Quick recap for those just joining my blog: A little more than 3 1/2 years ago, I was laid off from my overly well-paid corporate job. In the interim, I worked part time in a Level 1 medical center emergency department (that I actually volunteered at once a week while I worked at my overly well-paid corporate job.) A month ago, a former coworker of mine swooped in and saved me from food stamps and hired me back into the corporate world. I was so thankful to have an income again. Although I hate the company I work for, I sold my soul ONCE AGAIN to the corporate devil in order to pay my 3-months-late cable and phone bills. My son was ecstatic because he missed having a good Christmas.
Fast forward to today.
It's ridiculous how much I'm being paid for what I do but it's always been like that for this company. I didn't take over someone's job - it was created for a new project so I pretty much had nothing to do the first few weeks. I just sat in my cubicle, staring at the walls, missing my puppy, and making money. Which was cool. Hell, I finished the whole "Hunger Games" trilogy in my first two weeks! Then the thoughts started.
What am I doing here? I'm not helping anyone but myself. But I desperately need money. How desperately? I've seen people die in the ER. I've comforted their families. I can't even tell you how many babies I've seen blue and pulseless because their well-meaning mamas wanted them to sleep with them. I saw my colleagues try to resuscitate a 9-month-old baby boy, only to have to call his time of death while he was wearing nothing but a diaper. I tried to entertain his 2-year-old brother while their mother sobbed over his body. Two weeks later she was charged with manslaughter because she shook her baby to death.
I was taught CPR at my corporate job because my boss thought it would look good on our annual evaluations. After they laid me off, I saw CPR performed in real life too many times. I learned that if you come into the ER with people pumping your chest, you likely won't live. (Well, there was one exception: A woman who dealt cards on our local casino boat collapsed due to an apparent heart attack. The EMTs jumped into action and attached a defibrillating device to her. She rolled into the ER conscious and scared. She was the only one I saw who ever survived a cardiac arrest.)
So I sit in my cubicle and listen to the people around me get upset over ignorant coworkers who don't understand their deadlines and won't work with them to MAKE THIS DAMN POWERPOINT PROJECT COME TOGETHER.
And I think of the 40-something dentist with tattoos who had a sudden heart attack in front of his family and lived for 3 days before succumbing. And I think of the eldery lady who turned her car in front of others and died on her daughter's birthday. And I think of the young girl and her boyfriend who brought in their unresponsive 1-year-old little girl. I sat with them because our pastoral services weren't there yet and listened to their story of not being able to wake the baby for some reason. I later saw both of them in our newspaper being arrested for abuse and manslaughter in her death. And I think of the Indian girl (whose husband works at my company) who died with her unborn daughter while 8 months pregnant. I never knew what happened to them, only that the baby had been passed for a while.
And I think I can't sit in a cubicle anymore because the world is bigger than these proverbial first-world problems. There are too many people out there whom I can comfort. I'm making more money than I deserve but I crave certain creature comforts that require money. And my baby wants Santa to bring him lots of presents. So I'm good. I'm good.
I don't know how much longer I can pretend to be okay with this.