How is everyone doing with this weather? We're getting by here. The cancellations have been absolutely insane and the reschedules have been even worse. I am luckily somewhat behind the scenes on this all as Meghan flawlessly cancels and then reschedules. It’s seriously confusing. The one cancellation that did come to me directly, was disguised as a compliment! "Hey Mara, Thanks for the great season. We're done now and will make sure that all invoices are turned in." I did not realize from this, that there was a game scheduled that afternoon! I just thought it was an athletic director thanking us for a job well done! Luckily it was non-weather, last minute cancellation so we were still able to bill the client and pay the athletic trainer! Phew!
This snow is more than just an inconvenience! I saw the mayor of Boston encouraging people to go to Boston restaurants and local businesses who are losing money from this weather and well, I know exactly how they feel. We spend a lot of time scheduling and contracting and when cancellations happen, it becomes unpaid hours and we don’t like to have this many of those! I’ve also begun fielding the question: “Will ATs still come if we get bad weather and what is our cancellation policy?” Our cancellation policy has been set since the beginning. We require 2 hours notification for weather cancellations to avoid paying for the full time contracted. But we haven’t really had to have a policy for ATs traveling in adverse weather! We can’t require independent contractors to drive in bad conditions and we wouldn’t anyways! A nice part about running a unique company is making policies that will help our profession and others along the way. I am still working on finalizing our “inclement weather / travel policy” but for now here it is: “We expect athletic trainers to drive in some snow. However, we cannot require independent contractors and will not require our employees to drive in dangerous conditions. If you expect your event to go on through inclement weather or unsafe driving conditions, please consider securing a hotel room for the athletic trainer.” I understand that sports happen throughout dangerous weather conditions but in the end they’re just sports and we need to take the safety not only our staff, but also the spectators and parents etc. into consideration. Sports are not life or death situations. They may be our livelihood, but I wouldn't be able to sleep at night knowing that I required somebody to drive in a blizzard to cover a tournament and something happened to them. So I think that's all I'm going to say about this stupid snow.
Oh I guess one more thing: The state of Precision AT Headquarters (my house): Unfortunately, last night I had the pleasure of learning what ice dams are. Luckily as a “large fish tank owner” I’ve saved old towels throughout the years just in case. They've come in handy with this leak.
A couple of weeks ago I covered a girls hockey game and had kind of a rough experience. The first thing I found out when I got to the rink was that there was no AED present! I thought that facilities like skating rinks where contact sports happen require these, but apparently not. I used to cover hockey games where there were no AEDs all the time, however for some reason this time I felt unprepared and it was an unsettling feeling throughout the entire game. Along with this, the players on the team that hired me kept taking cheap shots and checking which is not allowed in girls hockey! It really stinks when you're working for a school and you're kind of embarrassed by the way that they're acting. This is a crappy part of per diem athletic training and it unfortunately happens from time to time! It's kind of like when you're working at middle school basketball game and the team you’re working for runs up the score by more than 30 points. You feel embarrassed to be part of that (at least I do) and then the coaches on the other team associate you with being one of those jerks and there's really nothing you can do about it. At hockey, after one of “my” players checked another player into the board resulting in a concussion evaluation, I got an earful from the opposing coach while I was trying to evaluate. I always tell these people that I’m just an independent contractor covering the event and say I hate working games like this.
New Segment! Balancing Family and Work
This balancing act is a major work in progress. Something as simple as doing an athletic trainer's contract which usually takes me five minutes will now take me an hour. This is because I sit down to do the contract and the baby (Eli) all of a sudden is unhappy. I put him someplace where he is happy, get back to work and then all of a sudden the dog needs to go out. I let the dog out, sit back down to work and dog needs to come back in. I get up, let her in then sit down again and the baby is unhappy again. In all of this time, I have typed probably one sentence and have lost my train of thought 3 times. (Not good.) Therefore, I've hired a new babysitter and locked in my dad to babysit 3 days a week for a few hours so that I can work in my office with fewer distractions. Also, I'm getting work done at night when Kevin gets home from work. I am hoping to hire an intern to help with billing and other aspects of the business! A little progress/something I liked: I took Eli downstairs for the first time with his play mat and he played and played for 45 minutes while I got work done. We have progress!
That's all for now! I hope you all make it through the storm OK! I'd love to hear stories about a time you have been embarassed by a team that you've covered for! Please share in comments!