Monday, July 24, 2006


Being on call is the equivalent of spending 24 hours locked up in a china shop with a bunch of 4-year olds hyped up on sugar and caffeine. And maybe tripping on acid. You can hope that the kids will sit still and behave themselves, but that's never going to happen.

Instead, you know that the next 24 hours is going to be spent chasing them around, trying to keep them from destroying the store. And if something gets broken, doing your best to piece things back together while simultaneously trying to control the amount of damage being done and future breakage as you concentrate on fixing the currently broken piece of china.

On a good day, you'll have all the broken pieces of china glued back together by the next morning. On an average day, one piece of china still needs work. Occasionally, there will be days when all hell breaks loose and you just want to shoot yourself.

Nothing raises my stress level and anxiety as much as the simple act of being on call. I never know what medical disasters will come into the ER, or what will happen to the patients already in the hospital that will require my intervention. Being responsible for people's lives really suck. How I've managed to deal with this for the last four years without going insane is beyond me.

It really amazes me that I put up with this and accept this as part of my job. I do this about every five days. And I'll be doing this for the rest of my career.

But strangely, I can't imagine doing anything else with myself. I think about how maybe I should have stayed in engineering, or pursued a different career, but I have a hard time thinking that I would have the same degree of job satisfaction with any other job. I guess some people are meant for certain jobs.

And maybe it's my destiny to do what I do. But man, I sure hate being on call.