03 November 2015

Hard Drive is Full, Please Clear Some Memory

So, the work thing.  My brain is so, so tired.  The partner left behind a bit of a mess, and while I knew  intellectually that this was going to be, I was overwhelmed.  It's learning a whole new system and fixing problems that I don't know how to fix.  I must be doing okay because the biller and my boss seem pleased. 

Two things about the partner: she is skilled at making something more complicated than it needs to be and she doesn't know how to ask for help.  Thus the current mess.

I had a stack of paper about half a ream high that needed something called Codes and Units.  Units are easy, four units make up an hour but they had to be written on each paper.  Codes seem complicated and overwhelming until, kind of like algebra, it just clicks. 

There are Speech Therapists and they have one set of codes.  They helped make their own list before I took over.  Then, there are Occupational and Physical Therapists and their codes weren't in place.  Their codes are much more complicated and they couldn't help make the list because they came from workplaces where they didn't have to worry about this. (much bigger organizations than ours)  However, they both provided telephone numbers/email for women who could.  In 24 hours, we had a good list of codes and that stack went away.

Two other things to know: these codes had to be in place on October 1st.  I took over on the 17th.  Super fun.  The initial system the partner made up was a little slip of pink paper with the codes printed on it for one set of therapists only.  The therapist circled the code then turned them in each time they had a session.  Then partner wrote them on the forms. So much room for error and what a pain for the therapist to keep these little slips of paper.  These little slips of paper that I couldn't find anywhere.  They already had a form called a Home Visit Form that they complete after each visit so these stupid little slips make no sense whatsoever.

Now, because the biller helped me, there is one sheet of paper that the therapists complete at the end of the day that does all of the above and simply goes to the biller.  I no longer have to look at it.  This is the prime example of making something much more difficult than it had to be.  The therapists are relieved not to have those slips, they have master lists, and they don't have to make copies of anything.  Before they ended their days also making copies for the partner to go with the little pink slips. 

I am literally making this job up as I go.  There is one set of instructions that are written down in nearly an essay style. To make it more entertaining, there are judgey statements like "You should be able to figure this out without asking."  Oh, I forgot to mention this: no one else knows how to do this job.  The boss has NO IDEA, which is a specific kind of ridiculous.  I can ask the 2nd in charge and she can give me a little direction but the system has changed since she did the job.  I am relying on the biller, who is nice but talks like I know all the things.  I have to constantly remind her that I don't know anything and that nothing is written down.  Despite this, we are getting along just fine.

Now, this coming week I have to learn the website databases.  There are mainly three of them, so, so, so! overwhelming. One main database that leads to every insurance company ever, each insurance companies websites, plus the billers website database.    I literally had to just ignore that part until I finished the above because I couldn't even contemplate it without abject panic. Breathing in a paper bag, rocking under my desk while eating my hair panic.

I was feeling pretty good about this plan until I got an email from the biller at the end of the day on Friday that has a list of kids denied insurance payments.  Now I have to go back and trace where the wheels fall off and hope I can fix it.  Because, if not, the center doesn't get paid.  Fun!  the only relief is that with this particular set of problems, it's not my fault.  It's the partners but I have to fix it while not knowing what I'm doing.  Luckily, some of it is as simple as making a copy of their insurance information and giving it to the biller.  The other part is those intimidating websites. 

So, I may start drinking again.  Oh, and I go on vacation on the 18th so I have a deadline to get this mess cleaned up.  I really, really, really want to punch the partner.  I'm focusing on winning though.  I want to be able to say "I fixed this".  I have to use my OCD powers for good. 

Oh! and then I overhear the boss offer to compensate the partner for any time she has spent answering questions via email/phone.  Wait, WHAT?  this is how codependent their relationship was and the perfect example of how we ended up in this mess.
All this being said, I still love my job.  I love my coworkers, they really are the best. They're really mellow, kind without being smarmy, and there's no drama.  They're really good at saying "I don't understand" or "I don't agree so let's talk more about it."  It's like the dream team.  
The one glitch in the system is the boss has actually said that she doesn't want to be the boss.  However, after talking to the Board President about that topic, I/we have permission to kind of force her to relinquish some stuff so that she is relegated to just doing her job, which isn't intended to be within the four walls of the center.   Then  the program manager, the resource coordinator and I are running the joint.  How crazy is that?  In two weeks, I went from being the afternoon low-level person to being an administrator.  It's terrifying.
I am doing what I did at my old job plus now the insurance billing.  It is also similar to the school (billing insurance instead of billing DSHS) but without the H/R component BUT that is becoming partially my responsibility as well.  Remember when I said I didn't want to do this again?  I'm totally doing it again. 
I believe the difference in this situation is that the staff is really supportive and everyone has a good set of boundaries. Plus this wonderful school schedule thing; all the major holidays off and an upcoming nearly two weeks off at the end of the year.  Did I mention I'm going on vacation in two weeks, for two weeks?  (Did y'all just tell me to shut up? It feels like you did. :)  It's okay, I totally would to)

Also, I am forcing myself to keep boundaries unlike either of my previous jobs, which is growth.  I leave on time, I leave everything at the office, I concentrate on not thinking about work while I'm home, even though that's nearly impossible right now.  I'm working about 32 hours a week, 8:30-3:00ish.  Longer if necessary but then comp time to follow. I make a point of coming home and watching Greys Anatomy or Bones with the puppy, just to decompress. Although this implies that I have any brainpower left over at the end of the day.  Because wow, is my hard drive full.  I can't process any more information.
I do have to have the awkward conversation about compensation though.  My job just tripled so it feels like I should be compensated more.  I haven't quite figured out how to approach this.  Right now, I'm thinking that I have to figure out with my new partners what my new title should be.  Once we decide that,  then I think it organically opens the compensation conversation door.  I was kind of hoping I wouldn't have to but clearly, it is on me. The other tack is now I should have vacation pay and I have a vacation soon. I've never had to negotiate a salary before so this is new territory for me.

And while this is whiny, I am very grateful.  I still can't believe that I finally got my dream job.  I just have to do a brain scan and discard any unnecessary information.  Goodbye my twenties, glad to erase you.

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