Friday, November 08, 2013

Off Kilter and Still Running Late -for Day 7

See what happens when you are late in doing something? It throws your entire schedule off course then. Yesterday, I didn't get my Day 6 Thankful post written until 12:38 a.m. Tonight, granted, I am a little earlier -it's only 12:21 a.m when I started this -but apparently that little bit of non-attention to the time and being late is still carrying over tonight now for me. Oh well, who knows -maybe Friday -or Day 8 -I will actually be writing my thankful post before midnight when it is still actually day 8! (It could happen, it could happen and my thanks to Judy Tenuto for that bit of phraseology!) I did do a thankful post -or status -earlier today though on Facebook and in it, I wrote about a love/hate relationship I have. I really don't like to use the word "Hate" because I do try not to hate anything as there's supposed to be a purpose for everything we encounter in life and since that also includes creatures like snakes and spiders -well, let's just say they both come fairly close to the edge with me and border on hate. Perhaps I should re-clarify my dislike of the word "hate" as it applies to somethings that I guess I really do hate -but it is not against a person or a creature on the planet, but rather aspects or traits -things like that -that yes, I confess then, I really do hate! I hate bias, prejudice, discrimination of any type! Plain and simple -or at least I think it is anyway. And I do hate the way may places in this area where I live persist in their methodology in hiring -which frequently -in my view -results in very discriminatory, albeit it not discriminatory enough to warrant legal actions against them. I was raised in a different era -where if you got your high school diploma, that was considered a pretty decent accomplishment. A college degree on top of that and you were pretty much considered "Golden." I was also very naive when I graduated from high school though and thought well, I have a decent enough education that I should be able to secure some kind of employment around here somewhere. What I didn't realize immediately though was that I was at an immediate disadvantage because my Mom wouldn't let me get my driver's license until I turned 18 and could apply for my permit without her signature so, when you live in a boondocks village with no public transportation, it does sort of hamper your job searchings a bit! But I did finally find a job -and with it, was able to get transportation without having to use my Mom's car as there were 3 other people along my street who also were employed at that time at the lovely (NOT) Cigar Factory in Philipsburg so I was able then to carpool it to work. Over the years, things happened and I left this area to work in the D.C. area for 8 years and then, returned back home. I wasn't exactly what you'd call "homesick" but moving back to the place where I knew almost everyone (and in many instances could trace their family trees almost as easily as a direct member of that family could have done) made me very content -most of the time. Until I needed to look for a job, that is! One of my uncles was involved, heavily, in local (county) politics and he offered to pull strings for me to get me a job in the Courthouse or some other county office. An offer, I might add that I refused because, stubborn as I was then, I didn't want a job based on who I knew but rather one where it would come about based on what I knew, what I could do. So after that followed several jobs of what would still be considered menial type -waitressing in particular -as well as selling Avon products. I hate to say this to burst anyone's bubbles here, but Waitressing as well as selling Avon, are both very demanding forms of work. They both can be very rewarding, each in their own ways from time to time, but neither of them offers a steady income, day after day or week after week, both involve a whole lot of running around and sometimes, also a lot of let-downs too. But, I managed to raise my three kids on those "wages" such as they were along with some child support. My house was never neat and tidy for sure -no showcase decor here -but we had a roof over our heads, heat, water, electricity, telephone service -even the rinky-dink tv cable service available at that time, and we always had more than enough food for the table and our meals too. Might not have been an overload of sodas and candy or chips but we ate pretty darned good. Then, at the grand old age of 46, I decided I was going to go to college and so, enrolled at Penn State University. Somehow or other, I managed -with the help of one fantastic advisor -to get my classes scheduled in a manner that worked well for me and I was able to get all my credits towards my B.S. in a matter of what was then considered the normal time for a college degree -4 years. (Today, many students take 5, even 6 years to complete their coursework and a lot of that is really do to inadequate counseling on how best to organize your coursework schedules.) I also lucked out too in that at the beginning of my sophomore year, I quit my full-time job to take a part-time position at AccuWeather, where I would go make up my class schedule at the start of a new semester, give my course schedule to my supervisor and he would then schedule my hours in conjuction with my classes so there was no conflict that way. Most students who get jobs while in college have to try to schedule their classes around their work schedules which can make for a lot more problems that way! I was lucky and you know what? I am, to this day, very thankful for having been employed by AccuWeather during that time as well as for 5 years after I graduated too when they often worked me around other jobs work schedules then too! But anyway, after I graduated at the ripe old age of 50, I started vigorously trying to find jobs that would utilize my degree and maybe even some if not many, of the other things I had also learned in the 32 years of various types of employment! That's when the reality of things began to hit me and it hit hard too as I couldn't even -or extremely rarely -get an interview, much less get hired. It used to annoy me greatly (yeah, I did pretty much hate to hear people ask this question "Well, why don't you go to work at such and such a place?" Well, mainly because I can't really just show up there, all chipper and bright, on a Monday morning and say "Well, here I am and where do I sit?" (Only George Costanza of Seinfeld -to my knowledge -ever got away with getting a job that way!) It bothered me greatly to read different things in the newspaper (wedding announcements, engagement announcements in particular) and read that the bride, obviously young and attractive, was employed by this or that firm in a job that my degree covered more completely but for which I had rarely been given even a thank you for your application but no thank you on an interview type piece of communication. And, even when, at long last, I saw a job advertised, part-time employment for someone with a degree such as mine, plus other types of very valid experience in my lifetime and I applied for it and even got an interview too! This was just last year -22 years after I graduated from college! However, I was not hired. No -instead they hired a girl of 26, with NO degree and at that point in time was taking two classes -one in English and the other in Accounting -so thus, no human services exposure educationally or event of an employment nature either. And yes, that episode really did, as the expression goes, yank my chains and very hard too! I was angry -fit to be tied. And it sure didn't help any depression issues already simmering for a long, long time deep inside me either. Okay -that's as brief a summary as I can give about my lifetime's employment issues. But what this doesn't say is that regardless of whether or not I ever got hired and was ever able to use my education, I do not regret one iota the four years I spent traipsing around the Penn State Campus, from one class to the next. Struggling at times to deal with the math and science classes required as, with age, memory doesn't work as well as it does when you're around 20 and many of those courses required a lot of memorization! But still, I survived 'em and breathed huge sighs of relief too when they were over and done with! Along with not regretting having spent those years in college, I also have to say I am thankful -very thankful, as a matter of fact -that I did make that choice to go to college and that I followed through when at times, the thought did cross my mind to drop out -but I didn't do that! I pushed on and made it and graduated in May of 1994 with my daughters and an aunt of mine (and her son and daughter-in-law) all in attendance at that commencement ceremony. That aunt had been one of my biggest moral supporters throughout my college years and I'm not sure who was more proud that day -her, for my accomplishment or me,for surviving and being able to very proudly show her my degree that day. I am thankful even though there's been no opportunity to use my knowledge, my experience, my talents, my skills in my chosen field that I do have that education and that is something no one can ever take away from me! Next to my family -my children and now, grandchildren and great-grandchild too -that piece of paper in that blue folder is very high on my list of things for which I am very, very thankful. At times, when I get really down about things, if I think about all this stuff that didn't happen for me, I can always think about that degree and what I did to earn it and smile a bit then, as it is an accomplishment deserving being thankful for having the education behind that paper!

1 comment:

Suldog said...

You make my prayers of thanks each night seem like quickly jotted down memos. God bless you, Jeni.