So, I’m employed. I think I mentioned that. If I didn’t, sorry.   I spent one looooong week in a school-like training in front of a computer reading, no thinking required, and it completely flattened me. The second week was learning how to read, and enter orders then mock draw and process the ‘blood’. This week marks my first full week putting the second week’s processes into practice. I draw more in a day than I used to in a week, and after the first few very painful days I’m starting to get the hang of it.  I am picking things up quickly but as per usual with me, never quickly enough.

A question I get from my family is “will you be able to do this job?” Their meaning is are you going to be able to do this long term without going around the bend.  I think I can.  It’s not rocket science, it’s just sticking people with needles. It is very fulfilling when you think you know where it is and you’re right.  It’s rewarding when people say they didn’t feel anything or when they say they’ll ask for you next time because you’re one of three people to EVER to get the vein on that arm.  It is nice to have validation from perfect strangers that I am doing the job I am meant to be doing.  (To clarify, writing and being a writer is who I am, vampire is what I do to be who I am).

I’ve been thinking back to the late nights spent with my  journal planning for after the apocalypse.  The plan was I would go to the two week vampire school, I would get a job, I would move away and happily become who I want to be instead of what I was.   I expected it to take about a year. I was a little short sighted as to  how long it would take and how hard of a slog it would be and, of course, COVID. The joke about parents walking to school ten miles in the snow barefoot uphill…both ways, barely describes the process it has been. (Note ‘it HAS been’, not ‘it is’.) I’m still pushing forward on those plans concocted alone in bullet-proof ink only now I’m stronger, a bit wiser and just a little germaphobic.

Training was an exercise in keeping the anxious ‘I can’t do this’ and ‘I’m going to fail’ carefully cordoned off with a rope of self-talk and prayer. I did better than I thought I would even though I over-thought the simple stuff. The last few days of this week I purposely stretched my back and shoulders between the waves of patients, found comfortable shoes and meditated during lunch. Basically, figuring out what I need to do to do my job with the way my mind works. I’m enjoying the people I work with, they aren’t off put by my anxiety and understand I will do more and go faster I just need to settle a little. We had a float/trainer come in on Friday who, I don’t know if she meant to or not, but did a great job in shaking those foundations I had already built. She’s one of those trainers who believes her way is the best way and just barks instructions over your shoulder while you’re trying to learn something. Telling me to put in a code isn’t training me to find the code when she isn’t there. I’m sure I’ve been that kind of trainer when I was younger but I sincerely don’t appreciate it now and I strained to hold back my comments on her ‘training’ skills. How do you tell someone they need to be trained to train? My experience for training is from training volunteers. Two different animals, I know, but the process is the same.

So, the tally is…two weeks at an off-site training facility, one week on site, one paycheck that is already spent and my first six day week coming up. I’m looking forward to September 5…..Memorial Day…..a paid day off. What a concept. I balked at the two week off-site training we were required to endure when I was hired, but because of it the first week onsite was far more fun than mental.

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