a smashing success!

it seems like i have been telling tidbits from my trip on friday to lots of people…but of course those people don’t read my blog. so here it is from start to finish~~~

i headed into the city centre at about 10am for a 11.11 train. i got there plenty early and so i just milled around near the entrance of the first class lounge hoping to catch my new boss (from now on called jb) so i could go in with him. sure enough he showed up exactly 10 minutes to 11 at the ticket machine, in his trademark custom made white shirt, surprisingly without a jacket or his bow tie! he gave me a warm hello and remarked on our perfect timing as we proceeded to the first class lounge.

i was not surprised that he was well known to the lounge staff and one of the nice things about him is that he usually takes the time to personally greet the “little” people. the cleaners and now i know the ticket agents, train staff etc. it’s obvious that he is “somebody important” but he is always polite and considerate…a quality i admire.

in the lounge was the other doctor who would be traveling with us, the microbiologist. in a study about infections, an important man. he is a little more down to earth and i was glad to have him to deflect the pressure to converse away from me. in the lounge we had two topics of conversation. first the micro man had been off sick and jb remarked that he looked “fighting fit” now…that turned into comments about getting older (we are all in our 50’s) blood pressure and health checks. at one point jb pointed at me and said “do you have a GP?” uh, yeah….

apparently jb hasn’t had his blood pressure checked despite having an entire critical care unit including staff at his disposal…while admitting to  being the very slightly high strung personality, middle aged male he is~~ at high risk for all sorts of conditions, he can’t seem to find the time to have a health check!!! what is that saying about doctors being the worst patients?

 anyway, i muttered my first opinion that women (including me) don’t have those concerns because we usually utilize of the services our doctor and are better than men at making time to have regular check ups…he agreed…one point for cinderella

the second topic was about swine flu…apparently these two docs are quite concerned that it is indeed going to get bad this fall and winter. with staff sick and high numbers of very sick patients it will be a real triage, treat those that have the best chance for survival atmosphere.

during this discussiona quick check of the time showed that we now had less than 5 minutes to navigate the ticket barriers and sprint to the train platform…which we did and settled into the aforementioned first class carriage~~~~posh and cushy!! the train trip ewas smooth, lovely countryside, gray and rainy (this is england in july) and arrival right on time~~only after jb takes a moment to hand tie, without the aid of a mirror, his trademark bowtie!!!!

 the meeting was in the wellcome building just around the corner from the train station, which also has a museum(according to my friend seb) but jb doesn’t do strolling, browsing or museums…at least not when there is a meeting. maybe i will be able to check it out on a future visit~~as there will be many.

the place is posh, very posh! there was food, little sandwiches, fruit…not just any fruit…kiwis, figs, little red berries, pineapples and really ripe juicy strawberries…and cheeseboard! something i don’t see very often…an assortment of cheese and crackers…no kraft singles here!!

anyway, i was introduced to “the team” everyone was very nice, friendly, unassuming, welcoming, casually dressed…i felt very comfortable. it is worth mentioning that i spent at least 10 times longer thinking about what i was going to wear…which made my wardrobe thinking time about 10 minutes!!! i did wear a pair of rose’s earrings and the rings i bought…partly for good luck and partly to be unique and trendy… it worked!

 i am always surprised in a professional environment, not just on this occasion, how common it is to see women with their tits…well, ummmmm, overflowing…exposed…hanging loose?? don’t know what to think of that…just an observation.

the meeting went well, very organized, everyone making comments on their particular area of responsibility and as i told people at work it was weird to see jb as just another member of the team. at work he is always the head honcho, he talks~everyone else listens. even though he was chairing the meeting he was amazingly subdued.

 i made one somewhat appropriate comment, this project is based on an american project and so most of the framework documents are “american” , in need of anglicising~~~the brits were critical of one of the checklists. i was able to explain why it was relevant in the states and why it was repetitive here in england…my first professional international healthcare opinion?

the highlight of the meeting was having one of the original american study researchers on conference phone…i don’t know if i have grown that used to british accents or because the volume was quite high but that woman from marylands voice sounded sooooo abrasive, i literally cringed at times listening to her!! she obviously had a lot of experience with these telephone call meetings, so she was very articulate and had excellent enunciation but is just seemed to exaggerate her broad mid atlantic accent.

during the break i asked if i sound like that???? oh, noooo…i was assured…i sound canadian!! i’m not sure if that’s a compliment?

just a few quick points…a few of the doctors have been to chicago and they all LOVED it!!! rave reviews, beautiful city!!

and during the latter part, i glanced over at the micro man’s laptop…he was surfing ebay…

i met the lead research nurse, she will be my mentor and i’m happy to say she was very friendly and agreed to help me out with any questions/problems…ahhh, relief!

we got back to birmingham about 6.30…on the train back i set up a loose tentative schedule for my first week. a teleconference on monday and weds at 2pm, a few update meetings with jb, first step is a literature serach for recent articles about line infections which i was able to work on at work last night.

so that’s it~~~~~ my new job~~~~~ my new life!!!

3 thoughts on “a smashing success!

  1. Great update..I felt like I was on the train and in the meeting. It feels like forever since I’ve discussed anything like the conversations I used to have with physicians and medical staff. I always loved when we had a study we were presenting when looking to enroll patients from their practice.

    As to the wardrobe choices of professional woman in the U.K., I can’t get used to it either. The first place I noticed it was on the news. Women never dress so revealing to “read” the news in the U.S. I know you would never see that kind of breasts on display look accepted by anyone in a professional arena such as the one in my old line of work. It’s an adjustment.

    Glad your new job is going to be so much better for you.

  2. ditto about the uprofessionalism of women’s dress in the UK..Noticed it first when working at the QEPH and I couldn’t tell who the staff was and who the patients were.. so what DID you wear?? glad it is going well and you seemed to fit right in.. miss you girl!! am getting that mixed feeling about the loudness and abrasiveness of it all too although I do like that when people meet you they make you feel like they have known you forever!! welcoming!!

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