Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Dr. Tinyoffice Will See You Now

I promised pictures of the new office some time back. In November, my business partner & I leased 200 square feet of office space (2 adjoining 10'x10' rooms). Before I show you where we are, I want to show you where we came from, which will hopefully shed a little light on why 200 fabulously quiet and drama-free square feet is better than an overcrowded, poorly renovated old Jehovah's Witness Hall with paper thin walls and not enough office space to accomodate the number of people working there. These pictures are of the lobby only. My partner & I had to conduct psychological testing in the "play therapy room" which looked like a garage sale threw up in it (and was impossible in which to test children). Oh wait, the whole place looked like that...

We managed to slide out of that practice with no drama, unlike some of our predecessors. One of the owners had a penchant for drama and accusations of those trying to leave trying to put her out of business instead of being happy that the former supervisees in question were moving on to bigger and better opportunities than giving her half of what they earned (which was all she appeared to care about anyway). My partner was able to escape because she lives nearly an hour away and her internship was over, so due to the distance the owner didn't perceive her as a threat (although they tried to convince her to stick around so they'd have someone competent in pediatric assessment on staff). I managed to escape unscathed because at the time I was also working 3 other jobs, 2 in teaching and one for the neuropsychologist I'd been working for forever, so they didn't perceive me as a threat either.

Even though during my internship the non-crazy partner at the other site had asked me to consider joining their practice, and I was flattered by his offer, my plan has always been to establish my own practice. Continuing to work there was really a conflict of interest, albeit mostly financial. It just didn't make sense to work for a paranoid and delusional person for half of state evaluation rates when I'd worked out a much more lucrative deal with the neuropsychologist, even if I did have to generate my own business. I was in sales in a former career iteration, so generating business is no big deal for me. In the end, the rent we pay is far less than what we were paying the crazy lady with the garage sale furniture, and we don't have to jockey for space. Sorry, I'm just not willing to do testing on the open-air covered back porch, unlike some of the therapists there. Is that a privacy violation, or is it just me?

So without further ado, here are pictures of our two tiny 10 foot by 10 foot rooms...our 200 square feet of professional paradise...our own space to be the boss of ourselves...

These are pardner's side of the suite (note the phrenology head print and the "lucky tennis shoes" original drawing):

My side of the suite (btw, I'm there a lot more often so it's more homey, but she'd like to use it for storage of test equipment so I'm planning to move my stuff to a slightly larger space in the next office down the hall in the next few months):

My space looks a lot warmer because although I sold fluorescent lighting enclosures for some time, I abhor fluorescent lighting and refuse to use anything but incandescent or natural lighting. Too bad there are no windows in the room.

The little cabinet in the middle folds out to make the perfect sized table for testing.

There's also a comfy sofa in my office, and a cabinet to store my most used testing materials.

Yes it's small, but it's professional and not cluttered with nonessentials. The environment is quiet and soon I'll be able to spread out about 4 feet in each direction so it won't feel cramped even when assessing the largest patient driving a motorized scooter. Life is good and I'm proud to be where we are today.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Gotta Get Me a Singin' Dawg...

Bwaaahahahaahahaha! *gaasp!* *snort!*

I wonder if my sister needs a backup singer for her band...

Monday, May 4, 2009

Breakin' Up Is Hard To Do...Well, Not Really

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After the last class I taught for GCUO, I decided I wouldn't teach for them anymore. The experience is best summarized by a phrase The Man uses in describing why he doesn't like to eat Cornish hens: "Too much work for not enough meat." The GCUO students seemed to be functioning in the borderline intellectual range and hadn't clue one about the rules of grammar, spelling, scholarly discourse, et cetera, and were deeply offended when I had the gall to point out their errors. Such flaws would have been more acceptable if the class was a freshman level course, but I was teaching seniors who were theoretically ready to graduate. When I received the email to teach for them again, this is what I replied to the class scheduler:

Hi Faceless Corporate Drone,

I tried to access the GCUO website to decline this invitation to teach, but was unable to do so because once again the server is not functioning properly. This email serves to notify you that I will not be accepting any further contracts from GCUO. I teach 3 sections of undergraduate psychology at the local community college (2 live and 1 online). Those 3 classes combined don't require as much effort on my part as 1 GCUO course. The compensation is also better and I have fewer students, far fewer restrictions and no micromanagement regarding the way I run my classes.

I did the math for the last GCUO class of 20 students. With each student paying $1685 per course, that generated $33,700 for the university. It seems a little unfair that the hardest working person in the loop - the faculty member - received only $1,150, including the $100 bonus for having more than 18 students in the class. That's less than one student's tuition for the class, and what I make in one day in my private practice - which incidentally also requires less effort than one days' work at UOP. I didn't work myself nearly to death to earn a doctorate for the privilege of working for less than minimum wage and while being micromanaged in the process. It's no wonder the university is constantly searching for faculty. Once instructors figure out the hoax, the logical choice can only be to cut one's losses and move on.

Have a great life,
Dr. Brainiac

All the faceless drone at corporate had to say was this:

Hi Nerdwina,
Thank you for your email. I manually declined the class for you and forwarded your email to payroll to inactivate your faculty status.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
Have a great day,
Faceless Drone

Her response just affirms my decision to work for myself and serves as a reminder that I don't have to settle for anything less than what I deserve in any area of my life. I worked too hard for far too long to accept anything less than every good thing the universe has in store for me.