@drplasticpicker: my adventures around town supporting local business & complimenting people’s reusable bags & sending doctors home
January 10, 2020
Today was one of those days that was beautiful. Today was like that day in December when our meeting was cancelled and I wandered around the hospital talking about plastic and my blogging and got my Fit-Mask test done with one of the most powerful physicians in our group https://drplasticpicker.com/a-meeting-was-cancelled-and-drplastipicker-meanders-around-the-hospital-convincing-the-1/. I had so many adventures that day, and I made tentative plans to have a plastic picking meet-up with said physician and her family. She wants to teach her children responsibility for the earth as well. Well today, our middle management meeting was not cancelled but I still had a wonderful day.
I woke up at my normal time at 5am, and I started and finished my 100th blog post, another Hopeful Wednesday post https://drplasticpicker.com/1-8-2020-eight-reasons-to-be-hopeful/. I cannot believe I finished my 100th blog post. Can you believe I had all that blog content in my brain? No wonder my headaches are all gone https://drplasticpicker.com/tension-headaches-drplasticpicker-cures-myself/, I got all those thoughts out and they are forever immortalized on the internet. I no longer have pressured speech.
Since becoming drplasticpicker and blogging, I have become a quieter person and a better listener. This has been better for everyone, especially the middle management team and Mr. Plastic Picker.
After finishing my 100th blog post this morning at about 6am, I did my normal routine of finishing up some charts and doing some middle management work. I talked to nursing staffing and the physician schedulers. The preview of the access numbers looked very good. So at 700am, I precancelled evening clinics for 3 physicians and already plans in place to preemptively shift someone to another clinic and then someone to another clinic and then call another person off. That means 6 pediatricians now home in the evening with their families and appointments efficiently used and overall operational cost contained. Can you imagine all the home-cooked meals tonight when those doctors go home to their families?
After doing the scheduling tetris, I called to follow up on a patient who was scheduled for surgery. The child was improving and okay for surgery. Their surgeon had already called them and the mother had debriefed him. I told her in relief, “Thank you for being a great mother and being on top of it.” She ended our brief call, “You guys are a good team.” I told Mr. Plastic Picker, as he was getting ready for work, about the interaction. What I have learned over the last 15 years, is close follow up is important. Just call yourself. Just follow up. Patients never follow any kind of template nor workflow.
Breakfast was made for the kids, hard-boiled egg, whole wheat bread and half a slice of cheese. I didn’t include fruit this morning, but we had mashed cauliflower last night. My middle-school daughter got out the rigid plastic snack containers and packed her own snacks before I could give-in to time pressure and use the back up zip-lock bags we have. The kids are sometimes better drplasticpickers than I am.
So the kids were off to school, and I only had about 20 minutes until I needed to get ready and go to meetings. The sun rises late during the winter, and it’s harder to go plastic picking. But I had met another litter-picker over the weekend, and was debriefed about and recruited into and now am part of the PB Street Stewards. Some brilliant neighbor started a Facebook group where one family adopts a short 2 blocks and picks up litter once a week. Almost the entire town is adopted. It’s a casual thing and sometimes folks post their picks. I picked up 2 bags of trash on a quick walk. I found 3 small blue pieces for my trash art. It took me several times to post my bag of trash on the group’s page. But I did, and there were several likes.
I got ready for work, and made it a few minutes early for our meeting. Then I looked down at my iPhone and it had the location reminder as the upper manager’s office which is on the 3rd floor. “Oh no!” I thought. The only times I have been there have not been good. I have not gotten in trouble, but when I have to be witness to trouble or when something big management-wise goes down – it is always on the 3rd floor. I tip-toed off the elevator and the secretary waved me around the faux-wall partition.
But when I walked into the office, everyone was smiling. My fellow middle management friends had thought the same thing! They thought, “are we going to get fired today?” But we weren’t and indeed the upper management person told us middle management people we were doing a good job. They just ran out of meeting space. He offered us bottled waters, and everyone declined. I wonder if it’s because I’m drplasticpicker? And then we managed things by talking but it was productive talking and decisions made.
And then our meeting was over, and the important upper management people left. The three middle management people, we ate the upper management person’s jelly beans and enjoyed the pictures of his beautiful blond children. We played with his wall life-size tic-tac-toe. We talked about some middle-managment things that are actually really important like forms, workflows and the trajectory of our careers. I told them that I want to save the world plastic picking and I was not kidding.
And then I had a few glorious hours before my next meeting, which was virtual. Technically I was on my OFF time and unpaid, but there is always work to do and it was fun work.
I needed to buy something big for our department party, and instead of buying it on-line, I went to a local small business that I have always wanted to patronize. It was fun talking to the shop-keeper. She is also a native of our lovely city, and we talked about housing cost and how to word the departmental item I needed to purchase. I told her that I believed in small business and also about my plastic picking. The shop keeper grew up near the beach that I clean. She told me about how the hipsters in our area have driven up costs, and also how much it costs to fix up her old car that she will hand-down to her youngest daughter who graduates this year. I will see her again next Tuesday. She called me later this week to update me on our order and I knew her voice and greeted her warmly. It feels good to spend money locally.
I called my mother who is recovering from a recent bad viral respiratory infection. My nephew had purchased her the low calorie Gatorade and the taste made her want to vomit. Those are her words. She had made rice porridge for herself already. I agreed to stop by Vons and not CVS for Gatorade regular sugar, because my mom said it was half the price and she was right. It was 4 for $5, whereas at CVS the bottle half the volume was $3 each. My mom is always right.
When I was at Vons in the check-out line with the Gatorade, I had my reusable bags ready. There was a mother with a curly-haired toddler in front of me. The young mother had some loose vegetables and fruits without plastic produce bags and had several reusable bags on her part of the conveyer belt. I noticed her green fabric bag that had a pattern of green apples. I admired it. Toward the middle of her check out, I leaned over slightly and told her, “I really like your green bag. It’s very pretty.” She looked up surprised and said, “I made it! I sewed fabric over a reusable Vons plastic bag.” I think she was smiling more as she finished her check out.
When it was my turn to check out, I looked up at the young lady cashier and said, “That is really cool about her bag.” And the young lady cashier who looked in her early 20s said to me, “I know. I need to learn how to sew.”
So then I headed to my mother’s house. She looked better than I expected but still worn down a bit. I gave her the Gatorade regular sugar in her preferred flavor. She drank a bottle. I think she drank more because she knew I paid the better price of 4 bottles for $5 and also that I was there and visited her. I helped myself to some lunch from left overs and had a cup of coffee. I told my mom about my adventures at the local shop and at the grocery store and my new friend the local shop-keeper.
And then I glanced at my phone and I noticed that it was almost 2 o’clock. I had so many adventures in that 2 1/2 hour stretch. I told my mom that I had to head home where I have a home office. I had to virtually dial in to a meeting about some quality metrics and robotexts, and also confirm the staffing for the evening clinic. And indeed, we were able to keep six pediatricians at home this evening to be with their families. We had enough appointments.
When Mr. Plastic Picker came home I recounted all my adventures and how time seemed to move so purposefully and wonderfully slow today. And how I noticed things and talked to people. He said it sounded like I had a wonderful vacation-like day with so many little surprises. And I did, my friends. And I have blogged about it, and will return to this post later many times and reread it and relive it. And tomorrow, the appointment/scheduling tetris will start again. We may need to keep all the pediatricians to work and not let anyone go home with their families. But today, six colleagues were home with their families this evening and I got to have some adventures. It was a special day.