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.)

Dr. B

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10 Comments on “Paig the Matriarch”

  1. pandemonic Says:

    Cool! It’s nice to have a Number Two looking out for you. I hope she’s feeling better soon.

  2. drtombibey Says:

    Yep. Ms. Marfar looks after me at home and when she can’t take it any more she sends me to the office and Paig takes over. It has been a tag team match I guess.

    Word today is Paig is on the mend.

    Dr. B

  3. mrschili Says:

    What a LOVELY tribute. It is so often that the good stuff in our lives get overlooked as part of the scenery, and it makes me happy to see you give credit (and love) where it’s due. Get well soon, Paig!

  4. drtombibey Says:

    Everybody loves the woman- she ain’t got enemy one anywhere. Paig is the only lady in the practice my wife would let me give a hug and kiss to on her birthday- otherwise it just wouldn’t be fitting.

    Dr. B

  5. sshay Says:

    One of the best things about having a Paig in your life is that, when you lose your real mama, the Paigs of the world have wonderful broad shoulders to cry or lean on. I’m glad you appreciate her.

  6. Parson Bob Says:

    Folks ask me what I miss most about being retired from full-time church life. Answer: nothing…except the Mother Superior, the wonderful, dedicated and creative lady who ran our small office and my crazy life. And to top it all off, she was a dear friend to Ann and me. Her name was Lula, and she was a lulu! If we ever have a person like that in our lives, we’re blest. I was, and sounds like you are too.

  7. Lynn O'Carroll Says:

    Dr. Bibey, Paig has been the glue that keeps your staff together. We have watched her work despite her battle with breast cancer and a heart attack. She is the only person there or anywhere that would come to work bald as can be with a ball cap on. She would never think about missing a day of work even though Myrd and I would dress her chest each day that was burned from radiation. She is a very special person who always inspires us to keep on. Dr Bibey, you have been the greatest boss to us. Your commitment to your patients and to your staff has made our job a true pleasure. We will continue to press on.

  8. drtombibey Says:

    Ms. Susan,

    I’m lucky ’cause my real mom is still hanging tough. However, she is getting to the age where I hate to bother her with anything, so the Paigs of the world are indeed very important.

    Dr. B

  9. drtombibey Says:

    Amen, Parson Bob. Indeed a blessing. Dr. B

  10. drtombibey Says:

    Lynn O’Carroll, Myrd, Paig. Big sister, little sister, Mom. The three Musketeers made being a doc a breeze. All I had to was walk around and be Dr. Bibey all day.

    Dr. B

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