Thursday, September 14, 2006


There is a scene from Grey's Anatomy, Season 1, where Izzie is supposed to be covering the floor with Alex while the rest of the doctors are all wrapped up in a big surgery. All sorts of frantic and stressful things happen to her, including having to open up a recent heart surgery patient's chest to remove a blood clot, and in the meantime all the pages she tries to send to Alex never get through to him because the battery in his pager is dead. When she tells the surgeons in the OR about what she had to do with the recent heart surgery patient, Alex comes down from the observation deck to talk to her and is all, Keeping all the action to yourself, huh? Couldn't even page me, huh? That's when Izzie completely loses it and tells him that she paged him a million times and he never answered a single page. When Alex looks at his pager and realizes aloud that the battery on the pager is dead, Izzie grabs the pager and throws it on the ground in frustration, stomping on it and calling Alex a "hateful, HATEFUL man." "HATEFUL!" she screams, enraged, and storms out of the scrub room.

That is the way I felt today.

Today is the day that judges are supposed to call about clerkship interviews. Although some judges jump the gun and call early, most played by the rules of the Plan and didn't call until 12 EST, which is the official time when judges can start calling. I was in class at that time, but the general idea is that judges call, you screen your phone calls and get messages, and then you call
the judges back to schedule interviews in the order of your preference. You screen your calls so you won't get pigeonholed into scheduling an early interview with a judge who may not be your first choice.

Well, a bunch of my friends' cell phones started ringing incessantly at 11 CST. They got tons of messages. But I got none, except for one from my landlord, who was calling about my refrigerator, which doesn't work. I figured that I just wasn't very popular with the judges. I had gotten a few early calls, so I couldn't really complain.

But then around noon I got an e-mail from a judge who said that he'd been trying to call me all morning and kept getting a recorded message saying that his call could not be connected.
I got another e-mail later, around 2 p.m., saying the same thing. I called my cell phone provider, Cingular, to find out what was going on.

Turns out that a tower was down somewhere in Texas, and phone calls were not getting through to me. Now, I'm not going to presume that I would have gotten a million phone calls like some of my friends. But I can't help but entertain the possibility that there were some judges who tried to make a call, couldn't get through, and said, "Well, she gave us a bogus number. Her loss. Moving on." Some judges cared enough to e-mail, but there may have been some who didn't.

And that is why I feel like Izzie. If I hadn't been sure that at least some phone calls could get through (which some were), I would have thrown my cell phone off the roof. It has been a stressful day for a variety of reasons that I won't go into here, but when I was going over the vagaries of the day with GPG on the phone later today, he reminded me that maybe one reason why I didn't get very many phone calls was because my phone was out for hours during the critical time period. And really, that is just the icing on the cake of a very difficult and fraught day for me.

Cingular, you hateful, HATEFUL service! I have had lots of problems with Cingular and reception before, but nothing like this. And really, NOTHING is exactly what I had--absolutely no reception on what is arguably one of the most important days, or at least the beginning of one of the most important time periods (i.e., the whole clerkship interviewing period), in my career. I almost cried this afternoon just thinking about it.

HATEFUL! Before I hung up with the guy who was helping me out on the phone, he asked me, "If you were to take a survey, would you say that our conversation has resolved your problem to your satisfaction?" I was speechless. I had just spent ten minutes telling him that I was not getting phone calls on a day that was really important to me, and all he could tell me in the end was, "Sorry. There's nothing I can do." Finally, I said, "Well, no, because this is a very important day for me, and I would like to receive some very important phone calls, and I'm not getting them."



Blogger caitlyn said...

How frustrating!
I hope you ended up with a clerkship that will work well for you.

9/15/2006 1:06 PM  
Blogger you like raisins said...

From what I hear, this was only a minor bump on your journey to awesomeness. Although it totally blows.

9/16/2006 10:22 AM  

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