AirKeepers: San Diego Chapter?
Augsut 10, 2021
I had a semi-bad day yesterday because of an HMO issue. It was a misunderstanding but my passionate mouth got me in trouble again. The way the HMO machinery works is that I can’t just apologize for the misunderstanding. It will just sit there, not affecting my career as it’s a miniscule little blip. But for me, it does fester. The idea that I would retaliate is so ludicrous as I’ve never retaliated and the idea that Dr. Plastic Picker retaliates is antithesis to the core of who I am. I was instructed to not retaliate because that is what the HMO script tells us as managers to tell people. I’ve uttered to same thing to colleagues. I believe we are all connected and if I hurt someone’s feelings because they misunderstood what I said, makes my heart hurt as well. But with the stress of the entire world with the ramifications of climate change and COVID-19, the same thing that happend to me is happening across our organization and I’m sure in your life. No one is listening. People are on edge. Everyone is misunderstanding everyone.
I was talking to Dr. Dear Friend and she was very understanding. We planted another big succulent on the HMO parking garage. But the condtions on said parking garage are hot and harsh, and it’s hard to survive up there. I feel that is the same way about myself in middle-management. It’s hot and harsh, and having worked so hard to heal myself and heal the earth – I’m not willing to sacrifice my well being for a title that I no longer care about. I’m rather take my sunshine elsewhere. I know I garnered this stain on my record because I was just out there. Out there teaching residents. Out there trying to work on fundamental wellness for the world. And if I had just sat in my office and not ventured out, I wouldn’t have that stain but then the world would be sicker. So I won’t stay in my office. I’ll venture out. I’ll avoid that person because that is my right. I won’t retaliate, because that is not who I am. But I can have my feelings hurt. I can be sad. And I dealt with that frustration yesterday and again found how unfair things are, because I 100% know if I was a man – I’d never have to deal with this cr@p. Women are sometimes our worst enemeies, but also our allies. So here I am, still Dr. Plastic Picker – keeping on keeping on.
I did channel my frustration with the absolute inertia of big organizations, by moving things in my small corner of the world. I’ve been talking and writing about the Air Keepers program for San Diego. It’s a program I heard about from Dr. Lori Byron up at AAP Montana, and I wanted to replicate it here. So I sent her an email and cc’ed the two other pediatricians who want to get involved, and cc’ed our famous academic friend Dr. Perry Sheffield. I also emailed a student that potentially could work on this and gave him the details. There is funding possibly from the Air Pollution Control District https://www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/sdc/apcd/en/grants-and-incentives/facts.html, maybe our own HMO Community Benefits and Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Community and I can try to find other funding. I don’t think this type of program cost that much, and I’m hopeful we can get it done.
So that’s what I did today. Send three emails to get the ball rolling on AirKeepers. Because someone misunderstood a comment I was making and the world is not listening, I’ve decided to do something to make myself feel better. And cleaning the air and bringing people together makes me feel better. Air Keepers San Diego version was probably deployed after a frustrating day at work. Just like San Diego Pediatricians for Clean Air was created after a mean comment from a politician that said we were a “publicity stunt.” Sometimes hurt and humiliation is good if you can channel it. But the one petty thing I will promise you, that person will never be invited to my house again. I can’t believe they were in our house, and ate our food and we welcomed them as a guest. I will 100% be civil and cheerful at work, but in my own home – it’s only those that I love that are welcome here. So the foxes are welcome, the butterflies are welcome, the climate activists are welcome – but those that think I’m unkind and that I would ever say anything like that. You absolutely don’t know me and you aren’t welcome. And I won’t impose myself upon you in your home either. Let’s mutually agree to be professional. And so Air Keepers was born from this misunderstanding.