Never leave a job half done

I applied for a job yesterday. One I’m feeling rather less confident than usual that I’ll get, and one that I’m not entirely sure I want. I feel confident the interview panel will not be reading of my doubts regarding the position.

My job is largely delaying the inevitable – keeping the old ticker ticking along, maintaining the vitality of the vital signs and endeavouring to maintain oxidative metabolism at the cellular level. Eventually this all stops, this is pretty much universal. And personally I know I’ll look back and see it as no bad thing. I’m keenly awaiting Human Mk II – to see if they get round to fixing the current bugs (total system failure, usually occurring between year 0 and 100) and possibly reconsidering the idea of putting the reproductive and waste disposal systems so close together.

No doubt they’ll just make the bum a bit curvier, add a spoiler and double the price…

Occasionally I am lucky enough to be involved in actually improving someone’s quality of life or return them after their brief tango with the grim reaper to a relatively normal (and more importantly dignified, satisfied and even enjoyable) level of function. An awful lot of us do seem to enjoy being alive, no matter how much we complain about the weather or X-Factor.

Since qualifying I’ve largely been soothing my ego running around resuscitation rooms wearing scrubs and shouting STAT and such. Well not really but I do tend to slip into the adrenaline junkie type of doctor (you could actually try being a literal adrenaline junkie and see how long you last – heroin is much more of a long term career move…) Medicine is both good and bad for me. It does indeed feed my ego. It also gives me opportunities to practise (definitely practise!) such good old fashioned concepts as humanity, compassion and a job done well for the sake of it being well done. I have a complex relationship with my work, it’s not the work’s fault, I manage to form complex relationships with everything.

Since Da got sick I’ve not been working and have filled my time with writing meandering self-deprecating blogs and and even the odd depressing fairy tale. Throw in a very occasional shift as a locum in A&E and a couple of hours cutting up dead bodies and it seems my week is filled.

I’m fairly under confident about the job, seeing as it specifies experience in a speciality I have no experience in. It also states that the successful applicant will have (I’ve never understood the use of the future tense in job applications) a firm commitment to a career in such and such a speciality. Which I also don’t have.

In my favour, I am the only doctor I know personally who is currently unemployed (I’m sure there are others floating about somewhere given last years fiasco) and as a result am immediately available whereas everyone else will have to wait another 2 months to get out of their contracts.

What worries me is not so much not getting the job but what if I do actually get it? It’ll mean getting up every morning (though to be fair I’m up at 0730 most days), only getting 3 cups of coffee in a day, having to stop cutting up dead bodies and start piecing together live ones, having to wear a shirt and tie to work (possibly one of the most daunting prospects), not having time for people and receding into my little self protective shell which I seem to have been coming out of of late, because of boredom if nothing else.

If nothing else it might save you from quite so much poetic disintegrated psychobablehicoughup that makes fascinating reading as my former boss described what I write.

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November 2007
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