Thursday, March 23, 2006

And it's money that will make the monkey dance.

Texas sucked. Actually the state of Texas was fine but the trip was bad because I had a sinus headache which turned into a migraine by the time I landed in Dallas. I was in so much pain that I rushed through everything that I needed to look at and promptly went back to the airport to catch an earlier flight home. Unfortunately the 4pm flight only had middle seats left and when I'm feeling this crappy I can NOT be sitting in-between 2 people. I decided to go to TGI Fridays and force myself to eat something. My friend called me and told me to take the following; 2 benedryl, 4 ibuprofen, a bottle of Coke (cola not the narcotic) and an icepack for my head. She guaranteed this would help and stayed on the phone while I found the stuff at one of the airport stores. (I can't drink Coke because it usually leads to a headache so I substituted it with water). Miraculously my headache was gone in an hour. I feel asleep on the flight home and by the time I landed in Chicago I was 100% better.

I think I've mentioned before how much I love airports. It's such a cool place to people watch and I love observing the different subset of people coming together. First you have business travelers; Women in power suits, men in wrinkle-free slacks. These people are the most likely to have really loud mobile conversations as if there weren't 100 people around them. Come on folks, it's called cell phone etiquette 101. These are also the people most likely to have those conversations you find on British Airways commercials; "No honey, daddy will be home tomorrow" or "Your gym shoes are next to the back door by your boots." I too have these conversations although I make sure that people in the terminal 2 miles away can't hear me. Next you have your vacationers. The people who look at the airport terminal map over and over so they can plan out how best to get to their next flight. The international terminal is best place to see the long awaited reunions like those on the closing credits for Love Actually. Warm embraces, maybe even a few tears. Once when we were picking up my dad from the airport I saw a woman breakdown in the arms of her family as she passed through the gates. I assumed someone passed away and my mind raced with the possibilities; a husband? a parent? a child? My eyes welled up thinking about how her life was forever altered by this event.

Anyway, I took the long way around to the point of this post which is Jobs I've Had (Thanks to Wandernut who tagged me *glaring look*). I realize that even though my job is nice, it is never as cool as it sounds when people hear about it. (Also known as the Grass is Greener on the Other Side Syndrome). I think it would be cool to be a journalist or a graphic designer or work at an ad agency or be a hip physic's professor or a doctor, resident, or lawyer or the Queen of a call center. Even temporarily unemployed people are cool.

So without further adieu, the job's I've had:

Office Monkey at the Church Rectory: I was only 13 and my mom had to sign some papers because of child labor laws. I thought it was a ton of money at the time. I used to answer the phone and make sandwiches for homeless people. I used to have the radio on in the back office and by divine intervention I was caller 95 for a radio station contest and won tickets to my first U2 concert.

Weekend Monkey at a Real Estate Office: My sister had the job and recommended me when she went away to university. I was a senior in high school and I thought it was a ton of money at the time. This was the first time I ever used a fax machine and had access to the internet. The office was in the most affluent suburb in the state and there was rarely a house listed for under $1 million US. The people were really nice and I loved being there. They took up a collection as a going away gift when I went to India and gave me close to $500.

Emergency Room Helper Monkey: Probably my most favorite job of all time. I did everything from change the sheets in between patients to bag up bodies for the morgue. I worked every weekend during university and these people became my closest friends during that time. The day shift meant music and food and dirty jokes. I would be laughing during a game of charades one minute and performing chest compressions on a man who was found unresponsive the next. THAT'S what I loved about it. You never knew what you were getting on every given day. I also learned the importance of superstition: Anyone who said "Looks like you're having a quiet day" was banished with a dirty look. Full moon nights meant the day would be filled with nuts. This is also where I saw that death brings out the very best and the very worst in people. Word of advice to all my friends in blogland: Tell your family your wishes for when you pass away otherwise in a moment of emotional crisis everyone will argue about what they think you wanted. I've had siblings literally fight each other in the same room with their mother's body.

Research Assistant Monkey: I worked on a National Institutes of Health study which sounds impressive but basically entailed drawing blood and collecting urine from patients every 30 minutes. I had my first publication but I also had my first patient, someone who I had gotten to know for a year, pass away from complications of kidney failure. This is a long term study in which people will be contacted periodically until they die. Some of my original patients are still alive. One of them even sends me a birthday card every year.

Coordinator Monkey: One step up from assistant but tons more responsibility. I eventially became a senior coordinator which just means they added managing people to my job description. I hated being a manager. Way too many personalities to contend with.

Associate Managing Monkey: It was an international study with sites in 8 countries. I worked for TL and we made magic together. As manager she went to Paris, Brazil, and Egypt. I didn't really go anywhere except the hospital down the street. We planned a meeting to be held on an exotic island and I was finally approved to go. 1 month later the company was taken over in a merger and the study was cancelled.

Director Monkey: I managed an office that worked hard to keep research going at a hospital. We were told we had support but in the end they listened to the one person they shouldn't have. There was politics involved in all this (as there is in every business). The woman resented TL and we knew that she would get rid of her. For me it was death by association. I went to them and said it was fine if they were thinking of getting rid of me but my staff deserved better. They said they appreciated my willingness to handle this without discourse and discontent and I said "Oh no, I think this sucks but I'm also a strong believer in karma and what you put out will be returned". She looked at me as if I just cast some sort of voodoo spell on her. They gave me 3 extra weeks of pay for my severance as a gesture of good will (also known as we fucked up money). The week after we left, TL and I got offered new jobs for more money. That idiot woman who made the decision to phase out our jobs is single-handedly being blamed for a sharp decrease in research. Instant karma can be a bitch.

Work from Home Monkey: I work in research and although I spend most of my time in my home office compiling reports and data, I sometimes have to fly to different states to audit the work of my team. If possible I try and avoid this at all cost as it requires that I shower and actually run a comb through my hair. Actually I'm pretty disciplined considering I work from home. I never turn on the TV during the day and I try to get up every hour just to stretch or grab some water. I am however proned to start long conversations with the Fed Ex delivery person or mail carrier as they may be my only face to face contact during the day.

There you have it. Not too bad considering I'm in my early thirties. Next week the magic of Minty's fridge contents will be revealed.


Blogger Jay says...

Monkey you may be, but successful (and highly paid) you are. I'd envy you, but there's just no point.

Queen of a call centre (and fucking everything)

Fri Mar 24, 05:30:00 PM CST  
Blogger Beks says...

I didn't know one could take so many painkillers at the same time, I'm always spacing out my 2 paracetemol opver 4-5 hours.
I'm also really impressed that you work from home, I don't think I could do it! Your job/jobs all sound really cool. We all suffer from the grass being greener.

Fri Mar 24, 10:08:00 PM CST  
Blogger Sunrayz says...

mint!! i got a propah job for two months!!one i love!
**runs away screaming like a cannibal who has found its prey**

Sat Mar 25, 04:02:00 AM CST  
Anonymous Cory says...

It's okay to say Texas sucks, it does.

Sat Mar 25, 12:59:00 PM CST  
Blogger Dustin says...

not too bad at all

Sat Mar 25, 08:54:00 PM CST  
Blogger sinusoidally says...

Not just a resident mint chutney, EM resident! I matched at my top choice few days ago.

Your list of jobs is very impressive. Very much so.

Sun Mar 26, 05:35:00 PM CST  
Blogger Mint Chutney says...

Jay: You are the Queen of everything.

B.: In all honesty I was downright sleepy and then by the time I got home at 9pm I was SO wide awake for hours.

Sun!! Congrats! I'm so happy for you!

Cory: Welcome. The people on Texas were very nice. I did notice the women do love their blond streaks and highlights.

Dustin: Thanks.

Sinu!! You did it! Congrats to you as well. 95% of ER docs that I know are SO cool. I'm sure you will fall into that category.

Sun Mar 26, 09:38:00 PM CST  
Anonymous Anonymous says...

to bad i didn't tell him my username

Tue Mar 28, 12:13:00 PM CST  
Blogger Wandernut says...

"Bagging up bodies for morgue."

Wow. And I thought watching a tooth extraction was painful enough.

Cool jobs Minty babe! :)

Tue Mar 28, 10:11:00 PM CST  

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