Office Politics/Leadership Development – Dr. Plastic Picker
 

Category: Office Politics/Leadership Development

Kumquats. Rediscovered and reimagined.

January 15, 2021

by drplasticpicker

I am really happy this morning. I am really happy because I have always had so many kumquats in my life. Kumquats are a citrus and the kumquat tree is relatively easy to grow. It bears these small little fruits that you can eat the entire thing including peel. My mom has given me kumquats. Friends have given me kumquats. We have a kumquat tree and my mother-in-law always has them in a square plastic container of food from the garden that we need to eat. She puts it in the center of our large kitchen island to prompt the family cooks to use that ingredient. There are always kumquats.

But we should appreciate our kumquats because through the power of Ecosia, I now know that organic kumquats are $10 a pound. Isn’t that crazy? $10 a pound when I’ve neglected previously gifted kumquats. I know kumquat trees are relatively cheap as I see them at the local home improvement stores a lot yet the organic fruit is $10 a pound. We have two kumquat trees in our front yard. We also have a lemon and lime tree. We always have fresh lemon and lime, and now kumquats.

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Lovely breakfast

January 10, 2021

by drplasticpicker

I love anyone who feeds me. I think this is true for everyone. Especially if you feed me home-made fancy waffles with Belgian sugar pearls (which I had never heard of before). The expresso had no sugar and no cream and it didn’t need it, because it had this lovely waffle to go with it.

I’m sitting at my kitchen table a bit later in the morning than usual. 7am. I have to drink my coffee first. I’m finally using the Starbucks Hiroshima Mug Nurse Lan gifted me years ago. I don’t know why, but I had saved it in it’s new packaging for several years. I’m not sure if I didn’t think I deserved to drink out of such a nice mug or that I wanted to use up the old ones. But at some point it seemed ridiculous especially since the house is so decluttered from our almost 2 year long minimalism streak, to not use something that was lovingly gifted to me. Also I have a Instagram friend FamilyThemes who always profiles their mugs, and it seemed to me we should enjoy not only the coffee that comes in the mug and the mug itself – which I think is her entire point.

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Trying to grow different things.

January 7, 2020

by drplasticpicker

What a horrendous day yesterday. I was expecting to have a Georgia Senate Election party, and had far-fetched dreams of making peach cobbler for desert. The senate still flipped but then there was an attempted coup in Washington. Seriously, as attempted coup by a bunch of idiots who were taking selfies. They were domestic terrorists which shows the world how stupid terrorists are. I came home after a normal morning clinic and having tried to deliver good care and actually to attend to departmental needs and concerns, and I expected to have a “We Flipped the Senate” party with Peach Cobbler in honor of Georgia. Instead I fell asleep on the couch in the afternoon watching live-stream CNN, as the newscasters just sounded like my Facebook Feed friends. I wonder if I can become a CNN analyst?

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Is he okay? He didn’t show up for his shift.

December 15, 2020

by drplasticpicker

“I’m OK.” We use this reply so much. Your supervisor essentially called you out and reprimanded you unnecessarily and incorrectly (not my department) and you said, “I’m OKAY.” Your beloved aunt is now dying of pancreatic cancer, and you say “I’m OK.” Your family is in big financial doo doo partially due to personal decisions and mostly due to larger societal factors, and you reply “I’m OKAY.” It’s the first holiday season since someone died, and you are sleeping in a crappy call room eating crappy turkey from the cafeteria while COVID-19 is ravaging the ICU. How are you doing? “I’m OK.” But Dr. Plastic Picker now asks, are you really? Are you really OK?

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Halloween ended with Beyond Beef Nachos with a Sour Cream web (so vegetarian?), and Turkey Mummy Dogs (Pollotarian?). Anyway, it was delicious and homemade.

November 1, 2020

by drplasticpicker

I will never forget this Quarantine Halloween 2020. It was the Saturday before an historic election where so much is on the line. I am as anxious as everyone and sometimes I want to empty the contents of my stomach when the images of what ifs crosses my mind – especially if this election does not go our way. It’s also the last weekend before we venture into the third wave of COVID-19 infections, and pediatricians are worried about children becoming secondary victims of FLU-VID (when flu and covid clash). No matter how much one debates COVID-19 impacting children, influenza’s disproportionate effect on children is as much accepted truth as anything in the world. Influenzae kills kids especially babies and asthmatics. So this fall is a frightening moment for us all, including your local litter-picking pediatrician. Vaccine rates are plummeting nation-wide.

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Making Huckleberry/Blackberry Pie Bars helped me think through my presentation.

October 22, 2020

by drplasticpicker

Two unicorn-like things happened yesterday. I made Huckleberry/Blackberry Pie Bars from scratch, and I convinced fellow middle and upper managers to provide flu and HPV vaccines at our “flu tables.”

When I was in 8th grade in Junior High, we took US History and for some reason I was assigned the project of making a colonial-era dish with huckleberries. My partner for this project was also a fellow student from a immigrant-nonEuropean background. We had no idea what huckleberries were. This was well before the internet. We used blueberries. The dish did not turn out quite what we expected. I always had this nagging question, what were huckleberries? I stored it in the back of my subconscious for the next three decades. I honestly thought the recipe probably didn’t work out because huckleberries were likely more like a cranberries, or maybe they were more of “nutty” or a savory berry.

And then one of my close highschool friends now lives in Montana, and placed on facebook a picture of his huckleberry bush and I was amazed! There was the unicorn ingredient that I had always wondered about. There was the mythical food that separated me from being truly American, and understanding colonial history. My friend dropped off a tupperware with about 1 1/2 cups of huckleberries and sent a recipe via Facebook of a suggested recipe. His wife is a nutritionist, so I take his food recipe suggestions seriously.

A few days passed, and I kept on thinking about the huckleberries. Presentations. Work emails. COVID-19 Pandeimc. There are things that get in the way of the things we want to do it life. But yesterday morning I had a pressing presentation on HPV vaccination efforts in our HMO, and needed to convince power-brokers outside of pediatrics to lend me some resources. I had slept on the presentation a few nights and visualized all sorts of storylines for my presentation. Sleeping I thought about it. Plogging I thought about it. I talked about it with Mr. Plastic Picker a few times. RN Plastic Picker had already done her part of the presentation, and I had about 7 minutes to fill. I had the right audience that was virtually captive, and I needed to make it worth their while.

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I do need to finish my plastic golden turtle.

October 8, 2020

by drplasticpicker

Time has slowed down for me. Other than litter-picking and making home-made apple-cider vinegar, that is my new super power. Time has slowed down. Yesterday was an odd Wednesday. I usually work in the mornings and am “OFF” in the afternoon (but who is really OFF right?). But we had a “Diversity” Leadership Meeting that was virtual in the morning, and then I worked in the afternoon. I was incredibly upset after the Diversity Leadership meeting which had over 500 attendees. It was a corporate attempt to address racial justice in health care. Our HMO is light-years ahead of everyone, yet we are all so behind. I made some comments in the chat box about hiring more black doctors, but was dismissed as being too political by another physician leader. I know when to push and when to stand back plus I was one of 500 attendees. It was not the venue to waste efforts. So I just listened laying in bed.

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Second batch of Vegan But Butter.

September 24, 2020

by drplasticpicker

I felt overwhelmed yesteray at 430PM. I had a full packed day of morning clinic. I was happy to finish relatively on time, and had 20 minutes to make it home before my virtual meetings started. The truth is yesterday afternoon the rest of the department was OFF not working and not at meetings. I sat through meetings from 1230 to 430PM. The meetings were all about really important things like vaccination campaigns, and spreadsheets, virtual care, reducing racial and health inequities, mediCAL Performance Improvement Projects, perceptions of medical home, perception of bonding with primary care doctors, and on and on. This is important stuff and actually potentially is a decision to spend tens of thousands of dollars to evert millions in fines, and to publish our work to deploy virtual care as a way to reduce racial and health disparities. As I half dozed off at 230PM laying on the couch listening to the meeting, some comment by someone woke me up. I’m the only front-line MD that actually attends these meetings (some from other departments with their name of hte projects have never shown up) and then I start talking and spouting out ideas. The team is fantastic, but at the end of the day when the meeting is over – I have to do my part to actualize these ideas. I have lots of friends in our department that want to help, but when those ideas and proposed projects are swirling in my brain and I was the only one that attended the meeting and I’m the only one with the ideas and I haven’t yet fully articulated them to my colleagues – it can be overwhelming. I feel alone sometimes.

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How did Peanut Butter become so complicated?

September 1, 2020

by drplasticpicker

Extra Crunchy Skippy Super Chunk. Ingredients Roasted Peanuts, Sugar, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (Cottonseed, Soybean, and Rapeseed Oi) to prevent separation, salt. <1> Recyclable plastic, but who really recycles it? Does municipal recycling actually do it? But what has bothered me for decades since I learned that Palm Oil is the cause of so much deforestration in Indonesia is the orangatangs. Orangatangs live in the rainforest where Palm Oil Plantations are proliferating. Palm Oil is in 50% of all consumer products in the grocery store. I’m not sure why, but our peanut butter is what has always bothered me the most.

But then I learned to make peanut butter! Here is my post where I talked mostly about my own personal finance plans but also how easy it was to make peanut butter. https://drplasticpicker.com/the-road-to-fise-so-easy-homemade-peanut-butter/ I know this is being cross-published in our clinic BOTAY newsletter, but remember this is Dr. Plastic Picker’s blog so I can talk about myself as much as I want. Indeed this is the 300th post on my blog where I mostly talked about myself (and the earth).

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I used to feel like this. Now I just feel tired sometimes.

August 20, 2020

by drplasticpicker

I’m tired this morning. I finished a Middle-Management Power Point Update I have to deliver at 730AM. I worked on it during the weekend, most of Tuesday, and finished it yesterday and practiced. I also worked like everyone else with a full day of clinic. I had an abnormal orthopedic MRI result in and I’m a bit frustrated. I had been up all night worrying about this particular patient and had sent them in for emergent care and specialty consult weeks ago. Now my suspected diagnosis is being considered weeks after the fact. The story is still unfolding, but it’s still frustrating. I texted several people yesterday to put my patient forefront in their minds. Sometimes as a primary care pediatrician that is what we have to do, just remind other people that our patients are important.

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