It was 36 years ago today . . . wait, that sounds like a Beatles song. Anyway, here I am, young, hopelessful, and unemployed. When I woke up on Monday, June 13, it was the first time in my life I had nowhere to go. Adrift. Typical because planning isn’t my forte, but it wasn’t a good feeling. I was too burned out and poor for graduate school to be an option.
After spending part of the summer selling Chicago City Ballet tickets by phone (really), I found a full-time job starting in late September through the classifieds in the Chicago Tribune (really).
One job I interviewed for that I didn’t get — a writer/editor for a dietitian association (if I remember correctly). Why didn’t I get it? I couldn’t type fast enough.
In the 1960s, boys wanted to be firemen or policemen, and girls wanted to be nurses or teachers. Except me. I didn’t know what I wanted to be. I didn’t know what it meant to “be” something. I never thought …Continue reading →
My memories of 10 years ago are vivid and painful, and they remind me that some things do indeed work out well. Along with a couple of other consultants, I was in a small Midwestern town dominated by a tech …Continue reading →
Employers who are hiring want “energy,” so those want to be hired have to have and demonstrate “energy.” To which I say: If you want “energy,” hire a two-year-old. I have recent experience with someone described to me by several …Continue reading →
I can conceive few situations more harassing than that wherein, however you may long for success, however you may labour to fulfil your duty, your efforts are baffled and set at naught by those beneath you, and unjustly censured and …Continue reading →
If you’re old enough to recall certain comics and TV shows, you’ll recognize the old style of top-down management, epitomized by cigar-chomping bosses named things like “Mr. Abernathy,” who said such things as, “Crumblebottom [no title], if you don’t finish …Continue reading →
My first full-time job was as the proofreader in a then Big 8 accounting/consulting firm’s word processing department, proofing benefit plan documents, actuary’s reports, responses to RFPs, etc. The word processors (people) used primitive stand-alone machines called Vydecs; enormous, flimsy …Continue reading →
Our status, our position, is not determined by the work we do outside but by the work in our hearts and how we assist others. The effort to recognize and speak the truth is the greatest work that any of …Continue reading →
This is an old anecdote, from 1997. Another exciting :::sarcasm alert::: round of airline travel — so exciting that I should share. You can laugh, you can cry, you can empathize. I EARNED these frequent flier miles, honey. The original …Continue reading →
During the second half of 1998, I underwent a spell of self-employment. It seems like a recent period, but it was more than a quarter of my working life ago. I left a very hierarchical organization — partners oversaw client …Continue reading →