Monday, August 02, 2004

the 5 to 2

I had a pretty normal day job last week, working the 8am to 6pm shift in the ER. This week, I'm on the 5pm to 2am shift, which is a little painful only in that it's the busiest shift in the ER, but not so horrible in that it's only nine hours long and you get your morning and early afternoon off. It's a huge difference to have off-shift time during a portion of the day when you're actually awake, I find. It makes my day much more useful, as opposed to the getting-home-at-8pm-and-passing-out model that I usually follow.

It's so remarkable to actually not be at work during normal business hours. There are so many things that are really difficult for me to do during the course of my regular working week, because nothing is open before I go to work, and everything closes down before I get out. This is where the 5pm-2am ER shift comes in handy. This morning, I finally got my medical license application notarized and shipped it Fedex to Albany. I bought stamps at the post office and mailed the first batch of "Scutmonkey" orders. I went to the bank. I put away laundry. (OK, the mound of laundry buildup is not a function of inconvenient business hours, rather of my own sloth. But still.) I had a very productive morning. I would have taken the dog to the park too, but it's inconceivably hot and humid outside, and all she wants to do is sleep on the couch. Oh yes, I'd hate to disturb you MY QUEEN.

(I remember when we used to have a couch, by the way. Now it's just some gigantic smelly dog bed. I came home the other night and Joe was sitting on the hardwood floor watching TV, because the couch is too gross to sit on anymore. That's just sad.)

Anyway, I have to start getting ready for work. But one more thing before I go--inspired by the ladies over at "Pathetic Geek Stories," I'm starting to accept your personal story submissions for Scutmonkey. I'll still be writing and drawing my own stories, of course, but the more scut to share, the merrier. Check below or at the revamped sidebar for details.

Currently reading: "My New York Diary." Interesting how many cartoonists actually went to art school and hated it. Does art school actually teach you anything? Or is it as Woody Allen put it about writing classes--that those who can write well can already do so when the start the class, but those who are untalented will never learn?

OPEN CALL FOR SCUTMONKEY STORIES! Have you ever dreamed of being a cartoon? Yeah, me neither. What, do I look like a total loser? (Crickets.) Nonetheless, here's your chance for dubious distinction! Submit your own real-life scutmonkey stories and let me illustrate them for you! You and your pathetic stories of medical servitude can too turn cartoony, not unlike that "Aha" video for "Take on Me."

Submission Guidelines: Think of a good story of use and abuse from med school, residency or beyond and e-mail it to me. You can take out or leave in as many identifying details as you like by specific descriptions and dialogue will help with the drawing. As always, please be HIPAA compliant, and know that no racist, sexist, or otherwise insensitive tales will be included (though I do expect and appreciate a certain sense of black humor.) If I decide to use your story for an upcoming issue of "Scutmonkey," I will e-mail you to let you know. Also, you will get a free copy of the issue in which your story appears. As if the sudden fame, fortune, and adulation of your peers wasn't enough.

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