Thursday, August 14, 2008

She's Such a Brute!

I'm so proud of my Girl. See, this boyfriend that she met earlier this summer was getting clingy and whining about not her not having any time for him. Well she's drum major and has a job, so when she's not doing band stuff, she's at work. We barely see her either and she lives here. So she was tired of the whininess and in the process of trying to break up with him at his house. He was trying to argue with her about it, then he got mad. He grabbed her arm, pushed her into the wall and drew back his fist to hit her. He didn't even get his hand all the way back when he found her knee planted firmly and with great gusto in his testicles, then himself on the floor puking his guts out. She kicked him again, yelled "Fuck You!" and stormed out. It's nice to know she's listening to me, even when she pretends not to. Nobody has to put up with that kind of shit and if she had put up with it this time, she might be doomed to a life of abuse forever.

Go Girl!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Unique - Just Like Everybody Else
LogoThere are
or fewer people with my name in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Ohmygosh! Rain!

I can hardly believe it - after weeks with temperatures in the 100's and no rain, just as I'm finally able to get my schedule cleared enough to use the pool that's finally almost back to normal after the pump being down for 10 days, it's raining. I'd rather have the rain than the pool at this point, especially when all you can smell when you go outside is the grass cooking and all you can see is more burned up fields and the trees giving up early and starting to shed their leaves. A couple more days of this would be nice, but I'll take what I can get at this point.

Radar screen shot shamelessly hijacked from my favorite local weather source, KXAS TV's Weather Plus website (Rest in Peace, Harold Taft).

Is The Effort Worth the Reward? - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more
The final task for this week's training at Giant Corporate University is to summarize the learnings for the week. I couldn't write there what my real take is on the situation, but I can share this "real" interpretation of what I wrote there with you because I know you understand.

Dear Diary,

Although there are some exciting and significant developments in the works for my real job, this has been a shitty week at Giant Corporate University. One of my colleagues has no command of the English language and tries to use words that she clearly doesn't understand in her communications, making her writing unintelligible. I can't even respond to most of her posts because I don't know what she's saying, and am not sure she does either. This was the self-appointed leader of our team. Sigh. As the type who will usually go along to get along, I just let her do her thing, even after she used her caps lock key on me and another guy when we weren't going by her schedule (a schedule that we didn't agree to in the contracting process, I might add) but what I really want to do is hunt her down and kill her with my bare hands for butchering my native tongue. I have plenty of IQ points to spare, but I fear giving them to her would be a waste because she already thinks she's intelligent and knows everything. Tragic she's unaware of her deficit.

The facilitator is barely present, and leaves very short, almost cryptic messages when she is in forum. After several days of wondering whether my posts met criteria and no responses to communications for clarification from at least one of my colleagues, out of the blue my indicators of success mysteriously appeared. This reinforces some of my recently learned professional lessons that sometimes learning what "not" to do is just as important as learning what to do.

Even though technically we're supposed to have 2 days off per week, I'm finding myself working every stinking day. Since the first day of the course is a wash because there's no way to earn the necessary participation credits because there's nothing to respond to but introductions, which don't count, and there was something due every other day of the week, that means that GCU is turning into a 7-day-a-week job for which I'm still not getting paid and I'm starting to build more than a little resentment about the situation. I worked too hard for too long to get where I am today to be anyone's slave, especially when there's no guarantee of employment at the end of all this prattling on about nothing of real substance. I keep trying to remind myself that it's not the end of the world if I don't get the job and it may be a blessing in disguise if I don't since the pay isn't much more than minimum wage because Giant Corporation keeps most of the money. If I don't get voted off the island, I'll get about what one student out of the 20 pays to take each class I teach. There are 80-zillion programs out there and the more I get to know this one, the less I'm liking it.

Speaking of work, I'm finding most of the assignments to be asinine busy work. Every night I troll through what everyone else has said looking for some nugget upon which to expound my personal and professional wisdom (providing I have any, of course). There doesn't seem to be a clear criterion about what is considered acceptable so some folks prattle on and on and don't say anything. I've probably been guilty of that, too just because sometimes there's just nothing to say.

Also unrelated and twice removed but not really, I thought this component was supposed to be specialist training. I don't understand why I'm the only psychologist in a class full of nurses, IT guys and teachers. I'm not stupid - it's clear that this is still more generalist training. Any posts relating to my specialty area have come from me. Or maybe they're thinking of the other kind of specialist training.

Only one more week. Let's consider it an exercise in frustration management. Thanks for the vent.


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

There's a Light

Okay, so I had a meeting with a referring agency in another region that's about an hours' drive away from here today because they liked the eval I did for them 3 weeks ago. It was the first time I'd done work for them because they're in another region but they needed someone and I was it. The meeting went well. Very well. Matter of fact, they even bought my lunch and visited with me for nearly 3 hours. It went so well that they're going to urge their clients to drive to where I am for their evals and stop using the people there (partly because the one guy left there who does what I do shares office space with his wife - also a psychologist - and they have verbally abusive screaming matches with each other - in front of the patients, who are already anxious about having to go in for psychological testing O.o). Not only that but they're trying to score me an unused room somewhere with a table and 2 chairs to do work in a couple of the field offices because I'm willing to go there to do the work. Then, when I make my escape from Questionable Ethics R Us, my neuropsych supervisor with whom I've worked since 2001 will sign off on any of those reports until I can do my own thing after the first of the year when I no longer have to give half my money to the company. There's a light, indeed.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

4 Months From Now

Sigh. Here I sit trying to cobble together enough business every month to pay my bills. Altogether they aren't much really, but I thought seriously that I'd at least be making a living wage by this point and could contribute more to our family expenses. As it stands, I have what amounts to a handful of part time jobs, none of which pay worth a crap because they're kind of on an on-call basis, and the people I work for have pretty crappy reputations, so the referrals aren't coming in like they used to, so I'm not getting called as often. Granted part of the problem is that some of the referring agencies are at the end of their budget year, so they should pick up a little after September 1.

The good news though is that four months from today, my postdoc year (read: indentured servitude) will be over and I can start my independent professional life on my own terms. Sure I'll be slogging through the Medicare and insurance provider paperwork and trying to get established in my own practice with all the headaches and bills that entails, but at least I will be working under my own reputation and license, not someone else's. The better news is that I am already beginning to establish my own reputation and relationships with the major referrers in the region. They like my work, they like me personally and they have made it very clear that they want to know when and where I hang my shingle. It just can't be done until after the licensing paperwork is completed. I'll mail it December 4. Last year when I filed my provisional paperwork on the same date, it was approved December 31. Of course I didn't get the confirmation for a couple more weeks, but at least I got it.

The training for the giant corporate online university feels oddly like American Idol. There ended up being 378 trainees in my entry level class, then I was assigned to a group of 1o. Within the first week 4 of them dropped. Of the remaining 6 only 3 of us were in the same entry class so there was at least one other huge ass entry class somewhere. The training itself seems like a lot of busy work, but they have selected me to continue on to the next stage so that's good, I guess, except so far I'm not seeing a lot of attention being paid to academic rigor. After the next 2 weeks in developing syllabi et cetera (mind you I've already been through the first 2 weeks so in total this will be a full month of "training" i.e. working for free), the next stage will see me actually teaching a class with an instructor's instructor who can give me feedback on how I'm doing. I appreciate that. I will get paid the full rate for a doctoral level instructor for teaching that class, but that won't happen until the end of September. At least it's something to look forward to, but there's no guarantee that I'll even be offered a position until after the class wraps up in mid-to-late October.

Still no word on whether or not I'll be teaching at the community college again, and class starts in 3 weeks. The Psyc/Soci instructor/coordinator guy left in May, which is why the division chair asked me to apply for that job, which I did immediately - in May. Now the division chair is leaving so the two top leadership positions in that area are vacant, and nobody's saying a word. I'm debating whether to shoot a friendly email to the human resources coordinator to check on the status of my application.

The good news of the whole thing is that at least I'm 2/3 of the way through the postdoctoral purgatory year and that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Take one look around and you can see that nobody's starving around here. We still have a roof over our heads, the lights are still on, and I still have stuff I can sell on eBay. I can do anything for 4 months. However, if you know the money fairy, could you send it my way? Kthxbai.