Lisa Newburger, L.I.S.W.-S./a.k.a. Diana Directive provides humorous ways to deal with difficult topics. Check out Diana’s webpage at www.discussdirectives.com.This has been a really rough month! Can you believe I didn’t make it over to Nordstrom’s … not even once? Between work and running back and forth to the hospital, who can shop? The only perk was checking out the new gaggle of doctors. Coincidentally, they like to do rounds … when I am in the room. You know how I know this? There is a “CODE DIANA” that I swear goes out on the overhead pager system. It is tweeted on their phones. The girls at work think it is just a coincidence. I tell you, they are just so jealous!Work hasn’t been going well. Serena, my dental assistant, said, “The front desk girls are getting peeved.” What else is new? This time, they are annoyed I called off to be at the hospital. That is ridiculous, right? They can’t fire me for that … or can they? I needed to find out, so I went into my dentist’s office to have a little tete to tete …See, my French is improving!“Look doc, it is happening again. Can you talk to the girls up front? I had to call off three times last week, because mom had surgery. It was G-R-U-E-L-I-N-G! I had to be there at 6 a.m. Do you realize how many hours I need to get my beauty rest and to put myself together? This doesn’t just happen INSTANTANEOUSLY!”I tried to reschedule the surgery, but got nowhere with the hospital. Then, mom was delusional and pulling at her tubes. It isn’t like the oxygen bars in Vegas where there is flavored oxygen. If there was, I might be sharing it with mom when I was over there. The only thing calming her down was me next to her telling her about all the sales she is missing. I made up stories of great deals I got. What if she wants to see the LOOT? I’ll have to fake it somehow…I am G-O-O-D at that! Luckily, she is confused, so I keep telling her the same story over and over again.” My dentist replied, “You need to talk to Marissa, the office manager, about this.” This isn’t a good idea. SHE just doesn’t … shall we say … appreciate me!
I made my GRAND entrance into Marissa’s office. Entrances are my strong point. Everyone looks up to see what I am wearing…Everyone, that is but Marissa.“What do YOU want Diana? More time off for what… an impromptu trip to San Diego?”Marissa was in “fine” form. I explained how mom was in the hospital.“Come on Diana. You used that excuse last month.”Well, it was the truth. Mom was having a little nip and tucking done and wanted me to be nearby… for consultations. Checking out potential husbands, the doctors, can be a full-time job!“Diana, are you telling me that your mom is now going to have a revision to cosmetic surgery? Honestly, how can you make up this stuff? You need to be at work as scheduled.”“Marissa, my mom is in serious trouble. She is in the ICU unit, and we don’t know what is going to happen.”“Oh…Sorry to hear that… How can I help?”“Is my job safe?”“Diana, you have been on double secret probation for months. When is it ever safe? But, as far as taking time off for your mom…yes, your job is safe for that. Have the hospital fill out these forms for the FMLA and you can get up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave.”“UNPAID??????? …how will I pay my bills? That should be a four letter word! I have been saving up to go to Paris.”“Diana, put the trip on hold.”“NO, I can’t do that… There has to be some way around it…maybe a sugar daddy?”“You can use your PTO benefits. How much time do you have?”“Not much. I took off for a Henri Bendel shopping adventure in New York.”“Do I need to take it all off at the same time?”“No, we will have to make some arrangements. How about going down to 3 days a week?”“Can I think about it?”“Whatever you want. Just let me know.”I left Marissa’s office stunned. She was R-E-A-L-L-Y trying to help me. Maybe I shouldn’t be so harsh on her. It’s hard to be the office manager of a dental practice, right? Now I can double up my efforts at the hospital to find me A MAN…correction…a doctor. Forget a doctor… a specialist…Then my future would be set. After all, this is the ultimate gift I can give mom. Me marrying a doctor. Isn’t that every mother’s dream?I’m going to head back to the hospital to find some cute doctor to complete the forms. If you are going through this kind of issue, email me at [email protected]. We can chat. Besides, I need more questions to ask in order to make my mark on the doctors. Talk to you next month.