I've worked at OHSU for a year and a half now, and while I love my co workers, it's been a labor of love for many other reasons.  I am so very grateful to be employed, but this rural social worker was completely unprepared for the cold, cold world of being at the top of the Very Large Hospital's research bureaucracy and politics.  (Key word:  research.  I have no frame of reference for Healthcare).
I'm sure it's no different than what happens in any other large corporation / bureaucracy and I have tons of respect for the PIs, Researchers, Administration and for the excellent, excellent research that's being generated from this top notch hospital.

I'm an office assistant.  In the truest I-make-coffee-make-mail-runs-if-you'd-like-to-speak-to-the-Vice-President-you-gotta'-get-through-me-first type way.  It's not bad work.  It's just largely uninspiring.  And it's a student position:  the pay is decent and they've been extremely understanding and flexible with my graduate student schedule.  I've made some amazing friendships through the office.
And.  (Because just like most things, it's usually "and" and not "either / or").  It hasn't always been good.  In fact, my first official functions had me in tears almost every day (for many complex and intersecting reasons) and during our nightly conversations, Shoes begged me to quit.  But what do you do when you only have so many hours during the week you can work and the pay is decent?  What you have to.  Earlier this Spring I found out that they really needed me to be there consistently in the afternoons, which I absolutely cannot do, as I'll be counseling kids when they get out of school.

In the afternoons.  And that is when I knew my time with the hospital was probably coming to a close.  And for all the flexibility and genuine well wishes of my co-workers, I knew it was time.  It was relieving.  But I also knew I needed to work, and my schedule next year is going to be out of control.  Very few employers are that patient with my limited availability to show up at a job.  It's been a tough Spring of job searching and worry, in the midst of everything going on.

I'm sure you've figured out where all this is going by now, but I've just accepted a position with Psychiatry as a Research Assistant.  Still with the hospital, but pretty far removed from what I've been doing.  Nights and some Saturdays, doing kid and family assessments.  It couldn't be more up my alley.  I'm excited to put it on my resume.  I'm excited to do the work. 

And.  Like I told Shoes in December of 2009, there's a reason you stick through things and work it out.  Sure, there comes a time when sometimes you have to just move on from certain things, but I had a hunch it would work out if I plugged through.  I'll work both jobs until September, save a little money for the event that will legalize my Coupledom with Shoes, and then transition out.  A little more plugging through, but a little hard work never hurt anybody, right?

Right. ;)


  1. Katelyn on July 5, 2011 at 4:15 PM

    Yes, yes, yes!! I'm loving these waves of good news! Congratulations on the job, and I hope it's as fulfilling as it sounds!
    You have been on my mind a lot recently so you've had many prayers sent your way friend!

  2. Anonymous on July 12, 2011 at 7:34 AM

    all those hard things teach us...you're one heck of a stick-with-it girl!

    Ever meet/run into Shirin Ojaghi-Hiatt? I think she's in research and development at OHSU...nursing. I went to college with her here at Eastern back in the day.

  3. Lisa on July 12, 2011 at 8:45 AM

    I've never met Shirin, but I'll keep an ear out for her! It's funny how small Oregon (or Portland!) really is ...


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