My Second Office… a promotion!

Subhan Allah, a few weeks ago I was in the bottomless pit of agony and pain- or is it pain and agony -Any who! I was downing pain pills like they were candy…I had gone through one surgery; everything was looking good- then my body decides (age…) to complicate matters and off I am again in the hospital for a five day stint where the doctors couldn’t (or wouldn’t) find the cause of my fevers and pain that were unrelated to my procedure…when I was finally discharged and got to my own doctors (I had to go to the nearest ER, that is how bad it had been) I was told that I couldn’t wait another 24 hours and had to have another emergency surgery! Oy!

Well as long as this pain was going to go away; let’s cut me open then…and sure enough first thing the next morning I was in the loving care of doctors and nurses I trusted and knew professionally…it made all the difference in the world! On the day of discharge my boss comes by to see how I am doing, happy and relieved that I am going home and that the pain had gone down to almost nothing- only the incision and stuff was hurting a bit.

Then he gives me the news as we meander from pains and post operative stuff to what’s up at the office. Since I am currently married to my Blackberry (no offense Habibi) I get to see all the action from afar. No one spares me any info…for a workaholic that is really not a good thing. The point is that we were at the moment and still are for that matter going through a takeover of the non-hostile kind of another hospital. And when I finally got around to asking – “so who is my counterpart over there”- He looked me in the eye and said “No One- you wear different hats, and no one over there does what you do. So you will be going two or three times a week. You will have another office where you can duplicate what you do here.” Simply stated I had just gotten a promotion- on my sickbed no less! Alhamdulillah! Wow! Blow me over with a feather!

Today I made my first visit . I had gone last week with my boss even though I was technically still on Medical Leave to a departmental meeting- where the department head of the original overseers of the hospital were now handing over the “reins” to us. Had it been in the Middle East or Latin America it would have been treated as a Media Circus; sound bites; pics and all manner of shenanigans. Here it was a very quiet and informal affair- the big hand shaking had been done at Corporate Headquarters. Now it was meet your counterpart (or in my case meet the department) and play nice -get to know each other.

I had a great time with one of the Directors who is also Hispanic and very sweet. She and I found common ground in our shared languages; cultural quirks and got down to business quite nicely. Today was my first visit to the office to meet her staff.

It’s interesting to note that with Allah’s Help and Guidance, I have in the past ten years made it my business to break the barriers that might have existed for a Muslim woman in hijab in the higher enclaves of Administration. It has not been easy- but here is a quirky way of seeing what happened:

Years 1 – 3 wore severe Islamic clothing- Black, Navy Blue, Grey Jilbabs with Pants and one color hijabs in the same tones…Worked more hours than a flight attendant crossing four time zones and three continents. Mass produced all manner of things- They asked I made it happen- Pronto!

Years 4- 8 wore Turkish Tessettur in the Winter; Shalwar Khamis in the Summer- Color was slowly coming back…Went to more meetings, seminars, conferences and hall way chit-chats than I care to remember…Longer hours, but I was chipping away at the ceiling.

Years 9-10 wore anything I wanted to that was within the confines of my age, taste, and poundage! LOL- out came the bangles, the high heeled sandals and pumps; the chains and pearls; and the colorful hijabs were the crowning glory! I’m HOME! Got an office with a view; decorated it Japanese style (my son brought enough back to fill two museums!)- the hours were just as long; but I was visible; reliable for the projects at hand and I was not being micromanaged at all- I set the pace and that was fine! The Executive Director gave the final blessing…ChaCHING!!!

In between I have put enough mileage on my frequent flier account to earn a few months of country hopping; I do get about two months worth of vacation each year (if I work up to 14 hours a day sometimes 6 days a week I think that perk is a GO); and I have the absolute BEST BOSS on this Planet!!! A person who let’s my creativity fly without limits! When I stepped into the “new” hospital today I was ready to go to the next level- duplicate what I have been able to accomplish Alhamdulillah and pray that I can do it again with Allah’s Mercy and Bounty…

So if I ever hear another sister in Islam tell me that the best for me is to be in strict hijab, shapeless, colorless, meek, simple, And invisible- I will acknowledge and say- Everything arrives for a reason, a season or a lifetime and only Allah SWT can dictate where, what and how I will use what has been given to me. My purpose is to serve on earth and when Allah so Sees fit to take my soul away then that is the end of that.

My prayers are for the betterment of people who come seeking a remedy; seeking relief from pain- My oath is to “First Do No Harm” and with it I put all my Muslim passion into it…I know a tad oxymoron…but what can I say…

Service is how I show Allah SWT that I mean business with what He gave me to use in this world. All my dua’s are for my fellows -Muslim and Non alike. All my prayers are for peace and serenity in my life so that I may continue Serving.


2 Responses to “My Second Office… a promotion!”

  1. 1 basbousa
    August 21, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    Masha’a Allah! I’m so proud to have a sister in faith like you!

  2. 2 INAL
    August 22, 2008 at 10:34 pm

    I also have to give Earthly thanks to two people who in the beginning were of great help. One was the head of a Jordanian tribe whose Grecian features and light eyes with well trimmed beard made his luminous face almost angelic- his manner was soft; his treatment of the women of his household almost a replica of the Prophet SAW- and he instilled in me a fearlessness when he would remind me to only fear Allah SWT- the rest was inconsequential.

    The other was an Egyptian American Muslimah married to a Sheikh who told me that Islam is a lifetime processes of defining, redefining and polishing. She said that one should never chew off more than one could chew and that once we had digested; assimilated and implemented what our heart truly understood- only then could we move forward to the next thing.

    In the many years since I have not seen that sister again; and I have spoken almost on a yearly basis to Jordan; but their advise is something I try to apply everyday and with Allah’s Grace pray I can continue to uphold those teachings.

    May Allah continue to grant them Grace, Mercy and Knowledge to serve as they serve in Islam- my life is better for having known them.

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