|Posted by SomeJerkFromBoston on July 19, 2012 at 10:45 AM|
The worst thing about talking to people you haven't seen in a while is hearing about what they've done with their lives. It's very unlikely you're going to hear "Oh, I've become a drug addict, and I suck as much dick as possible to keep my cardboard box under the route 9 overpass. It's not even always human dick!" No, you're going to hear about how wonderful things are for them and how life treated them so well. They're going to be lawyers, doctors, contractors, police officers, chemists, explosion analysts, and porn stars. And you...who are you?
(Darling, is this one of those 'homeless' we've been hearing so much about?)
After years of living low, I can finally say I have a job worth bragging about...kind of. I can certainly make it sound impressive. In the end, it doesn't necessarily matter what you actually do. If it sounds good, and shovels a lot of guilt and life reflection onto others, it's a job worth bragging about. I'll tell you about it, but first, a history of my other jobs. After all, before I was shoveling out bullshit, I was another blue collar schmuck just like everyone else.
For eight years, I worked on and off at a mom and pops hardware store. I knew nothing about hardware...and I was fifteen. I'm pretty sure I wasn't supposed to be working. Nevertheless, I could lift a forty pound box, thus I was hired. It got to the point where I was training new employees who came on board. One time I got to work at seven-thirty in the morning, hungover, and someone was already there. Turns out he was just hired. I was confused since no one told me we were hiring, but a large shipment pulled up, so whether he actually worked for us or not, I tossed him a pair of gloves and told him it was time to get to work.
("So, am I being paid for this?" "Don't know, don't care.")
During college, I didn't have the freedom I enjoyed at the hardware store. I worked for EBGames and eventually GameStop (one in the same now). Retail can be retail, but at least I learned stuff in the hardware biz. I even helped on side jobs and specialized in tool sharpening and screen repair (I repair a mean screen...and I did it with a KNIFE!). Selling video games, the dream job I always wanted as a kid, turned out to be a cleat to the scrotum. Asshole after asshole wanted suggestions only to completely ignore you. The company threatened to crucify you if you didn't meet certain goals. In Massachusetts, you can't be fire for meeting quotas, but corporations don't have to fire you. They can keep you on the books, yet give you zero hours. This sort of evil is usually reserved for cartoon villains or Cthulhu.
(Overtime without overtime! Postponed vacations! Sell more Game Informers!)
Eventually I ended up working for a midget with an online empire and a Napoleon complex. I essentially faked my own death and moved on (I never said I was a role model).
One day, I listened to PT and put in my application for the place where he worked. He told me over and over to do it previously, but I didn't listen. In my own little world of gumdrops, happiness and beer, everything was okay. Except for the crippling depression and the grocery shopping at the dollar store due to my severe lack of funds. I actually got the position PT applied for (I was going for his old job) and he settled into a similar role somewhere else. I'd feel bad, but he still got a nice position, along with a healthy bump in salary.
Whenever I'm asked what I do, I tell them "Cancer research!" I'm not lying either. Technically, I'm in the cancer research industry. I get to go to the same meetings as the surgeons and doctors that create the studies that determine what procedures/medications work and what should be tried next. Anytime I see that donation canister go around the movie theater, I can smile and happily think "C'mon you bastards! You're pocket change will eventually be mine!" Keep donating!
You may have noticed the word 'technically' up there. That's because I don't do the actual research. My degree is in communication arts, with a concentration in visual media production. I make fucking movies. I don't stick people with juices that will make them vomit and lose their hair. I don't touch men's balls and tell them that they're going to die. No, I work on the data end of things.
What you have to understand is that past the fancy degrees that a doctor gets to flash, they can get pretty fucking retarded. I mean, mentally handicapped. No wait, that's an insult to the mentally handicapped. I mean, retarded. They don't read the forms, they don't read the protocol (that handy manual that tells them how to not kill the patient), they just do whatever the fuck they feel like doing. My job is to tell them that they're wrong.
(I'm never wrong...except when I am.)
Before I give you an example of what I mean, I have to clarify something. Due to the restraints of HIPPA (which protects patient confidentiality) I can't give specifics about the patient. Since the nature of this wonderful fuck up is just that, a fuck up, none of the patient information is released and therefore is not a violation of HIPPA. I'm also not telling you which patient this event occurred with, thus protecting the patient's confidentiality in that way as well. So nah.
We have this fun form called an Adverse Event form. If something happens during treatment, say nausea, and it's within reportable levels, this is where they put it. I get a form one day with a note from a Junior Data Associate letting me know that an event is being reported that can't be coded. Usually this is because they're reporting whatever the hell they feel like instead of referring to the fun little booklet they all get which contains a list of events. The event being reported was this: PAIN (TEMPORAL).
So...the patient's 'time' hurts?
(Grade 4! Grade 4!)
The fuck does that even mean? Let's assume that they're trying to report a 'headache' and they're just specifying the temporal lobe. That's pretty goddamn specific, and pain in the temporal lobe is a very, VERY bad thing! Not to mention, the patient would have to be the one who tells the doctor what's wrong. How does that conversation go?
"Doctor, I have pain in my temporal lobe. I know exactly where because the blue fuzzy monkey behind you told me so."
"That sounds perfectly reasonable and I have no follow up questions."
This is what I have to deal with. Actually, that's not fair. Most of the people who submit forms have, oh what's it called? Oh yeah! Intelligence. Those who fuck up tend to fuck up big. Then blame us. Despite the fact that the instructions are on the forms, and there's a protocol handy to tell you what we need, what's required from surgery, what labs need to be done (basically shit required to be eligible), I receive forms with notes basically saying "We didn't know what to do, so we put whatever, then you sent us something telling us we were wrong and that we needed to change it, but it confused and infuriated us because we would have either had to ask someone a question or use the internet and that seemed like too much work, so we wiped our ass with it and that's why it smells like shit."
(We're doing work! Wheeeeeeeeee!)
You know what? They can do whatever the fuck they want. If they absolutely refuse to change something, if their pride is so damaged by a requirement that conforming to the standards provided to them hurts their very soul, I make a note of it in the chart, put it away, and wait for them to be audited. They'll have to answer for their half-asses behavior. I have to answer to internal audit requirements and Study Chair requirements. I do my job to the best of my ability. They should too.
Now you know what I do. At least, have a good idea of what I do. Describing every little thing I did would not only take too long, but would bore the ever loving shit out of you. Hell, it bores the shit out of me sometimes. I'm a white collar schlub now, and I'm fine with that. Like I said before, if someone were to come up to me and tell me about their fantastic lifestyle, I just get to say the magic words "Cancer Research" and suddenly the conversation goes to something else.
Even though I work a nine to five, that doesn't mean I don't have that drive to entertain people. I'll never lose that. I wake up at 6:40am, out the door at 7:30am, get to the office by about 8:30am, start writing an article, stop at 9:00am to start work, write more at noon, leave at 5:00pm, get home at 6:00-6:30pm, write some more, jerk off, go to be around 9:30. Repeat. That's what I do. Enjoy.
Categories: Some Jerk From Boston