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.
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!!”
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 ;)
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