Sunday, December 19, 2010

What I am up to these days

I recently switched to an arrangement at Grene, the company I have been working for, for the last two years, where I would be like a contractor. I would have flexible timings. I could work from home when I wanted to but would come to the office as required. I would make sure all the work I needed to do would get it done in a timely manner.

Around the same time, I took on an official role at NephroPlus, the chain of dialysis centers I have been informally involved with right from its inception.

My life has changed dramatically.

When you are not an employee, there is a remarkable change in attitude towards work. Even though I am making significantly less money than I was until a couple of months back, life is much better professionally and personally. I find myself enjoying my work much more. I do not perceive my work to be a chore, to be done day after day. Suddenly, I find it very stimulating.

And then there is NephroPlus. I am enjoying my role there thoroughly. For the first time in my life I am working for a non-software company. The whole dynamic is very different from a software company. The goals are different. The working style is different. Well, obviously, you might say! But you only realize the extent of difference when you actually experience it. In a software company, despite all the complaints about the chaotic nature of the work and the schedules, there is a semblance of a plan, a structured team, defined deadlines, goals, deliverables.

In a startup chain of dialysis centers, there is no 'deliverable' as such. It is a continuous process of improvement, of catering to patient needs. There is no 'end point' as such. You have a few problems. You deal with them. Then the next set of problems comes up. There is not much scope for gratification at the end of a project like you have in software. After the successful execution of a project, there is celebration, a sense of catharsis, a time for relaxing. No such thing here.

What then is good about this?

Whenever I visit the center, I go over to chat with the patients that are getting dialysis there. I talk to them about how they are doing, how they are feeling and if they are having any problems. We usually have a heart to heart chat. I talk to them about the problems I might have had recently similar to theirs and how it got resolved. They give me tips about how they are dealing with the disease. I share my experiences. There is an immediate connect, an immediate feeling of empathy from both sides. I really like the time I spend with them.

There is one thing for sure. Only a dialysis patient can understand what another dialysis patient goes through. Not a nephrologist, not a technician, not a nurse, not a family member, not a best friend. Irrespective of any claims made by these people.

6 comments:

Senseshnal said...

Hey Kamal - glad to know that you are at a new and moe satisfying equilibrium. Good luck!

Bill Peckham said...

That's awesome Kamal. What are your responsibilities at NephroPlus? Now I will have to visit.

Kamal D Shah said...

Officially, my designation is "Director, Patient Services and Home Therapies"!

My main responsibilities include talking to patients regularly and find out if they have any problems with the services and if they need anything else to make their sessions and overall experience more comfortable. I also am in-charge of introducing home dialysis - PD and home hemo to the offering.

As I said earlier Bill, we would love to have you!

Shravan Kumar. M said...

All the Best Kamal.

correction needed - change word "dome " to "done" in this article.

Kamal D Shah said...

What? I don't see 'dome' anywhere! ;-)

Rajat said...

awesome...keep up the good work