"We want you to come work for us", said the man on the phone.
This was the turning point I had been waiting for. All these years, all my knowledge and experience had come down to this.
So I drove on down the road apiece to a hospital that was part of my past and present, and now to be my future. I knew this place well, and its people I loved and admired was to become a new family in a short while. When I walked into the lab, I saw it with new eyes, as I had never really seen it before. Having accepted the position I had dreamed about, fretted about, worried about, and ultimately decided I wanted more than anything, I viewed the lab as my own now.
SUPERVISOR. MANAGER. It had finally come to this. I was ready for this opportunity and prepared to take on additional responsibility. The hospital I was currently working at would be very hard to leave, true. So I decided to stay there PRN as I would pour my time and energy into the new place.
I have big shoes to fill. I am taking the helm from an excellent med tech who has been there for FORTY years in the same hospital as manager. He is known, loved, and admired by every employee in the hospital. He can never really be replaced, but I will do my best to uphold the standards he has set and to improve on them even more. It was hard holding back the tears last week at his retirement party, as I never saw this day coming six years ago when I first walked in the door and he gave me a chance. He waited for me to move from another town, and gladly took me under his wing. We had an instant rapport. He will be missed, but it's nice knowing he's just down the road if I should ever need him or just want to shoot the breeze with him. I told him that old techs never die, they just go on to play more golf, which I am sure he will be doing with relish. He will also have more time for those "honey-dos" around the house I am sure his wife will have lined up for him. He deserves this. It is his time.
Now it is also my time. My time to put my accumulation of skills to the test. Not only will I be responsible for the hospital laboratory and its personnel, but also the clinic lab within the hospital, the lab contracts for two nursing homes, three additional outpatient clinics (including one in another town), and a phlebotomist stationed at yet another clinic in town. A huge responsibility I will strive every day to meet.
It will be a challenge, for sure. The biggest challenge, though? Trying to switch gears to become a day person after a couple of decades of working almost solely nights. My family likes my new schedule, and it no doubt will do both them and myself a world of good. But lots of coffee will be a requirement. So tomorrow, as I begin my first day on the job, my primary goal will be to set up a coffee pot in the lab, and make a coffee bar of sorts for myself and employees, with flavorings, cups, sugar, creamer, etc. Hard to believe this lab doesn't even have a coffee pot, but it will now.
One goal to meet tomorrow. Then the real work begins. I have set many goals for myself and my lab, some small, some large. They will be achieved as fully as possible. I am realistic; I know some will, and some won't. But you know what will happen if one doesn't even try? NOTHING. And I've never been a person to settle. I am excited, anxious, happy, and a little apprehensive as I wade into uncharted waters here. But I know what I know, and have had many years to build on. If I don't know enough to run a lab by now, I never will.
So, it was with great joy that I accepted the opportunity presented me. After all, who knows when the opportunity might present itself again? The road of my career has taken so many twists and turns, and there were many forks along the way, prompting me to decide which way to go - left or right? Or perhaps through the pasture, where there WAS no road, whereupon I constructed my own? This chance felt right and I am so lucky to have so many supportive people behind me who have NEVER told me I couldn't do something. So I - I chose the road less traveled. I have a feeling I am in for the ride of my life. I intend to savor every moment.