Is it really work if you love it? I have to say I have been truly blessed by being able to do what I love for most of my working career. As I’ve mentioned, my first job was as a “Page” in our local library. I can’t think of one time when I didn’t want to go to work. Granted that was 45 years ago or so and memories of bad times can fade but really, who wouldn’t want to work with books all day? Plus, as an introvert (even though I didn’t really know it then), in a library you don’t really talk to other people much. Sometimes it was frustrating to find that the books were not put back in order and it was kind of a pain to put the book cart in the elevator to take it to the second floor because the elevator was old and small (more like a dumbwaiter) so the cart was put in the elevator and then you had to take the stairs to get to the next floor and pull the cart out of the elevator. But I was much younger then so the stairs didn’t bother me. We even went through a reorganization process where the books from the second floor were relocated to the first floor and vice versa. That was kinda fun as we made a chute and one person was on top putting the books in the chute and the other was at the bottom catching them. I even made it into our high school yearbook under the Work Experience section. Only time I was in the book other than my yearly picture (except for that crowd shot I was in at a basketball game). My coworker signed the yearbook with some pretty nice comments.
After high school I went to a year of junior college and while there I continued working at the library. I was studying to be a nurse but my older sister made a suggestion to me one day about going through the Bryman School course for Medical Assisting. It was a six month course with a month of internship and then I’d be working in a doctor’s office. That sounded really good to me so I quit junior college and took the course. Sure enough seven months later I was working in a doctor’s office. I quit the library job reluctantly because the internship was a full time position and I wanted to concentrate on that.
True, it wasn’t nursing exactly but I did give injections and take EKG’s, blood pressures, etc. I brought in the patients and got them ready for the doctors to examine. I enjoyed it. It was more interaction with people than I was used to in the library but it was helping people which is what I wanted to do. After I had been on the job for about two years the receptionist quit to move to Lake Tahoe and the office manager asked if I wanted to take over the front desk job. It would mean less nursing and more paperwork but she felt that my even temperament was suited to the busy reception area. We had 6 doctors at that point. She knew that there were occasionally irritated patients that needed delicate handling and she knew I could diffuse the situation. She knew I didn’t stress easily. About five years later we added another doctor to the practice and moved to a larger location. I was promoted to Medical Office Manager and things were great. I mean, not always perfect but really nothing to get worked up about.
When I got married and had our first daughter I wanted to cut back my hours and work part-time. The doctors felt that it wasn’t an ideal situation so I quit to take care of the baby. I figured I’d go back to work after she was a little older. Funnily enough, six months later they begged me to come back to work. Things had gotten out of control while I was gone 🙂 I told them that I’d have to find a sitter for our daughter but that then I’d come back. They told me they couldn’t wait so I said, “Let me bring her to work with me and I’ll come back tomorrow.” They did! For a year our daughter came to work with me everyday. We set up a playpen in an unused room and that’s where she took her naps. When she was awake she sat next to me in a file box while I worked. Isn’t she cute?
When I got pregnant with my second child a year later, I found a place to leave Amanda and brought my son to work. Boys are different than girls though and he was not as content to sit in a box. I worked it out so that I could decrease my hours to part time and found someone to work in the mornings. Things went well until the practice of medicine underwent a shift due to the growing HMO insurance issues. Our office went from a fun family practice to big business overnight and they hired a new Financial Office Manager. When she started interfering with the Medical side of things it started to be not as fun. I’d have to say that this was the worst period of my career, and there were a few days that I felt like staying home but it wasn’t unmanageable. It ended with me getting fired after 18 years with the group (for which I won a wrongful termination suit).
I went through a short period of mourning and then got a job with a wonderful husband and wife eye doctor team. I worked for them for six years, starting as a receptionist and ending as office manager. When they decided to retire, I worked out a plan for me to continue working for them from their home office to help with medical records requests and collecting the last bits of revenue. That led to my starting my own transcription business which I have been doing for the last 18 years. (Yes, I am old). Here I am in my office dressed this time but note the slippers, and no, the desk is not always that neat!