“What do you do?” is a question that I get asked most frequently, and now that I am staying home, I don’t have a succinct answer. Somedays, it makes me feel somewhat useless, like being unpaid somehow makes me a lazy, incompetent person, but other days, I am just thankful that I don’t have to mention where I USED to work.

I won’t get into the reasons that I hated being a floor nurse, not right here, not right now (luckily for everyone, November is a long 30 days, so I just may do so at a later date). Suffice to say, that when I found an office job (sort of) using my degree, I was thrilled.

(cue ominous music now.)

It was working for an insurance company. A big one. You probably hate this one.

This made polite conversation with strangers nearly impossible, as every time I’d make mention of where I worked, the horror stories came a-rollin’ in. Strangers would practically spit at me, so enraged they would become when thinking of how horrid the company had been to them. I heard more horror stories than I ever would’ve expected walking into the gig. And I didn’t doubt that a single one was completely true.

Before you start sticking pins in a voodoo doll made in my likeness or burning me at the stake, like everyone else did, I was a good guy.

My job was to extend benefits for terminal patients who had decided against any further treatments and were only seeking to make their end of life experience as dignified and pain-free as possible. It’s called Hospice, and it’s a wonderful institution, one that I get behind 100%. They come into your home as often as needed, give pain medications, care for the patient and support the family during this hard time.

Some of the employer groups would give only a minimal amount of days for a patient to be covered by hospice (and since most people only would accept the hospice philosophy when the threat of death is looming, therefore only needing a day or two of hospice care, this is less heinous than you’d imagine), part of my job was to extend these benefits so that these people did not have to worry about cost of care during this time.

I also spent my time doing something similar for non-terminal but complex patients who needed a nurse to come into the home for many hours each day. I got report on these patients periodically, verified that these were skilled needs (vent care, etc.), identified then filled gaps in care, and would write proposals to keep these people in their homes (not admitted to the hospital where they could pick up something far worse) and well cared for.

I can all but swear that I never denied a single thing to these people, despite what the haters that I met thought of me. It had a way of getting me down, after awhile, I’ll be honest with you. Imagine that every time that you mentioned your employer, someone would complain at you for being part of the problem, regardless of which department that you worked in. It was discouraging.

When the dreaded hyperemesis began and I had to go on LOA, there was a shark circling my job. It was being moved to Texas, and I was to be transferred into a department that I had no desire to go to.

But sometimes I miss what I used to do. People were GRATEFUL for what I did and it made me feel like a better person (many days, at least), and I was doing something that I believed in. As much as I love staying home with the Sausage Factory, it’s not always as rewarding as a paid gig can be. I don’t get a bonus/raise/mad props for removing stains in record time, nor does anyone thank me for the great job that I did vacuuming today, and usually no one notices if I’ve put the clothes away perfectly or not. In fact, no one notices what I do AT ALL unless I haven’t done it.

I do admit, though, I don’t miss people making the sign of the devil at me.

Comments = full of the awesome. Like gravy. I can haz an RSS RSS feed .

11 Responses to SiCKER

  • Josh Hawkins says:

    I have to say, as me, a male bachelor slacker, I have no real idea what a stay-at-home mom does. I’m curious. I’m also jealous (the grass is always greener thing).

    I would also like to stipulate here, I do know enough to know that being a full-time parent, is a full-time plus significant overtime job.

    I want a break down of the whole day, you know, 7:53pm, cleaned up after dinner, 8:01 put kids to bed, 8:29 bitch slapped husband because he’s not a good enough motherfucker, 10:03, wrapped hand in ice from previous hour of bitch slapping, etc. That’s just me, but you asked for blog ideas, and that’s mine.

    Also, I would like to point out here that yesterday you referred to your husband as a “motherfucker” in a derogatory manner. Ummm…you are a mother, you want to get fucked. Don’t you want him to be a motherfucker? A big motherfucker? Just wondering.

  • Pauline says:

    Read my blog post from today. You’ll remember why working sucks. :) And Becky, here is me patting you on the back for all the hard work you do around the house. Your house looks great (seriously, I was there. I know these things…). Your kids are awesome and happy. So, it goes to show that you are obviously very very good at your job. :)

  • becky says:

    Josh, I will do this for you because you asked so nicely (also, to make sure you’ll never be jealous again), but do you want me to do it for serious or joking? If it’s for serious, you might actually die from boredom. I nearly avoid that every day.

    Yes, indeed I DO want to be a motherfucker. Getting laid is awesome.

  • becky says:

    Hey, thanks Pauline! You’re very sweet. I hope that my house looks good, I spend enough time working on it, but I have a nasty Martha Stewart in my brain that keeps reminding me how much better I SHOULD be. She’s annoying.

  • Chris says:

    This last month, I’d FREAKING KILL to be home with young children. You can have my job. Really.

  • becky says:

    Some (most) days, I’d do it for you Chris. For reals.

  • Josh Hawkins says:

    Serious, humorous, whatever makes you happy. And you’d be surprised at what I can be jealous of in this world. C’mon, you are talking to a guy who gets less action then Elmo, which is by the way, a horribly painful realization in life, and thanks for reminding me that sex is wonderful. Thanks a lot…. ;)

  • becky says:

    Is sex wonderful? I CAN’T REMEMBER!

    And I’m going to work on this, it’ll probably be a nice cross between them.

  • Juli says:

    Ah, my newfound hyperemetic sister-in-arms. Been there, done that, albeit 18 years ago – the memories are still quite vivid, though.

    Can I just take this moment to thank you for being that kind of insurance company person? I don’t know or care if you were with my Mom’s insurance company, but I don’t think I ever thanked them for all they did when my Mom was dying, so I’ll just thank you by proxy, OK?

  • becky says:

    Hi Juli!

    I’m glad that your insurance company was able to help you during such a hard time. I have no clue if I was the one who handled her case or not, but if I did, I can promise you that I did everything I could for her. Trust me when I say that I really cared about my patients. And you’re welcome, it’s so nice to hear something positive about an insurance company.

  • Cathy says:

    I work for One Of Those companies as well, and actually had someone yell at me at a bar because they work for our competition. I actually work in a call center and after taking 100 calls a day I can’t tell you how envious I am that you get to see your kids all day, everyday. The grass is def. greener on your side.

    I don’t take a single moment for granted. I’m sorry. I know how hard that job is.

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