Monday, August 22, 2005

Hair of the Job

After unlocking the door at work this morning and letting in 6 people, who had been patiently waiting on the doorstep....I sat down behind reception, put my ear-piece in and checked the time. The clocked ticked over to show 8.00am....I took a deep breath....spoke out loud to myself "Right, here we go then"....and switched the phone on.

8.05am: I have three phonelines flashing "on hold"...four patients standing waiting in front of me, and my new co-worker nowhere to be seen yet. In the next 15 minutes I'm answering phones, punching more people on hold and chasing the nurse around the office. During this time I'm constantly checking the front door each time I hear it open...in the hope my new co-worker might appear.

I have a new co-worker to share my Monday morning shifts with. After all the nasty business of our most recent receptionist being asked to leave, we have taken on a young chap who is a whizz with the software we use and has apparently worked at several medical centres in the Auckland region before moving to Wellington. This young man has joined us in the interim, while my practice manager files through CVs to start off the interviewing process once again.

Today I discovered, he's a tad too laid back when it comes to Monday mornings. This is not a job you can be late for. With all the stress and mayhem that can come about on any given Monday morning, it's vital we turn up on time. I start at 7.45 to turn on all the PCs, distribute the weekend faxes from the afterhours clinic and accident & emergency to the doctors trays, switch on lights, get the money draw ready etc. He's to start at 8am...in time for when I switch the phone over.

By 8.30 I'd given up looking at the door, and realised I was going to have to deal with this on my own...people were just going to have to show more patience. God forbid anyone demand I go any faster than I was already. About the only positive of Monday mornings is the speed with which they fly by without me noticing.

What's happening with my hair can be a sure indication of how my morning's shaping up. I can arrive at work, my hair smartly coiffed in place with a giant claw clip, bobby pins keeping any strays in place. Several hours later, it's looking like I've just run through a wind tunnel...clip hanging to the side, bobby pins slipped well out of place, if not disappeared completely and I've got that wild hair thing going on.

At 9.45, I hear the familiar sound of the front door again.

I look up to see my new co-worker casually strolling in smiling broadly at me.

I pushed the hair out of my eyes, smiled sweetly in return and thought about how much I SO wanted to fire his cute arse.

By the time I'd found the claw clip later on the floor out the back beside the fax machine, I'd already decided we were having pizza for tea.
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