Long. Fucking. Day.
Well, 2012 has come and gone, and I must say it was a good year: I gained valuable experience working for my parents’ lab, got into three medical schools, turned them all down, got into two master’s programs, and then turned those down to go work for my alma mater’s medical school, where a position was created for me and I got a promotion after three months.
My barber is also a fortune-telling witch. She said 2012 was the year of the dragon, and that I would get a girlfriend. I did. Funny (actually ha-ha funny now, not just peculiar funny) thing, she never said how long the relationship would last. Personalities didn’t jive, I stood my ground on what I wanted, and guess what. Two months later, aforementioned girl and I broke up, and the more I think about it, it was a GREAT move to not stay together. Better two months than six or seven. Lessons learned, people psychoanalyzed, and future goals set. Moving on!
Now I look forward to 2013, and after giving the Mayan calendar a big FUCK YOU at 00:00 hours on 21/22 Dec 2012 (mostly because I didn’t prepare a giant orgy in case the end of the world really did happen), I’ve decided to review my one resolution from last year and see how I did:
Annual Resolution Solstice 2011-2012: I resolve to be more assertive, in that I get things done with confidence, and stand up for myself when faced with challenges.
I think I’ve done pretty well for myself this year (see Paragraphs 1 and 2), and although it was certainly a daunting task to go to all those interviews, fill out the applications, all while holding a full time position at the lab and a part time position as an EMT, it definitely paid off in the end. I am very lucky to have gotten the results that I did, and to have even gotten the opportunities and fortunate childhood that I did, since there are many people in the world who work ten, a hundred times harder than I do and never get the recognition they deserve.
There are pariahs in India who scoop feces out of the sewer each day, and barely get a few cents after weeks of toiling in other people’s shit. I have to deal with parental drama and the dream of becoming a surgeon, while children under the age of ten in this very same STATE have to deal with whether or not they will get to eat tomorrow. There are people my age in this country who hold three or four jobs just to support themselves (and their children), and it’s to those people I say thank you - you all make our lives in this great, first-world country easier.
Now what to have as my resolution for 2013? I really don’t like having more than one or two, since they all meld together and it’s pretty much guaranteed that I’ll forget 90% of them. So this year I will make only one resolution, just like last year:
I resolve to be a fun and generous person while always keeping a calm, cool head and placing myself in others’ shoes in order to reason with others in a civilized, professional, and objective manner while stating and achieving my own opinions, stances, and goals.
And a message to my dutiful followers on Tumblr: make resolutions you can keep. One resolution will grow over the year if you stick to it, and you’ll branch off that single resolution to achieve things you had probably never seen coming. As long as you keep that single goal in mind and stick to your guns, the rewards will come. In the end, by the Solstice 2013 (aka Christmas Eve), you’ll look back one year exactly and see that you’ve become a better person, which, in my opinion, is one of the best rewards a person can ask for.
The worst thing about a hard core and back day at the gym is trying to sit up in bed the next morning.
EMTs! Paramedics! Healthcare workers! People in general! Exercise your core - both abs and your lower back. I used to have chronic back problems, and I made up the excuse that I had a weak lower back. I couldn’t go 20 crunches without my back giving out. Yup, it was true, I did have a weak lower back - because I never exercised it. I started doing light back workouts. I ended up being able to do more crunches. What a concept.
I was pretty pissed yesterday, fuming about Art’s email and my subsequently shitty day. Today was MUCH better, and the punishment levied against my rectus abdominus muscle group certainly helped. I’ve got more grievances towards another person that are in the works, but I think it’ll be a long time before it warrants another rant, since it’s mostly on the back burners at this point and it hasn’t been anything that I can’t nonchalantly deflect so far.
I did, however, confirm the jealousy and resentment from some of my labmates today while out to lunch with Bartelby - he told me the whole story from before I even joined the lab until today, and essentially confirmed every one of my suspicions. Turns out it’s been a chronic issue since pre-Jon times, and it’s nothing out of the ordinary, which I was strangely glad to hear. Maybe this objective observer attitude isn’t so bad - turns out I’m reading people more accurately from behind the scenes.
And now a haiku!
Hiding in plain sight
These things I feel can’t be said
Work romance sucks balls.
Between changing jobs, dating, and acclimating to a new city, it’s easy to go months without punching out a casual piece of writing. Whatever discipline one follows (mine is The Ultimate Guide to Writing Better Than You Normally Do, by Colin Nissan, featured on Timothy McSweeney’s Internet Tendency), “writing is a muscle, […] and needs to be exercised to get stronger.” Whatever one’s reason scrivere (mine just happens to be a slightly rotten day at work), writing is ultimately healthy for the mind and for the articulative soul.
And now, as my four-year-old Siamese/Abyssinian chases some invisible hexapod, I begin my rant:
This job is highly rewarding - I get to work with tissues in a clean room facility and work alongside brilliant minds in medicine, all on the cutting edge of biotechnology. I enjoy the material, I enjoy my job, and most importantly, I am continuously learning.
With every workplace, however, there is a stigma: it is nearly impossible to get along perfectly with EVERYONE, and as the workplace increases in size, that stigma becomes more and more fact. Of course, interactions can be civil on a superficial level, but there will always be personalities that just don’t jive. I realize that my personality at work is more reserved, diligent, and observant rather than outgoing and deeply integral like I am with my friends or with my EMT coworkers. Part of this is because I’m still on my probation period, which doesn’t end until February 6th, and so I go above and beyond at my job, diligently do even the most menial of tasks, take on more than I can chew (and finish it), and respect my boss’s expertise at all times to avoid being kicked to the curb. This reserved attitude is also because there are so many different personalities pinging off each other in this lab that I need to take some time to mentally dissect each one in order to know how to act. Two things I’ve noticed about this lab are that in general, there is a tendency for (1) drama, and (2) gossip. Hence, my verbal solitude. Some may regard me as quiet and aloof, when I am really just trying to be observant and objective. My boss bet me that I would crack under the pressure and environment of the workplace. I haven’t yet, but I can see why.
Two of my best friends at work, Keiran* and Bartelby*, take on a similar observer-type approach to the workplace, and they both seem very comfortable where they are. Maybe that’s why we all get along. However, when one of the lab members, Art*, known for his quick temper and white-hot rage flashes, indirectly scolded me in an email that was CC’d to the rest of the lab, I got pissed. Not because he was wrong, but because he humiliated me. Whether this was intentional or not, I don’t know, but the bottom line is that he could have handled his concerns better.
I had written in my weekly Friday update to the lab that we were running low on general lab supplies, and that Bartelby and I were placing a giant order for supplies, which we were going to charge to Art’s project sponsor. The reason we did this was because Art and his student use an inane amount of lab supplies, far more than Bart and I combined, and we were primarily ordering these for Art. Admittedly, the way I phrased the email (“Most of this stuff is coming out of the Sponsor account, to fatten up the lab for winter”) was misleading, and it totally implies that I am using Sponsor funds to purchase general lab supplies. I mis-wrote the email, using Sponsor funds to purchase general supplies was NOT my intention, and Art, if you’re reading this, I am very sorry for mis-writing that email. I’ve already written you once and left you a voicemail, but as you’ve chosen not to reply to either one, I will assume you’ve received my apology and acknowledged my subsequent logic:
There is no money in the account, so even though you and your student have not spent a whole lot, Sponsor had found a legal loophole, and thus argued that they only had to give us half of the money that was promised. Additionally, the previous person in my position had their salary coming out of that account, money we didn’t have was spent on supplies, and now the account is in the red. I have since pulled the order, so nothing further will be charged to that account. I have seen the balance sheets, talked with our boss and the admin girls, and reviewed each element of each one of our five project accounts. So when you tell me that there is still money, check your facts before you make a claim. But that’s not what I’m upset about.
Clearly you have issues with civil communication and reining in your temper. This is a well-known fact, so don’t pretend it’s news. I would not have been angry had you replied to me and our boss only; however, you hit “Reply All” and sent that retort to the entire lab. Of course, your student thought it was “funny”, as I’ve talked to him today, but I see no humor in making an ass out of one of your coworkers. I realize your are a Type A personality, one who is used to taking charge, having authority, and delegating tasks. I respect your authority (authoriTAH - had to, sorry) over your project, since you are the expert. However, to manage a project and manage people, passive-aggressively attacking someone you work with EVERY DAY is not professional behavior. I understand that you went to our boss’s house to complain, two days in a row, which is completely fine - he is your confidante; everyone needs one. I didn’t have one all weekend, so I sucked it up. that’s my choice.
However, you didn’t bother showing up for work today either. Was it anger? Was it fear? Did you fear what you might do if you saw me? Or vice versa, what I might do if I saw you? Of course, you have my email and voicemail as evidence of how I would speak to you, as I ate your email and swallowed my anger to deal with your grievances in a civil and professional manner. “To Whom it May Concern” - oh come on, just say my goddamn name if that’s whom you’re concerning. “Sponsor funds should NOT be used to ‘fatten up the lab for winter’” - yes, I agree. Was the quote necessary? Or was that placed for extra flavor? I feel that this email was written out of anger, and sometimes I think I’m almost glad you copied everyone else. That way, they can see just how you deal with people who occasionally screw up, aka human beings.
In the style of Matthew Inman, creator of The Oatmeal and master of retorts to slander,
Hugs and Kisses,
Can’t express how excited I am to see our 16th president sweep the floor with a bunch of Edward Cullens. And by “sweep the floor with” I mean “utterly wreck with an ax”.
I figured that even though I’ve blocked my facebook from search engines, some future employer/med school will inadvertently find a way to read my entire facebook page. Because of this realization, I am moving all my collected quotes from there to here. Enjoy.
Anna: Brokeback vagina
Mustafa: The Dodge Viper was once my dream car, like that one car I always wanted. Then I thought, “you know, the Toyota Camry isn’t all that bad either.”
[downtown, using Magic 8 Ball app]
Kevin: Will Kevin get laid tonight?
8 Ball: Yes
Me: Will it be with a girl?
8 Ball: My sources say no
Some parts of the body can be conditioned against impact, like knuckles. Others cannot. Kneecaps, eyeballs…. (long pause) ….amygdala. - Master Rick Schubert
It’s very easy to be completely relaxed. Don’t believe me? Spend some time with cats and babies. -Master Rick Schubert
[while playing Mario Kart 64…]
Patrick: Who the fuck’s Peach?
Patrick: You’re a transvestite.
Me: You’re a virgin.
Chris: Hey Lauren, how’s life in widescreen?
Jane: Let’s get the fuck out of here. Last thing we need is a baby doing drive-bys.
[kid on a tricycle rolls around the corner]
Dad: It’s like a bambroon.
Me: A what?
Dad: A bambroon, one of those things that you throw and it comes back to you.
Me: Oh, a boomerang?
Dad: Yes….a boomerang.
Jane: So do you have, like, a slingshot?
Dad: What’s this ‘vegan’ thing?
Mom: It’s a type of diet.
Me: Yeah, people who eat only veggie products.
Dad: Oh…. where do they live?
Me: You know, there are people who are pescaterian.
Me: They only eat seafood and vegetables, no land animals.
Dad: Oh! What religion is that?
Mom: What’s that one African country….. Mosquito?
Robin: Midgets…BLOWOUT SALE
Dad: George Washington doesn’t like how small his horse is, so he goes and gets some…hairy…mammoth-donkey.
Every weekend is welcomed with tears of joy, but this one in particular is going to be so chock-full of crap flying everywhere that there will be no room for tears. Of any kind. At all.
Tomorrow I get to jet off from lab at noon to go getmy pre-employment physical for my spankin’ new job in a spankin’ new city. Sacramento, ready or not, here I come, guns ablaze.
Sort of. I hope it goes well. Moving into a big city, with a shiny new job, working my ass off and scared to death I’m not performing well. May I cite the talented Eric Wu (aka EmotionEric) to act out the grossly warped and totally inaccurate envisioning of my initiation:
Jon’s first day at his new job:
Jon’s second day at his new job:
So after getting poked with needles all afternoon, I’ll scoot over to this sweet condo I’m hoping to buy.
“BUY??? JON YOU SOUND SO OLD”
I know, right? But let’s face it - this is the best time to buy. Foreclosures everywhere, tons of available units/listings, everything’s price is tanking… if I don’t buy now, I’ll probably regret it later on when I have $600 bazillion in med school loans to pay off. At least this way, I’ll have a source of extra income (from my tenant of course) to help pay my way through school. Yay for prior planning!
THEN I’ve got a date at 7pm.
THEN I’ve got some hanging out to do with a Britishy friend who’s leaving for England for two months *tear*
THEN I’ve got equipment to set up for covering a Brazilian Jiu-jitsu tournament the next day.
THEN I have to fill up gas.
THEN I have to sleep.
Ha… silly me. I’m a pre-med lab geek/EMT. I’ll sleep when I’m dead.
Wake up, check plates, photograph microcrystals, get accepted for stem cell research position at UC Davis Institute for Regenerative Cures, take lunch, NBD.
The curse of EMS is that, in developing the thick emotional hide that we need to last in this profession, we flirt with losing the compassion that attracted us to EMS in the first place. But even for the most jaded and cynical among us, all it usually takes to remind us that most people are inherently good, and worth saving, is your sincere thanks.
Well, that and promptly pulling to the right whenever you see an emergency vehicle approaching. That would be swell too.Idk if I believe that people are “inherently good and worth saving.” Everyone gets my highest level of care and compassion but I find myself hoping that the next pt won’t be a scum bag. And yes, please pull to the right. – Steven “Kelly” Grayson. Author of A Paramedic’s Life (via jonvu)
(Source: boofrickingvu)Via loving you all the days of forever
9 days until my company’s trauma event of the year!
Each Memorial Day weekend, hundreds of college students flock to Lake Shasta to participate in the annual Houseboats (boat below) event, where some of the bro-est dudes and the sluttiest girls spend three days partying, drinking, and screwing. Across Lake Shasta there about 40 islands, each with sandy beaches, green grass, and beautiful mini landscapes.
Naturally, the one island everyone goes to is called Slaughterhouse Island. It’s got broken glass, sharp rocks, jagged sticks, and hidden crevices just begging to snap a few ankles.
I would like to thank the Associated Students of UC Davis for providing us our own houseboat to use a mobile medical relief station. All that we ask for this year is barbed wire around the roof of our boat so drunken death-wishing bros don’t hop across the top. That’s OUR turf. We will provide the sentry/tranquilizer rifle.
What I wish we had:
So not only could we be mega-badasses at healing, we could also have our own pool, restaurant, massage parlor, sauna, basketball court,
gentleman’s club, gentleman’s club, swing set, waterslide, sailor hats, PA system, and VIP room.
Unfortunately, with ASUCD’s less-than-80-million-dollar budget, we get this:
Not bad for 10 EMTs. Note to self: bring lawn chairs and sleeping bag for the roof.
Here I come, ladies. Enter sexy FTO. Hit on me at your discretion.
When I need to find a real wedding date. Explanation to follow:
I’ve gone to three of my cousins’ weddings, and each time it was either in a foreign country, I was part of the string quartet, or I was still hung up on how weird it would be if I had asked the girl I’d just spent the majority of the previous night’s party making out with.
My old college roommate’s getting married in August, and I need to send an RSVP by June 15th. For once I’d like to NOT be in any of the aforementioned three conditions, and so far I’m drawing up a game plan. Which starts with the fact that UCDMC called back and said I was a TOP CANDIDATE for the position of STAFF RESEARCH ASSOCIATE II in their STEM CELL RESEARCH PROGRAM.
After weighing my options on which program to attend (Boston U or UCDMC, currently leaning towards the latter, since it not only gives me a paid position, it also gives me tons of research and potentially a letter of rec from one of the nation’s leading stem cell researchers. Good reason? Good reason), I’ll begin
whoring myself out exploring the foray into relationship territory again. To be quite honest, I’ve been pretty busy with this whole get-into-med-school thing, but I’ve always been a relationship guy, and I always will be. I’m 23, going on 24, and I’m clearly not cut out for the single life - at this point I want to try dating again. It’s been a while, I’m a bit rusty, but practice makes perfect, as with all things.