Monday, March 15, 2010

March Updates

A few weeks ago, I drove Sam to a job interview at an area nursery. He interviewed for over an hour for a minimum wage job. When he came out, he said the interview was "good but not great." He then laughed and said, "well, it wasn't as bad as the one at the call center."

On the way home, I suggested following up the interview with an email thanking the interviewer for his time. That triggered a frustrated reaction from Sam. He had no problem with working for minimum wage if that is what a job paid and he took it, but he didn't like to have to appear grateful or jump through hoops to get an entry level, minimum wage, grunt work job.

I asked him what he meant by "jumping through hoops."

"You know, like make phone calls every few days to tell them how interested you are and ask if they have made a decision, and then find out you didn't get it." He added, "A person that wants to work should be able to show up, fill out an application, say 'I'm willing to work,' and be hired right there."

He then got quiet and said, "I guess there are just too many people looking for work and too few jobs."

Sam was right as to too many applicants and too few jobs. The NY Times recently ran a story on the millions of Americans who may never work again thanks to the Great Recession. Luckily, Sam got his foot in the door and has been hired on at the nursery - not by the manager he interviewed with, but by another (a longtime friend of mine). He starts next Monday.

He will be working 40 hours a week, $7.50 an hour until August, when he hopes to start college in Oregon.

Sam is ecstatic. I took him to the grocery today and he radiated happiness. The job, per my friend, "can be really boring, grueling work - weeding, watering, potting plants." Sam doesn't care. He likes hard labor and he is so delighted to be heading back to work that he just beamed at everyone - me, the cashier, the little kid in the aisle.

"I'm so happy to be going back to work," he said more than once.

It shows.

I recently wrote that I would be seeing my oncologist this week. Today, I had a voicemail waiting for me: Dr. Bully would be seeing Tim's patients tomorrow.

Just hearing his name caused my heart to race. I immediately called the oncology clinic back and started in with a "there is no way I will see Dr. Bully" statement. The receptionist waited until I paused to breathe and then reassured me that she understood and they would reschedule me.

"You're about the fifth patient today to call and ask to be rescheduled rather than see Dr. Bully," she added. (She called him by his real name, for the record.)

That was an interesting comment.

Patients are often selective about who they see. A cancer patient sometimes is understandably very reluctant to see anyone else but "my oncologist," because the treating oncologist knows the case history and patient's history better than anyone else.

On the other hand, I have to wonder if some of it is due to Dr. Bully's treatment of patients. I know it is in my case. If Dr. Bully had treated me with a smidgen of dignity and respect, I would have agreed to see him tomorrow.

Dr. Bully rides again, apparently, but not over me.


I am the working poor. said...

Congratulations, Sam!

Ellen said...

Yay to Sam! And good for you for sticking up for yourself yet again within the medical system. It's one thing to navigate an institutional bureacracy on your own behalf but another to have the chutzpah to reject mistreatment on a personal level. I'm proud of you! And only sorry that it means a delay in getting the (medical) answers you're looking for.

Jackie said...

Congratulations to Sam!! I'm so glad you spoke up and you're not seeing Dr. Bully...we have to take control of our own healthcare.


I am the working poor. said...

I do hope you don't have to wait too long to see the good doctor now. Some doctors are not good with people and should become electricians or plumbers instead.

Money Funk said...

I am glad to hear Sam got a job. I imagine it is so hard in such economic times.