First day back to work after ten days of vacation haven. I have to admit – it wasn’t a bad day. Let me take you on a tour of my first day back to work at the OME.
I was greeted by a kaleidoscope of papers stuck to every surface of my desk, each containing a problem that required immediate attention. I waded eagerly through the stream of notes which are, by the way, an ultimate source of my anxiety – but not today. It appeared that everything had broken down over the holidays. The label printer was printing too lightly. The general printer wasn’t printing at all. Three of the four sink disposals in the autopsy suite were dead – pardon the pun. Essential items that I’d ordered several weeks prior hadn’t arrived yet. This is just to name a few of the notes. I spent from 0700 to 0800 just getting the office to working order, but that didn’t bother me. The rest would have to wait.
The phone began to ring even before I sat down. I courteously and genuinely accepted calls from several employees who were sick, running late, or otherwise indisposed. “No problem,” I said. “Take the day off. Take care of yourself. We can handle it.” I was lying of course, but it made me happy to relieve these folks from any added anxiety.
Now, why was I lying about being able to “handle it,” as I put it? It’s due to the crux of the OME. The main purpose for going to work at the OME was peeking out at me from mustard yellow, paper file folders. Five files sitting neatly in a row waiting to be read. Each case requiring an autopsy, and each autopsy requiring about an hour and a half. Needless to say, I had a busy day ahead of me. No worries. I hadn’t performed an autopsy in ten days. My psyche was ready. My hands were ready to hold a scalpel again. Belive it or not, we finished in record time.
At five o’clock I was just leaving work and realized that I had 30 minutes to get home in time for cub scout den meeting. (My wife and I are Bear Cub Scout den leaders.) I arrived on time and I’m happy to say that I’m still smiling-even after one of our scouts slipped and split his chin open on the bathroom sink. (I’ll report more on that topic tomorrow after I’ve heard how he’s doing. I believe he’ll be fine.) By the way, in case you were dying to know what we did for scouts, we discussed the importance of writing “thank you” notes and then we wrote a few.
After scout meeting ended we enjoyed a meal of chow mein noodles, white rice, teriyaki chicken, and honey-glazed shrimp provided by our good friends at Panda Express. Just to note, my fortune cookie was devoid of a fortune. What does that mean?
Now is your chance to weigh-in. Do you think my pleasant demeanor and ability to cope with stress today was due to humor or charity? (Please review some of my previous post regarding coping strategies.) Let’s think about it. I was in good humor due to my long vacation. Also, there’s the part where I allowed people to be late to work without reprimand and allowed sick people to stay home. Can that be considered as charity? Or can my overall good mood be better attributed to something else?
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