This August I landed a relaxed 4 month job placement in Psychiatry of Old Age and, oh boy, was it a pace changer! Our work very much matches our clients - things here move S L O W L Y.
No pressure really, lots of cups of tea and talking. Meetings. Visits. Maybe avoiding a bite or scratch here and there, or finding ingenious ways of trying to take blood from somebody who's trying to kiss you and hit you pretty much simultaneously. But overall it's very chillaxed.
In contrast, all of last year I was slaving away in medicine and surgery of a busy general hospital to the point of burn out. Staying regularly for hours of unpaid overtime, being screamed at, hated, criticised and generally being expected to do AT LEAST 4 to 5 things at any one time. No time for lunch breaks a lot of the days. Some days - no toilet breaks. Coming back home unable to gather enough strength to re-heat a stale pancake. I kept DREAMING of having some of my time and life back, or at least enough energy to enjoy the odd evening.
Now that I've got it, I've quite forgotten what to do with it.
Today I had a spectacularly disastrous odd shift in a different place for extra money, Ended up staying 3 hours late just to document all the damage in case I get sued. Lovely.
It consisted of a horrible encounter with a relative who threatened to write to a newspaper to blame me personally for his son's future problems, being unable to do things in a timely fashion for lack of resources but still being given the evil eye by the staff who expected me to do the tasks, and a complete lack of co-operation or effective communication with the team that I was supposed to be working with. Chaos and complete ineffectiveness. Lovely.
It made me pull my hair, bang my head on the desk on several occasions, and run around through car parks and bushes looking for a completely unmarked building in the hospital grounds maze, just to find a computer I could log onto.
And yet, as I cycled back through the dark streets, the pain in my stressed cramped shoulders slowly giving way, I felt strangely... accomplished. Needed. For the first time in weeks! Having given extra, I felt... proud of a job thoroughly done. Proud of the process at least, as the result wasn't very positive.
I felt proud to have cared.
What is wrong with me??? I have some kind of unhealthy relationship with abusive working conditions I suppose.
Or maybe I just need to get a life.