COVID19 Planners

Day 96: Bad Dreams & “P”

June 19, 2020

Now before I start, I will acknowledge that a very privileged person writing about privilege might be a little icky. So, I apologize in advance. I do think there is a difference between using one’s privilege for good vs totally unfair manipulation of rules, which is what this post is about.

(Could I say the P word a few more times? It’s such a mouthful and it’s also hard to type/spell. I think I will refer to it as “P” in this post from here on out.)

Okay so — I had a dream last night about my least favorite kind of P. I was in my (work) office though of course it looked incredibly different because it was a dream. I looked at my schedule in EPIC and it was packed. I was in a terrible mood and feeling self-conscious because somehow I had shown up to work wearing a T-shirt and no makeup (remember, this is a dream!).

My first dream patient’s chart has a very defensively-worded note from another specialty and makes mention of the patient’s “Organic Vitamin Injections” which . . . yes, even Asleep Me recognizes as a red flag. Somehow from the note I gleaned that the family was very fancy and well-off. But then instead of showing up, the patients’ father calls me — on my cell phone. At 9:07 AM (the dream appointment was supposed to start at 8:30).

Dream Me is very irritated and asks him where he got my cell phone number and he says something like “oh, I know people” and just wanted to chat before the visit to make sure they would receive the highest level of care. I respond angrily that calling my cell was not appropriate ESPECIALLY 40 minutes after the visit was supposed to start, and honestly felt invasive (dream me = quite indignant apparently) and he hung up and then left the office after rescheduling with a different provider.

And then Dream SHU felt horrified and scared because a) I just didn’t like how I handled it and b) when you make a powerful person angry, bad things can happen to you. BUT I also understand the actions of Dream SHU because getting a doctor’s cell phone and demanding to be seen 40 minutes late is the kind of P that I (REAL SHU) HAAATE.

Most patients just want excellent care which they are absolutely entitled to. All of them.

But in my experience, a few patients think they should get a ‘special higher tier’ of care just because they have means and/or connections. Things like: expedited appointments for non-emergencies, letters written for brand name for no real reason (sometimes there is a reason but other times not), or even medications that are not really indicated (you can probably guess which one in particular, in my profession).

ANYWAY. I hate that attitude, which is pure abuse of P. And I believe I had that dream because of this. Erin Condren, the leader and face of one of my former favorite planning brands is under fire for — well — a very poorly-timed and unapologetic display of P. You can read about it on the article I linked and there is #muchdrama on her insta, including a (surprising but welcome) “pause” announced by her team of influencers.

I took EC off of my list of planning tools and do not plan on supporting her brand again. On the upside, as a result I discovered the Live Rich Planner (created by Budget Mom Kumiko Love) and I was so intrigued I ordered one to sample and review for Best Laid Plans. (I’d also love to interview her – maybe on BOBW).

pix from her site – whoever filled out these samples was ON POINT

ANYWAY. I think that’s enough for today.

Oh! I think I am going to try time tracking for the next 2 weeks. One week entirely analog and one week playing with Toggl (or maybe another tool). I know I’ve received some great ideas around tracking in the past but new technologies are always coming out, so if you have tips I’d love to hear them.

AAAND speaking of time tracking: it’s BB time. (I AM SO SORE FROM YESTERDAY’S PHASE 2 TOTAL BODY!! OMG)


  • Reply gwinne June 19, 2020 at 8:09 am

    The planner pics make me so happy. But spiral/coil are hard NO for me, alas.

    That sort of “P” arises in my world in terms of grade grubbing and asking for accommodations that aren’t really accommodations (there’s a university office for that). But I will say it is not generally related to race or gender. (Sometimes, yes.)

  • Reply Melissa June 19, 2020 at 9:13 am

    I can’t remember how I found your blog but I’ve really enjoyed reading it since you are so consistent and post nearly everyday! I have decided to read your blog all the way to the beginning working backwards. I just finished 2011! It’s been interesting to be able to see into the future.
    You wrote a blog post in May of 2011 looking ahead to 2021. I think it would be interesting to see how that post compares to actual life. Another post I’d be interested in is about Josh’s job as a vascular surgeon. Kind of like a typical day in the life. You post how he needs to goin on the weekends to catch up on work. Since his main work is doing surgery, I’m curious as to the catch up part. There are not that many people blogging consistently. Keep it up!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger June 21, 2020 at 7:51 am

      That’s so cool!!! I loved seeing that post and definitely forgot that I wrote it 🙂 🙂 Thank you!!!

  • Reply Irene June 19, 2020 at 9:22 am

    I had not seen that story about Erin Condren. Wow. I can understand teenagers not thinking through this action but seeing it supported by the adults in their lives is pretty horrible. I hope I’m using my privilege to keep people safe (keeping my kids and myself home as much as possible because we CAN) rather to endanger and disrespect people just because I want to. I am surprised by people’s attitudes every day and it seems unlikely that I’m getting things exactly right.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger June 19, 2020 at 11:36 am

      I know I am not exactly right either but I hope I’m not quite that wrong!

      • Reply Sara June 19, 2020 at 6:03 pm

        I feel like you are spot on by saying “I hope I am using my privilege to keep people safe.” I am 100% sure I am not doing everything right, but this article just screams of elitism. I feel for the high school grads, but it’s not ok to ignore health warnings, especially with their parents encouraging these actions. I saw a parade of high school students in their own cars in my town to celebrate graduation and cried. It was so sad that this was how they had to celebrate (instead of hugs and parties), but they made the best of it and seemed to have fun.

  • Reply Marcia (OrganisingQueen) June 19, 2020 at 9:30 am

    I got caught in that whole rabbit whole last night too. I honestly can’t believe that people behave this way AND try to justify it (upholder/ enneagram 1).

  • Reply Katie Forrest June 19, 2020 at 12:54 pm

    I found the EC article very hard to read. I’m not sure why but it took me a few reads to actually understand what had happened. If I’m reading it correctly, they’ve basically pretended the graduation ceremony is a protest so it’s been allowed to take place?

    If that’s the case, sheesh. That sure does reek of “P”.

    I’m loving your daily blogs, Sarah. I’m running a busy law firm on my own and spending 5 minutes each day reading your blog is something I look forward to!

  • Reply Linda June 19, 2020 at 1:47 pm

    Thanks for sharing that link. I hadn’t heard about that. It certainly reeks of privilege since thousands of other high schools have also missed graduation ceremonies. I used an EC planner in 2019 and am using a Plum Planner in 2020. I learned about both of them from your planner reviews. Do you know any Black owned planner companies you could recommend?

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger June 19, 2020 at 2:05 pm

      The Glamourous Planner (@glamourousplanning on insta) is gorgeous and the company is founded and owned by a Black woman but sadly they are on hiatus!!!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger June 19, 2020 at 2:06 pm

      As of this moment I do not know of others. The one I linked to today is run by a woman of 1/4 Korean 1/4 Japanese 1/2 white descent.

      • Reply Linda June 19, 2020 at 2:27 pm

        I just read through a myriad of angry comments on EC’s Instagram and someone suggested I’ll have to check it out.

        • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger June 19, 2020 at 2:29 pm

          Ooh!!!!! Their stuff looks lovely!

  • Reply Not 'Karen' June 19, 2020 at 3:43 pm

    WOW!!!! That high school. Entitled. Privileged. Rich. Not diverse. Insensitive. Willing to endanger Other People’s lives for their personal pleasure. The teacher who said they had failed as a teacher is correct. The school officials who participated are also failures and ought to be terminated. What a spectacular misjudgement to continue to celebrate over the coming years……. sort of like those confederate statues honoring treason and slavery.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger June 19, 2020 at 3:51 pm

      I was actually shocked she was sending them to public school at all.

      • Reply neuromd June 19, 2020 at 9:10 pm

        I work a few miles inland from this high school. Even though it’s a public school, the Southern California beach community schools are in their own white bubble. All of us have had to sacrifice during this pandemic, but it’s horrible how there are people who think that they don’t need to sacrifice anything (and don’t have any shame about it as well).

  • Reply Canuck June 22, 2020 at 12:39 am

    I’m glad you did write about this even if you were worried it would seem icky. That entire high school story is both infuriating and totally disappointing. What a terrible lesson for the parents to teach their kids!
    I will say though, that your use of “P” instead of privilege in this did rub me the wrong way.
    I’ve probably read your blog for 10 years (!!) and I can’t really recall any other time you renamed a word? Something about shortening it makes it either seem like a bad word that shouldn’t be said (like the “N” word or the “R” word) or sort of Sesame Street cutesy? It also seems curious that it would be easier to type that than the word privilege which would presumably autocorrect?
    It made me wonder if it might be more of an underlying discomfort with the word or how it can be perceived that led you to do that?
    It’s your blog and you can do what you want, but I hope you will pause to give this a moment’s thought.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger June 22, 2020 at 6:00 am

      to be completely honestly it was about typing it out and just the repetition of the same word! I did not have any underlying meaning intended to my word renaming. but point taken 🙂

  • Reply Erica Sparky June 22, 2020 at 1:21 pm

    Privilege such a hard word to type! This article brings to light an important issue. We see similar P here in Chapel Hill all the time. We have the second largest opportunity gap in the nation. our district decided for high schoolers that anyone who was passing on March 13 would get 100% for the second semester of school. I have a (white) friend who is upset that her daughter’s 95% on March 13 is going to get the same amount of credit as someone who had an 82% on march 13. As if it matters? Grade Grubbing is Gross.

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