Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Phone Interview 2

"Hello?" I said yesterday afternoon when I flipped open my cell phone. I had just returned to the hospital, having spent about an hour throwing fits on the phone with various people from the vascular surgery office. I ended with Vascular Surgeon and was less than professional. I think I said he "let us down" and was "as mediocre as I feared before meeting him." I remain worried - her hemoglobin levels are steadily dropping after 3 units of blood. Not by much, but enough to concern me. The repeat CT scan looked good though. She has a swollen bruise bigger than a softball in her belly, but it's not growing. So we came home this morning.

But yesterday, I had answered my phone to an undisclosed number and impatiently repeated my greeting.

"Is this Dr. LastName?" A voice asked. When I told him it was, he told me his name and affiliation. I only caught his city and my exhausted brain decided he must be from Industry Giant about the second job for which I applied. "Do you have a few moments to talk?" He asked.

I nearly laughed, watching Mom wince in pain as the physical therapist attempted to tuck her feet under the bed to get her knees bent. "My mom is in the hospital." I told him, too tired to think of a professional-sounding lie. I am, quite simply, out of resources. "She was bleeding internally and we're still trying to get her stabilized."

"Oh." He said. "I'm very sorry to hear that."

"Thank you." I said. "I'm at the hospital now and I haven't slept much in the last few days. I doubt I'd be very impressive with answering any of your questions today. Could we talk tomorrow?"

He talked through his schedule and we agreed that the late afternoon would work best. After Mom got discharged, I followed her and Dad home and we came inside. Mom and I went to sleep, having rested fitfully in her hospital room over the past nights.

"Do you need to prepare for your interview?" She asked and I briefly pictured my pages of notes and hours of worry before the first phone interview.

"Nah." I said after yawning. "I'll just sleep for a little while and see how it goes." Work has seemed very far away and unimportant lately, though I do miss it sometimes. I was just slipping back into my routine, getting lost in the ambitious drive for more papers and projects. Then Dr. Icing summed it up when we talked as I was heading home on Friday. He called about the paper we were revising and had another idea. Upon hearing my voice, he asked what was wrong and I tried to impart the information until my throat grew too tight to speak.

I gathered myself and focused on work. "So, about the paper." I prompted.

"Minor stuff, Katie." He said quickly. "So very minor. We'll talk when you get settled and have time and energy. Until then, this stuff will wait."

And so it does. I've not worked much at all past finishing Dr. Icing's revisions. I didn't crave email and spent time calling Boss and Jill to update them on Mom without asking after work or projects or anything. It'll be there when I return. Mom is far more important and I'm doing the best I can with prioritizing my time.

The phone rang this afternoon and I walked to the table, sans laptop and my CV, and picked it up. It wasn't Industry Giant, I was surprised to find. It was Other Industry Giant and I'd applied on a whim for a job that would be perfect for me in a location I'd likely turn down.

"Your CV caught my attention." He told me after checking to make sure I could talk then. I thanked him for giving me an extra day, apologized and indicated I was ready to answer whatever questions he had. "Your interests and experience align perfectly with what we have in mind for this position."

"That's great." Was the only reply I could muster. He proceeded to tell me a bit about the job. It's a good one. Then he asked me to talk about my work. I focused on 3 of my projects and just talked through them. No notes, no plan, no real direction. I just talked.

Then, to my vague surprise, he talked me through the interviewing process and asked if I could come soon. I agreed and will pull a talk that exists in various pieces together. Then I'll travel east and spend a day talking to people about what I do and how it might fit with their research interests.

It's odd. And if I can't talk them into a closer location, I definitely won't take it. But it should be good to interview. I guess.

I'm tired, honestly. I have things I want to do at work, so the plan is to leave early tomorrow, drop off Chienne and Sprout, then head to the office. I'm also terrified that things will go wrong when I depart. I need my mom and love her ever so much. Watching her suffer was difficult. Not being here would have been excruciating. But I have little idea of what I'm doing here lately. I'm scattered and tired and trying to find my comfort zone again. It's surprisingly tough. So I'll pray about it. It's what I do lately.

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