8:05 PM

Measuring Productivity

I'm curious as to how other people out there have their productivity measured at their workplace. Is it the number of reports you write? Sales that you make? Patents or ideas you generate, or what? The reason I'm wondering this is because I had a really busy day today, but I think I produced just about no measurable work. How did my day get so busy? Well, I showed up to the clinic to collect a blood sample from a patient who's on my study right now. While I'm there, I see a patient who was previously on my study; the one who gave me the deer roast and bottle of wine. So, I stop and chat with them for a while as they wait to be called in to see the doctor. On my way out, I see my patient who left me the blood sample, and sitting right next to him is another patient who used to be on my study. So, I stop and chat with her for a bit before chatting with my current patient. Then as I'm leaving the clinic, I notice my current patient's mother sitting in the waiting area just outside the clinic, so I stop and talk with her for a while too. Before I know it, it's after 11:40am and I haven't even started any of the work I was planning to do.

While I felt unproductive for not doing all that desk-work I was planning, I can't quite bring myself to say that I had an unproductive day. But I guess if you look at my measurables, I'd fail pretty badly. So, what do you guys think? Is there any way for me to get around that?

1:12 AM

Best Band EVER!

On Friday night, I went to see the best band ever in concert at the Air Canada Center: the Barenaked Ladies!!!! Unfortunately for Jamie, he wasn't able to make it back for the concert, so I took Barry along with me. It was a really lucky thing for the both of us, actually, because one of Barry's heros, David Suzuki, came to the concert to give a little promo for his 'If I Was Prime Minister' campaign right now.

But man. The concert was just too much fun. I commented to Barry that once in a while, it's great to go to concerts to remind yourself just why that band is your favourite band ever. There were so many hilarious Scarborough/Toronto jokes and stories. And they also had this neat little gimmick where you purchase a wristband before the show, and then after the show was over, you trade the wristband in for a USB with the concert on it. Oh, and Barry, if you're reading this, it turns out that the concert was already loaded onto the key, so I'm not sure why that guy told you that it would take a few days before we could download it. We ended up buying one for Jamie so he could sort of experience the concert.

My voice was totally gone at the end of the night from all the screaming and singing along. It was awesome, awesome, awesome!!!!

Coming soon: Report on Dragon Ball wherein Karen is comic relief.

6:19 PM

Really nice people

Some days, you have little things that happen that make you realize that the world does have really nice people in it still. One of my former study patients came to clinic today. I was having a bit of a run-around day with a new patient getting treatment today as well, so I didn't get a chance to go and visit with my former patient in clinic like I usually do. The doctor came and found me and told me that him and his wife were looking for me, so I rushed down to clinic to see them, wondering if anything was the matter. Turns out, they had a bottle of homemade wine, homemade sausages, and a piece of deer roast for me. Back when he was on my study, he told me that he was going hunting in-between treatments, so the deer that he brought me was actually from his hunt. I thought that was honestly such a wonderfully nice thing for them to do. Him and his wife gave me a hug, and wished me Happy Valentine's Day before leaving, and that just put me in a good mood for the rest of the day.

Oh yeah...I had almost forgotten. Happy V'day everyone ^__^ Jamie's still in Ottawa, so I didn't have to do anything for it this year! Ha ha!

10:46 AM

Piecing things together

Okay...so the disaster of Monday has turned out not to be as bad as we thought. We've been able to reschedule our patient to next week, and the contamination that we had wasn't widespread at all. I've got my fingers crossed that everything will be okay. I think I told some of you about the crazy contamination problem we had last year thanks to Cambrex and their shipment of supposedly sterile media. I think I must have learned a lot from that experience about tracking down contamination problems. Things went really quickly over the week to nail down the problem, so I was pretty happy about that. Though it would've been best if this didn't happen at all, but what can you do.

And Jamie is coming home to spend the weekend in Toronto, but he's going to be going back to Ottawa again on Monday. Bleh. He's not sure if he'll be able to come back to have Chinese New Year dinner with my family, AND he might not even be able to go with me to the Barenaked Ladies concert on Friday that we got tickets for, like, a year ago. Grr...what a pain. I've also noticed that my incentive to cook or buy groceries has gone downhill. When it's just me, I don't pay as much attention to having regular meals. I know it's bad, and I shouldn't do that, but it just seems that my standards for myself are a lot lower. It sort of becomes, 'oh, it's okay to have a bowl of cereal for dinner'. Maybe I can drag my butt to a store this weekend...

5:02 PM

Rough Day

I think today has qualified as one of the most un-fun days I've had in a while. Today was a patient infusion day, so I arrived at the hospital at 7am to get working. Things seemed to start out well, except we have a slight equipment malfunction. Bit of an inconvenience, but nothing we can't handle. The procedure to harvest cells for infusion continues. Send the sample for a stat gram stain in. Usually, this is just a formality, because the contamination would have to be pretty drastic for it to come out positive. After all, our cells bags have nice, clear media in them, and the cells look really healthy. If they were contaminated, that just wouldn't be the case. HOWEVER, this time around, we get a positive. We send a couple more samples just to verify, and the all come back positive. So, we have to break the news to the poor patient who has been pre-hydrating for the past hour and half that we can't go ahead with the infusion. Ugh. And because of the result, you can imagine that we had a whole lot of craziness we had to attend to in the background that I won't really get into. So, thanks to that, 4pm rolls around, and I still haven't eaten lunch. Come home feeling drained and exhausted, looking for some hugs or something. Oh! Except that won't work either since thanks to ITAR rules, Jamie is currently in Ottawa doing work that he doesn't usually do, but was forced to go and perform simply because the person who normally does that work wasn't born in Canada. So, I figure maybe I can indulge in a little comfort food, like pizza or something, to de-stress. But that too had to get thrown out the window since I picked up some gastric bug last night and am limited to the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, apples, toast) to keep my stomach from being angry with me. Sigh...it's just been one of those days...

At least I can still have a hot cup of tea...