Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The First Writing Assignment

Because I have always wanted to be a writer, I enjoyed every writing assignment my teachers requested of me. Writing, as a matter of fact, was my favorite classroom experience.

I envisioned myself, Erma Bombeck-like, sitting in my garage with a typewriter and a cup of coffee (long before I ever drank coffee, long before I ever had a garage, and long before computers ever appeared on desktops around the world), spinning out tale after tale, column after column, screenplay after screenplay, and magazine article after magazine article.

My vision, however, lacked prophetic realism – I found myself instead seated in a hospital office where the only writing I did was scribble patients' names on name cards – until the day my boss came up to me and said, "Did you really mean what you said when you told me you'd love to be able to write something?"

In my head I was happy dancing, and, eyes widened with expectation, I said in my most gleeful voice, YES!

"Good," he said, "the annual report is due and I want you to write it."

I felt as I thought Rembrandt would have felt if he had been told to draw nothing but stick figures. What was worse was that I knew nothing of hospital policy or policy management. How would I write about hospital policies when I wasn't even familiar with them?

"Don't worry," he said, "we're going to use an old report I wrote five years ago and tweak it."

Great, I thought. My first writing assignment is a tweaked version of an old annual hospital report that somebody else wrote.

On the up-side, that hospital was a world-renown teaching hospital, and while my name appeared nowhere on that report, everybody in my office knew I contributed my writing skills to produce it.

If I had been working for that hospital today, I wouldn't have had to retype the entire document. I could have used PolicyMedical™, the leading hospital policy management software, to help me write annual reports and hospital policies. Policy software would have effectively streamlined my job and made it much more simple.

Those skills really helped me, though. Today I just blogged about that experience.

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