Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Dead End Jobs

CD in Play: Blonde Redhead, 23

The Way of the Dead

As the people who know me know, I am interviewing for a job as an autopsy technician. I found out about the opening courtesy of Geosomin, who has ties to the Health Region. I have had the first interview and am impatiently waiting for the second interview, which should have taken place last Monday. However, the second interview will now take place after August 11th, when the Lab Manager returns.
The reaction I have had from many people after I tell them what I am going out for ranges from surprise to disgust. Let me state that I am actually interested in the work, as I have always been fascinated by human anatomy. It is a tough job as I have been told in the first interview - which is about discouraging the candidate. Let me state emphatically: I am not interested in this job because of those crappy CSI shows or any other forensic types of shows, not even one I like such as Da Vinci's Inquest. Any comments to that effect will be deleted. The main purpose of autopsies is to look for missed diagnoses, it is not only about homicide, suspicious deaths or suicide. That may explain why the number of autopsies performed in North America have decreased since 1955.
It is a tough job, so why do it? Not only do I have to assist the pathologist and put people back together, but I believe I have to wheel the decedent out for families to view. The job carries risks of exposure to pathogens and diseases, like Hepatitis C and CJD and vCJD. Why not take something easier? One reason is the money. I won't state how much it is, but it is better than any other job I have a shot at doing here or anywhere else right now. That said, the job is quite underpaid and that is something that the Lab Manager makes of point of saying in the first interview. However, I have debts to pay down before I can return full time to school.
I am also interested in the work as it happens. My parents bought me a the "Visible Man" model when I was a kid and I was forever taking out the organs and disassembling and reassembling the skeleton. I loved my Anatomy class and found dissection pretty interesting. The Lab Manager apparently found this hard to believe, as she was asking Geo if I was really was interested in medical stuff or just putting on a good show. I am genuinely interested in these things and look forward to working in a more intellectually stimulating atmosphere. Also a place where my darker sense of humour may be allowed to flourish.
If I get the job, I know it won't be easy but then many jobs aren't. I know people who think I am nuts for wanting to teach grades 11 and 12. I have worked in call centers and those jobs will just grind and wear you down. Many jobs will just get to you with their pointlessness - they feel as though they are there just to keep people occupied. Office politics will eat at you. It really depends on your point of view. But autopsies are necessary and someone needs to deal with our dead. I dunno, I just feel it is a job I can do.

And as for perogies...

I had a horrible day today. It is hard work. My jobs range from packaging, shipping and receiving, to peeling potatoes, coring cabbages, dishes, mopping, sweeping and helping with catering orders. I have been doing a lot. I have one job that I will not do and that is kneading and stretching the dough. I have a bad right shoulder and the dough job aggravates my shoulder something fierce. If I did dough I'd be close to useless for the rest of the day. The woman I said no to is in charge of production. She was not happy. I am sensitive about my arm. I have had years of people treating me differently when they find out about it. Some people treat me like a complete gimp and others think I am faking in order to get out of some hard work. She shot me a look, a particular look that I have had to endure all my life, and I have set up a job interview tomorrow morning at another place as a result.
I like the owners, they are nice people. I hate to just jump ship so suddenly, but I will not work in a place with such a poisonous individual working there.


Blogger Peter T Chattaway said...

Ah, the Visible Man. My parents got me a Visible Woman when my mother became pregnant with my brother (or with my sister; I can't remember when, exactly). I always liked the Woman better because it had two different abdomens, one pregnant and one not, and you could switch back and forth between the two.

I just found my Visible Woman the other day, actually, when my kids began going through one of my boxes.

Sorry to hear about the perogie job. Good luck with the interview tomorrow.

30 July, 2008 08:35  
Blogger Thoth Harris said...

Magnus, you should have entitled this post, "anatomy of a perogie."

Speaking of which, kicks in the crotch aside (I actually like your detested shows, but I digress), I don't believe your ever deleted me, or ever would, unless in the unlikely event I said something really, really false or offensive, and totally uncharacteristic of the rapport that you I had had thus far blogosphere and interpersonal-wise.

That said, what gives with the threats? Have some people actually suggested seriously (and not smart-assedly like I did) that you took the job to accumulate and emulate? - you know what I mean, anyway.

Or are you just being sarcastic or exasperated, etc. Perhaps it is a little bit of the latter too, Anyway, my sympathies, empathy, and synchronized swimming (er, I mean synchronized something, maybe the word doesn't exist for it yet). I had an experience like that working as a dishwasher about 6 or 7 years ago at a place on Duluth. In that case, too, the owner was nice (and desperate for employees to boot, as well).

Best of luck as things progress!

30 July, 2008 11:03  
Blogger Magnus said...

Pete: I wanted the Visible Woman too, but she never materialised. Hopefully your will get as much out of them as we did.

Thoth: "Anatomy of a Progie" is better and may nick it for post down the road.
when I was in Vancouver I expressed interest in a job at the Coroner's office and people would inevitably tell me it wasn't like what I saw on CSI, Law & Order or Quincy. ER and St. Elsewhere aren't a substitute for real medical training you know! #^@%!!! I just resent that people think my interest in this stuff stems from what I might see on the idiot box, as if all interests stem from what we see on TV. If I ever start driving a Jeep SUV, wearing a grey trech coat and later decide to run for Mayor - then you can assume I am living in fantasy land.

30 July, 2008 12:37  
Blogger Magnus said...

I'd also like to state emphatically, it was not the hard work that drove me out - it was one particular employee. When I wrote "Oi Gevald" I didn't mention it, but she was really busting my balls back then too.

30 July, 2008 13:02  

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