Conflict . . . a struggle between two opposing forces.
Or, the thing that drives the plot.
An individual life, much like an individual story, is built upon conflict and the reaction to it. Page turners are those books that build up the suspense surrounding a conflict. Most of us are familiar with the concept of “binge watching” a TV show for the same reason.
Conflicts create questions. So. Many. Questions.
Who will get what they want? What will they do to get it? How will things be affected?
A couple days ago, I posted about how I got an amazing job offer after my very first interview in the field. It’s the hours I want, more money than I’d hoped for, and on an oncology unit of a well-respected hospital. The elation was tangible.
I have a friend – an acquaintance, really – who works at a competing hospital that is literally right across the street from the one I was offered a job at.
I did also, in fact, apply at this other hospital, at the same time. But, two weeks later, I still have not gotten so much as a, “Thank you for your application,” memo. That’s okay.
But . . . I posted on a certain social media site that the interview went well and the aforementioned acquaintance responded that he hoped he’d be called for a reference. Wanting to be tactful, I sent him a private message explaining that the position was at the other hospital, but that I appreciated his congratulations nonetheless.
He replied and asked me to hold off on accepting the position until he could get me an interview. He asked my top three unit choices. He wanted to know how much I was offered. He said he could get me what I wanted, no problem.
I gave him the information. As my other half put it, I didn’t really need to give the other hospital my answer right away. A bid war could be a good thing, for me. And there is a certain appeal in the thought of working at a somewhat lesser hospital, because maybe I could make a positive change there. Plus, it’s the one I was literally born at! And he is a friend . . . in a manner of speaking . . . I can hold off . . .
Well. I did. But –
Enter, more conflict.
I received an email this morning from the oncology unit’s HR rep. Asking me to please respond to the offer letter that I was sent to verify that I do, in fact, accept it. I need to do this by then end of the business day in order to reserve my slot for the upcoming orientation cycle and set the ball rolling with the other paper work.
Alrighty, then. A bird in hand is better than two in the bush, as my mother says.
Still, as a courtesy, I let the acquaintance know. I messaged him and explained that they needed my response. The call he assured me I’d get yesterday never came. The neurology position he told me about isn’t listed in the application portal. Still no word from the application I did submit. I let him know I truly do appreciate his efforts and told him I’d still consider the hospital in the future or if something caused this offer to fall through.
He sent back, “Hold off for a second.”
Commence nail biting.
I sent back that I will. I also pointed out – politely – that none of my other classmates who applied for the same hospital have heard back either. I noted that his own wife, who became a nurse two years ago, ended up getting a job elsewhere due to the same issues. I admitted that it concerns me, because I’m worried it indicates a company-wide problem that hasn’t been corrected in the two years since she had the problem herself.
He hasn’t seen the message, yet. It’s been about forty-five minutes . . . .
Stay tuned, for what happens next!
… … …
And, now, back from the break!
Nothing. Still no word.
There are different things that different people do when confronted with a conflict. Some people take a “hero’s” approach and confront the problem head-on. Others, take the “coward’s” path and avoid the issue in hopes it will in turn avoid them or disappear.
A lot of people, if not most people, do a bit of both.
The point is, there are options.
In fact, for some, this particular situation may not even constitute a conflict. There may be no struggle in choosing a path to follow. Their motives or values may be such that the way forward is clear to them.
One person may go, “I’ve given this person a chance to follow-through with getting me in at Hospital B, but they haven’t, so I’ll go with Hospital A.” This is a practical choice.
A different person may go, “I know this person, so I’ll trust their judgement and pass on the offer from Hospital A.” This is more of a loyalist choice.
Some other person may go, “I think I’ll have a taco while I wait a while longer for something to happen, one way or another.” This is a hungry procrastinator’s choice.
Currently, my conflict is that I’m torn between option one and option two. If I’m being perfectly honest, I would love to just accept the original offer. I want to make it official on that social media site everyone shares too much on. I’m ready to make it real. On the other hand, I don’t want to ignore the effort that the acquaintance is making on my behalf. As some people who have maybe read my other posts know, I’m a submissive individual in about every sense. It kinda ups the ante when it comes to the loyalty I feel towards people I know . . . even when they’re people I don’t like particularly well.
No matter how I look at it, personally, I feel the right choice is to thank him again for his effort and then sign my name to the acceptance letter. Despite my feelings of owing him for his time and help – neither of which I actually asked for.
If this were a movie, you’d get a close up of me typing my name in the “sign here” field. You’d see me take a deep, bracing breath. And then you’d see me hit the “submit” button and collapse backwards onto the couch as if I’d just run a mile.
If this were a book, the chapter might end with a cheeky little, “Well, now that’s done . . . but how will I avoid Mr. M for the next few decades worth of fourth of July barbecues?”
This is neither; however, and I’m going to go ahead and have some tacos.
Technically, I’m giving him until lunch.
So he’s got another hour and twenty minutes to reply to me.
I’ll post the exciting conclusion in a sequel post, so look forward to that, ya’ll.