So if you’re privy to my tweets, you’ve seen that I quit one job and started another. And here you thought that the job market was completely dead.
It was quite a week last week. And just warn you, this will be a lengthy entry. You may want to refresh your coffee or your favorite frosty beverage of choice. I myself have poured myself another Diet Coke™, much to the dismay of the Hubster, who says often, “that can’t be good for you.” Better the Diet Coke™ than booze or another Twinkie, I say. Especially since I have officially lost 60 pounds. Take that!
So anyway, I think my last non-wordless entry alluded to the fact that as soon as I accepted the temp position, I received a request to interview for a different position at a different company. However, I told Job Broker #2 that I was starting a temp position at Job #1 on Monday, and so Job Broker #2 went out of her way to make sure that I could interview properly for Job #2 by splitting my interview into Part A and Part B on Monday and Tuesday, respectively, before my reporting to Job #1.
Did you get all that?
I knew kind of what was going to happen at Job #1, so I went and researched what Job #2 did to earn money, to find that Job #2 is in the business of developing and making implements for vascular surgery and biopsy procedures. They’ve been around for a while, and they do pretty nifty shit, to put it mildly. They’re also internationally known, yet it seems that they make their stuff mostly in the US. Imagine that! Also, the local office is relatively close to my house. It’s even in my city. Hmmm. And they offer 11 paid vacations. I can’t even come up with what 11 days would make up those vacations, unless they offer MLK day as a day off, or perhaps both Solstices . . . anyhoo, the idea of working there seemed like a potential viable option.
So Monday morning, I got up at oh-weird-hundred, packed my lunch, kissed the Hubster goodbye, and went to interview Part A at Job #2, where I met HR rep B, and had a wonderful interview. It was one of those interviews where you want to do a little happy dance in the parking lot, one where you were equally charming and humble, and you knew that you were loved as a potential employee. And so, riding on this little high of endorphins, I moseyed over to Job #1, arriving at 7:47, whereupon I was ushered into a little conference room with 7 other greenhorns, and I think I was the oldest one in the room. Sigh. It sucks when you decide to change your career mid-stream.
So the first thing that happened was that our pictures were taken for our badges, and we were informed that the ladies’ room was locked and we needed a separate badge for that, and oh, did we mind if our hours were changed so that we were now working until 5:30? And by the way, this is a temp job; that is, a real temp job, we won’t have any work for you after October 31st.
And the day went kind of downhill from there.
Job #1 did turn out to be a call center, albeit Inbound, but I guess that I really didn’t have any concept about what a call center really was all about. Job #1 was a call center that did authorizations and referrals for radiology studies that were being ordered by nurses, as contracted by various health insurance companies. As the day went on, my stomach kept climbing into my throat with dread. Let me tick off a few bullet points:
- The phone rang constantly, and the phone would be automatically answered for you. So, heaven forbid if you were in mid-sneeze. You were, almost literally, chained to your desk.
- You got two breaks and a half-hour lunch. Heaven forbid if you needed to tinkle at any other time.
- If you did manage to get up, you have to lock your computer, so that HIPAA would not be violated. In fact, if you turned your back on your computer, you had to lock your computer. If you reached under your desk to retrieve a dropped pen, you had to lock your computer. Failure to lock your computer would be a HIPAA violation, and you would get written up.
- You were not allowed to have your cell phone on. It had to be off. Not vibrate, off. And put away. If you were caught with your cell phone out, that was considered a HIPAA violation, and you would get written up.
- Once the phone call was answered for you, you had to read exactly from the script shown to you on your computer screen. Even though the nurse on the other end of the line had just said to you, “This patient needs a brain CT”, if the very next screen that you pulled up said, “Are you ordering a brain CT for this patient?” you had to read the question in full and exactly as written on your screen. Failure to do so was considered a HIPAA violation, and you would get written up.
- Open toed shoes and Capri pants were considered a HIPAA violation, and you would get written up. I have no idea why Capri pants are a HIPAA violation (although, for some, Capris are definitely a good taste violation), but I wouldn’t put it past them.
So, at the end of day #1 at Job #1, I went home and cried. And I think that was somehow a HIPAA violation too, but I think the Hubster won’t rat me out. We got a deal, him and I.
But I still had interview Part B with Job #2 to look forward to the next day. And besides, perhaps I was being too harsh in my thoughts about Job #1. Perhaps. The next day I woke early, ate my bran flakes and skim milk (4 WW points) and hied myself to interview Part B with Job #2, where I met A and R, who would are the director of Customer Support and the Supervisor of Customer Support people, respectively, and they were delightful ladies who told me in plain words what the job entailed, and we had a lovely chat about what I did at the old Company and what delighted me the most about the potential job at Job #2 was that I would be encouraged to think and make decisions and I could get up and tinkle if I needed to! Without locking my computer for fear of HIPAA violations and getting written up! Can you imagine?
A and R said that they thought I was wonderful.
I said thank you.
A and R said that they really wanted me to start right away. Like, tomorrow (Wednesday).
I said that I had that temp job.
A and R asked me if I needed to give notice at the temp job.
I said, with the most gracious smile:
NO, I don’t need to give any notice whatsoever! I would be delighted to start tomorrow at Job #2!
I then asked that when they spoke to Job Broker #2, if she would be so kind as to leave me message on my cell phone, as I would be unable to answer it right away, as having my cell phone on (or even checking it to see if I had a message until my specified break time) was a HIPAA violation and would cause me to get written up. A and R went a bit agog at this, and then we wer all laughing and shaking hands. If this had been 1962 and we’d all been men, we would’ve gone off for a three-martini lunch.
So anyhoo, I went off to Job #1, since I didn’t have the job at Job #2 quite yet, and so I spent the morning learning Medical Terminology, where I informed the head of the call center group and the nurse giving the lecture that while the prefix epi does mean “on the surface of” or “outer”, it is in fact a Latin suffix, while the term epilepsy is Greek and comes from the root word meaning “to seize” or “take control of.”
Yes, I’m overeducated.
Anyhoo, I waited all morning for a message from Job Broker #2, which didn’t come, so I left a message for HR rep B from Job #2 asking for a status update, and to please leave me a message so that I would violate any HIPAA regulations or get written up, and then shortly before afternoon break, we (that is, the class in training) were playing with a test version of the authorization system, which I had already mastered, and I was playing with the system and adding in doctors and hospitals with funny names, Dr. Ped O’Phile at Our Lady of the Perpetual Bleeding Dagger Through the Skull, when I desperately needed to tinkle, so I got up and went since we were kind of on free time and not on the phones. And when I came back, on my computer, was this friendly little message:
I had neglected to lock my computer. While I was in the test system. Using fake patient names, fake patient IDs, fake doctor’s names (I do hope that there is no Dr. Ped O’Phile anywhere in the world), and fake hospital names.
Afternoon break finally came, and with it, the chance to go outside and check my phone. I had a message from Job Broker #2! I got a hold of her, and she told me that before I could start work at Job #2, I needed to come over to Job Broker #2’s office, fill out some paperwork, and go pee in a cup.
I said that I was supposed to stay until 5:30 at Job #1.
Job Broker #2 asked me if I really needed to stay.
I thought about that little Post-it™ note from above and said,
I ran inside, found my time-sheet, and went up to the trainer girl who had so thoughtfully (and sneakily) left me the little aforementioned Post-it™ note and said to her:
“I need you to sign my time-sheet because I’m leaving and I’m not coming back. Thank you, and here are my two badges.”
I started at Job #2 the next day. I’m much happier. I’ll write more about that soon. But for now, I say to Job #1 and your write-ups and your HIPAA violations: