Rolling, Rolling, Rolling…

It is now two months into my career transition from an Administrative Assistant to that of a Veterinary Technician Assistant.

The transition was subtle and quiet.

My former job was mundane and my interest waned. I arrived at my new job on day two and was tossed into ‘trial by fire’ for on that day the boss had me deal with cat/dog restraints, surgeries, and filling chemo prescriptions. I survived and did not faint or throw up during the surgery.

The cat restraints look like this:

I complained at one time of sitting too much at the former job-now I stand for eight hours a shift. I eat lunch standing, I fill prescriptions standing, I assist with surgery standing…I stand.

I complained at one time of being disturbed during my one hour lunch break. Now, there are no lunch hour breaks, no five-minute break, no eating my bagel before starting the day’s work. No break.

I complained about the mundane repetitive duties. Now, some duties are repetitive but the clients and animals always present a new experience.

I complained about boredom and no room for growth. I now give medical injections and express the bladder of the resident kitty, who cannot do so on her own, as well as walking and cleaning up after dog boarders and medical boarders while simultaneously running the washer and dryer and cleaning up cat litter trays…this stops here.

Am I unhappy with the transition? No. Do I miss my other job? No. Have I thought about my other job? No.

After a shift, I return home pumped with adrenaline from the day’s work and it takes a while for it to dissipate. I do not come home stressed out or angry. I do not go to work stressed out and angry.

My former job:

The sound of work at my current job:

I like my current job.

Free At Last…Part 1

July 31, 2o13

After two- years working as an Admin Assistant at a MICA women’s’ shelter in downtown Brooklyn, (far from my ‘hood but going through the same gentrification which destroyed mine)..I am now FREE!

Free to pursue my interest…school and working as a Vet Tech Assistant

Free of an unhealthy environment…I no longer inhale crack cocaine, cigarettes or marijuana on a 40 hour five days a week basis

Free of verbal and abusive violence…some from the clients, most from the staff

Free of all medical and dental benefits…now is not the time to need an appendectomy

Free of a mediocre salary…now I earn enough to qualify for the status of “below the poverty line”

Free of working with others my age…we will not go there just yet, still adjusting…

As of now, I work one day a week with fill in days at a neighbourhood veterinary practice. The practice is housed in a four-story limestone building across from Prospect Park, Brooklyn, New York, and a twenty-minute walk from my house. images[1]

The owner of the practice responded to my resume posted to a vet tech employment site. He called to schedule an interview two days after receiving it and I met him one day later, 6:30pm on a Friday evening. The interview was five minutes with a twenty-minute tour of the facility. I shadowed one day a week, (no pay) for about a month and officially hired August 1.

This was my third interview for a vet tech position, older in age than most entering a new field and thankfully this one came through! The owner was impressed with my cover letter, which, states where I come from-job wise and where I would like to go -passion wise. And yes, he is older than me, which I am sure helped in the hiring decision.

I’ve learned cat and dog restraint, how to feed a finicky chinchilla medicine and most importantly dodging lethal attacks from the in house resident rescue Chihuahua who has a thing for people of colour (he was found tied to a hydrant with his bed and it is possible he was abused by a person of colour, hence his desire to attack anyone darker than an office manila folder).20130804_151201

I also learned quite a bit on laboratory testing, administering meds with a pill popper and vaccines as well as aseptic techniques and medical jargon…this can go on but it stops here.

I assisted in an abdominal exploratory surgery. The poor doggie swallowed a rubber ball and only half was expelled. The rest? Found in his intestines, which were blazing red from the intrusion. I survived the procedure, did not faint and was able to monitor his pulse, blood pressure, and anesthesia and still eat sausage later in the week.

This experience is an exciting change from sitting behind a desk in an uncomfortable chair pushing papers and each day of work brings the opportunity to learn something new.
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Been a long time…

It’s been a long time since my words made their way onto a page.

Transitions continue to subtly move within mi alma and guide me towards the shifts needed to move from a mind-numbing rut into a forward moving , thinking with anticipation, embracing the changes strut. images[7]

I enrolled in an online vet tech program, in the process of completing my first semester of full time classes, gave two week notice, verbal and written at the 40 hour a week MICA shelter, began a part-time Sunday only vet tech assisting job, sent out resumes too numerous to mention, went and hopefully will continue to go on interviews and it’s all good. Being in my late 40’s, going through the changes and no, not menopause, makes it all good.

There have been kill-joys who wrinkle their noses upon learning of yet another of my career changes and that’s all good too. At least, I am blessed to have had the opportunity to explore and indulge where my passions take me-blowing in the wind.

But sometimes

The wind may die down and you drop where it stops and fall into a hole. The hole can feel like a big soft blanket, safe and comforting of the most anesthetizing kind. Food, alcohol and e-books are easily delivered with a click from the keyboard or a cell phone call.

And eventually

You realize the hole is just a hole with no forward or backward movement. It starts to become smaller and the big soft blanket now has scratchy fuzz which scrapes on your dry skin, waking you from the anesthesia you thought you had. Delivery food gets expensively boring and the alcohol makes you fat, while the unread e-books take up space on your Kindle.

I prayed and prayed, cursed, than prayed some more for guidance and HE gave it.

I slowly climbed from the hole and dusted the food crumbs off my body, got on the internet and researched on working with animals. My compassion and dedication to those who have difficulty defending themselves shifted from people to animals. This is now my forward motion and it’s all too good.

My two mini schnauzers have taught me many lessons : unconditional love, patience, understanding pain when it’s not expressed, getting rid of vomit stains, breaking up dog fights, cutting black nails, cleaning out ears, picking up feces , this can go on but it stops right now. I am grateful to them for their influence on my decision to embark on this career transition.

Thank you Tobias and Pi-Patel who incidentally, refused to get in the hole.

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