Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: PHONE (11/10/16)
TITLE: Job Evaluation
By Donna Powers
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Before I sat down in Kim’s office, I checked my on-call phone to be sure it was turned on. After all, I was on the clock.
She began, “Janie, you're doing a great job. You're reliable, the patients love you, and best of all,
your paperwork is always legible.”
I'd have laughed, but I knew she was serious. Kim had a thing about neat handwriting. “Glad to help,” I joked.
She smiled. But instead of showing me my review, she said, “Janie, Mary Beth is retiring, and we’d like to offer you her job.”
That was a shock: Mary Beth is the company's training manager, and I can't imagine the company without her guiding our new nurses.
And… me? Training manager? No way! For one thing, I love being an on-call nurse. I love not knowing where I'll be headed. I loved leaving my nights in God's hands. On rare nights, I even get to spend a few hours with my family between calls. I told her that, and protested, “I don't have even half of Mary Beth's patience. She's phenomenal with the new nurses.”
Kim nodded. “Yes she is. But the last three nurses who you’ve trained have told us you’re a great teacher. I really think you can do this, Janie.”
“What about on-call?” I patted my on-call phone, to remind her of the need for someone to be in the field.
She responded, “Those new nurses you trained so well have been doing great work as part-timers, and two of them are ready to work full time. We plan for Chandra to stay on night shift and Bob to work the evening shift.
“And I'd be stuck in a classroom all day?” Although I was flattered by this job offer, I'd miss being with patients.
Kim answered: “For the most part, yes. But you'd work with each new nurse during their first few days, so you’d still spend time in the field.
I didn't know what to say.
Kim seemed to sense that. “Look, Janie. I know you weren't expecting this job offer, so take a few days to decide. But we all feel you'd be the best person for the job.”
I wanted to decline right then. I love my job, with the incessant ringing and texting of my phone; dictating the randomness of the patients I see. I'd also gotten used to working 7pm-7am, and couldn't imagine working day shift.
Wait! Day shift...
Suddenly I remembered a conversation I'd had with my daughter Lila, on one of the last evenings when I’d had a few hours off. On that evening, when I'd placed my cell phone on the table as we began playing checkers, she sighed and rolled her eyes.
“What?” I'd asked her.
She pointed to the phone. “I hate that thing!” she said. “It always rings, and then you have to leave. I wish you didn't get so many phone calls.”
I understood how she might feel, but that phone was a lifeline for the patients. “Lila, that's not fair,” I told her. “When I get calls, it's because someone needs help. You know about my job. I help people who are getting ready to go to heaven. When people are sick like that, sometimes they’re in pain or scared. The phone tells me where to go to help those people.”
“I know,” she sighed. “But I wish someone else could do that – and you'd be home every night.”
“Your Daddy is here with you,” I reminded her.
She shrugged. “Daddy’s not you.”
We talked some more, and she said she understood. We had a great time playing until the phone called me away. As I left for the call, I felt sad about Lila's words, but didn't see a way out of the situation. I love my job, and it comes with a phone attached. I resolved to give Lila my best attention whenever we were together.
But, now....maybe this job was what Lila and I needed? What if this job was God’s hand in my life?
I turned and faced Kim. “I figure we have a few minutes tonight gets complicated,” I began. “Tell me more about this job.”
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