So Monday starts the beginning of the end. Well, at least I think so. Monday is my first day of my new job at the hospital. What I suspect is, that it may be the last time that I work in this type of job–official so to speak, a business, corporation, a career-type position. I will be 60 this year and am mostly here to be near my Mom. When she’s not here any longer…well, who knows?
My last 20 years in the Emergency Medical field was ambiguous. It had it’s tremendously high moments as you can imagine, but it also left me–as an employee–often feeling inadequate.
There were, of course, a whole range of reasons that this was the case: the poor system of compensation, the attitude of fellow co-workers, the absolute rarity of a woman climbing any sort of ladder upward, poor management in most places, small town politics… Well, you get the picture.
I’m know I was partly to blame.
When I first came to the field, I was very naive and hopeful. My aim was to help people and save lives. It became quickly apparent that this golden ring was almost a pipe-dream, and only grasped by paying the piper. Bitterness of many others I met along the way turned my attitude sour as well and the grinding days of low pay, long hours and patients without real emergencies took its inevitable toll. I simply became one of the caustic, crabby paramedics just doing a job.
When I had moments of clarity and was able to stand back and look at myself, I was saddened and ashamed of what I had become. It was not what I had ever intended. Never did I want to become impatient with those ‘frequent flyers’ or gossipy at work and angry with fellow co-workers. But the years ground me down into a person I did not like anymore.
It is partly why I have stepped away and decided to retire. Believe me, it was a very hard choice to make. Becoming a paramedic was not easy for me and giving it up I do with a heavy heart. But I always said when I could no longer do it with joy every day, then it was time. And so it is….
So now I have a chance to recreate myself in a new job. See if I can be a better co-worker, an employee that my company embraces as much as I will embrace it. As I step through the doors Monday, I have many, many years of knowing what not to do for sure–and surely there were some things I did right too.
Hopefully now I can get it mostly right and enjoy each day that my alarm clock goes off telling me a new work week has begun!