Friday, December 12, 2008

The Business Lunch

Another scratch off for the “to-do” list--lunch in Jericho, home of the Oxford yuppie, with my number 1 blog fan. Chip and I scheduled a “business lunch” at Branca, a nouvelle Italian bistro on Walton Street. It’s a puzzle to me at this point how I continue blogging once this blog is no longer a travel/culture diary. Am I doomed to a life in nursing or can I try something new? My “hating taking care of sick people” thing is what a nurse recruiter might consider a bad fit for most health care settings. Nurse Ratched is a role model. Maybe I need to keep my finger on the pause button for a bit longer.

What better way to contemplate a fantasy alternative career than with a fantasy business lunch? Chip will confirm that I am completely out of touch with reality as regards the business world. Since my parents also worked in health care, my ideas about the business world are based largely in all I’ve carefully studied on television dramas like Dallas and Dynasty as well as the daytime soap opera, The Young and the Restless. As a business professor, Chip sees business as a complicated sociological matrix of industry, unions, technology and a dynamically changing workforce (I just made that up with words I’ve heard him use on the phone). For me, business is an office with a desk, computer and a phone and power lunches, business dinners, early morning planning sessions with coffee and pastries, and cocktail parties after work with “clients”. A parade of social gatherings with food. You are familiar with Darren Stevens and Mr. Tate on Bewitched? Then you have my vision.

I used to love meetings when I was a staff nurse. If they need a staff nurse at a meeting instead of at the bedside, it’s usually driven at an administrative level to introduce an “innovative new strategy of care” which implies cost saving measures for the hospital sure to lengthen hours, decrease staffing or cap a pay scale. They unlock your shock collar and let you leave the patient care area to go to a boardroom with a white erase board and and comfy chairs in an area of the hospital that doesn’t smell like poop, but more like flowers and leather. There I could sit for an hour without having to respond to the unrelenting universal needs of the suffering--sustenance, pain relief, oxygen, emotional support and elimination. Timed well, the inspired and experienced nurse could plan her day around coinciding unpleasant tasks, like weighing her obese patient with the bed scale or getting her post-surgical patient on the bedpan, with her meeting time.
“Right, I just put Mrs. Johnson on the bedpan, Sally. Can you check on her in about ten minutes? And grab a weight on Room 406 if you would? Thanks, you’re a peach.” I’m sure I never did that.

My power lunch started with an Island Breeze Punch or some such, a lovely drink of Campari, limoncello, cassis and lemon topped with Prosecco. We had a great luxurious two plus hour lunch as business people do, and left around 4pm. The restaurant was peaceful between the lunch and dinner crowds. We cycled home at dusk to children wondering why their unrelenting demands for tea had not yet been satisfied.

The Christmas decorations are up. Little house in Oxford is ready for Santa.


  1. As part of our business lunch we discussed the blogging business. So we are experimenting with new and improved comments. Is this format easier?

  2. I definitely agree that you should take more time away from nursing. I still think there's a market for a Nurse Julie blog for patient advocacy and advice. But I don't want to give away the whole idea here or someone will steal it. I'll have my people call your people.

    Also, you need to know that power lunches where drinks are consumed with out around the time that yellow neckties came in. There are a few exceptions, the "team holiday lunch" used to be an exception...but these days if there aren't clients present, most places don't let you expense the lunch...and when you're splitting the check it's funny how the drink orders are minimized.

  3. And yes, this seems easier for me to comment.

  4. Thanks for your encouragement, it all helps. Writing as someone who doesn't know you, the first time I read something from your blog it made me laugh so much I snorted tea over the keyboard - I think you have a future in it! And I hope you had a brilliant time in Branca - I would be happy with just a loaf or three of their rosemary bread...

  5. Keep blogging. Set a schedule for it if daily is too much. Regularity is very very helpful.

    Wait with nursing.

    There. Opinionated as always.

    Oh, very nice comment section!

  6. Nurse Julie is going to get sued! Scared of Nurse Julie blog unless it's like Dr. Laura, just utter bullsh*t that can't possibly be thought of as real advice.

  7. I agree: don't do anything that could put you in jail. There's plenty out there to write about. Stay safe.

  8. Great! Just when I figured out how to comment
    on your blog, you go & change it. I will try
    this new thing.

    Maybe you should just continue writing, if not
    a blog then something else?

  9. Welcome back, Faye! Good trip?

  10. Do people sue Dear Abby? Like most people these days, I don't actually subscribe to a newspaper, so I haven't kept up. But she had a long and loyal readership while providing the same advice over and over. We eventually learned it all, and now America's cultural tenets embrace basic late 20th Century pop-psychology espoused by the Friedman sisters, including "seek professional help." We don't need Dear Abby anymore.

    Alls I'm sayin is that I think there's a load of hospital, health and nutrition wisdom that should become part of our common sense. Your observations and advice, interwoven with pop cultural references and current events, could be honed to parcel out the 411 in an infotaining way. Unpaid for awhile, it has "multi-platform content idea" written all over it. I see Nurse Julie books and calendars and CNN segments. And it all starts with:

    "Dear Nurse Julie, my 7 year old is prone to low-grade fevers and tummy aches. Signed, Overbearing Mother." "Dear OM, give her some saltines, have her sit on the toilet, and stop bothering her."

    Just think of the celebrities you'll meet in the Today Show green room!

  11. Except for the brewing leukemia, Scott, you make a good case.