Yeah, I’ve been a bit quiet recently. I’ve been waiting for good news to report. I’ve gotten some-sort of. It’s good news I’m not willing to bank on just yet.
I’ve accepted an offer from an Ontario practice. They’re awesome, of course. I haven’t uprooted my life for anything less than awesome. My start date would be September 1.
Thing is, as is the case with ALL Ontario midwifery practices, this offer is “…pending new registrant funding”. From what I understand from the group, if this position ISN’T funded, it will be a first in the history of the practice.
Said funding is usually released on or around May 31. As of now, no funding has been released by the Ministry of Health.
Here’s an excerpt from recent email from the Association of Ontario Midwives to me: “AOM staff have been working daily on this issue since May, in frequent contact with all levels of the Ministry of Health, and we do believe that the Ministry understands the urgency of the need to release the funding immediately. We are optimistic that as soon as funding flows for all Ministry programs and services, midwifery new registrant funding will receive top priority.” This is happening to ALL government funded programs, not just midwifery.
I’m having flashbacks to mid October of last year, when I found out that the bridging program in Vancouver would not be running their January course due to lack of funding.
My defense is that my contract is languishing on my dining room table, and will stay there until I know my position is funded. I can’t let myself get excited again.
On the local side I have another situation of just-beyond-my-fingertips.
Back in March, while still in Ontario, I started putting out feelers for a temporary job in Chicago. I got a whole bunch of nothing from midwifery practices. This makes sense, of course; it usually takes three months for midwives to get hospital privileges, and I was offering three to six months.
Then I applied to hospitals for labor and delivery nursing jobs. I heard back from three, and none of them wanted a temporary employee.
Then I applied for a job through a nursing staffing agency, who specialize in short term assignments. Things were clipping along smoothly until my agent realized that my nursing experience is more than five years ago. Their clients want nurses who have worked in labor and delivery in the past one to two years, she explained; so sorry.
Then I approached an administrative service specializing in midwifery and asked if they needed any help-midwife brain for hire! We went from discussing a mutually exciting and creative short term job, which slowed and stalled when she realized she could accomplish her project with her existing staff.
THEN I heard back from a nurse manager at a Chicago hospital who thought long and hard and decided she WOULD like a temporary nurse. This was a door that I thought had closed long ago, and I tripped over myself with gratitude. I was on my way out of town; she told me to call human resources when I got back to set up a time to fill out paperwork.
When I did, it didn’t occur to me until I was shaking hands with the recruiter that I should have dressed in interview clothes. I’d also been sick for a few days prior. I did the paperwork and he did a generic interview with me (What motivates you? What does teamwork mean to you?), most of which was easy but I totally tripped on one or two questions. Then I met with the nurse manager, and we half interviewed/half chatted for over an hour. By the time I left I felt like I’d known her for years. She’s amazing, her hospital is great, and I started getting excited about working there.
The next steps, she said, are an employee health physical and my reference check. If we can get those done ASAP, I could start working in a week and a half!
I skipped my way back to the train station, and the rest of my day was spent visiting friends. I loved every tree, squirrel, and person I saw.
Then, in the evening, the brainweasels got started.
My coming to human resources in Summer Casual instead of Power Suit and my answers-I-wish-I-could-take-back began to gain speed as reasons they won’t hire me. If not that, the employee health provider doing my physical will find end stage cancer or something equally horrific and equally implausible, or my references won’t call back or will give me a terrible reference. That last is especially laughable since one of them is Lynne, and I have no reason to believe that the other reference will be anything but good.
The brainweasels then gave me a mental slide show of my closed doors of the past few months: no midwife job, no nursing job; no agency work, no consulting gig. For each of them I charged forward with my usual unrestrained enthusiasm and got stopped in a Wile E. Coyote fashion.
Then I remembered that the Ontario job is no guarantee, either. I’m not kidding about the flashbacks. My hope sinks a little more with each passing day, though I’m coping by doing what’s in front of me and going “LALALALA!!!!!”
I’m close to the end of my coping, and I’m close to the end of my money.
For the past three months I’ve put on my Big Girl face. I got up and tried again, admonishing myself to not be upset over not getting something that only happened in my imagination anyway. I’ve had flickers of resentment against the concept that As A Nurse, I’ll Always Have A Job. For the most part, though, I don’t feel entitled to anything, so that’s not something I entertain very much or for very long.
It wasn’t until yesterday evening that I said out loud, “I’m so tired of getting my hopes up.” That was the crack in the dam. For most of the rest of the night I surrendered to the brain weasels and cried.
I know myself well enough that in The Big Picture, I’m fine. I’ve said elsewhere that I have no real fear of being homeless and starving. Next year, next month, hell, maybe next week I’ll look back on last night and see how unnecessary it was.
Until I get more information, though, all of my fears have at least a seedling of rationality to them. For a variety of culminating reasons, last night they got distorted by mental funhouse mirrors into an insurmountable, undefeatable monster.
It’s my hope that getting this out will get it out of my head.
In the meantime, all I have to do, all I can do, is wait. I trust, because it’s my default setting, but in this moment, I can’t tell the difference between rational and irrational fear.