Wednesday, November 11, 2015

What Do People Do All Day?

One of my favourite books to pore over in my younger years was Richard Scarry's What Do People Do All Day? Detailed, humorous illustrations opened the world of work to impressionable young minds. At the time, 'blogger' was not an occupation. It is now. For me, it's a second job. As you read each week's Trackside Treasure posts, you may well wonder: What does Eric do all day? Today, I thought I'd tell you what I've done for many, many days - actually for 30 years now!
You see, I've just returned from a classy evening at Kingston's Four Points Sheraton, hosted by my employer, Kingston General Hospital. This annual long-service recognition dinner honours hospital employees who've been with the hospital for 25 or more years. Also this week, the hospital foundation's fundraising campaign included a stock photo of me in their wall posters - brought to my attention by several colleagues. The photo (top) on the wall of the Burr wing cancer centre, depicts me adding slides to an immunostainer.

I'm a medical laboratory technologist, working in the hospital's pathology laboratory. There we receive and process surgical and autopsy tissue and organ specimens, producing stained glass slides as a final product. These are used by pathologists to render a diagnosis. The immunostainer stains slides with an antigen-antibody reaction, to help pathologists and clinicians diagnose various types of cancer. As the poster caption notes, we practice innovative health care. So innovative that we have upgraded with improved instrumentation twice since this photo was taken! 
Back in June, 1985 this just-graduated, neophyte medical laboratory technologist (and future blogger) began his career. Since then, KGH has been more than my workplace. It's been my home-away-from home, my haven, my harbour, my hotel, my hovel, and my hostel. Equal parts crucible, sunroom, pressure cooker, Petri dish, think-tank. It's where I met my wife. It's where I've worked with some fine colleagues. It's where I gained professional expertise, life experience and seniority! It's allowed me to serve on the Council of the College of Medical Laboratory Technologists of Ontario. And presently, on the Anatomic Pathology Scientific Committee of the Institute for Quality Management in Healthcare, formerly Ontario's Quality Management Program - Laboratory Services. 

This week has been a reflective one for me - such milestones usually lead to reflection, don't they? Tonight my wife and I celebrated, shaking hands with the hospital CEO and chair of the hospital Board. Earlier today, as I filled out my employee engagement survey, and had to answer the question: How often do I look forward to coming to work each day? My selection was easy - ALWAYS. And I owe it all to my sister-in-law Susan, my blogger brother Dave's spouse, who led me by example into this interesting field. 

Now you know what I do all day...when I'm not blogging about trains!


Steve Boyko said...

Congratulations on your 30 years!

Does that mean that we (fellow bloggers) should say what we do all day too? Sounds like fun!

Eric said...

Thanks, Steve! I think you've suggested a great idea there! In this case, the milestone made me reflect a bit - maybe Trackside Treasures would like to know...the rest of the story! (As Paul Harvey used to say) and to show there is more to life than trains. Especially when it comes to income for mortgages, kids' post-secondary education, groceries and such!