a kind of camraderie among the rank and file about the current corporate situation that makes it a bit more bearable. And, it's almost vacation time.

We leave for vacation Friday evening. I am SO looking forward to this trip. My doctor was kind enough to supply me a few tranquilizers to help get me through the plane trip down and back. Bless her!

We'll be having dinner with friends or family nearly every night of our trip. Five of the seven mornings, we'll be having a continental breakfast at our B&B. And lunch, most days, will be some quickie affair in or near one of the many museums we plan to hit. We hope to see the following museums: American Indian, Holocaust, Natural History, American History, Air and Space "hanger" annex, the aquarium in the Commerce Building, and the monuments on or near the Mall. It's kind of a Herculean list, but I think we'll have a good time with it.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Dressing up vs dressing down

Since I've lost quite a bit of weight since the first of the year, and I've been interviewing, I've picked up some new clothes. I haven't picked up a lot, because I plan to keep losing weight. In any event, I periodically will wear some of the new clothes to work. Mind you, I'm not wearing the REALLY nice stuff. However, I sometimes forgoe the jeans and polo shirt look everyone has come to expect from me for a slight step up.

My goodness! People will take note. On Monday I had on a short sleeve sweater and a pair of somewhat casual olive colored cotton trousers. Today I wore a very similar outfit. Several people who know I am interviewing asked if I had an interview, both Monday and today. I get the fact that I normally dress pretty comfortable and "down". But, geesh, I actually wouldn't wear either outfit to an interview. The outfits were pretty comfortable. Yes, jeans are more comfortable. But, still, neither outfit is nice enough to make a decent impression in an interview, in my opinion.

I guess it just goes to show you, if you lower people's expectations of you, it certainly doesn't take much to impress them.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Queue the music

I'm thinking "Taps" might be appropriate.

Huge, huge, bummer. The hospital job was mine, but at a base salary that I couldn't afford to take at this point. I'm more than a little disappointed about the situation. When asked about money, I was pretty clear what I needed to move forward. Unfortunately, I don't think they were honest with themselves, much less me. And then, the other thing is that they are categorizing the position as being at the same salary level as a senior windows network administrator. I don't see how that equates with the person responsible for the entire organization's data security, writing policies & procedures, running risk analyses, and developing and implementing a security awareness program.

So, I need to get my head back in the hunting game (right after I go home and wallow in self pity for a few hours).

De-Monday De-Motivated

OK. I know that just about everyone hates Mondays. But I can't say that I hate Monday today. That would involve more energy and commitment to the day than I am willing to give. Perhaps I could muster enough energy to embrace a Boomtown Rats quote, "I don't like Mondays". Then again, their version of "don't like" is probably still too strong since I really don't feel like "I want to shoot the whole day down."

I'm not quite apathetic about the day either. I'm pretty much just demotivated. The phraseology seems appropriate, since I feel like the motivation has been removed from me.

I'm trying not to "check out" mentally from my current job. Just because I am about to receive an offer for another position, doesn't mean I'm going to take it. On the other hand, even if I stay with my current company for a while longer, I barely care what happens. I feel like I've been trying to swim upstream and that every time I make a little progress, a damn bursts and I lose the ground I've gained. I'm tired of the swimming against the current. Hopefully soon, someone will pluck me out of this river and put me in another one, where I have a chance to make it up stream.

Friday, April 07, 2006

The end could be near

Round two went pretty well. I was lead to believe that there is an offer coming. I know if will be for less money than I am currently making, which I can live with. However, the "how much less" will be the deciding factor since I do have certain financial commitments that cannot be ignored.

Then again, should things truly spiral out of control with my current situation, unemployment benefits would have a greater negative impact on my ability to meet those financial commitments.

*Sigh* We're not out of the foggy dark woods yet.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

The parade of chickens continues

Second interview this afternoon with the hospital. As usual for the interview process, I am both jonesed and trepidatious about the event. Too distracted to really write much more right now. I'll definitely update later.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

I'm staying at my current job, indefinitely.

Yesterday was a truly remarkable day. You would think that I would have been prepared for anything, after all the melodrama that's been going on at my company. However, I was not prepared for yesterday's events.

In the morning, our CEO called me into his office and asked me to close the door. He told me that he knew that I had been frustrated a great deal with a number of things. He also told me that he knew that I had been interviewing. This last part made me more than a bit nervous, since it was noted during a recent "reorganization" that some of the folks who were no longer with the company had posted their resumes on monster.com. So, I did not confirm or deny his statement about the interviewing that has become my professional and personal life preserver of late.

He then told me that my current manager had resigned, and promptly offered me the job of Director of Operations. For those of you who know me well, you may find this hard to believe, but I was speechless. The CEO asked me again if I would be interested in the position. He then elaborated that I would be allowed to fill several vacant positions, and that some capital expenditures that we had put on hold several months ago could finally go through. I would be expected to attend management team meetings. I would also have to start dressing more like a professional (jeans only on Fridays). And, my resume would have to come off of monster.com. (Gulp.)

I asked for a few hours to mull the proposition over. He enthusiastically agreed. So, I left the building and took a walk. The weather was quite lovely for a March day in New England. I called my husband and discussed the situation. We both agreed that it would be cool to be in a position of power and perhaps actually be able to make a difference in the future direction of the company. Also, I hate changing jobs. I know my current company really well. Changing roles in the same company is much less of a pain than starting over with a new company.

So, I ate a light lunch (wasn't really THAT hungry, if you know what I mean). And I went back to the office. The CEO welcomed me back into his office, and I accepted the offer. I start transitioning into my new role on Monday.

So, by the way, did you notice the date on this posting? Does this really sound like something I would agree to? Did you fall for it? Sorry, couldn't resist since I had a prank played on me this morning by my favorite game site.