Tuesday, September 10, 2002

bummer morning

Well, I schlepped in to collect my junk, sign my layoff agreement (weird, that, eh?) sign my "contractor's" agreement, say allegedly temporary goodbyes to some people, leave my card ... I did not want to go in at all. The news was even worse than I thought. I hated every second I was there today, faithfully did my chores such as emptying out all the junk from my directories, scrubbing my email, etc. as quickly as I could, turned in my keys, and then practically ran out the door. The place looks like a neutron bomb hit -- where once there were 80, now there are about 45 or 50, max. Sad. The day before what would've been my two-year anniversary (9/11, oddly enough). I really hope this place can pull off a turnaround over the next three months -- there are so many really good and smart people there who don't deserve to be saddled with a failure.
posted by lee on 09/10/02 at 07:26 PM

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Saturday, September 07, 2002

What I did on my summer vacation ...

I've had better vacations. Stanley and I left for Oscoda, MI on August 23rd. The trip was a bit nightmarish in part, but all in all, okay. When we left, all was well with our world and we were REALLY looking forward to a badly needed vacation -- days on the shore of Lake Huron, visiting my parents and other family living in Michigan, going to Bingo and maybe even winning, plans to go to the Michigan shoreline above Cross Village so Stanley could see my favorite place on the planet ...

The only thing troubling me was that my sister was feeling really sick, which, for her, is unusual.

The worst part about the trip out there was our stop in Newton Falls, Ohio, at the Rodeway Inn. We stayed there because they take pets. Well, it was fairly clean, at least, but a total creepout otherwise. We do NOT recommend it. It was pretty expensive, too, at $60 for a room in the middle of Nowhere. We got in so late there was only one place open for a meal: Kountry Kitchen. We have a rule of thumb: never eat anywhere that uses a "K" instead of a "C." It was an omen. We should've gone hungry.

Things were okay for a couple of days. We had a few problems launching a web site -- miscommunication mainly -- but worked that through so it was not really a big deal, but annoying because we wanted to relax and not have to work on a website we thought was finished.

Then, I called my sister to find out how she was doing, and she told me she was heading out the door because her doctor told her to go to the emergency room immediately. The emergency room was in a hospital about a thousand miles away, in Boston. We sat tight until we could find out what was going on. It turned out that she was in the acute phase of Wegener's granulamatosis, her kidney's had shut down, needed chemotherapy, in real trouble. So we knew we had to head back east earlier than we'd planned.

So, we're still on vacation, but we're now in Boston, and trying to help my sister and her family with stuff. Stanley never dreamed he'd have to mow almost an acre of lawn while on vacation. Or fix a toilet. I had no plans to scrub and clean and ferry kids to soccer games ... but I couldn't relax anyway while my sister is in trouble.

Then, I figured out that I've been laid-off from my part-time gig. Not found out, not notified, just figured it out. Canned along with at least eight or nine colleagues. Since NetOps turned off my access to the company email and website, I figured it out (this place is imploding, and has been for a while, so I wasn't really surprised, just annoyed that they couldn't wait until I got back from vacation to flip the switches). So I rattled the network to get my suspicions confirmed -- the network of refugees from the same place, who knew what was going on before the survivors did. Amazing.

So, my sister is sick with an illness that will threaten her the rest of her life, and a small but steady income stream has been clipped way before I was really prepared for it. Great vacation, eh? And it isn't even over. Not until Monday.

Ah well. I needed more time, anyway, now I'll have it.

What really pisses me off, though, is my sister's problem should've been diagnosed a long time ago. Her medical group, Harvard Vanguard, wouldn't let her go to a specialist earlier, and her assigned physician dismissed my sister as just another hypochondriacal woman - ignored her symptoms, gave her a prescription for Paxil, referred her to a shrink - total incompetence, which could've killed my sister. My sister's symptoms present a textbook case of Wegener's -- even though it is rare, according to everything I've read about it, it should've been an easy diagnosis to make much, much earlier if her physician had actually listened instead of making assumptions. Just another reason people should stop treating physicians as gods.
posted by lee on 09/07/02 at 10:38 PM

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