That first impression is SO important!

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A medical record folder being pulled from the ...

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After I had been dating my husband for approximately ten months, I learned that I was not going to be getting a job as part of my student loan.  It was really important for me to be getting that extra income so I started looking around for something which would work with my heavy class load.  Through conversations with my future mother-in-law (we weren’t even talking about getting married at that time – so technically, she was just my boyfriend’s mother at this point), I found out that there were a couple of jobs open in the Medical Records department at the hospital where she worked – and as it turns out, she was the director of the Medical Records department!  She told me I could apply, but that I would have to pass the tests like everyone else and I would not be reporting to her.  She also indicated that, if hired, she would prefer that I not tell anyone that I was dating her son so people wouldn’t think I got the job just because of that relationship.  I thought that was fair – and started the process.

I applied for the two open jobs — a file clerk and a medical transcriptionist.  Of course, the transcriptionist job paid a lot more money and I was qualified for it since I typed at least 60 words a minute and knew medical terminology (I was a licensed emergency medical technician in Colorado and was in the pre-med program at Creighton University).  The Human Resources department called me and asked me if I had a preference as to which job I would like – and not being stupid, I chose the higher paying one — the medical transcriptionist job!  I took the typing test and the vocabulary test and passed both with flying colors.  I was interviewed by the supervisor of the transcription department and I was offered the job.  I don’t know if the supervisor knew of my relationship — but I do know that I was fully qualified for the position and willing to work the hours that no one else wanted — so I didn’t see that as being a problem.

My first day of the job, my supervisor was going to take me around and introduce me to the rest of the department, but instead Kathleen (my boyfriend’s mom/future mother-in-law) decided to do it instead.  Before we started the rounds, Kathleen reminded me not to say anything about our relationship until people got to know me and the type of work I could do.  She was the boss, so I agreed — it was her department and I would hate to get fired the first day and also by my boyfriend’s mom!

Things were going fine on the tour until Kathleen had to introduce me to the first person and she said, “This is our new transcription, my son’s girlfriend Katie Hogan.”  Yep — my cover was blown!  I just looked at her a like a deer in the headlights and she didn’t even seem to notice what she had done.  It wasn’t until later – and after many similar introductions – that I mentioned to her that I guess we wouldn’t be worrying about everyone knowing that I was dating her son.  She looked puzzled and then suddenly realized how she had been introducing me for the last hour or so!  She started apologizing — but I actually thought it was pretty funny – mainly because I know that I wouldn’t have been able to keep it a secret that I was dating her son — I tend to burble and babble way to much — and basically over-share everything about my life — which is why I’m writing posts for my blog!

Everything worked out fine with my job as a transcriptionist — mainly because I was qualified for the position not just because I dated the boss’ son – but also because I knew how to type and understand the medical terminology.  And never discount the fact that I was willing to work every odd hour and weekends!

First impressions are very important – of both employee and boss.  My first impression?  The medical records department loved and respected my future mother-in-law and knew she would only hire people who could do the job – plus, if she could make a mistake like that — then they could too and probably be forgiven!

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