I’m terrified. Free as a bird, yes, but nervous. Let me tell you why.
Until yesterday I was a medical secretary. Yours truly has been hiding out in a doctor’s office, pretending to be someone else as most writers – sans the Stephen King types – have to do. At least part-time jobs anyway.
Then, WHAM, yesterday afternoon the doctor’s wife takes me outside and I knew it wouldn’t be good. “Your position is turning in to a full-time one. The fall gets really busy here. And we need a full time person.”
“And you’re not offering me that position?”
“No.” She answered flatly.
“So….you’re firing me?” I asked. Thinking of all the times I stayed after work, busting my ass to get them caught up.
“Well…basically, yes.” She let out a nervous little laugh.
As she stood there looking at me I realized mistakes aside, the medical secretary world wasn’t my gig. But for Pete’s sake, I tried. I typed faster than anyone else, was cheerful on the phone, nice to the patients. I scanned and photocopied as fast as I could. I would stay late to get piles down, get scanning caught up and things in order. All they saw were my mistakes, but if anyone tried hard, I did.
I kind of saw it coming, with each time the token bitch (there’s always one, isn’t there?) would throw me under the bus and say ‘we really need someone full-time’ or ‘of course you get the chart, Wendy!’ It’s like I had a Bull’s Eye for her anger every day on my forehead. I thought someday I’d be asked to leave. There was a clock ticking, the rotten apple didn’t like me. I figured what she wants she gets, she had been there 12 years and all. Yes, mistakes are one thing, but the employee with seniority rules.
Even as I sit here, I’m still processing how my world changed in an instant yesterday. Great! I can write all day! But, eh, ah, er, how will I pay our bills? My fiance can’t work right now and my royalties don’t even cover our rent.
As I bite my fingernails, well a little anyway, I wonder what’s around the corner. Sure if I picked up my book of checks and the apron, I can live DinerGirl while I finish writing it, but it’s so damn unappealing. I can’t bring myself to waitress again unless we have no food in our cupboard and our rent is late. Which in four weeks is a distinct possibility.
So let me get back to why I’m happy.
It’s really very simple.
Once I put my pride aside, they were after all firing me for making too many mistakes, I realized once again: I’m an author. I’ve been broke before and dammit I can be broke again. I’ll never starve, I’ll never be homeless. (I have too many family members in the area! ha!)
Now I’ve got the time, I can get back to finishing DinerGirl. Oh, sure, I’ll be a little broke, but not for long. Things always have a way of turning around.
Change position title to: Full time writer?
Full time starving artist (well, not starving yet…)
Things’ll be turning around soon.
Check. Check. Check.