Paig the Matriarch
Before I go on with chronic illness, I gotta tell you about Paig. Paig is the matriarch of the practice, and I have no idea what I’d a done without her. She recently had some minor surgery (she’s O.K. and will be back in three weeks) and I felt like all her years of service deserved some ink. She’s the best.
Paig came on board at the suggestion of Lynn O’Carroll. Lynn has been like a one woman office personnel service over the years. Every recommendation she’s made has been a keeper, and Paig was no exception.
When Paig started out with me, I was a young Doc starting out in practice, and Paig was an experienced office manager for another doc in town who had just retired. We hired her on the spot and she has been with us ever since.
These days Paig is semi-retired, but I’m gonna tell you for many years without her old Doc Bibey woulda surely gone under. I’ll give myself an A minus as a Doc, but I try hard. As far as a business person I’m a charitable C-. I was fortunate- Paig was an A+.
Paig knew where every form was, and could quote the status of every E.O.B. in the practice. She bid on office supplies and equipment with a ruthlessness that would make Donald Trump proud. When she decided to slow down we had to bring in three computers to keep up with all the numbers she ran in her head on a daily basis.
She had a heart too, though, and we both believed in carrying along these little old folks who brought in five or ten bucks a month. It was all they could do, and we both knew it.
And bless her heart, she’s like mom away from home for all of us. My kids had minimal trouble through the years, but it was Paig who convinced me I was being unreasonable about one speeding ticket for such a fine boy. (She understood I was only scared he’d get hurt.) One time some boys harassed my daughter (she is now a black belt in karate) and had it not been for Paig, the County might have been out one doc. She was the only one who could calm me down. Looking back, I suppose my plan to kill those guys and spend the rest of my life as a prison doctor was a bit irrational. (When someone threatens your people it just drives you outta your mind.)
We have an unwritten rule in the office. Docs in small towns are like Parsons- carefully observed- and I won’t ride across town with the young ladies- it just ain’t fitting. I never tell a woman’s age, but like I said Paig is mama, and everyone in town knows that, so when my car was in the shop she was always my transportation. She still keeps conversation hearts on her desk, and my favorite candy corn at Halloween.
Maybe this last story tells it best. Everyone at the office knows my vice is a three o’clock Co-Cola. It goes back to school days, when my real mom would let me have one Co-Cola a day (the ones in the little green bottles) right after school.
Every day at 3:00 sharp, unless we have an emergency, I make the announcement of “school’s out!” and everybody knows to indulge me a short break for a Co-Cola.
Well, Paig is out for surgery, and last week I went to the refrigerator only to find we were out of Co-Colas. I asked our young office manager what in the world I was gonna do. She went back to Paig’s office, opened a cabinet, and low and behold there were six Coca-Colas on the shelf. It seems before Paig went to surgery, she stashed them there and left a note in case the staff forgot to go to the store and re-stock me.
Vintage Paig. All male Docs need a mama in the office and Paig was mine. Like I said, I’d never made it without her. So, get well soon pal, and hurry on back. (I’m about to run outta Coca Cola.)