Saturday, February 28, 2009

pimp my wife

Did I tell you about how I sold a week of vacation to one of my partners? Well, I did. I sold her one of my vacation weeks. Mostly to defray the costs of New Baby and my one week of unpaid maternity leave. It's a little like robbing Peter to pay Paul, but unpaid maternity leave is the standard in the U.S., what are you going to do about it? The other five weeks I recouped by using a combination of back-hoarded vacation time and sick leave, though now after all this, I feel sort of ascetic, like some sort of vacation-shunning monk.

The funny thing of it all is that I never owed a commodity that was worth a reasonable amount of money before, and now that I do have one, it seems strange that it's something so intangible. I just sold someone a week off from work. It's like Billy Crystal in "City Slickers," who had some sort of midlife crisis at the realization that his job was selling people radio airtime. I guess in essence what I'm selling is manpower--I am being paid to work a week for one of my partners, basically--but it's nice to have some extra money and I'm willing to do it, so win-win, I guess.

Anyway, I had a choice between selling a week of vacation and paying back my maternity leave in some other way (overly boring to explain--involves switching a vacation week to another point in the calendar cycle, etcetera etcetera Zzzzzzz) but it looked as though actually selling my week would be better for us financially, especially this close to tax season. Before I made my final decision, I told the person in charge of scheduling that I needed to talk it over with Joe, but my feeling that between switching a vacation week and just flat out selling it, he would be more inclined for me to sell it.

"He's pimping you out, huh?" my partner replied. Yes, it's true. But it's consensual. And anyway, he needs a new big long coat with a fur collar, and money doesn't grow on trees.

The truth of the matter is that I just finished residency, and since I'm used to having less vacation than an attending in private practice, the time to sell my vacation time is now, before I can even miss it. At this point in my life, it's not a big deal for me to have less vacation than everyone else, and even though I'm going to miss having that week off with Cal and Mack in June (we weren't planning to go anywhere, but it was the week after Cal's school finished and before his summer program started) we still have much more time to spend together than when I was a resident. And relativity is the key to it all. Compared to residency, everything's peachy. And no, that's not just some lame joke about living in Georgia.