Sunday, November 8, 2009

Mary, the new secretary at work, is working my last nerve



First, let me clarify something. Mary isn’t the new secretary, just new to me. I’ll be working between two clinics, starting today. Mary works the front desk at my new clinic.

And.

As of right now, Mary is working my last nerve.

Lord help me, here goes.

First of all, she called me during my vacation last week. Which is not that big of a deal. Except she called twice.

The first call was ok. She wanted to know if I needed directions to the clinic or needed to know which door to come into. She wanted to let me know the ‘girls’ were ordering out for lunch so I needn’t bring one. Which is fine. Nice to see she is looking after things.

Except I already did a dry run to the clinic. Got my keys two weeks ago. I explain this to her. She doesn’t quite know how to take it. I thank her for her concern.

And the lunch? Gah. Everyone I work with , everyone who is female, is large and middle aged. This won’t happen to me because I yoga and weight watchers. So no, I don’t want to order out. Because the bigger women at my work order fatty yucky stuff. Stuff that makes you bloated and yuck. But, I say nothing. I will do my best to order out healthy. Not sure what I can do about preventing middle age though.

But then. Gah.

Lord help me, help me understand this woman

She didn’t take no for an answer. She kept pestering me about meeting me somewhere on the highway, or at the door and blah, blah, blah… it’s a small clinic people. Not a humungo hospital. There are like 10 parking spots total. And even if was a huge, mammoth hospital, I can figure it out. I talk her down. She chills and wishes me well. I thank her for her concern and politely hang up.

Then she calls me back.

THIS IS WHERE I START TO GET A LITTLE PISSY.

She says I need to know about my schedule. Did I know that I have THIRTEEN PATIENTS ON MONDAY AND OH MY GOD EIGHT NEW PATIENTS ON TUESDAY? She is in panic mode. Fuckin a’, I’m on vacation here Mary.

I tell her YAH, I KNOW MY SCHEDULE ALREADY. I have already prepped for my first day back. And really, I don’t care what’s on my schedule anyway. MY JOB IS TO SEE PATIENTS. I DON’T CARE WHO COMES IN. I have a certain amount of slots open AND REALLY, I HOPE THEY ALL GET FILLED CAUSE IT’S MY JOB. To see patients. I talk her down YET AGAIN. And then hang up.

I really like a full schedule. I like being busy. And working in a mental health clinic, it makes sense to pack your schedule because half the patients no show anyway. It’s just the nature of who we work with.

Also, I am a nurse. Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner even. I can handle anything. It’s a matter of training and my innate laid back personality traits. And nothing really rattles me.

That is the truth by the way. Nothing rattles me while I am on the job.

Except Mary rattles me.

Lord help me accept the things I cannot change . . . .

Mary is a unrepentant caretaker. I would bet a million dollars she has been in an abusive or co-dependant relationship. It appears she has an absolute need to mother hen those around her. And feels the consummate need to be taking care of. I am not interested in any of it.

And change the things I cannot accept . . .

So, I’ve got some extra work to do today. I have to let Mary know; in no uncertain terms, what I am interested in. I am interested in being left alone and to my own devices. I do not want my hand held. I do not want to be helped unless I ask.

The hard part of this task, is not being all girl about it. Women don’t talk to each other directly. We do a lot of communication in other ways. (don’t get me started on fucking postit notes).

I’ve worked with all men before. They talk to each other without saying things like, “I’m sorry but….” Or “Don’t be mad, but I . . .” and so forth. Men say stuff like, “Knock it off, you’re being a dumbass.” Or “Stop fucking with my stuff.” Then they do the guy nod and nothing more is said.

We, however, apologize all the damn time and often nothing is accomplished. Because we have to keep talking about it. Cause we are not direct communicators.

LIKE WHEN SHE CALLED ME TWICE.

And lord give me the wisdom to know the difference.

So, today, when I feel her smother hen energy come my way I will be direct and firm. I will put up my hand and say, “Mary, there is no need for that.” And if she continues to pester I will say, “Mary, knock it off, your working my last nerve! Step off!!”

Epilogue:

SIGH. Guess what else I learned during those phone calls?

The woman lives about two blocks away. Guess who I will be carpooling with two days a week??

Lord help us all ;)

7 Left a message at the beep:

James said...

hmm. I think you would make a good guy actually now you mention it.

One other small thing that caught my attention- aren't most relationships "Co-dependant"? Isn't that a good thing? I mean I can function well on my own and so can Laundry Fairy but isn't being in a relationship about giving some of that up to your special chosen person?
Would like to know your opinion on this ...

Sue said...

I've learned in life that the best approach is direct, otherwise I end up with all these pent up emotions that eventually come to a head ... usually at a time when I appear like I'm over reacting.

So... lay it on the line, tell her what you want, what you don't want, be clear, tell her the consequences for crossing the line.

She may think you are a bitch but at least you won't be annoyed and put into a grumpy mood for your cute little kids and husband.

Bruce said...

I feel your pain. I work in an office with 40 woman and 3 men.....I don't keep letter openers or staplers in my office for fear of going postal.

The Savage said...

The girl I work with on my regular crew is one of the guys but I do have a guy on the crew that whines quite a bit. He's like a 5 year old who always wants to help but has no idea on how to help. Only advice I can give is: Smile. It confuses people....

GiGi said...

Your words are SO true! I know, it's hard to be the 'healthy one' at work, in terms of what you eat. I always got picked on for that in the working world. Then again, I lived in New Orleans when that was going on, so you know - people there, they eat well AND often. :) I just ate that way on the weekends......

cadbury_vw said...

i feel your pain

but if you know it's going to suck, why did you agree to car pool?

don't you have a time hair-splitting speed yoga class or something that will make it inconvenient to drive with her?

Slyde said...

if shes hot im totally going to take HER side...

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