Monday, October 7, 2019

New Job, Loving it!

Apparently, I haven't updated my blog in so long that it is actually ridiculous. After realizing we couldn't afford private school in Boston, we decided to move to Florida and have since made our way down south. Luckily, both my husband and I were able to find new jobs, and the money we made selling the house in Boston made it possible to pay off my student loans and make it easier to pay for private school. It's not perfect, but I really do love it here. At least I don't have to worry about snow any more!

In my new job, I'm the ART (Assisted Reproductive Technologies) Nurse Manager. Fancy title that means I manage the amazing group of nurses who take care of patients just before and during their IVF cycles. I absolutely love what I do, and today was my 6 week evaluation, where my manager (the COO of the company) took me aside to tell me how I was doing. The evaluation was a good one, but the main purpose of this post was to express the one part of the evaluation that touched me the most...

As someone with Asperger's who was bullied for most of her life (3rd grade through high school and then some), it has never really been easy for me to make friends. During school I maybe had one or two people at a time that I could call good friends. In high school I kind of was friends with a group of people, but I never actually felt as though I were a part of their clique. I didn't fit in anywhere. Over the years, I've come up with ways to get around the fact that social cues can be difficult for me - mainly that I cannot be a part of a conversation with more than one person at a time or I won't know when I can talk, and I find myself interrupting people when I don't mean to. The filter on my brain has gotten a lot better than it was as a kid, luckily, though there are always times when I slip and wish I hadn't said something. Coming into a managerial job, I was terrified that I would have no idea how to manage other people. Would they like me? Would they follow my direction? I'm under 5 feet tall, not very intimidating, and remember...I don't know how to make friends. Or at least I didn't know how up until my job at CCRM. Somehow I was friends with everyone. I don't know if it was because I knew what I was doing or just the fact that I loved what I did and was happy much of the time. But I was liked by everyone, and that was something very new to me. But there, I was "just" one of the nurses. It would be different as a manager...

Fast forward to my evaluation. She scored me highest on my relationships with other people (not that my other scores were "low," but this was superior rather than average or something like that). She said that everyone liked me...loved me. That even the people who are hard to impress and have strong personalities are so happy that I'm there. That I've made an amazing impression on everyone. I think she even made a comment about my good communication skills - that one was a shocker, as I think communication skills are something I have to work doubly hard at. Even one of the doctors today told me she told a patient that I was "brilliant." I can't even tell you how much that meant to me. How it soothed the little bullied kid inside of me who remembers being tormented on the school bus and in class. How hard I've worked to "fix" whatever shortcomings I could find in order to fit in and make friends. If you wonder why I go around being so happy all of the time (in public), why I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, why I tend to let things "roll off my back," it's because of that. Yeah, I get upset. I get REALLY upset, but I try not to let that show until I'm in the privacy of my bedroom or car and can cry and scream to the walls.

I work with some of the world's most amazing women on my nursing team, and I feel extremely blessed to be their manager.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Elana! Don't stress about not posting to your blog. It has been far longer since I've read it! I'm glad I dropped by here today. I know you once told me you self-diagnosed yourself as having Asperger's. Did you ever actually get a formal diagnosis from a psychologist/psychiatrist? I did. I guess now we know one of the reasons it was easy for us to get along with each other. We probably understood each other's quirks better than most did.

    As to your new job, I think what you have found is similar to what I have found in the Philippines. There is a reason we call friendly people "warm" and unfriendly people "cold." For whatever reason, the weather seems to have a very real effect on people's behavior. I know I tend to relax when I am in a warm or hot climate and become alert when I am in a cool or cold climate. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has that reaction to it. The people we are used to being around in the Northeast are likely, on average, more difficult to get close to than the people in Tampa. (And yes, it actually really matters that you moved to the west coast of Florida and not the east coast, as there are far fewer transplants from the Northeast who live on the west coast compared to the east coast.) Enjoy being amidst people who are easier to connect with. Hopefully this will benefit your kids, too, and perhaps even Shmuel!

    I've known for a long time that you are excellent at communication, Elana. That is one of the reasons you are such a good teacher. It is nearly impossible to be an effective teacher without effective communication. And as for the "brilliance" remark by one of the doctors? That remark was very much deserved. You ARE brilliant, Elana! I mean, how many musical instruments were you able to play at one point? And didn't you get an undergraduate degree in something related to education? But then you got a master's in Judaic studies, right? And here you are now as a midwife, doing some pretty heavy-duty medicine. Seriously, is there anything you can't do? Sometimes all it takes to realize you're brilliant is to be in the presence of people who are not brilliant AND who are not envious of your brilliance. I am so sorry if I didn't give you enough credit where it was due before. I'm glad people finally are!

    Enjoy not having to shovel snow anymore! I know I certainly am enjoying it!

    Mao and I send our love. Take care!