Friday, June 10, 2011

Rain, Rain, Go Away

In the past two (three, four??) weeks a lot has happened with my position at work – I’m not even quite sure where to start. I think I have to start with a funny story from today. If you live in Northwest Missouri you know that the rain has been a concern. (And if you don’t live here and this is news to you, please say a little prayer for everyone who is concerned about the flooding.) David helped load sandbags all day yesterday, and everyone is preparing for an emergency. Well today the rain affected me, but thank goodness, only in a comical way – the other ways are serious.

This morning I was invited to a one-on-one meeting with the CIO/CMIO of the Hospital. Yeah, so, all of you who know me know how exciting and upsetting this is to a poor, anxious soul like me. So, I got up extra early after preparing for our meeting for the past few nights (read past three weeks). I ate a small breakfast, took plenty of time to get ready, and then headed out a half hour early. It started to sprinkle as I turned onto the hospital’s campus. And by the time I parked, 500 feet from the hospital’s front door, it was storming. I’m talkin’ hail, sideways rain, emergency situation type rain!

Now, don’t start with me on being prepared. I had my umbrella and plenty of time to spare. So I just sat there and waited. Reviewed my notes, brushed my hair, finished my ice water, and waited. To no avail. It just rained harder and harder until it was ten minutes from the time I was supposed to meet the man that is the kind of man you do not keep waiting.

So, like any other calm, level-headed professional (note the sarcasm), I thought I was either going to throw up, cry, or run faster than I have ever run before to get to that meeting. I decided I should just run. So umbrella in hand, nice pressed pants rolled up to my knees, black shiny heals ready, I ran for the door.

Oh my gosh – there was no way you could even tell I had carried an umbrella. I got to the front door and rushed to the bathroom to see that my pants were soaked, I mean dripping wet, up to my thighs, and the arm of my very nicely ironed (and WHITE) button up was soaked to my shoulders. My hair does not do well in humidity either. Did I mention that this was ten minutes before my meeting and our bathrooms do not have hand dryers but paper towels instead?

I decided I could either leave or walk in at this point. Of course, I decided to walk in.

And when I did, our CIO/CMIO (who, did I mention used to work as a NASA surgeon? Yeah, he’s very smart and very professional and probably has never walked into a meeting soaked and shaky.) just burst out laughing. I’m not kidding. I walked in thinking I might start crying and he just cracked up. He couldn’t even get words together. I can only imagine he has bought the security tape of me running through the parking lot and is going to show it at the next department meeting. I might be sick that day.

You would think that this might make for a horrible beginning to the meeting. You would be wrong. This was the best meeting! He said he had expected me to call and not show up, and he was impressed that I was there. It broke the tension for sure. The meeting was very relaxed and comfortable, despite the fact that I was sitting in rain soaked clothes in front of a very important man in his very nice and important office.

So this post is to thank Dr. CIO for laughing with me, for encouraging me, for not kicking me out the minute you saw me, and for letting me sit in your very nice chair, in your very nice office, and meet with you. I think this meeting will be one that shapes my career and that I remember for a long time to come.

I left the meeting with three hundred thoughts going through my mind and with three books, all with the instruction to read them and return them for more. So that’s what I’m going to do.

Here are the three books I will be reading for the next bit of time in case you want to read along. I won’t judge you if you don’t, but I will tell you they were recommended by a NASA surgeon – pretty cool, right?

Simply Speaking by David Greenberg
The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande
The Cartoon Guide to Statistics by Larry Gonick

Which do you think I will start with? I can’t wait to start a book that has the word Checklist in the title – I mean, come on, I love it already!

And when I looked up what exactly a manifesto is, I found this: A written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives, or views of its issuer.

So here is my manifesto.. I will finish this recommended reading, absorb what he wants me to learn about public speaking and communication, checklists and processes, and statistics and reasoning. And I will return them to Dr. CIO in perfect condition with lots of gratitude and follow-up questions...on a sunny day.

One last comment. I have been wrapped up in my career goals these past few weeks, and I have started running more. And while I run and run, on repeat, I have been listening to Adele’s Rolling in the Deep. Love it! I can’t get enough of this song. It’s really been pumping me up lately. One of my favorite lines is “throw your soul through every open door.” And actually that entire verse is a good one. Just a thought J

Now this has gone on too long, so you will just have to wait for more posts to get all the back stories of what is going on with me. It’s been an exciting (and pretty darn scary) time for my work self.

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