Will & Tracy

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Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Divine Comedy – Part 1 The Inferno

God sure seems to be messing with me of late – I thought my patience has improved significantly over the last 10 months, but I guess He knows I need more practice.

My day of deliverance arrived this past Monday – After months of promises and delays (we were both supposed to be hired last October) my friend and fellow L&D nurse - Patty - was going to have her interview at the now infamous World Link GlenEagles HR offices. I was so excited that I almost called her that morning to make sure she was out of bed. This woman was going to help me regain my sanity. My attitude, as you all know, has needed some serious adjusting as of late.

The interview started at 10am and I get a phone call at 955a from Patty saying she called Mark’s assistant to tell her that she was almost there – only to find out that Mark wasn't even there - he had an emergency meeting out of town and no one bothered to call her. However, the assistant told Patty “someone” would interview her. So Patty met with the jack-of-all-trades Lab/Pharmacy/Call Center Manager who quickly told her she needed to talk to someone named “Tracy Claxton” – she was the one that Patty would be working for. Then the manager looks at her resume and finds that this "Tracy Claxton" was one of Patty’s references. She says “oh, well then you should go talk to the manager at the Inpatient Clinic – Joan.”

I am finishing up with a patient and Joan comes to me with a slip of paper saying that HR has sent over a person to be interviewed and she wants me to do the interview. Patty’s name is on the piece of paper. I roll my eyes and go out to the waiting area and call Patty back to “my office.” I introduce Joan to Patty and tell her “she is hired or I quit.” Joan’s mouth drops and says to go check in with Dr Ferguson. Dr Ferguson looks at me wondering why she is interviewing Patty. So I tell her – “You want me to have some help so I don’t quit, right? Okay, then send an email to Mark saying she is hired.”

Don’t worry – I’m still not holding my breath – the teaser of course is we need to get her John Hancock on the contract before I tell her what a mess she has gotten herself into. Maybe I should introduce her to Lucifer at Starbucks – I think he may know more than just how to make a good latte and may have a few tips on how to find our way to Paradiso! Although I think would involve resignationo.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Who's on First?

Another week of my international work experience has come and gone and it was definitely one for the memoirs…

I am getting busy and popular these days and felt like I was moving up in the world - the CMO (Chief Medical Officer) requested a meeting with yours truly this past Thursday. Woo hoo! I had to squeeze him in between my 9:30a and my 1pm meeting. Gosh - does this mean I should consider a *gasp* “crack”berry purchase? Then I decided it was probably best that I work there at least 2 more months and start really liking my job before I consider one – maybe by that point, I could figure out a way to have the company to buy one for me. My sister would be proud of my wheeling and dealing mind.

Back to the CMO meeting (or the waiting therefore)…when I showed up for my meeting at 11am, the receptionist (Connie) said the CMO was in a meeting. Okay – so I sit and wait. I stand to get some water only to find the water dispenser is empty. “I’m sorry its empty,” replied Connie as I stare at a full 5 gallon water jug collecting dust right next to the dispenser waiting to be placed. This does not surprise me since I seem to have to do everything else myself at this company. But as I go to start opening the bottle, I hear a clearing of the throat and this hot French sales guy that was also waiting in the lobby stands up and says, “Oh please, zet me try to be Jean-Claude and help you vith that.” Was that a line? … And I thought he was waiting for me to do the “bend and snap” for you Legally Blond fans out there. After handing me a cup of water we both returned to our seats as I was trying to figure out a clever way to offer him any Grey Poupon or if I had chocolate and he had peanut butter.

Okay, intermission is over and back to "the rest of the story." After waiting 35 minutes for the CMO, I go back to his office and he’s a Mac guy. Groovy. After 45 minutes of discussion and listening to my nursing staff comments and general ideas, he says that I need to go see the CEO, but to probably start with the Director of Nursing from Singpore (too bad she is already in Shanghai for a few weeks). As we walk by the Chief Propeller Head, (aka the COO and the guy that hired me) he yells out – “So how come you (meaning me) haven’t hired the Lactation Consultant yet.” My hair immediately stands back up in the defensive as I hold back tears and start to tell him no one has bothered to help me with the contract despite my asking (uh, did I have the authority to make offers – that was news to me). Then the CMO and the COO started yelling at each other about my role at the company. Huh? I try to explain to the COO – this is why I needed clarification because everyone wants me to do something different and why haven’t you bothered to call my friend Patty and hire her to help me (yes I said that all in one breath). I told them both I had another appointment and when they figured out what they wanted me to do - just let me know. The next day, both called to “see how I was doing and apologize.” Hmm…maybe a trip to Singapore and the black”crack”berry is not so far out of reach after all.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Danger! Will Robinson, Danger!

Before moving here I had to admit, I was a little scared that China was going to take over the World – and I'm not saying that it still won't happen, but after living here for almost a year and as much as I have really enjoyed most of the people that I've met, I see that they still have a long way to go. I have been trying to write this blog for more than a week worried that I might sound too angry or say something offensive but realize this is just part of my emotional journey - this just happens to be the chapter on "anger and frustration" – China this, China that - I also realize I could come up with the top 10 reasons why the American government sucks and yes, I do know that my fellow Americans are not perfect either – so please take this for what it is – just venting….

Top 10 Reasons Why China is not ready for World Domination
1. Escalators need to go in both directions
2. Anti-freeze is bad and therefore should not be an ingredient in edible items such as toothpaste and cough syrup.
3. Uh, same as above but adding melamine to dog food.
4. Vaccinations made only of saline will not help control disease.
5. Fresh Frozen plasma should actually be fresh frozen plasma (ie blood product), and not a bag of dyed solution that was found to be Polysorbate-80 – but only after it was given to 1800 patients in Southern China.
6. Baby formula which contains flour as its main nutritional source is also bad.
7. Promoting KFC and McDonalds as health foods.
8. Not understanding that in 30 years that there will be a lot of frustrated Chinese men out there because they feel having a male child is far superior to their destiny than keeping their girls.
9. Believing that cloth face masks worn all day will prevent you from getting the bird flu and other communicable disease, but not understanding that spitting, coughing (without covering your mouth), launching snot lugies, peeing and pooping in public more than cancels that effort out.
10. Not educating your citizens that all the above is happening, but instead thinking the solution to the health safety issues is sentencing the top drug official to death.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Prenatal Instructor Extraordinaire....

Yeah - although not the most flattering picture of me - one of the couples in my prenatal class this past Saturday decided to take pictures for posterity and their baby book. At least she didn't get me holding the baby up to my breast while teaching the breastfeeding portion of the class. And the second picture is of Franziska and Johannes - a lovely German couple that thought my class was awesome and proof that I haven't ticked off the entire country! They were a smart class - I was able to explain the concepts of Induction versus Augmentation of labor as well as give them an introduction about what the Bishops Score is - I told them to ask their MD about that and really shock them!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Spachinglish (spah ching lish)

Balderdash anyone? Well for those of you out there – I decided to invent a new word but I’m guessing all y’all with fancy multi-lingual abilities (and talkin’ Texan doesn’t count) already understand the concept. I’m still in multi-lingual infancy stage – but it is an important first step I suppose.

After working at World Link (now World Link GlenEagles International Medical & Dental Centers) for 2 months, I finally had an opportunity to potentially use my Spanish speaking skills since one of the MDs mentioned that she had a couple from Mexico that will be delivering this fall. I realized that since they are over in Shanghai, their English is probably pretty good, and so I was a little insecure about trying it out … that, and I didn’t want to cause another international incident and insult them (like I did with the Germans) or make an ass out of myself – my grammar is bad enough in English – you don’t want to hear the Spanish version. But just the fact I was meeting with them, I thought I would try and dust off the cobwebs of what Spanglish I could remember and quickly realized the language center of my brain is a jumbled mess. It reminded me of a funny incident when I was back in the Austin in March when I had a run-in with the nice Hispanic cleaning lady at the hotel and I was trying to tell her yes, I’m checking out and that she could clean my room – I managed to fumble out Dui (Chinese for Yes), then Oui (not sure where the French came from) then finally Si – as I was figuring out how to say the rest of the sentence, she took pitty on me and said… “I understand” – in English. Yeah – it’s pretty bad when the rest of the World has one-upped us on their language abilities.

Adding in a third language has been an especially interesting challenge. Trying to come up with complete sentences where all the words are in the same language is more difficult than one might imagine. So I thought maybe creating a new language altogether called Spachinglish would be the best thing for me to do and WOW am I good at it. Too bad my pioneering efforts have not been rewarded – except with blank stares by helpless cab drivers. So I guess I will abandon that idea for now because it was a bitch trying to figure out an alphabet.