This site contains the highly fictionalized ramblings of a raconteur looking for a place in the medical world. The vignettes presented are cobbled together from various and sundry places.  Any resemblance to actual people, places, or events is purely coincidental.

And, I like to photograph things in lieu of words some days.


corporate america laid me off


With a phone call, a stroll to HR, and a handshake, I became unemployed October 19th, 2009.

I was a professional computer geek.  My job consisted of working as all the following things on a regular basis: a database administrator, a project manager, a consultant, a trainer, a manager, and a systems analyst/architect.  I was generally a nice guy to work with.  That's all gone now.  Except for the nice guy part.

I'd been working since I was somewhere in the single digits.  I grew up in the restaurant business because my father had a partnership in several restaurants in succession over the years.  He's from Greece, mom is from Pennsylvania.  That makes me that sort of half-breed with a strong work ethic and the need to stay busy constantly.  Therefore my life consisted of school and work for many years.

Then I got a gig working in a retail pharmacy thirteen or so years ago.  Learning about Rx drugs was fun, and it lasted a while, but I wanted to make more money.  So I dropped out of college, took a job with that same company's corporate tech support, and moved out of my parents house.  Officially at that point I was a member of the white collar workforce.  I moved into investment banking in early 1999 and had a damn good run until last week.

Well, that's not entirely true.  The last six months or so I had the worst boss in history.  A shitforbrains who always seemed to think he knew better.  A couple bosses back I learned a very valuable lesson;  Always have people smarter than you working for you.  Essentially, they should know more about specific things.  As the boss you should know more about general management things.  And hey, it worked well for me until shitforbrains came along.  He's an ass.  An ass that actually took a vacation while the big bosses laid us off.  But I digress, let me back up a bit.

I was restless at work for the last six months.  I hated the idea of staring at a computer screen every day, despite the stupidly obese salary they were giving me.  Some folks would argue that I shoulda kept my pie hole shut, did my 40 hours, and left it at that.

I'm just not that kinda guy folks.

Last July I started seriously considering school since I never finished college.  I stared long and hard at my resume and looked over the skill set I'd amassed.  Would you believe I distilled it down to two professions that interested me?  If you remove the medical training from either of them, I fit perfectly into the molds of:

Mortuary Sciences and Nursing

I have no problem with the dead.  I'd done some ride-alongs with friends at their funeral home and saw, firsthand, what they do with dead bodies.  Grisly as it sounds, I didn't flinch.  Or more importantly, barf.  Yes, it is gross to be threading someone's jaw shut through their nose (wait, you didn't know they did that?) and/or stuffing cotton up the decedents backside but hey, the reason we create the funeral experience is to help the living, not the dead.

Mortuary schools tend to only offer classes during the day.  There are very few programs in my area at night (which was necessary pre-lay off), and none of them are guaranteed to happen because let's face it, how many folks are entering the industry these days unless they come from a family who is in the business?  I grew up with short-order cooks and waitresses, not caskets and embalming supplies.  And no, I don't want to open a restaurant.

Nursing.  One of those professions that I'd always known was out there, staffed by perhaps the most interesting folks in healthcare.  I'm not blowing smoke up anyones ass when I suggest that nursing is the coolest job in the medical universe.  There are more flavors of nurses than any other healthcare professional (at least in my current research) and they provide the most hands-on healthcare in any of the systems I've learned about.

In August I began my pre-requisite work for both programs.  They are strikingly similar in requirements, with some nuanced differences as you progress, but I figured I'd keep an open mind and stay on course for either.

And then a family emergency hit hard and my father was taken to the SICU. He had a temporary pacemaker implanted, and then a permanent one.

Remember what I said about hands-on healthcare and nurses?  The nurses who took care of my father explained, patiently, every detail of what was going on.  They were amazing.  I'd never seen my father that sick and it scared the shit out of me. With a gentle hand and a clear way of explaining things, they brought us through those dark times with very few bumps.  My father is healthy and well today, maybe a month or so after this all went down.  I don't think any of my family could have made it through without those nurses.

If I was on the fence about choosing my path, after my father had all that drama I decided on my career.  I want to be an R.N.

You have to crawl before you walk, and walk before you run.  So on the 26th of October, just one week after being fired, I was interviewed and accepted into an 8 week CNA training program that begins in January.  With no job at the moment, the CNA training should lead me nicely into the world of the hospital.

This blog is intended to chronicle that journey and more.  My long term goal is to become an R.N.  My short term goal is to get my CNA and start actually working in the industry.

So let the journey begin here.  Ride along with me and we'll chat.  If I can keep my sanity along the way, I'll tell you some good stories.
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