Getting to tell someone who calls that, yes, we do provide abortions.
isaac: i figured out how you can afford it
isaac: Tanner can rob banks.
isaac: that’s all i got.
jaime: okay, cool
Grad school is quickly becoming something I think I really, really want to do.
Anyone got $50k?
Also actual input.
Over the next few posts, we will give you a look into a typical day for MSF Midwife in Pakistan.
Early Morning -
My alarm goes off. No power in the house, but as this is a daily occurrence I’ve gotten used to walking around in semi-darkness. The annoying thing this morning is that there is no water. Bugger. Oh well. I’ll have to at least wash my hands with drinking water. I make cereal and boil water for tea on the gas stove and enjoy my breakfast on the flat roof where it is still slightly cool.
Leave the house accompanied by the watchman. I have changed into my shalwar kameez, the clothing worn by most women in Pakistan, and my dupatta, a huge scarf that I wear wrapped over my head and that covers two thirds of my body. I say good morning to all the Pakistani staff as we climb into the minivan and then off to work. Female MSF staff ride in one and male staff members in another vehicle. I text the Project Coordinator and Office Manager to let them know we are heading to the clinic.
I arrive at the Kuchlak Birthing Unit, 30 minutes outside Quetta, and I text the project coordinator and office manager to say we’ve arrived safely. The Lady Health Visitors (LHVs)—midwives for us westerners—take me straight away inside to a premature baby boy who’s just been born. He looks to be about 30 to 32 weeks and is struggling to breathe. I need to get him transferred to a hospital in Quetta urgently. I need to make sure that we don’t run out of oxygen in the meantime and hope he keeps working hard at breathing in the ambulance.
To be continued…
“Lady Heath Visitor” is an excellent title. I may change mine to “Lady Phone Answerer.”
Unless that’s not the takeaway one’s meant to have here?
Today I spent $11.98 on my Halloween costume at Goodwill. It’s a little too big, but Goodwill takes returns and exchanges within five days with a receipt, which is good, in case I chicken out and decide to buy some blue fabric and go as the Virgin Mary. That would be better if I had contacts, but so would most costumes.
* * *
Kate and I are both receptionists these days. She’s temping. Our conversations go like this:
kate: this woman has called FOUR times in the last hour. asking me questions about things and people that are, like, talking on the radio or things they said last week
kate: and im like “I HAVE NO IDEA!”
kate: apparently LOU said somethign about wanting to work for some band
kate: and i’m like “do you think i listen to all 130 channels ALL the time?” do you understand what a receptionist for an executive office does?
kate: proooooobably not
jaime: oh, well if LOU said that!
kate: oh man i just got SCREAMED at
jaime: ugh, i hate when that happens
jaime: people seem to really care about their radios
kate: i mean, honestly
kate: it’s quiet right now, and i like don’t know what to do
kate: my hand is hovering over the phone. POISED. i’m like a tiger
jaime: ha, i just started to transfer someone without hitting transfer, so i was just dialing the extension while she was on the phone.
kate: ha BEE BEEP BEEP
* * *
I bought Woolite and a 10-gallon plastic tub, and this morning I hand-washed some bras and sweaters, which is maybe a grownup thing to do. And now those garments, laid out to dry, are soaking through the towels beneath them, so I can come home to a wet moldy bed tonight, I guess.
Wherever it is said, I will reblog it, because it is true.
I need you to go vote. On Tuesday. A week from today.
And I need you to bring a friend.
The R’s are super motivated to get out and vote, and a lot of D’s are disillusioned. But if the R’s have their way on November 2, things will get worse.
Figure out your polling place. Remind your friends.
Even though you know there won’t be “I Voted” stickers, vote. For hope and stuff.
aconybell answered your question: Horrible, horrible thoughts going through my head.
GAH. Why would you want a school to require GRE, crazy lady?! I’m so happy the program I’m looking at doesn’t.
Because it is easier to be sure that I am awesome at standardized tests than at writing.
Do I want to go to grad school?
I wish they required the GRE.
“I had never thought to be able to trace my family any farther back than Ellis Island. Where, mysteriously, none of their names appear. (Sneaky Jews.)”
Update: Also, “(Tofu! A shondah!)”
If people want to wear purple to tell troubled kids, Hey, I don’t want you to die, I think you are worthwhile and the world is not hatefully against you, then let them. Pink ribbons can’t say anything to mutating cells, but a sad kid on the subway or in McDonalds sees a couple of people in purple shirts, that’s an actual thing.
And that is all I’m going to say about that.
A donor just called, concerned that she got a letter from us. “I thought you were all volunteers. I didn’t realize you were paying people.” I think she was concerned not about the letter’s content, but by the fact that we were paying anyone to send letters at all.
I explained that we do pay people. Our workers out around the world are actually paid employees - they get a stipend and living expenses - but there is also, well, first me, to answer the phone, but people to recruit new field workers, people to plan the missions and get supplies, not to mention (and I didn’t mention) a small HR staff to make sure everyone has health insurance, a finance department to pay the bills, a development department to get people (and foundations and corporations) to actually know who we are and donate money. A press department because, A, we want people to know what we’re doing, but B, we want people to know what we’re seeing around the world.
I told her that a very high percentage of donations goes directly to our projects - and it is, compared to other NGOs and charities, very high - and eventually ended up sending her to our donor services department (good luck running that with volunteers) for more help and explaining of how the world works. She was an old lady, sure, but how can people be aghast that we pay employees?
I could imagine an argument that we should be volunteer-staffed. (We do have a good cadre of office volunteers.) But these jobs, for the most part, require knowledge and commitment. They require experience, and full-time hours. And while we’re off being humane and generous around the world, isn’t it humane to pay people for their work on this side of things, too?
So yeah, that’s a bit about how charities work.
Jaime: look how beautiful he will become if i keep doing my tasks!: http://www.rexbox.co.uk/epicwin/wallpapers/EWloot_iphone4.jpg
Tanner: look how awesome my ent gets
Jaime: he’s covered in post-it notes?
Although I’m nearing my one-year anniversary of not-really-voluntarily leaving the theatre world, I still like to know what’s going on, and wonder if my old position will *ever* be filled - probs not, when you have unpaid interns and suck - so I keep tabs on the playbill.com job listings…
That there is a 60 hour a week job, during production. I know, because it’s roughly what I do. They’ll get what they pay for, which is someone who is completely inexperienced, and will either shine or burn out. If they shine? They’ll demand a lot more or leave quickly.
Then again, I totally took jobs for which I was unqualified and underpaid. I suppose I’m still at one. But not QUITE that underpaid, thank you very much.
(And yes, I ran over to Playbill so I could figure out who this was. The fuck?)
Except, if they do shine, they’re not gonna leave/demand more, unless some Production Manager or General Manager job - one of the ten or so that exist in the city - opens up, and demanding more at a small/poor theatre doesn’t work. Because they just say no. And then you stay because it’s a job, and those are rare, and you are lucky.
The problem is that people, even shining people, are willing to work for this little because they/we are made to feel that we are lucky for having jobs in this fantastic sparkling industry, because everyone is underpaid, because supply (of job-seekers, of theatre-sparkle-aspirants) outpaces the supply of jobs.
The problem is that theatres will pay as little as they can get away with, which is very little.
Although I’m nearing my one-year anniversary of not-really-voluntarily leaving the theatre world, I still like to know what’s going on, and wonder if my old position will *ever* be filled - probs not, when you have unpaid interns and suck - so I keep tabs on the playbill.com job listings.
So here is some reinforcement for, despite working approximately 6 separate jobs right now, feeling good about where my life has taken me lately:
A small, hot, hip theatre is hiring an Associate Producer. My hunch is that this is a new position.
Although no prior producing experience is required, job responsibilities include:
• The creation, implementation and oversight of mainstage production and developmental program budgets
• Schedule and produce developmental workshops and readings
• Execute all artist contracts including directors, actors and designers, and serve as the primary union liaison with Equity, USA and SSDC
• Process production and artist payroll and reporting
• Supervise the Production Manager, Box Office Manager and Front-of-House staff
• Company manage each mainstage production, managing artist/company needs during rehearsal and performance
• Oversee rental calendar and schedule
• Promote/advertise theatre rentals and secure sales
• Contract renters, coordinate payments and oversee day-to-day third party renters
• Office management such as ordering supplies and helping to maintain information systems and office systems
• As a small theater company, secondary responsibilities may include periodic participation in other departments based on the organization’s need
Dear theatres, and everyone else: I don’t care how small your theatre is; do not expand unless you can afford to pay your employees.
There’s a lot of agita in theatre about paying artists a living wage. It’s not nearly as sexy to advocate for administrators, but jesus christ on the cross, this is not okay.
I go happily tonight to my volunteer SAT tutoring. I will answer the phone at my receptionist desk with gratitude. Last summer, the summer of being half-laid-off and terrified for my future? That sucked. But I am really glad I got out when I did.
Okay, also just now a guy showed up here, all I don’t have an appointment, but I’d like to talk to someone about this fundraising project I’ve been working on for you, which is some sort of book, which maybe he should’ve talked to us about first? But the point is that I called the woman he’d need to talk to, and it went to voicemail, so I asked him to try calling her another time to talk or schedule an appointment, since she’s not available, and he was all, Well, I took some time to come down here, I don’t mind waiting, as if he can get huffy about our unaccomodatingness in the face of his surprise visit, but still, this is better than what life was before.
(Mission being: congratulate Dave Shumka on his engagement; freak Dave Shumka the fuck out.)