Friday, September 27, 2013

mud weekend

When I decided to go down to 60% at work, I figured the easiest way to do so (for the ease of my group and for my own personal budgetary calculus) was to do 60% of everything. That is to say: 60% of days, 60% of call, 60% of weekends, as well as my share of holiday call, which is distributed on a rotating basis. (For example, this year I worked the fourth of July. Last year I had New Year's and Labor Day; the year before that, Christmas.) I considered briefly a work configuration in which I didn't take night and weekend call, but it was a surprisingly easy decision against that. First of all, there is an element to the kind of work that you do on call--emergencies, surprises, coping with limited staffing--that presents unique challenges, and I think that by continuing to do practice anesthesia under that subset of circumstances will keep me, you know, sharp. And the second, more pedestrian reason is that the additional pay cut for not taking call would be more than our family can afford at this point.

So! Huzzah for call! The good thing is that, because of some strange quirk in the schedule, my weekend call for the last third of the year was fairly front-loaded, meaning that once we get past mid-October I won't have very much (or really any) weekend call until after Christmas. The bad part of this is that I'm currently in the middle of a stretch in which I am on call every other weekend for a month and a half. Sigh. C'est la guerre. 

I don't really mind--I'd rather be on call now than later on in the year anyway, especially once we hit that Halloween-Thanksgiving-Christmas stretch and seemingly every weekend is programmed to the hilt with Fall Festivals, canned food drives and Winter Wonderlands wherein you pay $3 to shoot Santa out of a cannon. (That's accurate for a school Winter Wonderland festival, right? I don't know, I've never gotten to attend because I've always been working. Other possibility: pelt cans of Coca Cola at a guy wearing a polar bear outfit.) 

And still, even at its most dense, this call configuration is better than during my Peds residency, when I was on call some portion of three out of four weekends per month. Remember those days? When having a "golden weekend," rare and exalted as a unicorn, simply meant that it was a weekend that we weren't at work? Current medical trainees: it gets better. Soon (not that soon, but sooner than it seems to you at this point) you will look back on these days with rueful affection and wonder how the hell you used to live like that. And then you will dive into your swimming pool filled with gold dubloons and the grateful tears of your patients and swim around like Scrooge McDuck.

OK, that last part is not true at all (and at some point I would like to talk more about this: the notions that society has about how doctors live and how many of us--especially those of us who started in practice within the last 10 year--actually live) but I'll save that for another day when I have more time and am not rushing to get ready for work pre-call. However, I will leave this here, as an illustrative example and a thanks. Thumbs up to all the people who identified those geriatric shoes in my last entry as Clarks Wallabees--they cost more than $100 when purchased new, so, you know, out of my budget. But then I looked on eBay (highly recommended an online searchable thrift store--you can really find some very nice items on there if you're fairly specific about what you're looking for and don't mind the pre-owned factor occasionally) and scored this lightly worn pair in my size for less than $26.

I am now one step closer to my life goal of becoming Carl Fredrickson.

Thank you again. Carry on.


  1. Anonymous9:03 PM

    Congrats on the shoe score! This is how I have managed to score my last three pairs of $100+ retail Birkenstocks for less than $30 each :)-- I don't care if they're last years model, all I care about it how the feel. Bargains are awesome.

  2. Canadian Jenn9:23 PM

    So glad you are posting more frequently again! I've missed your writing!!

  3. Ha you are living the dream! Love your blog. A sincere thanks for sharing.

  4. Anonymous9:51 PM

    yaaay! i love your posts! keep posting!!

  5. Swimming Pool Equipment

    Too cool!
    I’m truly enjoying the design and layout of your blog. It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a designer to create your theme?
    Excellent work!

  6. Anonymous5:50 PM

    I wore Wallabys in college after suffering from shin splints. They are worth every penny. I did a lot of walking and they were the only comfortable shoes I could find (that was before the ubiquitous trainers we all wear now).

  7. Anonymous4:40 PM

    Are you seriously saying you can't afford to live on an oculoplastic surgeons salary alone?

  8. "I am now one step closer to my life goal of becoming Carl Fredrickson." :D :D :D

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