Wednesday, January 30, 2008

More poor communication from NCCRM

M called me today. She finally thought to call NCCRM and see if they needed her to do anything - well, apparently they wanted to do an u/s and have her start meds on day 2 of her cycle, which was yesterday. She was calling me to see how much of a fit I wanted her to pitch. I told her that I thought it best to just go with next cycle, 'cause we don't have assurance of the insurance just yet and we CAN'T transfer until we have them both verified in place. Her period was a week early this time, or we probably could have gone with this cycle. Oh, well... on God's schedule, not mine, right?? Now at least she knows what they want her to do... I forgot to forewarn her that communication isn't a strong point of theirs. Next month she will call them on day 1 and make arrangements for the drugs to be shipped and to have an u/s - I'm not feeling terribly panicked right now, though B is pressuring me a little bit 'cause he's getting older every day :) Hopefully we'll be able to transfer soon after I get home - but if her next cycle is early, too, she might have to do it while I'm in central America. Not ideal, but it wouldn't be the end of the world. She's pretty damned self-sufficient and she has D to help her out.

On an aggravating note, I was checking my bank accounts to see if the payment for M's health insurance had cleared yet (it hasn't) when I noticed a strange charge that I had no record of.... $246.03 on the 17th of January - weird check number, like it was electronically done. I called SECU and the guy told me it was an authorized draft to something called Northern Trust, and it has B's name on it. So, I called B - I couldn't think of any reason that he would be authorizing payment out of my account, especially without telling me and when I was at home (I didn't leave until the 21st). Nope, he said, it wasn't him. So, I called SECU again and asked for more clarification - the girl that answered said that it was a check written by the company to itself, drafted on my account. I asked how this could happen... she said that the "check" had my husband's name on it and my account number, and that they could do this if they had authorization. Just what does "authorization" consist of?? That really hasn't yet been explained to my satisfaction yet. Anyway, she did give me a phone number and extension to call with reference to this charge and I called it - of course they were already closed... the recording identified it as Trustmark Voluntary Benefits Solutions, Inc. WTF?!? I looked it up online - apparently they do life, disability, emergency medical, dental insurance. I left a message for someone to return my call tomorrow. I called B back and he said "absolutely not, no, no way, no how" did he authorize this. The only thing either of us can come up with is that it's related somehow to the insurance I'm trying to get for M, though I have yet to receive any information from Scott (the insurance agent) regarding policies and as far as I know, he didn't have a package put together until today - so I can't imagine how he could have gotten me charged for something 10 days ago... Someone better have an explanation tomorrow! I left a voice mail for Scott just in case he had anything to do with it. Unless this company agrees to just refund the money, I will have to file a police report of intentional fraud and then the bank will have to investigate before I can get the money back. I HATE shit like this!!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

I quit my job...

not exactly what I had planned when I got up this morning, but I guess sometimes things just happen like they're supposed to. I had already decided that I'm not a corporate kind-of girl. B and I have really been working on our business venture, which made me want to stay at Banfield even less... Anyway, I dragged my ass to work reluctantly today. I swear I hadn't been there 10 minutes when Dr. H (our medical director) called; the receptionist told me that Dr. H wanted me to answer the phone from an exam room - well, that's never a good sign. I figured that I was going to get an ass chewing for the incident involving Saphira. I was right -

Actually it wasn't all that bad... they asked me to explain the events as they had occurred; they asked a couple of questions for the sake of clarification. Then they said that they were placing me on "Decision Making Leave" - WTF?!? Okey-dokey.... they actually have a form made up just for that purpose. I guess they have a lot of issues with it being such a large corporation. Anyway, the basic gist of it is this - they gave me today off, with pay, to decide if I want to be a Banfield drone or if I want to leave the practice. Hmmm.... I had that one decided before we got off the telephone, but I listened to everything that they said, including the "of course we hope that you'll decide to stay". Whatever... I am WAY too into doing things my own way, I guess. As one of the instructors said at Academy - Banfield and I just don't "mesh".

I went into a cleaning frenzy today as well - from the aggravation, I guess. B was loving it though, and made sure to stay out of my way. I'll be unemployed, but at least my house will be clean when I leave for San Antonio!! LOL Anyway, I took occasional breaks and wrote my resignation letter - I revised it several times and then finally deleted the whole damn thing and started over - this is what I ended up with...

19 January 2008

Banfield, The Pet Hospital

Dr. H,

I have spent the better part of the evening trying to compose this letter, and have rewritten it several times. I could give specific reasons as to why I have made this decision, but I have come to realize tonight that none of that really matters. The one thing that does matter is that there are things about Banfield in general and about the Southern Pines location specifically that just don’t “mesh” with the way I want to practice medicine. In December, Dr. V urged me to seriously consider whether or not I was really cut out for corporate practice, since there are rigid policies in place, and I have a tendency to like to do things my own way. It has become increasingly apparent to me over the last few weeks that she is right – I perform much better, and am happier, in places where there is more flexibility. I had already come to the realization that a career at Banfield was not compatible with my long term goals. However, I can imagine how stressful it is to be the only veterinarian in the hospital, and a reluctance to put Dr. V back into that position has had me stalled. However, with the issue at hand, leaving the practice seems to be the most logical choice to make.

The only other thing that I want to say is that I was disappointed in the way this action was handled. It was not what was said that was the problem – I think that you and Salem were both very professional yet compassionate given the situation, and I really did appreciate the approach that you took. However, allowing me to go in to work, asking Erin to have me take your call in private, and then instructing me to immediately leave the hospital for the day made it perfectly clear to the employees that I was receiving a disciplinary action. While it may not have been your intent, I feel that it was unnecessary to cause me that embarrassment in front of the paraprofessionals today. It would have been better if you had called me at home so that that could have been avoided.

If there is anything additional that you need from me, please do let me know. I realize that I have an outstanding balance with the hospital; I had intended to take care of that while I was at work today, but did not have the chance. I am afraid that I cannot predict the hours that I will have access to a telephone while I am in training, but I will make every attempt to take care of it within the week. I do have personal belongings at the hospital and I will retrieve those when I return from duty in 2 weeks.

Thank you,


I'm supposed to give Dr. H and Salem a verbal answer tomorrow morning (between the hours of 9am and 12pm), but I've already emailed the letter to them, so there's no going back now (which is okay, 'cause I don't want to go back...). I talked to B, K, my mother and father, my sister... everyone agrees that this is the right thing for me. I don't think anyone will be too surprised. Dr. V made a point of telling me that I should really consider if I'm the corporate type; I think we've got that well established now.

B went and met with the guy who owns the building that we want to lease; he was gone all afternoon and I was worried that something bad had happened, but when he got home he said that Mr. B seems very interested in this venture and wants to lease to us; he's okay with our design plan and is even willing to do some of the modifications for us. They spent ages just TALKING... he says that Mr. B is an up-and-up guy; very astute, has done a lot in his life, etc. He's turned down other people who were interested in the building because he didn't think their venture was good for the area. He told us the first time that we met him that he was considering adding on another 4000 sq feet, at the back of the building, running perpendicular to the additional structure. There is supposed to be some new development coming in the next few years and he wants to add on accordingly, but he's not planning on doing anything for the next 12-18 months. By then, he said, who knows?? We may need the extra space! I sure hope so! This is so exciting!! I've got the starting floorplan mapped out in an Excel spread sheet ('cause I don't have a CAD program anymore) - it's all to scale and in color. Last night B printed it out then cut and pasted the sheets together into this big map-like drawing...that's what B showed to Mr. B today. Now we're working on getting an estimate for the cost of the other modifications (lots of 'em) as well as putting together a business plan because we're going to have to get a loan. He told Mr. B that we needed 4 or 5 weeks to get out stuff together, that's was fine with him... could it be that we're ready to go this summer?! My plan was to be ready to open at some holiday... advertise beforehand, of course, and then open shortly before a big event to start off with a bang.... 4th of July would do nicely! Summer is good for boarding in general, but the 4th weekend is always packed at every kennel... oops - guess that's kind of let the cat out of the bag - but it's not like this journal is widely read!!

Anthony emailed me and said that I should claim what's mine (e.g. The Secret) and if that's part-time veterinarian for Health Alert then so be it, so this unemployed situation may not be so worrisome after all. I actually just remembered that I have a pile of paperwork that I'm supposed to be going through for him. Well, I'll have time while I'm at Fort Sam... even during OBLC we had a reasonable amount of free time (albeit primarily at night) and this course isn't nearly as intensive as OBLC was! I'm just relieved that the decision is made and I'm no longer corporate property.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Could this be IT??

Today B took me out to look at a building that just might be "it" for my new business venture. It's very close to the house, which means it's also very close to the traffic circle, but it's out of the way enough that we shouldn't have any issues with what we want to do. It used to be a used car lot and/or repair garage - so it has 4 big roll up doors and the majority of the interior is wide open with sealed concrete floors, so I can divide it up any way I see fit. B says that I just need to make the decisions and leave the execution to him, 'cause wheeling and dealing is what he does best! We walked around and around it this morning and I can see SO much potential there!! It's really the first building that I've seen that truly COULD be IT!! B is really psyched on this idea of mine, and that makes me feel so good... Anyway, the guy who owns the building just called and we're going back out to look at it (inside this time) at 4 this afternoon, and hopefully have a discussion as to what he's looking for in the way of lease payments and if he might be interested in selling eventually, etc. All of that crap I'll leave to B - I'm NOT a good negotiator!!

I discussed the idea with M and her bf when they came down Saturday. That's a whole other story there, with Saphira... poor baby. At least I can be grateful that she's not suffering any longer. When I told B that she was not responding to treatment, he called my sister to see if she could come down to euthanize Saphira for me. He was afraid that I was going to ask HIM to do it (which I was, 'cause I fully intended to be holding her head during those last few seconds). So, M and D drove down and they brought Saphira up to Banfield just before closing - it was terrible, but good at the same time because I know how very miserable she has been for the last week! Anyway, I don't really want to get into that again - I did everything that I could, but I couldn't help the poor baby any way except to end her suffering. God, I miss her!! Anyway, M said that, if done right, it could do very well here. So I have lots of sources for input, which is GREAT. PLUS, D is a builder/contractor, and may be a huge help in that arena when the time comes to renovate!!

Supposedly I now have been accepted officially into the C9 course in San Antonio - nice, considering I'm supposed to fly out Monday morning; nothing like waiting until the very last minute. Apparently I was not the only one who encountered a problem... the MAJ told me this afternoon that there were 6 of us dropped out of the class for various reasons, but supposedly we're all back in and whatever issues there were have been resolved. I'm supposed to keep checking my email for orders...

On a totally amusing note, Father P got the letter that I finally mailed to him and apparently talked to Ms. K about it. She called yesterday and told me that there was obviously a huge misunderstanding (on MY part, of course) and that she'd like me to come in to discuss it. So, I went in at 9am, and she called Ms. M in to be a witness, I guess. Well, according to Ms. K, she NEVER told me that her daughter wasn't allowed to teach for 10 years before she got her annulment, because to tell me that would have been an absolute lie, because her daughter WAS allowed to teach once she filed for annulment (so apparently I made that one up all by myself). Also, she never received any voice mail from me, so obviously I never called her to talk about this (yeah, right... I DID leave 2 messages that she never returned, but I didn't bother to argue this with her) and I must not have come by to see her because I didn't leave word that I'd been there (again, whatever...) She also made sure to reassure me that she never makes judgments about people based on what their ex's say about them... uh-huh... AND, that M's wife is NOT a member of the church - she went through RCIA, but she cannot be a member of the church because she is in an invalid marriage and cannot take communion... yeah, well, I told Ms. K that M and S are certainly of the opinion that S IS in full communion with the church - Ms. K said that she had discussed that with them lately to make sure they understood that was NOT the case. Whatever... Anyway, apparently Father told Ms. K that she cannot allow someone to teach when they are in an invalid marriage, whether or not they have supposedly filed for annulment - so M has apparently been replaced as the teacher of Middle Child's class. What a joke this has become. I SO wish I had taken my little voice recorder with me, or thought to record it with my phone or something - I would have LOVED to be able to play back her own words today... just the part about how her very own daughter was unable to teach for 10 years because she was in an invalid marriage and had to wait until it was annulled before she could teach again - you know, the part I made up just to make her look bad, because God knows SHE didn't tell me that. When she was done babbling, I just said, "Well, fine..." and got up and walked out. The huge issue here, when I look back at it objectively, is that the Catholic church has no fellowship. I love the ritual associated with Mass, but after 7 years at St Andrews and over 5 years at Sacred Heart, I can't honestly say that I really knew/know anyone at either church - and that's not right. To me, the church should be about fellowship and about caring for your fellow person - and the Catholic church just ISN'T. I need to find somewhere else to go....

Friday, January 4, 2008

I didn't know my sister could be as wacky as me!

So, how about she pulled out her own IUD tonight?? She had called NCCRM to see if they could remove the IUD when she went in for the saline sono or if she needed to do it beforehand. The coordinator called her back today and said that, yes, they could remove it, but that the docs would probably like her to go thru a cycle or two before we transfer. So, since her doctor's appt is not for another 2 wks, she decided to "hurry things up a bit". She searched the internet for removal instructions; since

"all that was involved in removing the IUD was 'gentle traction on the retrieval strings' so I just got my needle holders and gently suggested that the IUD make an exit."

OMG - I was laughing so hard when I read that that tears were running down my face, so B asks what I'm laughing at... and he got himself a little dose of something called TMI!!

On a more serious note, I think we have resolved the insurance issue; we faxed in an application today for a limited benefits policy - not the best out there, but I'm pretty sure that we'll get more out of it than we put into it, especially if she ends up having a section or something like that. I think that M and I will have SO much fun with this surrogacy... I hope "we" (used loosely since I'm done with my input) have twins!! I'm seeing a side of my sister that I've never seen in the 38 years I've known her and it's wonderful!! Regardless of outcome, I think this will bring us closer than we've ever been!

On a totally different subject, B has been sick all week - and I think I'm starting to catch a bit of it though hopefully I won't experience the same degree of sickness!! We got most of the Christmas decorations put away tonight - all but the icicle lights which I will do tomorrow. It was just too cold to stay out there any longer today!! Below freezing?!? WTH??

First Born leaves for school on Saturday and it's a bittersweet feeling; I'm SO proud of him, but he's my first to "leave the nest" and that's hard to deal with!! Middle Child is psyched 'cause I said he can move into First Born's room, but I think he'll miss his brother once he's gone - they actually do interact a good amount (when First Born isn't locked in his "cave" that is). I know that I'M going to miss him a LOT!! Oh, well - that's what it's all about, huh?? Raising them, then letting them go.