The Perks of Overtime
Like many of you out there in the PT profession, I work hard and a lot. I signed on as a PTA at a skilled nursing facility over seven months ago (weeks after graduating from a program) and I still haven't come up for air. Sure, work is intense yet also an incredible learning environment where I'm growing as a therapist each day. But the work doesn't necessarily end for me when I crawl through my front door. Upon arrival at home after a nine- or 10-hour work day, there is the family to take care of - in all their sweet, messy glory. Life is busy... very busy.
I must have been grumbling a bit too loudly at work regarding the longer hours that we in the therapy department have been tackling. Due to Medicare billing changes that my fellow blogger (and SNF PTA) Jason Marketti so eloquently discussed a few weeks ago, our treatment hours have been extended. Try treating nine patients for 65 minutes each in eight hours without overlap or group - including documentation within that time period. It makes for a long day. On this particular day, one of the PTs in the gym responded (perhaps to my whining), "Well, you're working a lot - but making money. Go spend it on your weekends." I didn't have to hear that advice twice.
The following weekend off, I sat in my living room and scanned the chaotic scene. Kid stuff, dog and cat hair (we have two and three respectively) and five loads of laundry waiting to be folded on the couch. Completely overwhelmed, I promptly jumped into my car and drove to the closest big-box store. For many people, spending money on a whim to pamper oneself involves a day at the spa, a weekend getaway or perhaps theater tickets - for me, it's buying a $600 vacuum.
It was a rush, I have to admit. I had coveted this particular style of vacuum for years (it doesn't lose suction!) but living on one income and paying and attending school made it completely unrealistic. Well my reality has now changed, I told myself in the house goods section. There is the overtime I've accrued, the kids, the pets and our small-scale chicken and turkey farm in the back yard! I so deserved this.
With only a twinge of guilt (Christmas is right around the corner, after all), I purchased the vacuum. I wish I can report that I've been vacuuming every night - but I would be lying. However, by Monday morning, I felt a fleeting sense of satisfaction even if it was based entirely on a household appliance. There can be perks to working overtime, after all.