Years and years ago I sat in this office.  Not this exact space but this exact building. I sat in this office and started a blog.  And I blogged and I blogged and I blogged and I did it mostly all on company time because when I started this blog I was pregnant and between pregnancy and child rearing there wasn't much time at home to sit on a computer and get much of anything done. 

Not for me at least.  I've never been able to manage multi-tasking technology with parenting.  If I'm doing one I'm doing very poorly with the other.  I've been guilty of doing poorly with both.  I think most of us have.  Parenting during this tech age is interesting.

Just like Southerners use the "God Bless" when they really mean the eff word I use interesting when I can't think of anything nice to say.

I used to write more.  Now things are so busy I can't sort out what to write and what to just let settle into nothingness.  Things seem so boring and hectic.  Life is pretty boring and hectic for most of us I think.

I started working for this company in October of 2001.  It wasn't what I wanted to do.  I took the job for the benefits.  I had slit my hand open a month before and that set me back financially.  I was waitressing and lost time from work.

I definitely didn't take it for the pay.  My first bi-weekly paycheck was less than I made in a typical weekend at the bar.  I cried all the way to the bank.  That's not a colloquialism, that's the God's honest truth.

The people I worked with were so bizarre.  They still are.
The people you work with are probably bizarre too.
Why can't everyone just be normal like us?

My first job here laid me off in less than a year but I never missed a day of work between jobs.  I went from being a case manager in a program serving people who were just getting out of homeless shelters to being an Intake Coordinator for a Welfare to Work program.  Both were field jobs, and I worked in people's homes.  The big difference was that the homeless people were living in houses and apartments that were up to a code specified for subsidized housing.  Welfare to Work folks just lived.  In houses more beautiful than mine and houses you'd never imagine held addresses outside of a third world country. A few years of doing the intake work and I was promoted to Supervisor.  An office job.  I held it for a couple years I guess.  Mostly because I got pregnant with Jacob and I didn't want to be out in the neighborhoods for all that.  I'll never supervise social workers again.  I'd rather have a caseload of clients than a caseload of high-needs workers plus their caseload of 25 or so clients.  And sitting at a desk is no good for me.  I'm not an office worker. I started this blog while I was an office worker. I needed something to do with all of my energy.  A week after returning from maternity leave with Jacob I was laid off from that program, but the very next day I reported for duty for the job I have now.  Today.  But not tomorrow.  I've been a Program Analyst for a City funded parenting program for nearly eight years.  It's my job to keep up on current research and Best Practices and be sure they are implemented in the field. It was a field job but I didn't have to work in houses.  I worked at social service agencies and schools and hospitals and health centers and libraries and shelters and rehabs and and and.  I have sat through thousands of hours of parenting classes and probably thousands more of continuing education courses.  I'm a Parenting Professional for another four and a half hours.  Then I'm not.  Just like that.  I'll just be a regular mom with a regular job.

Tomorrow I start a new job.  One that has nothing to do with anything I've ever done before.  One that has everything to do with what I wanted to do when I was fresh out of school.  Community and clinically based research.  I earned my graduate degree in 2001.  Everything I learned is probably obsolete.  But that's okay.  I'll learn again.

I might go back to school in a few years.  My new employer will pay for it all, that's part of the benefits package.  As long as I don't want to go to law school, medical school, or earn my MBA.  I don't want to do any of that.  I might not want to do anything at all.  And that will be okay.
I was raised to believe that University education is everything.  So I went and I went and I went and then when I was done I still felt like I wasn't good enough.  Thirteen years after being out of it I don't feel like University is everything, and sometimes it's nothing at all.
But the boys will go.
Because I believe that they will be better off with a degree.
And I'll be better off if they go where I work because it will all be free.
Unless they want to be medical doctors, lawyers, or earn their MBA.

I've learned more at work than I ever did at school.  We all do.
There is bound to be some major crossover into the new position even though it's something different.  I was hired for my work experience.  My specific work experience.
Not my education.
That made me feel good enough.


Jenny Grace said...

I really just want to acknowledge that I read this. In the old school commenting style way.

Brndoutw8ress said...

I wanted to congratulate (sp?) you on your new job! You have a wonderful style of writing that I'm honestly jealous of. You write like your talking but it comes out clean, well written and together. I write and its just like I threw up words and they ended up on the page! No but seriously congrats on the new position, hope you're enjoying it. You my friend are definately not an "office" kinda gal...you get out there in the trenches and you HELP. I hope you know how awesome you are. Honest. Thank you for spending all that company time on this blog, I love reading it.

Lana Dramstad said...

"...normal like us." I love that. I worked in Social Services also as an eligibility technician for LIEAP (Low Income Energy Assistance Program). It chewed me up and spit me out. I loved my clients, even my perennial rolling wrecks. But I worked within a Community Action Agency providing a number of different services and THOSE are the people that drove me bat-shit crazy. Congrats on the new job. So glad to be back among the blogging!

Kelly @ turned UP to ELEVEN! said...

I can remember, when I was trying to transfer from Community College to a 4 year school - I was begging my father to let me go to The Art Institute. I wanted my degree in Graphic Design and I thought what better way than a school that specializes in that. I know I'd get a great art education but my father looked at the big picture, he always does and I needed that. He told me he would not pay for art school but would pay for art classes, at a 4 year college with a strong art program. Thus I went to Towson and got a great education - he later said the reason he enforced that was because often times employers don't really pay that much attention to what your degree is in (especially if the job is not in your field of study) but that you had the smarts to see your degree through - not to mention all the other "general studies" you take on in school. I've lived by that - I can't imagine my degree in Graphic arts would carry any weight for a job interview say in a business related field BUT at least the interviewer would see I was a hard worker, got a degree and hopefully I'm going for a job where I have SOME experience, right?

I hope your first day was great - I think it's awesome you're branching out!!!

PS I think Southerners also say "God Bless" or "Bless her/him" when they can't politely say "What a moron, or that person is an idiot" too ;)

daisyfae said...

the way i preach it - college doesn't necessarily make you smarter, but it can make your life easier. my two oldest siblings ran off to get married at 18 (one literally eloped). they both worked like hell to get on their feet, facing almost relentless setbacks along the way...

and i've seen others do it the hard way, going back to school after having children.

it worked well for my daughter. my son quit university one semester short of a degree because it was crushing his soul. he figured it out on his own.

best wishes as you reboot, lady! here's to what lies ahead!

Fraulein N said...


Susan Lindgren said...

Bests on your last and your first.

PorkStar said...

I haven't read you in forever and I also haven't been blogging in an age and a half.

Congrats on the new position and totally agree with your statement about the school part. I worked for a big news agency and financial firm for 8 years and I myself did some hiring of people as well. More importantly than the education was the work experience and that's usually the case for more jobs in big cities, except like you said, for lawyers and doctors and a few others.

Nancy Fisher said...

Looking for your review on the new job. Hope all is going well. Happy for you!
Nancy Fisher