Sunday, July 19, 2009


I do this to myself all the time. I like to be alone and then I feel lonely. It would be great if there was a way I could be alone and not lonely. Oh wait, that's how I feel around Brian. Comfortable. Relaxed. Fulfilled. But that's kinda not an option right now, or ever...who knows.

I can't tell if it's because my self-confidence is so low that I worry what others are thinking about me...all the time. I wish that I could just do my thing and not care what people think. Sometimes I think that most people don't really care. I think that I am so inside my own head that I just make things up and then get all worked up over nothing.

Sometimes I think that I just have too much time to think. I feel kinda like I'm stuck between two worlds. I've got my home life with Michele and Kasey and then I've got my New York life at work. I don't see a point in trying to make friends with people in Jersey. I don't see the point in trying to make friends with people in New York yet since it'll be at least another six weeks before I move into the city. I love the people I work with and I'm excited about New York, but sometimes I worry that I'm just going to do the same thing I did in Radford. I'll go to work, go to the gym, go running in the park and then go home. I don't go out - it doesn't matter if it's Sharkeys or Studio 54.

Sometimes I just wish that I could not think or feel. Sometimes I wish I could just go on autopilot. But then again, is autopilot living? Is constantly wondering what other think living?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Messiah's Broken Promises

I voted for Obama, but I'm beginning to think it was a mistake. I don't know what I was expecting. I guess I thought things would get better. He is such a wonderful speaker and I really believed all the things he said.

I thought electing Obama would mean a huge leap forward in equality. I still can't get married. Nothing really seems to have changed. I feel like he said everything he said just to get my vote and now that he's in office, he doesn't need me. I know that many in the gay community feel disillusioned and deceived.

Also, the economy is still terrible. I'm lucky to even have a job and it doesn't look like it's going to be getting better soon. I'm sure my check is going to be an even bigger disappointment. I understand why taxes are important. I know it costs money to build bridges, fund schools, and pay for police, firefighters, etc. However, I don't think that I should lose 1/3 of my paycheck to pay for healthcare for smokers who get lung cancer, lazy people who would rather collect unemployment than get a job, or to fund prisons so inmates can watch HBO and eat 3 meals a day.

With that attitude I feel like I should vote Republican. Ick. I know. But, I feel like being gay and a republican just don't mix. I know their stance on gay marriage and it's a deal-breaker. The idea of compromising my demand for equality for more money in my paycheck seems wrong.

So, I feel stuck. I don't wanna vote for the Republican candidate who hates me to my face. Nor, do I want to vote for the Democrat who is going to lie to my face and hate me behind my back.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Customer Service

I spent my weekend relaxing. Nothing exciting or new, but after a week of excitement and challenges, I was looking forward to slowing down. I went to Sam's Club today to pick up a few things we needed.

I was shocked at the customer service at Sam's Club. It was terrible. I asked one of the associated where to find 5 hour energy. He didn't know. He said to check one end of the store and then another if I couldn't find it. Then I asked someone else. I walked up to him and said okay, like he was giving me permission to ask him a question. I got to the store 30 minutes before they closed and was still shopping when the announcer said the store was closing and everyone needed to check out.

I got the check out line only to find two of the cashiers were getting cashed out. The "manager" was wearing a New York Yankees (this Sam's Club was in Princeton) and I saw him eat some cookies from the bakery. The cashier was slow and in a bad mood. I guess I should have apologized that I was inconveniencing her.

Life is all about customer service. I'm in customer service. Dr. Sealfon is my customer. My mom is in customer service. The pastor and church are her customers. My sister is in customer service. Her clients are her customers. Hell, even relationships are a form of customer service. They require constant attention and work to make sure the other person is happy while also making sure you are satisfied. There's point if the customer is happy and the worker is miserable.

I guess the bookstore was different. Me and the other people that worked there were always considerate and friendly. We never made customers feel as though they were a bother. I was usually genuinely happy to help other people. Maybe it's just me. I know that working in some places (Starbucks, Sam's club, McDonalds) may not be very rewarding or fulfilling, but does it make sense to make other people unhappy just because you are unhappy.

If you are going to do a job, you should just do it with a smile and to the best of your ability.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

First Week

I finished my first week at work. I really enjoy it. It's a challenge, but I think it forces me to be better than I think I can. It forces me to not accept mediocrity.

I think the only part that is not working is the commute. I get up at 4:30, catch the train at 6:14, get to Penn Station at 7:15, ride the subway, and make it to work a little after 8:00, which is still almost an hour before I need to be there.

I figure it's good to be early so my boss can see that I am working hard and willing to go above and beyond. My boss is a really nice guy. He has high expectations, but he has a lot of responsibilities and he needs someone to keep him organized. It's very NOT Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada. The rest of the people in the office are nice and I think I'm starting to charm them with my humor.

There was one moment that kind of reminded me of The Devil Wears Prada. I was charged with the job of finding 500 milligrams to 1 gram of L- and R+ Baclofen to use in a human, clinical trail. What? Where am I gonna find that? But, search I did. And, as of 3:30 yesterday, I may have found a drug company that is willing to make the drug. It reminded me of the scene where Andie had to find two copies of the unpublished Harry Potter manuscript for Miranda's twin daughters.

I thought I was used to my new schedule, but then I slept until 1:30 this afternoon. I guess I'm not as used to my new sleep routine as I thought. Ah well, I think it's time to hit craigslist and see what apartments are out there.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

New Beginnings

This blog title has two meanings. First, starting my new job in New York is a new chapter in my life. Second, New Beginnings is the name of Mount Sinai's new employee orientation program. I attend New Beginnings on Monday. It was a very brief overview of hospital policies and procedures. It was dry at times and interesting at times, particularly when Dr. Ken Davis (Mt. Sinai's President / CEO) spoke to us. I could have done without the scavenger hunt throughout the hospital - I'm not a freshman in college. But, hey, it was creative and I got to walk around a little, so I'll cut them some slack.

My first day was a whirlwind. I got to the office before anyone else, which was nice b/c I had a chance to get settled. The phone rang and I had no idea what to do. Of course, I answered it and fumbled my way through and was able to transfer it. The second call went a little better. Dr. Sealfon took me to the 20th floor for cappuccino. I told him that I loved cappuccino. Then, when he asked me how I liked my coffee I had no idea what to say. I don't drink coffee, so I just said however he liked his coffee. That's the dumbest answer ever!! Ah well, it was nice to sip coffee and chat.

I got a few projects that I'm still working on. I'm currently trying to find a drug company that will sell us L-Baclofen to use in a human trail. If anyone has any lying around, send some my way. I'm also working on contacting a publisher to get the rights to a book so the hospital can publish the second edition. So, if anyone from the bookstore is reading this, I might be giving you a call :-)

Today, my second day, was a lot better. I am beginning to feel comfortable, but I've still got a long way to go. The biggest challenge is finding names and phone numbers. The online directory is pitiful! Everyone else has a huge book with every department listed. I don't have a copy yet...and I desperately need one. Other than that, I've begun organizing faculty away forms, scheduling meetings for a potential recruit and keeping up with Dr. Sealfon's calendar.

My coworkers are really nice - Katherine, Swann and Susan are really nice. I think I'm starting to let my humorous side show and I think they like it. Everyday is challenging and I'm constantly on my toes. It's like my job in Admissions...but on steroids. I think that I'll really be able to distinguish myself through hard work and perseverance.

But hey, it's only been two days. I've got a long way to go.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Rob Vs The Subway

$30 a day for a cab ride uptown in the morning and a cab ride downtown after work would get ridiculously expensive. I realized that the cheapest and quickest way to get to work after I got to Penn Station would be the subway.

The subway. An elaborate, interconnected system of tunnels that run throughout the five boroughs. I had done my research and concluded that I could take the F right from Penn Station, change at Lexington / 63rd to the 6 and take that to Lexington / 103rd. That would put me about 10 minutes from the hospital. That worked, hypothetically.

When I finally got into Penn Station, the F train was no where to found. Since I had a lot of free time, I knew I could ride the subway I figured it out. I ended up taking the C to the 7 to F to the 6. It sounds like a very confusing math problem. It was.

Eventually, I figured it out. To get to work, I'll take the train from NJ to Penn Station and then walked about 6 blocks to the 6 train. It's a lot easy to just walk a few blocks to a station where I can catch one train that takes me exactly where I need to go, rather than changing stations 4 times. People say that New Yorkers are unfriendly, but when I and this other guy were trying to find the 6 people helped us out. Four or five people gave advice to help us get where we were going. And, I think I'll remain my friendly self. A mother needed help getting her two kids in a stroller up the subway steps, so I offered to help her. I picked up the bottom of the stroller and helped her. I think NYC gets a bad reputation.

After I figured out how I would commute each day, I still wasn't ready to leave. It was about 12:30 and didn't want to head back to NJ yet. I went to Penn Station from the 6 station and take the 1 all the way uptown. It goes directly to 103rd from Penn Station. But, it's on the Upper West Side. Central Park separates me from where I was and where the hospital is located. I figured I could give it a try...maybe it'd be quicker. No. No, it wasn't.

I walked through Central Park and talked to Lora while she was on her lunch break. It was really nice. It was really nice until it started raining. I got caught in the rain in the middle of the flip-flops. My feet were killing me. Today, my feet hurt so badly from the walking and the rain.

In the end, though, I feel like I have kinda figured out the subway. I know that I'll be able to make it to work on time. There's still a lot to learn, but I think I'll make it just fine.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Little Brother

In Radford I was an expert. I knew the campus, offices, and people like the back of my hand. People came to me with questions. If someone had a question, there's a good chance that I knew the answer.

However, now that I'm in New Jersey I find myself back in the role of little brother. My sister is a savvy, research consultant. She travels the world and seems to know everything. I realize that there is so much that I don't know. I don't know if what my sister knows is something that comes with experience.

I can't wait for a time when she has to rely on my expertise. I can't wait for the day when my older sister and I are equals.