Some days inspiration comes from the simplest of comforts. Today it is coffee with vanilla soy milk and a warm bowl of old fashioned oats with honey. Maple leaves are blowing past the window, and gray skies abound.
Ah, the conundrum of Fridays. Even though I have the luxury of working from home, my schedule is determined by my company’s needs. As hospitals’ needs run 24/7, and fewer folks want to work night hours, I set my schedule to be split – half days, half nights. This works fairly well around my child’s time at home and my need to NOT work 8 consecutive hours. But one Friday evening, I wanted to attend a music event and from then on I realized I would never have a Friday night to myself if I did not make this an 8-hour shift. Good intentions to have some sort of life away from my computer, but the reality is when I am done working from 10a to 6:30p, I am fried. Caput. After 8 consecutive hours of translating human voice via earphones, I need a couch and silence like an infant needs milk.
There are unspoken rules in medical transcription: 1) Working a weekend day is standard, something I have done for 10 years for a variety of employers, 2) You provide your own computer, basic software, and resources like medical spellcheckers, references, 3) You set your schedule to meet the highest demands of the accounts, 4) You are paid by the line of text, so all the research time you take to keep up on the latest pharmaceuticals and surgical equipment is ‘your time.’
Essentially it is white collar factory work done 99.9% by women – hence the lowest pay for any “knowledge work” I have encountered in any field.
It has sustained me for 17 years, albeit at the same pay rate for the entire time, but it is a job that provides benefits for my child, and for the first time ever I will find myself in 2012 with 10 paid days of vacation. . . something I have found at no other company in my 17 years.
Back to my coffee, and the day.