The Quiet Vet

It is simultaneously disconcerting and a relief. Now that I’ve made the decision to go forward and actively pursue the state veterinary position that has become available, I find myself eyeing my present job in a new way. Even yesterday’s news that my company is researching the viability of four-day workweeks failed to faze me in the least.

Theoretically, a four-day workweek would save the company money. Four ten-hour days would mean few subsidized lunches, less overtime (on a purely theoretical basis), more downtime for clean up and equipment maintenance, and happier employees. In reality, however, I’m not convinced that it would really save us much, if anything. Combined with the facts that the extra day off would be Wednesday (no three-day weekends) and with the fact that certain departments that I interact with would still have five-day workweeks, and the net result for me would be a five-day workweek with four really long days in it. I’m having a hard time caring though. Mostly I don’t care because I don’t believe it will really happen. But partly I don’t care because I may have the option of bailing before this little brainstorm borne of delirium could be implemented.

I spoke at length to the veterinarian who would be my boss, were I to get this position. I was pretty blunt about my concerns. I’ve done no traditional veterinary work to speak of in nearly six years. I’ve gotten very good at postmortems and physical examinations, but I haven’t pulled blood from an animal since I graduated from vet school. I don’t have the strength for animal restraint, nor the recent experience. I was told not to worry about that. He claims it will come back to me faster than I think it will. He also said that’s why I’ll have two veterinary technicians working under me.

There is a civil service questionnaire that I need to complete in order to put myself into official consideration for the job. He told me that he would mail it right out to me, and when I got it to look it over and then call him before completing it. He says that there’s a trick to filling these out, and that it isn’t always obvious what information to put down. He said I’ve probably got a lot more experience than I’ll think I have when I first look over the questions, and he wants to review the questionnaire with me to make sure I don’t sell myself short on it. [Interpretation: Bonus points for creative writing.] One of the other people who called me yesterday to talk me into considering this job told me the same thing. I guess this is my first warning that it really is a government job.

Tonight is The Socialist’s last night of teaching evening classes this summer. I celebrated by stopping at the local cinema on the way home and treating myself to Spiderman 2, a movie that I wanted to see, but I don’t think he particularly wanted to. And I wasn’t disappointed in the least by it (something I do not anticipate being able to say regarding “Thunderbirds Are Go!” but I’m trying desperately to keep an open mind there). I think I like Spiderman best of all superheroes because he’s human first and foremost. Even when Spidey is in uniform and webslinging, he’s still Peter Parker. He’s a typical misunderstood teenager who wants to get it right but hasn’t figured out how to make all the pieces fit. He’s the nerd who loses the girl. He’s the college student who delivers pizzas and screws up in school because the rest of life keeps getting in the way. And he’s every other kid in the world who tries to remake himself, only to eventually find that by remaking himself he’s left the most vital parts of himself behind.

The good guys have their secret guilt and mortal flaws in Spiderman. And the bad guys love and mean well and fall because of one major bad decision, one fatal character flaw. This may not be great literature, but it’s the stuff that great literature is made from.

I’m reading diaries as I can, but I find I haven’t much to say to people that is particularly worthwhile at the moment. I’m not sure what that is an indicator of. Perhaps I’m too self-absorbed at the moment. Or maybe I’m just running dry of creative juices. It could just be the painkillers. For anyone who cares, I’m still out there reading. I’m just lending an ear without lending opinions at the moment.

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  1. No comments necessary.. 😉

    I know what you mean about creative …. slumps.

    I think I’m in one.

    Maybe I need to talk to my therapist… the yellow one. 😉

  2. This job really sounds as if it’s going to come through – and it sounds like a gift (from my admittedly-incomplete knowledge of it). They really, really want you! And you’ve been honest about what you perceive as your shortcomings, so they know what sort of Salamander they’d be getting, and it’s just the sort of Salamander they want.

    A "four day week" that would mean you get to work an extra eight hours without pay? Gosh, aren’t *they* just helping you make up your mind?

    *Fingers crossed*

  3. I enjoyed Spidey 2 more than the first one. The movie was much more true to the comic as far as character personalities and depth.

    OK, I’m off to read my most recent Spiderman that came in the mail…


  4. You do give great feedback, and I’ve appreciated it all along. I just wasn’t sure if my writing had gotten "lazy" as I feel I’ve been relying too much on most of my readers knowing enough about me that I leave out details that would give a clearer picture as to what is going on for that entry.

    OK, back to my comic books…


  5. I think you’d make an excellent CARING vet….

    btw….yes, I did see the beatle photo…the bigger ones don’t scare me as much as they can’t fit in my ear!


  6. I’m supposed to see Spiderman 2 with the guys this weekend. I’ve heard it’s supposed to be better than the first, which was pretty enjoyable. And if you liked it, then I know it’ll be good.

  7. Good morning to you, Sal.

    Sorry to read that you’re still in quite a bit of pain. I hope your pain reduces soon.

    I’m glad you liked Spidey, I’m looking forward to seeing that one too, as soon as I can get my hands on the video or DVD.

    Also glad that the Socialist won’t be doing evening classes for the time being so you’ll have his company.

    Gentle hugs,


  8. Self absorbed is not a word I would use in conjunction with you, dear lady. You have a lot on your plate right now with the prospect of a new job, a writing class and that naughty nerve pinch. I hope the arm is feeling better.



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