Monday, October 30, 2006

Last Thursday was my last day at my job... It was a day I was both looking forward to and dreading, if that makes sense. Yes, I was happy that I was leaving that position & some of the difficult people, but I dreaded leaving the predictability of the job- knowing what to expect on a day to day basis. Not to mention, I was dreading any last day festivities... something they generally do for anyone who leaves the company.

Usually, they'll have lunch and everyone signs a card for the person who leaves. I know it's going to sound awful and ungrateful, but I really didn't want any of that. Frankly, I thought it was a little ridiculous to have anything for me when I don't think most of the people there got a chance to know me or give me a chance. But, J., someone I work with kind of pushed for it, so I had no choice but to go along with it.

No big surprise, my bosses, A& T, didn't even come out of their office for any of this, but I'm actually more than fine with that. It was already somewhat awkward to begin with, that to have them join in would just make it even worse.

Anyway, it's all behind me now... As much as it was painful for me some days to work at that place, I did leave learning something from the experience. I came in knowing nothing about billing and left knowing somewhat more about it. Also, as corny as it sounds, I did learn some things about myself... the way I learn, how I react in situations (both bad and good), and the way I interact with people. So, b/c of all this, I guess I can't say the time was a total waste.


Friday, I went to P. Hospital, where I will be working, for my pre-employment physical. I anticipated only being there for an hour or so, but by the time everything was said and done, I had been there for 3 hours (not including the commute in- which was about 45 min).

I left early at 8 am to make a couple stops before heading down the highway to the hospital. I have to admit, it made me a little nervous to see that there is a good deal of traffic at that time in the morning, which would be time I would generally be leaving at. There were times where traffic would backup for no apparent reason... yes, it was a little frustrating, but by the time I hit the next highway, it did pick up.

My appointment for the physical wasn't until 9:30, but I wanted to see if I could make it down for the time I am scheduled to be there- at 9. To my surprise I did make it there on time... actually with 5 minutes to spare.

I headed up to employee health... I filled out paper work, got weighed, bp checked, and so forth. And then got sent down for labs (to check to see if I got all my immunizations) and a chest x-ray (b/c I can't have the TB test they give new employees- I've tested + for being exposed) and then back to employee health to be looked over by the physician. Unfortunately, I was sent to sit for a while until the Doctor was available. Finally she arrived, finished up with my brief exam, & sent me on my way. Before leaving hospital grounds, I had to stop at HR to finish up some paper work, which didn't tak too long. I was then able to leave and be on my way.

I was somewhat nervous going in for my physical, but it turned out okay & I left feeling a little more at ease with starting my impending position. The people that interacted with me were so friendly and nice that that made me feel better about things. However, L., who interviewed me from HR, called me later on that day. It turns out that I wouldn't be able to start Monday after all. My lab and chest x-ray results would not be back by then and their policy is that they would need those results before I could start work.

Honestly, I was a both glad and disappointed by the news. I was relieved to know I would have a couple days off to relax and prep myself (mentally) for my new endeavor, but, in a way, I kind of would like to start and get the first day over with. As much as I hate starting over and the whole getting oriented process, I have to start sometime. Putting it off, it just putting off the inevitable.

So we'll see... I'm not exactly sure when I'm starting, but L. mentioned Wednesday... I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

I don't think I say it enough, so I'm taking this opportunity to express my gratitude for all the support and words of encouragement from my fellow bloggers and readers. I can't tell you how much I appreciate all your words of wisdom- it means a lot to me. So THANK-YOU SO much :)


I have decided to take the position, I don't know if I established that or not in my last post, but I am still VERY nervous about it. Ok, I'm scared shit-less, to be blunt. I don't know why it scares me so much to be given this new opportunity. But change has always been something hard for me :(. Plus, I can't shake my habit (if you can call it that) of expecting the worst.

I am always so negative about myself. I don't know why, but I think it's probably b/c of my past experiences... It seems like I often get myself into bad situations. I do take responsibility for that, but I don't believe all those situations were solely my fault. Let's face it, my current job was far from ideal, but I know I could have handled things differently than I did.
Yes, I think it's just something I need to learn and grow from (and I hope I do), but somehow no matter what circumstance it is, I find myself in a pickle. I sincerely hope that this doesn't happen again. I know I have the ability to make the most of the situation, so that's what I'm going to try to do.

In the meantime, I am trying to calm my nerves... kicking up my workouts, blogging, & talking about my anxiety with friends and family. It's probably TMI, but it's been a real pain having to run to the bathroom every 5 minutes (yes, nerves have that affect on me- :-s ) . But, somehow, I don't think the nerves (and everything else)it will completely go away until I actually start. No, I'm not looking forward to my first day, or first few weeks for that matter (they always SUCK), but I think what I'm expecting and how it will actually be are two different things. It probably will not be nearly as bad as I think.

Instead of closing on a ho-hum note (as I tend to do), I thought I would draw the attention to a song I'm currently loving.

The group is AUGUSTANA and the song is called "Boston"... Check it out- it's an awesome song :).

Monday, October 09, 2006

I don't even know how to start this post, so I guess I'll just start typing...

Lately things have been a little chaotic and crazy and stressful and, well, at times I'm almost at the point of tearing my hair out in frustration and pure anxiety :(. I know, I know, maybe this doesn't sound any different than what I usually write in my posts... and I wish I could post better, more positive things, but this is how life has been lately :(

I think I mentioned that things at work have been pretty unpleasant. The practice I work for has cut back on doing the billing for other facilities in the Westchester area and, as a result, there's going to be more focus on the billing that we do at our own facilities. Basically this means that everything and everyone is going to be scrutinized and under the microscope... which makes me a little nervous.

I know I shouldn't worry. I mean, if I am doing what I can to get the work done and am doing my job, then there should be no problem. The truth is, I am nervous- I guess that's just in my nature. Call me a Nervous Nelly, but I'm quite aware of this being my personality. :s

As if the constant scrutiny wasn't enough, there has been a lot of stress on my bosses to bring the money in and get these denials from the insurance companies paid- makes sense, seeing that that is our job. But the pressure that the doctors are putting on our bosses is then being taken out on us... and, lately, it seems me. Ok, it's not just me, but I feel like T., my male boss, is definitely making things particularly more difficult on me lately.

I know, I shouldn't take it personally... But this guy definitely has an anger management problem. And there's been a couple times when he has come to talk to me that I thought he was going to lose it. I swear he's come so close that I can see it taking every ounce of his being trying to restrain and control himself and possibly steam coming out of his ears. Yeah, it was pretty bad there for a while. Needless to say, I was even more uneasy and anxious than I usually am going to work each day, which says a lot!

Just when I thought I couldn't take it anymore and thought I was going to lose it, he called me in. He basically apologized for the way he behaved and told me that it was not personal. Like i said, he and everyone there have been under a lot of pressure. In addition, he's been extremely frustrated by an ongoing billing situation we have been having at work that I work on in particular.

I can understand that and, yes, I can get over it and move on, but I also feel that being a manager you should be able to deal with stress in a more appropriate fashion & not take it out on other people. I don't think a manager should ever get to the point where he needs to apologize for his behavior. But I do think that it's good that at least he recognizes that he was wrong in how he has behaved and is taking responsibility for it- there are probably a lot of managers who wouldn't even admit to that.

Anyway, since then, things have settled down a little bit, but things are still tense. Just recently my coworker S. left. I was shocked, b/c I thought she really liked it there and was well liked by most everyone. I think she was even considered a favorite by my bosses, so everyone was surprised by her news to leave. However, turns out, she has her reasons for leaving. Nowt that she's gone, things have changed even more.

The woman who used to do the billing for one of the facilities we no longer provide services to, has now taken on a lot of S.'s work. And, on top of that, it's almost like she has almost become the boss of me... which I don't think is a good thing.

Today she, A., approached me and told me that we would be working on one of the insurance carriers together... Well, that's what she said, but actually it seems like I will be doing the work and she will be checking up on me to make sure I do it her way.

Now, I had no problem with this woman before this point, we really had very little to do with each other, but now it seems like things are going to be different. When she was talking to me today, her whole tone totally threw me off- it was completely condescending.

She basically questioned me on how I was doing things and then proceeded to tell me that I was doing things wrong. And how things were going to change. That's fine if she thinks things could be done better a different way, I'm okay with that, but it's just her whole approach. She spoke to me like I am a child. On top of that, she wants to sit with me tomorrow when I call the insurance to "show" me how to do it. She's treating me like I have absolutely no idea of what I am doing... like I'm a complete idiot.

Frankly, I don't need her to show me how to do it, b/c I've done it before and I know I can handle it. But, saying that, b/c I don't handle things her way, it's wrong. Honestly, I have my reasons for not doing things as she asked me to, namely b/c it is incredibly time consuming and, utimatley a waste of time. But I think this is something she will just have to find out on her own.... and I hope she does see that, b/c then she'll see that my way wasn't wrong, just a different way. And if my way is wrong, then I can we can blame S., b/c S. was actually the one who showed me how to do things. But I don't think they'll ever come to grips with that, b/c S. could do no wrong.

I know I'm doing a hell of a lot of worrying about this, when I really don't need to, especially when I have other news...

Well, I don't know if anyone knows or remembers this, but not too long ago I received my certification as a Certified Professional Coder. Well, during all this stress and other bullshit... I sent out my resumes right and left for different jobs.

I received a call to come in for an interview for a Coding Position at a hospital in NY... So I made up an excuse at my current job and went in to meet with HR and the Coding Manager in Medical Records. My HR interview went by without a hitch, but I thought I totally bombed the Coding portion... which is probably the most important part, unfortunately.

I didn't anticipate that it would be such a challenging interview, but really I didn't know what to expect. The Manager seemed normal enough, something I wouldn't even think to mention, but seeing where I've been working the last year and a half... that's not always a given. However, I did have a problem understanding what he was asking me throughout the interview... He almost mumbled and his accent made me think that he is from India or Pakistan. I had to ask him to repeat himself more than a couple times. Then, at the end, I was given a coding test. Well, seeing that I haven't used any of my coding since December '05, when I took the test for certification, I had some difficulty.

I left, ultimately, writing off the possibility of getting the job. I thought there was no chance. Well, two days later I got the call from the hospital letting me know that they were offering me the position, to my shock and amazement.

I was very excited and happy about the position, but nerves and anxiety also swept over me. For someone, who has wanted to get the hell out of my current job, I started having doubts and what ifs.... Oh, those dreadful, awful WHAT IFS....

I started thinking about all the negatives of the job...
1. It's further- 40 min away. What if I can't handle the distance? (in comparison to the 10 min, drive from where I am currently).
2. I would be making less money- What if I can't pay the bills?(Actually, it's the same amount, but it's less hours... 37.5 instead of 40 that I work now).
3. I would be having more gas expenses.... what if it is too much of a financial loss?
4. Wear and tear on my new car- what if something happens to my car with all the driving I will be doing?
5. Language Barrier... what if I can't understand this manager and I have to learn from him?
6. The fear of the unknown- what if I can't do it- what if the people I work for/with are assholes, what if the commute is beyond do-able, what if I get fired? I could probably go on with this forever...

I brought this up when I was talking to my Dad... and he was like, why are you thinking of every reason NOT to take the job?

He's right and I do know it. I should be thinking of what this could mean for me. It could mean a good career and good opportunity to grow (something I don't have where I am) and it could be something that I really like and enjoy. Plus, how could it be worse than what I am doing now? I guess things could always be worse, but for this job to surpass what I'm doing currently as a worse job would be something extraordinary.

So even with all the "what ifs"... I have chosen to take the position. I know that I do owe it to myself to take a risk and try. I didn't take the coding course and 5 hour test for certification for nothing- I know I need to go after this. I hate feeling so stressed and anxious about it... but I'd probably feel this way about any new job. It always scares the hell out of me to start over. But, saying that, life really is about taking chances. Backing down out of fear is just missing out on opportunities and good things that could be in store for you and I don't want to pass something good up.