Monday, February 20, 2012

The Dinner Interview

I guess I should let in on a little of what actually happened at the interview.  I'll start with the morning after.

Showering on the 14th Executive floor of the Hilton on Friday morning, I contemplated the seemingly endless supply of hot water.  At home, I would be hesitant to take longer than an 8 minute shower, unless I knew no one was showering for the next five hours.  Minutes 12-15 in the shower could border on luke warm, and progressively turn down the cold water until the only water showering down is from the hot spout, the water continues towards tepid, and forget the 20th minute. Cold.

I understand the seemingly endless supply of hot water from the 14th floor.  I understand that it is 'seemingly endless' and one day or hour, will turn cold.  But I cannot comprehend the endless supply of water that the Lord has access to.  Streams of living water. I tend to put the amount of things the Lord can do into a water heater, and figure that it has a fixed volume, an amount of time, and a point at which it will cease to help.  Perhaps I'll stretch my imagination to a water heater that can heat showers throughout hotel rooms on 14 floors of a large hotel - I figure that this limit of what God can do is being generous.  No.  It's not.  It's still limiting, and we are to look "to Him who is able to do far more abundantly more than we ask or think, according to the power at work within us." (Ephesians 3:20)

Maybe skittish is a good word.  Uptight and skittish.

Mike and I skittishly made it to the car in the cold parking garage under the Hilton.  No lint.  No wrinkles.  Good suit.  Great dress.  As the sun sank into the horizon past the Susquehanna River, we drove along its western shore to the restaurant.  We're early.  Good.  We prayed.  Good.  We walked in through the double doors, and put our coats in the coatroom.  Greeted kindly by the host, who was probably the owner, another young server took us to the room.  As we entered the back room, the huddle of 6 servers broke up, and they started pouring water glasses on the long table, taking our drink orders, and attentively watching us.  Hung adjacent to the long table, set with 18 place settings, was a beautiful painting of a grand piano in  a sun room.  The same artist we have in our living room that I got form my dear friend Dianne.  It was almost the same painting.  You'd think something like this would at least assist in me relaxing my shoulders, but no, still uptight and skittish.  One doctor came in first, and then others started to trickle in with their wives.  The practice has about 30 cardiologists, so this is just a handful coming to have dinner and interview us.

The wives one by one or two by two came over during this drink phase to talk to me.  It was lovely.  They were very kind, all different ages, and asking lots of questions and smiling and they started commenting and I started thinking. "I remember being the one interviewed, it feels like it was yesterday, you cannot believe how fast the time flies, I dropped the cheese plate. I was so embarrassed" Pheww, because I'll probably pour my drink on my dress. "Do you stay home with your children?  I'm a stay at home mom." There are other doctors married to stay at home moms? "This group is like a family, a community, it really is."  Ok. Hmmm.  "We live on the east shore . . ."  "We live on the west shore . . ." I do love the shore, but I didn't know it would be part of my daily terminology when we are not even talking about the ocean.  Smile and nod.  Smile and nod.  Could I be any less personable?

This was perhaps the hardest thing I have ever done.  I was so nervous, and my only job was to be myself and support what Mike was saying.  I have performed in front of thousands of people, and this was much harder!  My friend put it really well, when you are performing you are in control.  I had to just sit and listen, and be attentive, and not space out - and finish my food.  There was another challenge.  I knew I did too much muscle using in my face with all the smiling and nodding, and being nervous, probably clenching my jaw or something I was unaware of.  Because, the one time I was addressed by the head doctor, he asked,  "And what do you think of all this, Joanne?" Small piece of food- In my throat - don't talk with food in your mouth - take a sip -couldn't swallow - what a terrible moment.  Thank God someone said, "Speechless.  Look, she's absolutely speechless."  Thank you so much, she bid me some time so I could swallow and get out a , "I'm just really grateful for this opportunity. . . ." Who knows what I said at that point.

Mike was still offered the job verbally on the spot, I can without a doubt say that I had nothing to do with the hire.  It seemed more as the night went on that they were trying to tell me all the highlights of the area, all the opportunities for kids - sports, theater, Suzuki violin, great schools and many options for schooling.  It turned out they seemed to be very down to earth content people.  I didn't get a read that they were out to suck all the life out of Mike  for a few years and spit him out on the streets like Mike had portrayed some programs.  It felt like they wanted and needed to add another team player to take care of their hundreds of patients who need care.

We don't have any paperwork yet, but we did drive around with the most senior doctor's wife for 6 hours the following day.  She showed us many neighborhoods, towns, and areas that are desirable to live in.  I think she got to know us pretty well in those 6 hours in her Volvo.  She was such a kind woman, clothed in strength and dignity, but not arrogance.  I kind of wanted to be her.

From the onset, it appears that all of the priorities Mike had for a job would be met with this job, the concerning aspects of a first job don't seem to exist here, the practice and leadership appear to be executed with integrity, and the most senior doc and his wife are strong christians. Mike has an unexplainable peace about the position.

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7 ESV)

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21 ESV)