Baby Steps

I keep clicking on the Firefox tab with WordPress on it thinking, I should post something here and then I click on the Microsoft Skydrive tab thinking, I really want to work on my book.  And then I click on the facebook tab to see if I can fish yet.  And I just keep bouncing around between the three tabs trying to figure out what to do now, while effectively doing nothing at all…

I’ve done a little bit of work this morning, which is, of course, what I should be doing.  But I either don’t have a lot to do right now, or I’ve forgotten something terribly important…  Honestly?  Either one is possible.

I’m not sure why I’m not more enthusiastically following through…  Well, maybe it’s more accurate to say that my enthusiasm for the two writing options is equal and one seems to cancel out the other.  But the truth is, I’m also aware that I set out to write something very different the other day when I was here, and I’m… not really embarrassed, just reluctant, I guess, to make another stab and having something like that be the end result again.

Finally, though, I just decided that I needed to get this out of my system and then I can go back to the book and so here I am.  You’re welcome!

There have been a few, relatively small, but relevant and significant developments recently that seemed worth sharing.

After the Spring EMT class ended, I had some idea of the path I wanted to follow.  My end goal in this Emergency Medicine business would be to work part-time as a Paramedic (with a good salary) and part-time in some sort of Community Outreach/Education role.  (OK, if I’m being completely honest my ideal scenario would be to do something along those lines with a Fire Department, where I could make a Fire Department salary and work Fire Department hours, without having to be a Fire Fighter.)  I mentioned all this to Mr. Williams on the way out of the building on the last night of class and he told me they have positions like that in the San Francisco Fire Department and when I was ready he could put in a word for me.  Great!  So now I just have to get ready…

But in order to be ready, of course, I need to go to Paramedic school.  One of the prerequisites for paramedic school is between five hundred and a thousand hours of practical experience in Emergency Medicine.  But how could I get those hours and still support myself?

A few days later I had a conversation with my boss about the possibility of me working part-time in my current role, fully expecting him to be negative about it.  Much to my surprise he immediately, and without hesitation said, “sure.”  Of course, almost immediately he started to backtrack.  He wasn’t so sure it would work in my current position, but he was happy to help me find a place within the organization where it would work.  He promised to make some calls.

Some time passed and nothing really happened.  He told me periodically that he was trying to touch bases with a specific someone in a specific department that he thought I might fit into with my skills but of course the specific someone was never around when he went to see her.  They played a lot of phone tag and missed e-mails and finally, just as I felt nothing was ever going to come of it he copied me on an e-mail with the woman and her assistant, with a suggestion that she and I should talk directly.  I was of course open to that and she wanted to set up an informational interview… in five weeks.  Beggars can’t be choosers.

A few weeks ago, John asked me if I had met with this woman yet.  I told him I had not but that I had an appointment scheduled with her.  He suddenly had the “brainstorm” that I might be a good fit in the department in charge of disaster recovery and business continuity and he promised to contact the person in charge of that group.  I don’t think that ever happened.

I had sort of given up the hope that things would work out for me to work part-time for my current employer when the time finally rolled around for my informational interview.  As expected, the person I met with didn’t really have much to offer in terms of possible positions within the company under her direction.  She agreed that disaster recovery/business continuity might be a good fit for me and lo and behold, she works with those people.

While the informational interview itself, didn’t garner much result, I came away with some good advice about my resume, and her promise to send a note to a gentleman in Southern California who oversees disaster recovery/business continuity for the entire state for the company as well as reaching out to some of her counterparts in the medical centers to find out if they have anything that would fit the bill.

Later that day, I was CC’d on a couple of e-mails between the two and as it turns out the SoCal man will be here in Oakland next Monday for meetings and agreed to meet me for lunch to discuss my situation.  Later still, that day, I had a meeting with John (my individual Monthly Meeting which happens about once a quarter, whether I need it or not).  He informed me that he had discussed the idea of reducing my hours with his boss and his boss was open to the idea.  Suddenly I find myself with a realistic option to work for my current employer reduced hours (part-time) and work part-time as an EMT, if I can find a job.  I would keep my hourly wage, though I’d no longer be salary.  I’d keep my benefits with only a slight increase in the cost of the premiums and with the addition of the pay I’d earn as an EMT I’d only be making slightly less money than I do now.

Now I just need to find a Part-Time EMT job.

In November, the contract for Emergency Medical Services in my county changes hands.  At the end of May, I submitted my application to the new company, on-line, just for the hell of it.  I really didn’t expect anything to come of it.  There are about to be a lot of much more qualified, experienced people looking for jobs in this field and I’m just fresh out of school.  I took all the preliminary steps and e-mailed the recruiter to make sure he was aware of my interest and background…  I may have mentioned I was the top of my class…  maybe.  The recruiter did acknowledge my e-mail and then I didn’t hear anything else.  I can’t say I was surprised.

The same day as my informational interview and my discussion with John about me working part-time, I got an e-mail from the new Emergency Medical Services provider.  It was a questionnaire they called “the next step in our hiring process” designed to get a feel for my personality and whether I’m really built for this type of job.  One of those “there are no right or wrong answers” kind of questionnaires, but with questions like, “are you better able to identify dangerous or risky situations, than others.”  I think I have the right temperament for the job.

The process is slow.  They take over in November and I know they’ve already hired the first round of people; the people who have to ready to work on day one.  But it is my understanding that they are also hiring a second wave of people and that they did reserve a block of jobs specifically for people who live in town and who are new graduates.  It may take a while still but it’s not at all beyond the realm of possibility that I will get hired with this company.

I’m not, by any means putting all my eggs in one basket either.  There are other companies that I have applied to and still more that I should/will but things are looking up.

~~~~~

In other news, it turns out that I know somebody who knows somebody who might know somebody.  My friend Karin had a brainstorm the other day that might turn into something good.  She has a friend who has lots of connections in lots of different industries and places and as it turns out Karin’s friend knows someone who “has connections in the publishing industry”.  Karin sent the first two chapters of my book to this friend who will read and comment on them and send information about publishing.  Certainly, this is a far cry from the success that I fear, but it’s a step in the right direction and a lot further than I was yesterday.

Now I just need to hurry up and finish the book.

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One thought on “Baby Steps

  1. Everything sounds very promising! I hope it all pans out for you!

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