Posted by: Kate | July 19, 2006

I Know Everything

I’ve suspected as much for quite a while now, but I’ve recently had it confirmed: I know everything I need to know. Wicked smahhhhht, I tell you.

I started my job about a month ago now (so how much longer until it doesn’t count as a “new” job anymore?), and for whatever reason they didn’t schedule me for any of the typical new-job orientations or trainings or whatever. Which I am grateful for. Last year, I taught at a tiny little artsy college, one course in the evenings and never saw a single other staff member or secretary or janitor or anyone the whole time, just my 5 students and that was it. And yet I had to sit through an 8-hour orientation day with all new and returning faculty, during which I wrote my syllabus, made all sorts of to-do lists for myself and everyone else I could possibly boss around, and drew a tiny and intricate maze over an entire sheet of notebook paper. If it had gone on much longer, I’d have had a little pile of origami boxes and paper airplanes on my lap.

So, when I started here, I figured it was inevitable. It’s a mental health agency which means lots of self-promotion and paperwork from each department, all of whom seem to believe that they are unique and memorable, and I’m a full-time clinician, so I was resigned to some interminable time in a small room where my sole function was going to be to try not to absorb every tiny little detail they threw at me. And I got an orientation schedule in the mail the other week – THREE FULL DAYS of introductions and reviews of topics like “how to do paperwork” and “how not to have sex with clients.” Oh, you can just imagine how excited I was.

But then I asked my supervisor, N (whom I *love*, she has got to be one of the smartest and most human people I have ever encountered in management… I wonder who screwed up to let someone like that have some power), what I should do about the Monday training. I don’t work Mondays, so if I was going to attend the training, did I bill for that as overtime, or take another day off, or what? And she decided, nah, I didn’t need to learn how to do Non-Violent Conflict Resolution (let’s just pretend that it’s because I already know how and not because I need to get Mace and a big stick to continue working here), let’s scratch that day off the list.

Then I realized that on Friday, my regular Friday coworker will be away, so I’ll be alone in the office. Which is fine with me, but if I’m supposed to go to a training that means leaving the office unstaffed… which is probably bad, right? Yes, Nancy agreed… and I really didn’t need to do the paperwork-and-departmental-blurbs section of things, since I’m already doing paperwork and she can give me blurbs on whichever departments I need to know about. Which apparently means this one and that’s it.

Fantastic. So now I’m just down to one day of training, Thursday. But it just so happens that on Thursday my department has scheduled a big meeting/colloquium/talkfest at one of the local hospitals, where we tell them what they’re doing wrong as far as working with us is concerned, but we give them breakfast so that makes it all okay. And Nancy would rather have me there, learning more about what actually happens in my job, than in a training learning about medications and why it would be bad to kill a client and bury them on company property. Go figure.

So – no training for me. I keep telling Willem that I already know everything and he should just start deferring to me and saving himself the trouble (ha ha) but now I have some external support for that!

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