Four years

It was a Tuesday four years ago too. Mouse was getting settled in with her host family in Senegal. I packed up a peanut butter sandwich, got on the freeway and headed over to the south side of town.

Without an employee’s badge, I had to steel myself to walk in the front door. Hello? No one was in the front office. There was a phone on the counter with instructions for visitors to call and have someone paged. I had two names. The Long Suffering Cat Herding Person and my Cube Neighbor. I don’t like phones, so I very nervously made the call. The LSCHP was not there yet. One never quite knows when the LSCHP will be there (or not) but I didn’t know that then. Cube Neighbor let me in.

I was a student intern then. I worked about 12 hours a week. At the end of the class associated with the internship, they hired me as a full-time full-tilt-boogie business systems analyst aaaaannnnnd heeeere IIIIIII aaaammmmm.

The truth is that before I got hired by the LSCHP, I didn’t think I would ever work again. I am horrendous at job interviews and I didn’t know where to start. What did I want to do? So many people seem to have that figured out or if they don’t, they can manage to wow people with all of the stuff that they know or can do. Me? I don’t know how to describe what I can do. What I know how to do is to learn how to do things. Pull little bits and pieces of information together or tear something apart to figure out how it works, what data goes where in what form and how to do it (hopefully) better (yeah, systems analyst). I also know how much there is that I DON’T know and that gets in the way sometimes.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with not knowing what you want to do with your life although it sure can make it harder to make your way. Not having a plan set in stone allowed me to be comfortable with ratcheting back a bit to take care of my children. I could be home to read to them while they were eating breakfast. I could help out at their schools and girl scouts and the young actors guild, etc. And now I have somehow fallen into a career that didn’t exist (exactly) when I was young.

I am certainly not suggesting that everyone follow my particular career path. It hasn’t always been easy. We didn’t have tons of cash hanging around when the beach urchins were growing up and, although I love my work now, I wish I had more paid vacation time time off to deal with family responsibilities. If I had taken a straighter path, I would have tons of time off and probably a lot more money…

Anyway, I’ve been there four years. We’ve survived a devastating collapse of the U. S. economy and a merger and I have had promotions and raises. The LSCHP was not at work today but Cube Neighbor was. I spent the entire day trying to wrap my brain around a certain basic concept that I won’t even begin to try to describe. I am getting there and I am gonna hit up FZ tomorrow to make sure somebody hasn’t slipped some crack into my coffee.

3 Responses to “Four years”

  1. Margaret Says:

    I think it’s very cool how you fell into this job that you love. (mostly) I decided to teach my senior year in college, before that it was NO WAY. I wanted to do something different from my parents. Oh, well.

  2. jane Says:

    I have no idea what I will do next. hopefully it will pay something close to my current salary so I can maintain my current lifestyle – modest, but with enough extra to have some fun. 😉

  3. DogMomster Says:

    Well, I *tried* to have a more-conventional “career path”, but the simple fact of living This Close to Flint has conspired to keep that from happening. Yeah, I, too, took a few years off between the Birth of The Brick and The Brick’s entry into full-day grade school… but my error upon re-entry was apparently going “contract” (little did I know) – which branded me for about 15 years (enough time to screw me out of a lot of vacation & retirement accrual!). I feel lucky to have fallen into a direct hire where I feel I *belong* and am having FUN, to boot!

    KW: a big HIGH FIVE for us “late bloomers”!!