Wednesday, July 06, 2011

pecking order, level 2

So I joined my anesthesia group three years ago, which makes me the most junior member of my practice.  And as such, I have had the Junior Person Desk.

I took that picture my first day of work.  (See on the chair my old OR sneakers, which have since disintegrated from overuse/dry gangrene--I have a new pair of the same sneakers now, but in fuschia.  OR sneakers should always be a color on which blood will not be visible.  My brief stint with khaki sneakers lasted all of two days for that very reason.)  Anyway, it's a perfectly fine desk, but the shortfalls of its location reflecting my status in the pecking order became readily apparent the first time I sat down.

It's right next to the door of the break room.  Hell, my desk practically was the door of the break room.  And it seems like a small deal (because obviously, in the global sense, it is),'s a really high-traffic area.  Also, usually that door is closed.  So every time I sat at my desk, people would open the door, and it would slam right up into my chair.  Or people would forget the combination to get in and out of the break room, and I'd hear them beep-beep-boop-BZZT entering the wrong code and then struggling to puzzle out why the door wouldn't open, so eventually I'd just stand up and open it for them.  Or occasionally folks would forget pieces of debris on my desk, just because...I don't know, the garbage can was too far away.  Oh, a half-eaten bagel and a chewed coffee stirrer, a present for me?  THANKS GUYS!

A number of people in my department have rotated through that particular desk location over the years, and the universal agreement is that, given the option, one should decamp as soon as possible.  The good thing is that, as an anesthesiologist, I rarely have reason to be sitting at a desk anyway, but sometimes I do have to sit and write something, or return a call, or, you know, fluff my paperclip collection.  And in those moments, I hated having The Junior Desk.

We have a new anesthesiologist joining us next week.  Everyone is very excited.  We're excited to get our new colleague, but I in particular am excited because, in order to make room for our new colleague, two of our part-time physicians are now sharing a desk space, thereby freeing up physical room for an extra person in our department.  And a few weeks ago, I got a note that said that, if I wanted, I could get first dibs on the free desk, moving on up in the desk lineup and clearing off my Junior Desk for the new guy.  I made my move today.

Welcome to the practice, Dr. K!  And, all kidding aside, I hope the desk will be as good to you as it has been to me.  I'm not one to ascribe talismanic properties to things randomly, but it's been a very lucky three years for me, and I'm open to the fact that it might be because of the desk as much as anything else.

(I'm still moving to the new desk, though.)


  1. Anonymous5:33 PM

    Dr. K here: willing and ready to assume the position, so to speak!

  2. Can't figure out who/what that Capt America lookalike is...

  3. Pre-med chica6:06 PM

    Ahahahaha!! Great post. You're a funny one. :)

  4. Yay, Dr. K! Everyone is so excited to have you join us! Have a good week, and see you on Monday!

  5. (Aliendoc, the Captain America is a Barack Obama magnetic dress-up doll.)

  6. Great post! :P Love it!

  7. Oh I see...(I think)

  8. Anonymous10:56 AM

    Congratualtions, Michelle (and Dr. K!). But keep those dirty OR shoes off the furniture. Yuck!

  9. Heidi9:49 PM

    I too was horrified by the OR shoes on the chair... but then quickly distracted by the cute bag! (Never put me in charge of infection control.)

  10. Guys, remember it was my first day of work...the shoes hadn't even been in the OR yet! PRACTICALLY STERILE! :)

  11. Anonymous8:22 PM

    I love how excited you are Michelle, it reminds me of how excited my classmates and I get when we find out we get a new student in elementary school! The more things change, the more they stay the same.

    P.S. you need to do a book gig in Canada! We have free healthcare ;)

  12. Anonymous8:22 PM

    *we're getting

    grammar fail

  13. I like the whole container of "not baby" wipes on the desk.