Waterville Valley 2019

Waterville Valley 2019

Monday, March 23, 2020

World Shuts Down...My Life Gets Busier

Conway Rec Path walk with John and the dogs
I wasn't planning to write a blog post today, but I had to because so much has changed in a week! I'm currently on my 3rd to last shift at North Conway Ambulance. Last Wednesday, our offer letters from Brewster Ambulance (now managing us at North Conway Ambulance/Careplus) came in. Take a look...

You might think that sounds amazing. I did, too! $22.55/hr?! That's $2/hr more than what I was originally getting. I wasn't psyched to go to two 12-hour shifts and one 24-hour shift, but it wasn't horrible. Except it's a lie. We aren't getting that hourly rate. I would still be making $11/hr indefinitely. I was told no raises until Brewster completes the acquisition of Careplus. "When?" "I don't know. It's in 'legal'." What does that mean? I don't know. What I do know is that we were told by Brewster people in December that they were unsure they could acquire Careplus's assets without making the North Conway contract null and void. So this raise could literally take a year. And at that point, if Brewster continues to impress no one up here, they will NOT be getting the North Conway contract. Either Action Ambulance or Conway will be taking over.

I see the writing on the wall. I have for the last two months, but I was waiting until the Careplus 6-town contract was up... which is next week. A few weeks ago, I threw in an application at Action Ambulance, which is taking over Careplus's contract on April 1st. Funny enough, I got a call on Wednesday, about an hour or two before the Brewster offer was presented to me. The bad feeling in my gut about Brewster led me to set up an interview with Action for Friday. All I saw after getting the Brewster offer were red flags. And women should always listen to their intuition, right? When I received the offer, I was told who I would be working with and then some of the other people on shift. After I heard Monday's crew, I knew there was no way I could do it. The Monday 24 that I have been working for the last 4 years was being given to the BRAND NEW EMT who was hired at $18/hr (it's possible I previously wrote $16/hr in other posts; I've found it is in fact $18/hr). She has NEVER worked at this base and only just got off training. How could I show up for my Monday 12 with a positive attitude while working alongside someone who took "my" shift and is making $7/hour more than me with zero experience. I know I would walk in here pissed off every time and that I couldn't do that. I just can't. Plus, they're taking away one of my free days (since working 7a-7p really leaves no part of the day left to enjoy other than being in my own bed) and still paying me $11/hr. My choice was pretty much made up if Action could give me two 24s during the week.

On Friday, I met with the owner of Action down in Ossipee. I asked for the days I wanted which was actually Tues/Thurs 24s. He "only" had Mon/Wed 24s with an offer of $16.50/hr and then $17.50/hr when I got my Advance license. Sold! I didn't even need to think about it. I was in. Fuck, Brewster! I felt so relieved and like I had made the right choice. That pay is REALLY good for this area. The $16.50/hr is almost exactly the same pay I make now if I work an extra 10-hour shift/week, which I hate doing. It will be nice not having to work that extra shift unless I need to.

The downside is that I'll going back to working in the OVMA (Tamworth, Ossipee, Effingham, Freedom, Eaton, Madison). I hate Ossipee, but the way things are going, I will probably be back at the North Conway base in a year with the new contract. The positives far outweigh the negatives by far. It's still private ambulance so it comes with all the private ambulance issues, but that's across the board. Everything I'm seeing so far is SO much better than Careplus and Brewster. Brewster really screwed themselves over and in turn screwed us all over. Like I said, I saw the writing on the wall months ago. I just couldn't make the change until Action was ready to hire people for the new contract. Everything has fallen into place, hopefully for the better. Maybe my co-workers who stick it out here WILL get those raises a month or two from now, but I wasn't willing to give it chance. Brewster has given us no reason to trust them at all. I can't wait around for what might happen when I could make a change now to what will happen. May not be the raise I was expecting, but I'm more than happy to take it now, then wait for a later that will never come.

I already spent most of yesterday doing AVOC training with Action. They bought a HUGE ambulance to use for transfers. This was previously an ambulance for Boston Children's Hospital (and ambulance much like the Barbara Bush one for Maine Med). I have never driven anything like this, and air brakes? What are those? Haha.

Other things. I started working in the Covid-19 testing tent at Memorial Hospital. Tuesday was really busy with my health screening and orientation. I'll be honest. I don't believe in the flu shot. I've never had it or the flu. But it was required. It's been so ineffective at hitting the right strains each year anyway. This year was no different. And not a great time to possibly weaken my immune system. I thought, "Just watch. I'll probably have some bad reaction to it." Well, I wasn't completely wrong! Noticed some soreness in my armpit Wednesday but since I was at work for 24 hours and never changed my shirt, I didn't realize what was causing it. Rushed home Thursday to shower so I could do my first shift in the tent. My shower is dark, but as I started shaving my right armpit, I noticed the skin was bouncing. WTF. Felt it with my hand. HUGE bubble of fluid taking up my entire armpit area. About 3 inches in diameter. It felt like touching watery jello. At first I freaked out thinking of all times for me to get breast cancer, even though I knew breast cancer is typically a solid lump. Then I remembered the shot. So I got out of the shower to see if this was a common side effect of the flu shot in the shoulder and sure enough it is. Lymph node swelling. Or so I hoped anyway. It was really sore all day. Fortunately, by Friday morning, the bubble was almost gone. The soreness would be gone by Saturday. Phew. But makes me REALLY hesitant to ever get another one.

I took this photo of myself in the tent. I was taking a photo of the rest of the tent and other people working when I accidentally got one of myself looking at them. I really liked the photo so I posted it on Facebook. I regret it. I've almost deleted it many times. I shouldn't have allowed comments. I HATE being called a hero or a rockstar or people praising me for all I do. I'm not doing shit. I'm not a hero. Just helping out for $18/hour! I'm picking up extra work because I need money and I have the free time to help so I should. I'm not a hero. Just writing this makes me want to delete the photo. I want to delete the comments, but I feel like that's rude. Posting the photo is like a "look at me" post. I'm hating it so much. This is the photo of people actually doing things in the tent.

I had to buy scrubs at Walmart on Wednesday. These are the "cheap" ones at $26. Those things are expensive. 
I only spent 3.5 hour there that day since it was technically just supposed to be orientation. I'm officially working 3 mornings for 4 hours this week. I can't really do more than that with John home and as I'm still working my regular 24 hour shifts. Plus, I need to run, yo! Haha.

Speaking of running, this week was lower mileage than planned. Between 5 hours of orientation on Tuesday, the tent on Thursday, my Action interview on Friday, 5 hours of AVOC training on Sunday AND my two 24s, I don't know how I even managed 43 miles for the week. And just when I thought my life was getting back to normal. But there is no normal right now. Just look at these headlines!

Running, March 16-22, 2020- 43.6 miles. Made the decision to not run anything over 13 miles for awhile. No need. Nothing to train for since VCM is postponed to October. Anything more would wear me out, too. I'm ok with this.

Monday- Zero Day. 30 minutes on the spin bike. Intervals w/Hannah. Peloton workout.

Tuesday- Treadmill. 4 miles. It's all I had time for in between the hospital stuff. 29:00. 7:15/mi avg

Wednesday- Treadmill. 4 miles. Nearly identical to the day before. 29:04. 7:16/mi avg.
Gorgeous day out so I also walked 2 miles on the trail out back.

Thursday- Gloomy, cold and misting, but I had to pick up my car at Frechette. Stopped by to pay for it on my way home from the hospital. Told Justin I'd run back later to pick it up. I wonder if he knew I meant that literally. Probably. Haha. I needed to get more miles so I turned 3.4 miles into 11 miles by adding in Bald Hill, the Kanc and Hale Estates. I was cold and wet by the time I got back to my car. I was SO happy to have my car back... $567 later for a new starter (and oil change). Wahhh! Third year in a row I've had to dish out big bucks around this time. 1:27:06 for the run. 7:55/mi avg pace. 822ft of elevation gain.

Friday- Another gloomy day. Ran up Pine Hill Rd in Ossipee after my interview with Action. I love this run. Normally I continue it all the way up to the top of Bayle Mt, but the dirt road turned to smooth ice after I turned off Connor Pond Rd. Turned around. 8.3 miles. 1:05:49. 7:55/mi avg pace. 910ft of elevation gain.

Pine Hill Rd
Took a short walk through the neighborhood and around the Waldorf School (which is no more after this year) with John and the dogs.

Saturday- Slept in late since I needed to catch up then went for a boring run from home. Bald Hill Kanc Loop. This typically comes out to around 10 miles, but when I looked at all the times I've run this route, I could see the GPS is way off all the time. My "fastest" time is showing 10.6 miles. Exact same route today showed 9.7 miles. Haha. Sometimes, I would add on the top of the neighborhood to it to make sure it was at least 10 miles, but not today. What's the point? I didn't want to. 1:18:26. 8:04/mi avg pace. 892ft of elevation gain.

Took John and the dogs on a walk on the Conway Rec Path. Another really nice day. I'm not getting John out much other than on some walks. Other than Cumberland Farms on Sunday, he hasn't been anywhere outside the house other than our walks. I went in Shaw's, but left him in the car. This is on purpose. While I'm out and about for work-related things, I'm trying to limit going other places unless I need to, like the store, which was only twice this week.

Sunday- I didn't know the AVOC course was going to last most of the day, but I wasn't done until 3:30pm. I still wanted to get John and dogs out for a walk so I had to cut my original miles planned. I opted for 6 miles instead. Since I was supposed to participate in the Cabin Fever Virtual 10K this week, I decided to go ahead do that. It was not great. Haha. I ran from Coleman's out and back through Cranmore Shores and Conway Village. I am SO out of racing shape. Plus, I hate running in the afternoons. Felt way harder and faster than it turned out to be. Good workout, though. 42:51. 6:54/mi avg pace. 301ft of elevation gain. I've run all of that faster for just a regular run through there. Really sad.

We did get in a short walk in the Albany Town Forest after my run.

This week is going to be just as busy as last week so I have no idea if I can get 50 miles in or not.

Pen I got during Memorial orientation

New beer at Saco River Brewing

I admit to hoarding half&half. Haha

2020 Six03 hat that came in the mail. Cute with the license plate. 

Sitting in the sun on Saturday

My solution to making sure I don't run out of butter.

I seriously received this in an email. Sick fucks.
 The following two photos express what really needs to happen here in the Valley. We were flooded with vacation people this weekend, mostly Mass plates. And most of these people don't realize why they shouldn't come up here. One friend saw me post about this and sent me a message that he felt guilty for being up here and that it never even crossed his mind that that might not be a good thing for our community. That I can forgive. What I can't forgive is the self-centeredness of others who think it's all about them. Trying to explain it to them is useless. They only care about themselves. To those who are doing their part and staying home instead of enjoying a vacation in the Valley, it's very much appreciated. To the rest, it's not all about you right now.

On a brighter note, I put together a women's team for a Virtual Run Grand Prix that Scott Mindel put together. I've never been into virtual runs, but this sounded fun. We have a 5K, 1-mile, 10K and Half marathon. Our team isn't really competitive. Just people who wanted to participate. It will give us something to do look forward to...even though I learned from yesterday that I suck at racing virtually. Haha. Oh well.

I think that's pretty much it for the week. Just wanted to update my job situation. This post should have been way shorter than it was, but you know me. Things really haven't changed much in my life. The solitude is normal for me. I'm still working. John being home all the time is the biggest change, but other than that, most is the same. I'm lucky I don't have to worry about being out of work...well, until I get the virus.

1 comment:

  1. I Am Utterly Speechless - How Do Companies Like Brewster Stay Afloat?? My Case Was Back In The Early 90's At A Research Lab. We Were Told No Raises, More Work, No Time Off, And Then Ridiculed For Our Work. Three Of Us Eventually Walked Out Mid Work Week. They Ended Up Hiring Unqualified Kids For Our Positions At $5 Bucks An Hour More Than What We Were Making. And Back Then, 5 Smackers Was A Lot Of Dough. Those Poor Co-Workers That Stuck It Out All Left In Disgust And Never Received A Raise For Training The Untrainable.

    But If I Am Reading This Correctly, You Have Been Hired? New Doors Are Opening!! Good On You. So Happy For Ya.

    ***** Please Don't Throw Your Muddy Wet Shoe At Me For Saying This ******

    During These Uncertain Times, I Am So Glad You Did NOT Delete Photos And Messages. I Say This Because Folks Need An Outlet And Feel Better About Themselves When Posting Comments. I Mean That In The Best Way Possible. Not Wanting To Step On Any Toes But Its True. Believe Me, Even I Have Dropped A Comment And Felt Better Afterwards. Totally Guilty

    With The Donald In Charge, We Lack Leadership. I Agree With You That Your No Leader Or Hero But "friends" Find Comfort In You And In What You Are Doing. They See You As Making A Difference!! Thats A Damn Good Thing For Sure. Plus, It Makes Them Feel Safe. Hell, It Just Makes Them FEEL.

    With All The Work And Hours Ahead, Its Probably The Best Thing For Your Hip. Backing Off And Allowing Your Body To Heal From Within. Pun Intended, Take The New Job In Stride.

    Lastly, Thanx For The Photo Journal. I Always Appreciate Photos. Yours Are Always Well Placed And Perfectly Timed. Plus, I Am A Big Old Sucker For Doggie Photos. Call Me A Screwball. Anyway, I Wish You And The Tribe All The Best. Play In The Fresh Snow, Giggle As Much As Possible, And Thanx For Being Honest.

    P.S. Now Get Out There And Kick Some Righteous A$$