Wanted: Part Time Calling With Excellent Benefits


As I head In to a six-day stretch (including Mother’s Day weekend) in Folsom prison at work, I find myself scouring craigslist in multiple states daily, hoping against hope that my dream job will appear. It never does…unless my destiny is to be a long-haul truck driver or a masseuse. I don’t think so, though, because I can’t drive more than six hours without stopping for the night, and I’d much rather be the “massagee” than the “massager”.

I thought last week that fate might be trying to send me a message. Two of the women I work with go to the same chiropractor in town. Each of them approached me at different times to let me know that he was looking to take another doctor into his practice and wanted to talk to me. I let it go at first, but then I thought, “What the heck, I’ll send him an e-mail.”

I’ve always had a bad habit of being a people-pleaser, and job interviews are no exception. If the job is one I really want, I find myself promising to do the interviewer’s dry cleaning, take his kids to school, you name it. He turns into my father in my head, and I’m suddenly 10 years old again, with no voice and no demands.

So, I was actually proud of myself when I fired off an e-mail to this chiropractor, telling him what I was looking for, and what I was and was not able to do. A big part of this was the fact that I really only want to work 3 days a week right now, for the sake of my kids and my recovery. Friends of mine who have taken similar positions have made great money, but they have worked 12-15 hours per day.  I hit “send”, and I honestly never expected to hear from him.

Much to my surprise, he called the next day. We talked for a good 30 minutes. Well, mostly he talked and I listened, throwing a few “uh huh”s and “I see”s in every now and then. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of him. His wife just finished treatment for Stage 4 ovarian cancer, so I think he felt a connection to me in some way, since my friends told him all about my breast cancer ordeal.

But mostly, he talked about money. How he was trying to move away from insurance and more to a cash practice. Ok, makes sense so far. But then he kept going on about how much money could be made from all his cutting-edge rehab equipment. And the person he hires could easily make $100,000/year if they were willing to do a little marketing. Continuing on about the position, he said more than once “This has to be profitable for me.”

And then, the coup de grace, he brought up the part in my e-mail about me only wanting to work part time for now. He said “That could be a problem. I work 40-50 hours per week and take paperwork home at night sometimes.” So how did I respond? Of course, I stood my ground and told him that this was non-negotiable, right? Wrong!! I think I said something about wanting to wait a couple of months before I plunge in full time and work those 50-hour weeks. I caved like a house of cards.

Then he said “You do have a husband, right?” What? I told him that I was married. He replied “Good. If you were a single mom, that would be a problem.” I responded with appropriate indignation, right? Wrong!! I babbled on about how my husband was very supportive and willing to help with the kids (so I can work those 50 hour weeks). Which is not even true. Who are we kidding? My husband eats, breathes, and sleeps work. I see him maybe two hours at night and on weekends.

We ended the conversation with me agreeing to come to his office next week and see where things go. I was disappointed with myself almost the moment I hung up. First of all, this man has never met me before and has absolutely no filters. That doesn’t bode well for a pleasant work environment in my book. He was never rude or mean, just clueless. Second, no way am I ready to put in those kinds of hours. And the money thing just bothers me. I’m not against profit, but the whole idea of being a physician giving health lectures at a buffet or tackling people at a mall to get new patients is just “icky” for lack of a better word.

I guess I’m stupid to turn down that kind of income potential, but I’m all about what feels authentic and gives me more time to enjoy life and family these days. So I’ll be firing off another e-mail tomorrow, thanking the good doctor for his time and politely canceling our meeting. And I’ll be back on craigslist….maybe tomorrow will be the day they put in the ad for a rocket scientist, part time of course.


5 thoughts on “Wanted: Part Time Calling With Excellent Benefits

  1. You did the right thing my friend. Right now your job is to be a mother and a survivor. No guilt allowed. None. (Besides, he sounded like a boorish jerk;)

  2. Oh, this one struck a chord. The part about turning into your 10-year-old people-pleasing self is one I’ve been guilty of many a time. Although the single mom thing about made me go through the roof. You get divorced and suddenly you’re lumped into this unreliable group of slackers–who usually are anything but. But I digress:). I’m SO glad you’re following the signs and not taking this. I know it’s hard when the practical and unseen collide but truly–sometimes I feel like we’re tested. And I think you just passed one.

    • I’m learning to listen to my gut these days. It’s slow going because I’ve stuffed it down for a long time. Told it to shut up. I think this will take some practice:)

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