Thursday, April 10, 2008


HighCalling Blogs is hosting a meme about odd jobs and what you've learned from them.

Here are the rules:

1. Write a post about some strange job you’ve had and what you learned from it.

2. Link to other “Lessons from Odd Jobs” posts around the network, or quote them in your post with proper attribution. This isn’t a requirement, but it’s a fun way to get people moving around the network and reading each other.

3. Tag your post “lessons from odd jobs”—if you use technorati tags or another form of meta-tags.

4. Tag other bloggers by linking to them in your post and inviting them to participate in the meme. Tag as many people as you like—we’re not limiting this just to people in the network!

5. Link back to Lessons from Odd Jobs in your post and email this month’s host at “Marcus AT highcallingblogs DOT com”.

My odd job was the two years that I spent working for a pathologist. She was not a very nice woman, which is why she was in her 50's and still single. I mean, it was admirable and all that she worked her way from the ghetto of Philadelphia through medical school. But, she had an enormous chip on her shoulder, and looked down on her childhood friends and family as being "uneducated and ghetto." She had one great love in her life, her rat-dog - er, her Maltese dog - Mozart. So, half of my job was preparing food for, brushing, walking, and generally caring for this rat dog. Preparing food involved going to the basement full of body parts in buckets and cooking up an organic chicken breast, cutting it into small pieces, and hand-feeding Moze.

This pathologist, having nothing else in her life but Mozart and work, would work full-time during the day at a local hospital while I acted as office manager/dog sitter for her private pathology practice. This was comprised of a lot of data entry of pap smear results, biopsy results, etc. Almost every day, the couriers would bring a mole, a growth, a bunch of pap smear slides, and the occasional testicle in to the office to be tested for cancer and other things. The worst part of the job, however, was when men seeking fertility testing would come to drop off their "samples." First, I would have to prepare the bathroom for the men to obtain their sample, which involved lighting candles and placing out various gentlemen's magazines. Then, I had to greet the patients, explain the proper way to obtain the sample, answer any questions, wait for them to do their business, then label the sample they gave me once they had collected it in the cup I left out for them. I don't know who was more embarrassed, me or the giggly, red-faced men that sheepishly came and went.

And, so, the lesson I learned from this odd job was that I didn't want to be a career woman. Some women are able to balance a career and a family, and do it well; but, I am not one of those women. I didn't want to sacrifice love, friendship, children, or a kind attitude for the aggressive mien and lonely life I saw in my boss. Being a doctor didn't bring her the respect she craved, even though she wore her lab coat everywhere she went, and the only legacy she was leaving behind was her dog. I love staying home with my girls, focusing on relationships with them and other stay-at-home moms, knowing that I am leaving behind a legacy that will continue long after I am gone.

1 comment:

Tanya said...

Ugh. That is AWFUL! You did this for two years??