Apparently all I have to do to find a job is apply for unemployment.
I was "severed" on May 12, 2009. I got a three month severance check, spent it and then some. Prepaid my daughter's orthodontia and sent my son on a Rotary exchange year to Thailand. Panicked about H1N1 swine flu and bought serious disaster supplies. Had work started on my father's wooden boat and paid the first $7000. THEN got severed. Damn.
I applied for unemployment last week, grumpily, because I am writing the business plan for my own family practice clinic, but I am out of money. Living off credit cards seems unwise. I do have a father I could hit up for a loan but I do not want to. My boyfriend has been telling his friends that he's met "a nice unemployed single mom with two kids." This is a response to me complaining that my last boyfriend of two years ago said that his family was pleased that he'd "caught a doctor." I remind myself that I am in MUCH better shape that MOST people in the world even if I currently have no cash. I am very employable.
I get about 7-10 job offers a week in the mail. Most want me to move to Kansas or North Carolina and offer me between 200-250 thousand dollars "The First Year". They go on happily about the Wonderful Quality of Life in whatever town. Apparently golf courses, being near but not in a major city, and "professional sports teams" are attractive to most doctors, because those are often highlighted. Also housing prices. I am an experienced doctor and can read the fine print. "25-30 patients a day, one in four call, we'll train you to do cesearean sections, walk into a full practice." Uh-huh and get worked to death. No thank you.
But yesterday, October 20th, was an odd day. I talked to the locum tenens company first. Doctors can't admit to doing temp work, so we call it locum tenens. Sounds more stuffy in latin. Two people from the locums company called. First, the woman who is in charge of my application. She said there's a job with the Veterans administration, 13 weeks, outpatient only, in Bremerton. This would be ideal, because then I could commute and still come home to the Introverted Thinker. She also asked if she should immunize her daughter for H1N1 and I rather went on in detail about why I give a resounding yes. The job is about an hour commute. Then the guy in charge of that job called and went over the pay and so forth. Makes less than a more distant job, we're committed if I say yes, and the government is being confusing because it says both part time and full time on it. He was going to sort that out and call me back.
Next I spent time with the computer store person. He has an estimate for me for hardware, software, phones and tech time. He wants to start with 52 hours of tech time at $80 per hour. Hmmmm. Many doctors in town recommended an electric company and I already have that estimate. It is WAY cheaper. I went home and emailed a friend who is a translator, who called back with the name of an independent computer tech person. My translator friend said if that was what the computer store was charging, she was going to quit translating and set up systems for people. Outrageous! she said. It is time consuming getting multiple bids but worth it. I am this little teeny CEO of a Virtual Clinic. It is comic.
Then I went to a clinic in the next town over for a followup interview. They want me but want me to come with my own malpractice insurance. I have been working on getting bids, but it is a slow process and the malpractice companies are a pain in the butt. I know the cost will be somewhere between $5000 and $35000 per year, probably about $10000 for a mature outpatient policy with some minor procedures (stitches, skin biopsies, IUDs, etc). I said I hain't gots the money. They are willing to pay part of it. I also met two of the nurse practitioners who wanted to be sure that I wasn't a jerk of a doctor who was going to throw my arrogant weight around because they are midlevel providers. It is a reasonable concern. Some specialists treat me like a dumb hick doctor, but they get less referrals than the nice ones.
Later in the day I went to see my boyfriend after dropping the Introverted Thinker at the pool for synchronized swimming. He glared at me a bit and quoted Napoleon. "The first thing to do is decide. Get your clinic started." I said that the business plan and budget are not just to talk a bank out of money but to convince myself that the plan will work. Small businesses go belly up all the time and doctors are notoriously bad with money. And with my finances at their present low, if I were a bank, I would not be enthused about lending me money. So a little work for cash flow, while I am hammering out the cost of employee insurance, chairs, tech support, speculums, a patient scale and all the other stupid crap that I have to have in order to just see my patients, thank you very much. He offered a loan of $50,000.
Well, knock me over with a feather. Dang. Ok, I did suspect he was sitting on a pile, since he sold a house that he built in Seattle back before all this housing crash. Must be burning a hole in his pocket. It was very sweet.
I have an appointment with my money guy today. He is the Voice of Conservative Reason and, like, I follow his advice some of the time. I have some money invested that is not in a retirement account. Do I liquidate that? Borrow from my dad? Get a credit card loan? Sell one of the three old cars? Run around the streets screaming? Get a home equity loan? Borrow from the boyfriend? (Ok, I KNOW he won't recommend that.)
I think the prudent thing would be to take one of the locums jobs. The boyfriend suggested committing to the nearby clinic for two days a week for cash flow for three months and meanwhile opening mine. Hmmmm. That is not at all a bad idea. But I already said yes to the veterans one. The bid goes in on Thursday and we are committed for a week from then -- if they take the bid, I've said yes. Oh, except that the locums guy was going to see if it really was part time or full time.....so there is still an out.
Hmmmm. Life is getting interesting.