Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Office Move

Management said that my lease was up and they were not willing to renew it. I'd noticed that the other small law offices had disappeared. A single business on our floor had multiplied from 20 employees to 120.  They were willing to lease the floor for longer term.  I couldn't blame management.
It's just that change is difficult.  I had 'other plans'.  Suddenly my work, livelihood and routines were upended.
Thankfully my assistant, Angel, was on the ball. We both looked for accomodation. I contacted the government agency funded to promote business in the DTES. Despite several emails and calls they didn't get back to me.  I thought of how slow government is compared to the private sector.  Just another example. I couldn't wait.
Angel and I began looking and independently came across this particular office.
Single offices with a single reception area were actually less common than years gone by. The norm today is a reception area with receptionist serving anywhere from 3 to 10 offices.
My patients complain about the high cost of parking in the downtown. Where I was had been far better than the medical Broadway corridor where I'd been. Still,  in the last year parking was becoming difficult.
Personally I didn't want to go even more downtown because of the commute and the increasing insaniety of bike lanes in downtown.  I was also thinking it would be good for me to avoid driving through  Main and Hasting if I could because I was getting really terrorized by the people wandering like zombies through the streets. I was especially afraid of the stoned individuals who had tried to hug my Harley when it was in motion.
So, faced with the move I'd not planned, I thought the bright side might be somehow not having to face the last 4 block drive to my office which had become increasingly harrowing. I think I was developing PTSD from repeated near accidents with people running screaming in front of my car.  After bumper to bumper Vancouver commute with all the nonsense on the freeway I was a jumble of nerves for this last gauntlet run through the suicidal thrill seekers whose minds were not present.  What upsets me is that the city sees the commuters and tax paying citizens as the problem.  Their 'harm reduction' policies versus 'abstinence based recovery' support addiction.  They  put 30 km/hr signs on the road rather than fences along the roadside.  I am increasingly irritated by a city government that wants to turn the DTES into a ghetto recreation drug zone. Everywhere there's a marijuana dispensing location claiming to cure everything.
When Angel and I found the same office independently I sent her out to see it.  She thought it was great. Management was great. So I drove over.   I immediately saw that the new office was next door to the Serenity Recovery Store. As I treat so many people in Recovery I thought this touch a little god sign.
Most importantly the management was dog friendly as they'd been at the Old Electric.  They also accepted fish tanks.  It's amazing how many places don't accept dogs and  fish tanks. I'd looked for several days at the offerings.  I was so pleased at the welcome Gilbert and I  received at this new place.
A priest had an office below me and a lawyer next door. A professional building in a suburban neighbourhood with lots of street parking and a lovely dog walk for Gilbert.
The only downside was that there was no elevator. I am still working one and half day a week in the Doc Side clinic which is also moving up Hastings. They have a ramp at their new office so I have told the couple of patients that I'm seeing who have mobility issues that I will see them at that clinic.  I remember when I was on Broadway.  The elevator broke down for three months. I saw several patients at the coffeeshop. This solution would be  at least better than that.
All round it's a nice place. When I told a patient about the 'god moment', it being located next to the Serenity Recovery Store, he laughed.  He told me that he knew the site well and while he'd not known about the Recovery Store he knew it was next to Italian Sporting Goods.  My devious unconscious had not recorded anything else but the Serenity Store.   Yet when I drove by again,  sure enough there was the family owned Italian Sporting Goods store I've loved in years past.  There's also a tattoo parlour and coffee shop.
If I've a cancellation occurs I can walk down stairs, browse the inspirational literature, buy a coffee, get a tattoo and buy a gun. Then I can return and talk to the priest or lawyer. All round, my kind of place.
Having a place was a tremendous relief. My personal life has been rocked around the clock.  The amount of work I had seemed overwhelming without adding a move in tax time to the mix.  It all  seemed nearly impossible. But daily prayer, to do lists, a very helpful assistant in Angel, Gilbert's good humor and taking 'one day at a time' got me through this storm.
A few weeks before the move Angel and I began boxing the books, and pictures and separating what needed to go  to storage and what was going to be taken to the new office.
Bill Gyles who has helped me with previous moves had a friend of Bill's who organized with Angel to do the actual move.
I worked in chaos and mess for a couple of weeks. The office was hell because of the sunshine and heat. It was almost unbearable. The building air conditioning was down. Then Angel found out on our last day that I actually had the heat on in the office.  Unbelievable!
Patients were incredibly tolerant, sitting amidst boxes and walls with pictures and diplomas removed, and the horrible heat. (Stupid doctor).
Gilbert was great through out, greeting everyone and giving them the opportunity to feel better throwing ball. The fish ignored all the crisis.
Then we were moved.
I hardly made it through the last day at the Old Electric Building.  5 years I'd been in the DTES full time. I will still be there a day and a half but the rest of the week I'm now in suburbia.
The new office was a chaos of boxes and hot.  My first activity was to run to London Drugs Monday Morning and get a portable air conditioner. We're waiting for curtains. But the sun sure heated the office up quickly.  I do love the sun though.
No bedlam on the roads. Nobody trying to sell me drugs on the street.  Lovely houses like any suburbia picture around me.  And quiet. I couldn't believe the quiet.  I'd become used to all day sirens and the people screaming randomly on the street below my office. Here was quiet.  Glorious quiet.
Angel really began to like the waiting room as she organized her office area to her likes.  A whole lot of accumulation had to be put in boxes for storage because it was no longer pertinent.
I saw patients, who were again tolerant. There wasn't much difference in the chaos and boxes of a move, accept that this was clearly the 'beginning' of something new and better.
I really had wondered how I'd get through the office closure and the opening of the next office while maintain continuity of care with so many complicated patients really in crisis. I've reports that need to be done with deadlines attached but somehow it all looks possible again.
Angel had the internet and phones connected.  My computer and printer were working. I had my prescription pads and pens. I actually got through a day of work with everything we needed found.
It was a long day in a long month but we was moving forward. I'm even moving forward on all the other beaurocratic paper work I need to do now.
In the midst of the move my terrific accountant Anil came by and we completed the paperwork for Revenue Agency Canada. Much to my surprise I had money to cover the move and the taxes.
So many things.  So many moving parts.  So much that could have gone wrong but didn't.
Before getting the notice of the lease being up,  I'd booked a conference in Ireland and Laura and I had planned a week travel vacation there around the date.  I'd certainly not have done that if I'd known but we'd made arrangements and booked flights, conference and accomodation so continued to do this.
And yes, it's all coming together. I'm really looking forward to learning more about adult autism as well as seeing some of those addressing the problem of  alcoholism in Dublin. I'm really looking forward to  visitting the church of great grandparents. Laura's grandparents were actually married in a church where we are going too.  It's a further continuation of my theological studies in Christianity, Celtic Christianity being one of the main branches of the church. So it's been a light at the end of a dark and busy tunnel to keep that plan. And now the office move is done. Angel will have the time I'm at the conference to turn the chaos into an attractive tidy efficient functional space. I'm so glad to have her at this time with her capacity to rising to occasions.  She was the Badminton Champion in the Yukon and is really a good sport.
Now I'm waiting for DocSide to move. They've had problems with tiles and other features in their new building delaying the move for a month now.  When I come back I expect to be in two new offices.
And frankly I'd really wondered how I'd be able to make the move.  The College requires we notify patients 3 months ahead of practice closure so when I learned of the lease being up 2 and 1/2 months ahead, my first thought, I confess,  had been to run away to sea.  But I couldn't even do that because I didn't have enough time to notify patients. That fleeting escapist delusion didn't last the hour before I thought of joining a circus. That seemed like a good alternative when I considered all that was involved in moving an office especially at this time.  Thanks to saner thoughts, lots of help and prayer, it now has been done. I may even have a friend taking up the day I'm not there which would help with the overhead costs.
I'm really thankful everyone was understanding.  Thank you all.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

you are a kind and sensitive person

your clients will be better off

in your new office environment


best wishes

in all things you do