Tuesday, February 19, 2008

time warp!

(Meant to post this yesterday, when it was written, but we had a long day and it kind of slipped through the cracks. So read this and pretend that it is yesterday.)

Rule one of life: if something is important to you, have a backup plan.

Unlike New York, Atlanta is not a place where you can just walk out of a building and hail a cab. Well, sometimes you can't do that in New York either (anytime it's raining, for instance, or 1am on New Year's Day), but overall, there is a difference between a taxi and a car service in that you usually don't need to call ahead to a dispatcher for a cab to come retrieve you. In Atlanta, not so much. So anyway, I called a cab company last evening to arrange my transportation to my interview this morning. Being extremely neurotic as I am, I allotted about an hour to make a twenty minute commute, but given the uncertainties (timeliness of cab arriving, traffic conditions, the possibility of getting lost once arriving at the hospital), I wanted to leave room for at least two errors in planning to prevent myself from being late.

Well, to make a long story short (and believe me, there are ways to make this story very, very long), my taxi never showed up this morning, and denied ever having a record of my call 12 hours prior. I had a backup cab company in the wings, however, and managed to get to my interview half an hour early nonetheless. As my fill-in cab driver remarked upon picking me up and hearing my tale of vitriol and woe, "Gosh, even if that was the case, that they lost the record of your call, why would they tell you that? They should have made up a better story. You know, like the cab exploded or something." Imagine that being said with a southern accent for the full effect.

Anyway, it was my first job interview anywhere, ever, so who am I to say, but I think things went OK. Everyone seemed really nice, and like they got along and enjoyed their jobs, so those are the main important things. I have to admit that seeing the kind of work that they did--big cases, sick patients--scared me a little, though mostly in a good, thrilling way. It's one thing to be a resident, hankering for the big, challenging cases, it's another thing to realize that in a few months, you will be the attending ultimately responsible for these patients. But you know, I think that all next steps should be a little scary. Otherwise, how would you know you were moving forward? In medicine, as in many things, I think it could be easy to find yourself in a nice comfortable little rut and stay there just nearly forever, but that's not really what I want for myself right now. Like with most big changes in life, you probably need to be pushed out of the nest a little bit in order to prove to yourself that you're able to fly. And I think I'm ready to be pushed.

Anyway, fingers crossed on that one.

I did promise myself that I would take the MARTA back from my interview, and you know what, that is one smooth ride. It was off-peak hours and the trains definitely don't run as often as the subway in New York, but still, I only had to wait, what, ten minutes? Plus, the trains are clean, the views are nice, and I got from point A to point B in less than 20 minutes. It's unfortunate the subway system isn't actually more extensive, because I'm sold on this thing.

Anyway, tomorrow brings us to the first two of Cal's six-school visit marathon. I know that these school interviews are probably no more than simple screenings to make sure that Cal is reasonably sociable and able to hold his own in a classroom, but still, I'm hoping that his good humor and charm holds out such that we actually have a choice of schools rather than being backed into a corner. Stand and deliver, boy, stand and deliver.