Archive for communication

Regional Differences

I knew this move would involve a bit of culture shock. The speed of life is certainly slower here than in Jersey. No one beeps if you don’t move immediately upon the traffic light turning green…in fact, no one moves immediately (why I think most of the traffic exists at rush hour). The accents and my lack of one have us sticking out like a sore thumb. There is such a thing as customer service (everywhere) and baggers (at the grocery store). This state is red politically and Jersey is very blue (despite its current governor who Jerseyans are clearly shocked that he is doing what he promised and they don’t like it, why they voted for him, I am not sure).
I was expecting some culture shock. I was not expecting one of the religious variety. I am not religious. Maybe it’s the hours of forced Catholism from one parent but the other not involved at all. Maybe it’s too much engineering and science. I believe in God (for lack of a better word); I describe myself as areligious, not agnostic or athetist. Whatever it is that makes me feel this way, organized religion is not for me. I find no comfort in it. So much so, when I married Hubby, we had a Jewish ceremony and plan on raising our kid(s) the same. Hubby understands that I’m not interested in the requirements of religion but I do believe everyone should be raised something so that when you grow up, you can decide if it (or some other religion) is for you. And religion does provide some basic morals to follow; all major religions have some basic morals that are the same.
I digress. In my new area, it *is* about religion. “What church do you go to?” is a common getting-to-know-you question. Grocery stores and children’s parks are empty until about 11 or 12 on Sunday mornings when churches let out. You can buy beer in the grocery store but not 2am-12noon Sundays. And there’s only one synagouge in the area.
So how do I answer the question? If I say, “I don’t go.” one of two things happen: 1 – I get the looks that says I’m a heathen or 2 – “You should check out mine! Christ saves!” And sometime both happen. If I answer with “My husband’s Jewish.” or state the synagouge’s name, I am viewed as a curiosity and/or a heathen. I don’t answer that I’m Jewish because it’s not true and I don’t plan on converting. More than you would think, a patient is the one asking and/or trying to spread the word to me, when all I want to do is diagnose pneumonia or diabetes.
I never got any of this in Jersey, except in extreme cases, that even my new neighbors would find extreme. Avoidance of the issue is not an option. I’m going to have to come up with an acceptable answer or two – something quick for work and my patients, something else for potential new friends. I know where I stand; I just need a way to express it that doesn’t make others uncomfortable.
– Areligious


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Juggling Numbers

Scene: Hubby is juggling pieces from a numbers puzzle.  Doodle is copying but is’t letting go of anythign, just waving his arms about.

Me: “Doodle, are you juggling too?”
Hubby: “No, he’s juggling 3, 6 and 8, so really 17.”
Me: *rolls eyes*

– Having Pun

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There are 2 kinds of Cobras in my life right now

This is a real email exchange.  I just change the names of the places I’ve worked to protect them.


From: Me

To: Hubby

Sent: Recently


so this is what i was told:

1 – current hospital covers health insurance for 30-days after your termination date.  (fat chance if you think i believe this since they don’t cover it for Family Leave and SCREW IT UP WHEN THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO COVER IT DURING LEAVE FOR RESIDENTS…so excuse my skepticism! (fuck, that’s a hard word to spell.))

2 – they send out a packet in the mail for cobra.

3 – cobra is retro-active to the date of your last health insurance coverage.  you have 30 days to sign-up.  (or possibly 90)

4 – she didn’t know the cost but did agree with me that i likely won’t need it. (she didn’t know about the family leave screw up though.)  (“she” is a lady in the graduate medical education office, not my usual contact there.)

so this is what i think:

a – if current hospital does indeed cover us for 30 days after my last day, wahoo, we don’t need cobra.

b – if current hospital blows even more than they are are know to blow, they don’t cover it for 30 days.

c – cobra crap comes in the mail.  if a, we keep it until we definitely have insurance in NC and then throw it away.

d – i remember “risking it” when i left former hospital for current hospital.  we weren’t covered for 30 days because current hospital’s insurance doesn’t start until you have worked there 31 days.  we didn’t have Doodle but i was pregnant.  we could have always sign up for cobra if something bad happened in that time because we had 90 days (from former hospital) to sign up for it and it would be retro-active to the last day of insurance.  we saved $1200 “risking” it when we weren’t really “risking” anything because we could always sign up and retro-action everything…and it’s legal and we save money.

e – if b, then i think we should do d and then c.

f – if you understand e, you complete me.

g – if you don’t understand e, i’m crazy.

h – just because you understand e, doesn’t mean i’m not crazy.

i – the coral snake is the “American cobra.”  it is a venomous snake.  it is native to NC (but not NJ or PA).  cobras are neurotoxin snakes.  meaning if they bite you, your diaphragm could stop working and you die.  there is an antivemon.  however in the US, there isn’t a manufacturer anymore so the supply is running very low and most of its is expired.  thank god for ventilators because eventually the venom wears off…but that takes days-weeks.

j – yes, i’m moving you to a state that has more varieties of venomous snakes than the one we currently live in AND i’m excited about that!


His response:

From: Hubby

To: Me

Sent: Recently


I love you.


No, Hubby, I love you.

– Hissssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

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