Monday, January 17, 2005


I worked with another ten year plus medic today. People saw us and commented on what a high priced car we were. My partner has been here even longer than I have. We both work in the suburbs and do lots of overtime in the city.

We were talking today about changing jobs. People wonder why we have stayed so long in a job with limited retirement possibilities. Both of us make big salaries because of the hours we work. My partner always makes right around $80K. We both contribute to 401ks and IRAs and try to manage our money right.

The bottom line though is we recognize a good thing. We love our jobs, believe we are respected, have the benefit of being assigned in the the suburbs. Alan works the nights so can sleep a good part of the shift. We can work three days a week if we want to get our forty hours, or we can bust and work 6-7 days a week. All depending on need.

Today we did a call in an insurance company and wandering through the maze of cubicals, it occured to me just why I am still out here. i have worked other jobs. I know what its like to have to kiss a boss's butt all the time, what it is like to have to deal with heavy office politicis, and climbers, what it is like to never be able to leave work at home, always having a project fdue for work, what it is like to have to make a sale to get paid, what it is like to drive through rush hour traffic for an hour everyday. It sucks.

Today I found myself singing as we wheeled down the cotrridor of a nursing home. I realized I always sing on the job. I sing everything from "Johnny B Goode" to "Jimmy Crack Corn." I sing "Santa Claus and His Old Lady." "Mamamamama-cita, donde esta Santa Claus, the cat with the hair on his jaws..." I sing country. "I don't want to have to chop no wood. I can be bad, I can be good, I can be anyone that I please one of these days..." I sing gospel. "Precious Lord, take my hand. Lead me on, help me stand..." I'm a singing fool.

Sure there is stress in this job, but I don't think I show it in my face. I look young for being middle-aged.

Most days the job is routine in the sort of way that it all flows easily. In the course of a day, you see lots of people you know, you smile a lot and say high and joke. You do your job well for the most part.

For better or worse this is my place in the world and I am comfortable in it.

We did five calls. An old lady with colds and flu, a man from a nursing home who had been vomiting and was lethargic, a woman with chest pain when she breathed at work, who the work nurse practioner's gave several nitro to, causing her to pass out, an elderly man who fripped on the sidewalk and cut his forehead and nose, and another nursing home patient who had abnormal lab values. Nothing too exciting. the nurse practioners giving the lady nitro provided a chuckle for us. It reminded me of the time I got called for an allergic reaction at one of the insurance companies. The nurse had given a young male employee a flu shot and he passed out immediately, so she gave him a shot of epinephrine thinking he was having an allergic reaction to the flu shot. Not. He was having a reaction to seeing a needle. When we got there he was up and looked like he'd just drank ten cups of coffee.

My preceptee got cut loose. I didn't get to talk to him, but it was announced on the air, and we all got to congratulate over the radio which is tradition. He'll be a fine medic.

Tomorrow I'm off for personal business.