Your work profession: what do/or did you?

glenda_al

Being as we are such a diversified group, think it will be interesting to see what we all about.


Me, retired teacher. Taught for 30 1/2 years. Graduated with a home ec degree, might not be called that now. Blessed raising a young son, and able to spend much time needed with him.


Next!

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DawnInCal

I was an office manager at a regional office of a life insurance/financial planning company. At that time I held a license to sell life insurance/annuities/health insurance as well as a Series 7 license (GSRE) to sell stocks, bonds, mutual funds and other investment products. My job wasn't to sell these financial products, but as the administrator who oversaw the day to day operations/administration of the office, I was required by the company to hold the above mentioned licenses.

After sixteen years at this profession, I resigned to move from city life to a slower pace in the mountains of N. California. After a year off, I accepted a job as a school secretary at a small K-8 elementary school. That job entailed much more than office work including acting as a school nurse at times, but I truly loved it and worked at the school for 19 years.

I retired six years ago and am loving my freedom from the clock and the calendar!

edits for clarity

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marilyn_c

I have been a kept woman since I married Jody. I didn't work because he worked long hours, so when he was home, I was there. Plus I always ran his errands...went for parts, to the net shop, etc. As my mother got older, I took care of her, and I had a baby later than most...after being married 15 years, and I was very active in her activities, etc. I have always raised waterlilies and fish, and used to raise horses...just have them now. Then in 2002, I started taking care of a good friend. He was doing very poorly and I promised him that I would stay with him until he died. I thought he might last a few weeks. I kept my promise, but he lasted 8 years.

So that is how I have spent my life...taking care of plants, animals and people.

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seniorgal

Oh, my! I have done many types of work!

I graduated from high school in 1938, at age 15. Was at the top of my class and received scholarships but the depression had hit our family hard so no money for the extras I would need. So- I went to a 1- year Teacher Training course which qualified me to teach in a rural school .

After 4 years of teaching, at age 21, I resigned my job and enrolled in a crash course for women in radio engineering offered at the U of Minnesota It was war time and workers were badly needed. 63 young women enrolled in the course. We had 40 hour of class each week. By having classes on one evening we had Saturday afternoon off. We studied a great deal of Math, Physics, and such things as Transmission lines and antennas, learned how to use a slide rule, and each of us built a vacuum tube radio. (No computers, no calculators in those days.)

After six weeks, students began to fall by the wayside. By the time six months were up there were 33 of us left. It was the hardest schoolwork I had ever done but I made it!!!

That meant that I had a job waiting at Wright Field in Ohio. However, when we got to Dayton we studied an additional month to learn about Radar, which, at that time was top secret.

I kept that job until 1947, worked for some time as a Training Director for a large department store, married and had a family.

Other jobs I held after my children were raised included that of a Research Librarian for a publishing company and as a proofreader.

Didn't mean for this to be so long, but here it is.



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DawnInCal

These stories are so interesting. I'm looking forward to reading more.

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roy4me

I graduated from nursing school in 1962 and passed the California state boards and got my RN before I got married.

I retired in 1997.

I worked in hospitals, medical clinics, Hospice and Home Health, urgent care.

I loved home health except for the paperwork and Hospice was difficult but rewarding.

I love retirement but was happy I was able to enjoy my work until big corporations took over.

I still think of my many favorite patients and my co workers.





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sephia_wa

I work in sales for the largest aerospace company in the world. I've worked here for 37 years. My company is struggling to deal with the 737 MAX crisis. Our hearts are broken over the loss of life in the two airplane crashes.

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Kathsgrdn

Worked on a line in an onion factory and decided I didn't want to do that my entire life or work in a casino, so I went in the Air Force. I scheduled maintenance and flying for aircraft for 7 years. Left the Air Force to follow my boyfriend (which was not too bright), worked in a few jobs after that in clerical positions. Was a stay at home mom for a while, attempted to do market gardening during that time. Finally decided to go back to school and become a nurse to help my family financially and to feel like I did something worthwhile with my life. Been a nurse for 16 years now.

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Chi

I graduated college in 2004 and spent a decade in data analytics. I grew bored of that and started working with kids and teaching kindergarten and preschool and earning a Montessori teacher certification. I soon realized that unfortunately teaching young kids does not pay well, so I went back to analytics last year for 4x the salary!

I'm waiting it out now as I'm hoping to have a baby next year, at which point I'll quit. I am not sure if I'll go back to work. DH has a demanding job and doesn't have the flexibility required for small kids to help if we both worked full time.

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arcy_gw

Graduated from college in '83 Speech/Language/Hearing Science. Worked 8 years in public schools with ages birth-21 with communication disorders. Was working on my Masters when I married and we moved. When the babies started coming I stayed home. Couldn't see spending all day with other people's kids and not with my own. 10 years later, having never finished my Masters I was no longer qualified. Insurance companies and third party pay boxed me out of a job. Experience and success rate mean nothing. When my kids entered school I did too. I work on a team in a high school that deals with students with high ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) scores. Deep social/emotional issues. We are the parents most don't have. We do our best to be enough support to get them through to their diplomas.

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aok27502

I graduated from college in 1985 with a degree in Accounting. I worked in that field for about 20 years, mostly in manufacturing. After a layoff, I decided not to take another full time job, because DH had started a new business, and he had more flexibility.

A friend had a growing lawn maintenance company, and I helped her when she needed another hand. That morphed into a regular schedule of three afternoons a week. We cut grass, shovel mulch, prune shrubs and pull weeds by the truckload. I love it, and it keeps me in great shape. She is very flexible, so if I want to take a day off, no problem. And if she needs me an extra day, no problem. Except for the heat, it's my dream job.

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Raye Smith

I've had multiple careers also. Started in the medical profession, with a degree and board certification and worked for over ten years in hospitals then moved into database analysis and support. The database work allowed me to work with varied types of businesses anywhere from churches to engineering to real estate. I retired almost ten years ago and love being a housewife!

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lgmd_gaz

After marriage right out of high school and 2 kids by our 3rd anniversary I worked for less than a year at a men's pants factory. We moved to another state when DH got a job with GM. There I worked as an operator in a telephone answering service that was next door to our house. Another move found me working as a sales clerk in the custom decorating department at Sears. It was fun job, I really liked working with the customers. But, it involved a lot of time on my feet and just the walk from the parking lot would wear me out.

When the physical demands at Sears became too much for me, I went to work in a small women's boutique where the specialty was brassieres for the hard to fit woman and breast prosthesis/bras and wigs for cancer patients. I loved working there. Believe me, women in crisis are a strong bunch! It was rewarding and fun.

Retirement on disability came when we moved again back home to PA in 1998.

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Uptown Gal

Worked for the Government my whole career....still do from time to time...mostly love it..but don't like the traveling anymore. Thankfully, that

is almost done. Had 2 days between my College Graduation and my first

day on the job. :) Have had leaves for one thing or the other over the

years...but mostly pretty steady. Temporary at several locations, but always

back to our "home base" eventually. Tiresome at times, but looking back,

I'm not sure I would change anything. Saw and learned a lot of things I

wouldn't have had the chance to do if some of the travel hadn't been in

the picture. Always made sure family fit in and had lots of fun along the

way and met lots of great people.

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eld6161

I graduated with a BS in Health Science. I worked in a group home for severely disabled adults for about three years. Group homes for this population were just opening, with inhumane institutions being forced to close,

All my jobs since high school had been with either the physically disabled or visually impaired.

After three years I realized that unless I wanted to run a group home, there wasn't much of a career path.

I decided to get my masters in social work. From the money I saved, I was able to pay rent for a cute studio apartment for 2 years! Because I was self supporting, my second year was gratis,

From there, I became a program director at a senior center.

I got married and stopped working to have DD1. Had DD2 and started volunteering as a girl scout leader. Found it easy as my social work degree had concentration in group work. I also volunteered on a community level as well as on the organization level. Both my girls received the Gold Award.

When my DD's were in middle school I found a marketing research job bring a descriptive panelist. We do the sensory side of the data. This has been a part time job for over 20 years!

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Debby

Before I met my current husband, I usually waited tables. After I met my current husband, we had two more kids (I had two previous), and it didn't make financial sense for me to go back to work as daycare would cost more than I took home. So I stayed home with my kids until my youngest was in school full time, and my older one could watch the younger ones after school for a few hours until I got home from work. I worked part-time in a drug store for many years, then went to be an admin for an electronics company. That was pure hell (it's a terrible company to work for and I refuse to even recommend them to anyone looking to buy anything electronic). I went back to the drugstore in another position and did that for 3 years before trying office work. I suck at office work, it turns out. lol I went into manufacturing bath and body products for a small (very small) company. After I broke my hand at work they laid me off. I took the year to heal my hand (3 months of physical therapy to bend my fingers again) and find the *right* job for me. I was very picky: I wanted Monday to Friday days, which is impossible to find in retail. But I found it: I've been at the drugstore (same chain as the last job), but as the receiver this time. I've been there close to ten years now. It's killing me now as I'm almost 60 and a crate of milk is bloody heavy and I have to put 3 skids average of milk in the milk cooler (54 crates of 4 - 4l jugs per skid) 3x a week. then there's the eggs........ I have to hand bomb each crate off the skid into the cooler. I would ask to change jobs in the store (cashier) but I am NOT a people person and would be in prison before the year is out.


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amylou321

First job was at Subway at age 15. Was manager at 17. Got sick of working with the public (especially the worst section of the public: the hungry and picky public). So since the age of 18,I have been a professional night minion in different capacities. First it was in a factory that made car door panels,then in the stockroom at a tire plant,and now at a refinery. I love my job now,largely because as a night minion, I am usually left the heck alone to do my work, and then clock out and leave it behind. I also have the freedom to walk for exercise on the clock, have a large garden on the premises, sell my cubes and candles, and go over the top with my various holiday decor. They also turn a blind eye to the fact that I feed and otherwise maintain a LARGE population of feral cats, something which is generally not encouraged. (They did round them all up once. Within a month the facility was overrun with mice and snakes, and within 2 months, more feral cats had moved in, so maybe they just gave up) Hopefully I will be able to fulfill my main career goal there,which is to continue to be left the heck alone, and to be mostly ignored yet continually paid until I retire. Not a noble goal,I admit, but it suits me. I have been there 10 years now. 36 more to go.....

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aok27502

36 years to fly under the radar. Hahahaha!

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cherryfizz

After highschool I was a Nanny for a few years for 2 families until I could save money for College. Did office work until I was 25 when I moved out west where I got a job at the International Centre of a large Canadian bank. I worked for the Traders and I also was the relief telex/telenet operator and became very busy sending wires and mail for all the banks during a postal strike. I even sent a live telex dictated to me by a Prince from Abu Dhabi who was dressed in all his arabic robes. I moved back home at the request of my family because at the time it was almost impossible to find housing without sharing accommodations because there were very few apartments available for rent. The people I ended up sharing with were involved in selling and using drugs and it was very scary at times. I had to leave a job I loved for a year and they couldn't transfer me to my city but to a city 4 hours away and I needed to be back home.

I was then hired by Teachers of English as a Second Language where I worked for 8 years, working in the office and tutoring ESL to Lebanese Monks and Priests who came from Rome to work in the community and at the Maronite Church before they returned to Rome to continue their studies. I also taught English in the Workplace. I co-wrote The Ethno-Cultural Survey of Windsor and Essex County for TESL that was published. When I left TESL they had a big going away party for me in the reception room in a hotel and my boss was interviewd on the radio about my leaving.

I was then head hunted to go work for a local developer to work as a Secretary to the VP of the company. I left TESL for this. I worked there for 3 months and then they let me go. I found out this was a normal set up for them to only hire for 3 months so they wouldn't have to pay benefits. I turned them into the Labour Board and they were disciplined. The friend of mine who suggested they hire me felt terrible this happened so he hired me to be his Private Assistant for his companies and his wife ran a travel agency so while I worked for him I also did outside sales for the travel agency which gave me the opportunity to travel at very little cost and free business class flights to Europe. I left this job to care for my Mom when she started showing signs of Alzheimer's and cared for her at home for 10 years until her death from Pancreatic cancer. While I was caring for her I worked part time for my neighbour doing his company's bookkeeping.

After my Mom died, I hadn't worked full time in a long time except for the bookkeeping job and my election work and I needed to find a full time job which was hard to do. Just when things were getting desperate with my finances I got a job at a bank near my home as a Customer Service Rep. (teller). I loved the job. Since I was full time casual I worked at the one bank for over a year, then I worked at other branches for the next 5 years. When the bank really started making us push sales of bank products I had enough and left. I was working at senior branches and how many seniors can you sell bank products to. I had a rental income coming in and my election work so I left the bank. My house was mortgage free and I only had utilities and property taxes to pay.

Starting at a very young age I was involved in working at the Returning Office for Elections Canada and Elections Ontario whenever we had elections. I started out as a young teenage typing up lists of voters that were ennumerated to be hung on the telephone pole. I then got involved working for election campaigns for a politician that eventually became Canada's Justice Minister. A reference letter from him is what landed me the banking job out west because the Manager was impressed and wanted to know how I came to know the Minister of Justice haha. I think I have worked every election since I was 15 years old. I was involved entering into the computer the names for the first electronic Official List of Electors and received a certificate for doing so. It was a big deal at the time. I then did data entry in my Riding Returning Office for Elections Canada for a few years. I then became the Recruiting Officer to hire all the Poll Workers and Supervisors in my Riding for Elections Canada then for Elections Ontario. That is recruiting, interviewing, placing and hiring over 700 workers to work on Election Day in less than 36 days. I have held this position for more than 25 years and many elections. Some years we had an election every year for a while but now we have set dates for elections every 4 years. I worked last year for Elections Ontario and this year we have a federal election in October and I am not sure yet if I want to continue.

There have been other interesting jobs in between all of these like selling dog tags door for the City for a summer job for a few years, giving out samples of Sushi and a grocery store for 6 months (hated that job) haha I was hired by a grocery store to count customers at another grocery store that was open for 24 hours so they could decided if it was worthwhile for them to open 24 hours. I did a lot of pet sitting and house sitting over the years, and when I was a kid I made a fortune babysitting. I just found a letter my older brother wrote to my sister telling her he felt bad because I was able to buy gifts for my family and he couldn't even though he was 6 years older than I was and didn't make money like I did. That made me laugh. So many little jobs but they made the money I needed.

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functionthenlook

Most of my working life has been spent in the medical setting. Worked 15 years mostly casual as a unit secretary in the ED while raising the kids. When our youngest was in 5th grade I went part time eventually full time as office staff at the hospital's health center for 15 years where I discovered I liked medical coding. Went to school and got my CPC
( Certified Professional Medical Coder) credentials. Retired 2 years ago as a CPC from the VA.

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maifleur01

I started college then had to drop out because of money. Worked at a local banks credit card area. Went back to school but had some kind of mental fuzz after having some type of virus. Worked as a temp and tried going to nights studying accounting. Became a LD telephone operator but quit right before the strike where men were hired as operators. My brother was killed in a car accident and his life insurance allowed me to finish college. That was in 1973 during a world wide recession. I took what I could find which was working in the marketing department of an insurance brokerage firm selling small group health insurance to independent agents. I left there when I refused to accept a position that I had previously held where I was required to cook the books on agents commissions. Jail was not some place I wanted to end up. Worked as a night auditor for another banks credit card division. Switched to night processing division then to the Adjustments Department handling only three companies. Was not what I wanted to do with the rest of my life although the bank thought it was so I quit. Worked as a temp doing all kinds of office stuff at many different companies which along with being in the Jaycees allowed me to see how different companies work. One of the most interesting was a two week stent when Mode-O-Day was purchased in the mid 1980's. The new company was using email and other electronic methods long before they were common. Found a temporary job at the USDA and was made permanent. I should have realized how screwy they were when three months after I was made permanent I was told that I was no longer temporary by having additional subtractions from my paycheck. I stayed there and advanced collecting debt, maintaining and updating judgements, and doing research on problems. I finally retired September 30, 2008 the day the stock market took a really bad dip.

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OutsidePlaying

I am an electronics engineer and worked for the federal government for over 30 years, working my way up to be a Program Manager before retiring. I transitioned between working in guidance and control systems to working hardware in payloads development and became a true ‘rocket scientist’. I loved my job, the interesting projects, the places I was fortunate to travel to, and the people I worked with and encountered along the way. Well most anyway.

I retired and was asked to come back as a government contractor/consultant by the guy who was replacing me. So I did (after taking off for 3 months for some fun) for another 10-11 years before retiring for good.

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nicole___

Married @ 19. Worked @ Sears in the automotive department as a commissioned tire salesman & shop writer, putting myself through college with no loans. It paid well! My degree was in Computer Information Technology, IBM hired me right out of college. I also had a certificate in Dental Assisting as a backup that I never used.

High tech places kept selling us and closing. DH had a job he liked, didn't want to quit and move with my parent company. I went to work as a travel agent @ a place just down the street. Had an IATAN card(International Airlines Travel Agent Network). Perk of that job...FREE airline tickets! We were bought out after 4 years and closed.

Semi-retired, I tried finding a "fun" job w/ medical insurance for the 2 of us: a baker in a grocery store, customer service, sold checks in a call center, Triwest call center, Insurance adjuster, day traded stocks in my spare time

Present day: remodel houses we buy, then flip or rent them (still looking for medical insurance that covers more, costs less!) Medical insurance through an employer is half what I can buy it for on my own. But....with my own business I make more money. I also work more hours. Lift 80lb objects on a regular basis. Eat poorly, doughnuts & soda. Give myself no time off until the house is completed. Inbetween houses is my only break, then I'm bored to tears with the total inactivity. hahaha But....it's my dream job!

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ritaweeda

From the age of 16 to 52 I had every kind of job from car wash (the movie was exactly how it was) to sweat-shop manufacturing to defense plant materials control to publishing with some odd ones in between. I stuck with the publishing for a total of 18 years. It was the last paying job I had. My favorite was when I worked as an apprentice dental tech (loved working with my hands) but the job didn't last because I was lied to about the pay and the owners were nuts. We moved right before the 2008 financial disaster - my publishing job went to India and they shut the doors. So the drive to where the few jobs were was too far to really make money starting at the bottom again. Also several life situations arose soon after concerning health with both myself and my close family that prevented me from seeking employment. So I never worked again for a paycheck although I did some volunteer work. I still don't miss having to do what the boss wants but then except for the one job I never enjoyed any that I ever had. Nothing much to miss except for the paycheck. I wasn't given the blessing of being content with any of my jobs and I never considered any of them to be a "career".

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lindaohnowga

I got a work permit at age 14 and worked as a camp counselor for underpriviledged children. Then after college, like you, Glenda, I taught for 30 years, elementary. Now I am thankful to be retired.

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Bookwoman

After college ('79) and grad school ('82) I went to work at a rare book auction house and have been in the rare book world in various capacities ever since.

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rob333 (zone 7a)

My first career was a score of years in Insurance administration, processing medical claims and even managed a, gasp!, a paper file room. I was the first file clerk to enter claims electronically for my group (2nd largest administrator in the world at that time). That blew my mind. No more paper?! Wow. It was cool. HA! So funny to think about now.


For my next 15 years (as of last March) I've been a research administrator in scientific research, specifically with the groups who do experiments and bring the results all the way to the patients. That is, I do the paperwork for them. I might proofread a medical textbook or get everyone in the same room to talk about results and directions that our group, the Institution, and even the nation are going to take to make precision medicine a reality.


It's not just cutting edge, it's bleeding edge. I learned that term from working with these amazing folks. I love to hear what everyone is doing and each time I learn of a new technique or patient treatment, I want to delve deeper and wish I could do all of what they do. From learning how to make sepsis survivable to diagnosing a rare condition from someone who is literally dying to become thriving, it's a thrill every day. Truly. I love where I am and watching it all unfold in front of me. I am dang lucky I am where I am.

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Elmer J Fudd

A liberal arts major with a business minor led me into the world of public accounting. I started with one firm and switched to a competitor before long (for reasons that don't matter). Both are international firms with diverse practice areas. I became a partner and had a challenging and demanding career until I chose to retire early, in my mid-50s. I was fortunate to have one professional focus and just two employment situations for my career. But it wasn't luck, it came from many years of sustained and productive hard work and (with no shackles of modesty) from being good at what I did.


In Silicon Valley, where playfully bragging overstatement and hyperbole about technology are the norm, the term "bleeding edge" resulted from morphing from what had been the more common "leading edge", to signify something that was a new and even more revolutionary advance/development.


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gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

I worked my way through college in the late 60's/early 70's nights in a bank data processing center. After graduation, it was almost impossible to find jobs in my major field (architecture) so I stayed in banking, progressing through the retail end in various positions of increasing responsibility until I got involved in commercial real estate finance and spent the last 15 years of a 35+ year career as a VP and commercial credit analyst.

In the late 90's when the banking world imploded and my position as a liquidator of loans for a bank holding company finally ended, I took time away from any work to care for my aging and ill mother until she passed away about 9 months later. It was at that time, driving back from some appointment dealing with her estate, that I decided to go back to college and get a degree in horticulture and landscape design. After receiving my second degree, I worked in the nursery industry until my own design and consultation business was established and I have been doing that pretty successfully for the last 25 years!! So only partially retired, I pick and choose the jobs I want to work on as well as lecture and give classes to various gardening related organizations. It suits me and my current lifestyle perfectly.

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nickel_kg

Spreadsheet Queen, for the federal government. I mostly dealt with dollars and work hours. My first mentor (30+ years ago) got me started transcribing a huge array of columns of numbers that didn't mean anything to me. But I knew that accuracy could be confirmed by adding the columns up-and-down then across at the bottom line for a 'grand total', then adding the rows across then up-and-down for a second 'grand total', which would match the first 'grand total' to the penny if you did it right. So early on I learned not to be intimidated by large arrays of numbers -- just give me a pencil, a hand calculator, and an eraser. Over the course of my career I learned about the "why" of the numbers: what were you trying to find out, how to select which data to capture, and of course how to exploit newer, more powerful automated tools to gather and portray information. I enjoyed being part of many teams over the years, especially when I was able to act as the link between upper management and the supervisor/worker level. I've always had a great respect for the folks at the bottom of an organizational chart, where the rubber meets the road. It meant a lot to me to use the numbers to help figure out their story, and tell it accurately.

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littlebug zone 5 Missouri

I graduated with a degree in business administration and served as assistant to the president of a public community college for 30+ years. My job duties included short periods in the HR and PR fields but most of my time was spent in paralegal-type responsibilities.

I have been semi-retired for 4 years but continue to work at the same college with similar duties.

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Elmer J Fudd

rob, I don't "pick fights". I mentioned what had been my experience with the terms where I was. I think I first heard "bleeding edge" maybe 25 years ago and it was an evolution of the first term in the playful, irreverent "let's be impolite and shocking but who gives a F" attitude that applies to other hyperbole in Silicon Valley, as I thought I'd said clearly.

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provogal

I worked the typical jobs putting myself through university - waitressing, office temp and as a summer student for Imperial Oil while in university. In university I studied Russian Studies heavy on history, political science, language and literature. We studied international history and politics too. Rather than writing the foreign service exams I got engaged and enrolled in Teacher’s College and graduated with certificates in history and elementary education. I ended up teaching elementary school until I had my first child. I stayed home and started working on my Masters in Education. My husband worked as a stockbroker so I could “retire”. My second child was born developmentally disabled so I became a volunteer for Community Living and Autism Ontario chairing their Education committees. While with Autism Ontario, my committee wrote the first book on Navigating the Special Education System in Ontario for Parents of Children with Autism/PDD in 1993. I also sat on our School Board’s Special Education Committee for 18 years. When my second child was finishing special needs high school a group of like minded parents and I started an group to advocate for young adults with developmental disabilities. We were able to start the first day program for this population in our city since at the time there was nothing available after graduation. Now there are many such programs. Now our focus is on respite and residential services since our members with adult children are aging and worried about the future. Our organization works with all levels of government. My son passed away ten years ago but I am still involved with this organization. I have scaled back my involvement but still write a newsletter for our members.

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bpath Oh Sophie

I had a short career in the hospitality industry, then after my master's in ESL with a minor in technical writing, I was a technical writer. It's what I was born to do lol. All the way through school, I'd rather write a paper than take a test. I knew I wanted to write, but I'm very shy and didn't want to write fiction or be a reporter, and that was the only kind of job I thought writers did. I was so happy to discover technical writing as a career. I first learned about it when a Jeopardy! contestant described her job in that field.

Funny thing is, all the other part-time, short-term jobs I had taught me things I carried with me into technical writing. I spent college summers working in a theme park, part-time in college in movie theater, the university library, and in hotels, then as a secretary in the travel industry with an evening/weekend job as a pharmacy tech, then continued working in the hotel industry alternating full and part time while in grad school. I learned a lot about delivering good customer service (hot theme park guests who are too late for the last show are not happy campers), the importance of accuracy (as a pharmacy tech, you betcha! also, I learned to verify information: in the days before networked medical records, the pharmacist would often ask a customer "does your doctor know you are also taking thus-and-so Rx? No? Let me just give her a call, sometimes it can interact with this other drug you take." Wow, what a concept!)

After my son was born, the company I was working for was moving, and I took the opportunity to "voluntarily separate" with some benefits, and became a stay-at-home parent. When both kids were in school, I was a one-on-one companion to children with special needs, who were participating in mainstream parks and rec programs. That was a great job for part-time. Lots of customer service-type work!

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chisue

Another 'kept woman' here. I left college (Journalism major) after my sophomore year when my father's business tanked. My mother was already sole support of me and of her mother. I got a job as girl of all work at my hometown weekly newspaper -- did everything from covering and writing stories, doing page layout, sizing and writing cut lines and heads, proofreading, taking classified ads, doing billing, answering the phone, etc. (When I quit, they hired three people.) I lived at home, saved. Before enrolling again, I decided to take a night course in PR, where I met my DH. I was married at 23 and left work after a year to try *harder* to have a baby. A clumsy Gyn. made sure that would never happen, removing one ovary and part of the other -- in search of what turned out to be a chocolate cyst. (Big Nothing but there was no 'in vitro' then, so no babies for me. We were eventually able to adopt our son.)

I've volunteered in our hospital's Emergency; served four years on the board of our community Visiting Nurse Assoc. (pres. one year and managed a merger); co-led a search and support group for adoptees and birth parents for 12 years and organized events to promote adoptees' rights; was active in our son's schools. It was an era of SAHMoms whose 'volunteering' is now paid work for other women. No complaints, but I wasn't just twiddling my manicured thumbs either -- as some have assumed. As an only child married to one, I was the sole back-up for my mother and my MIL in their declining years. (DM's leukemia; MIL's RH.) I've managed rentals for our Maui condo since we bought it in 2001. Other than that...NOW I just twiddle my thumbs! lol


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stacey_mb

I left school after 10th grade because of a lack of resources and remote location of our family. At the age of 16, I moved to the city and worked in a factory but realized this wasn't positive for long term so I enrolled in a clerical course. I worked part-time after I was married and had a son, and at this job was where I met a young woman who had such an impact on my future. She encouraged me to attend university which I thought was a hugely extravagant and unrealistic idea. I thought that university students were brilliant, which I most certainly was not. However, a university offered courses geared to part-time students so I thought I surely could memorize enough dates to pass a history course. I loved attending university but quit after a couple of years, reasoning that it would never get me any sort of career. I got a job as a legal assistant and was so unhappy being away from an academic environment that I announced to DH one day that I was quitting my job and going back to school. After being back at my studies, I was extremely thrilled to be recommended for an Honours program. I ended with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) degree from the University of Winnipeg, then left home (temporarily) to attend the University of British Columbia and obtained a Master's Degree in Library Science. I worked in libraries for several years and retired from working at our main provincial government library.

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PRO
Anglophilia

Goodness! At age 75+, it's a LONG list! First job was working for the State of KS as a file clerk, the summer after graduating from HS. It's the only job where I ever experienced sexual harassment - a huge fat, bald man who smoked heinous cigars was very "handsy". One quickly learned to keep the desk between him and oneself or one found herself being pulled onto his lap and fondled a bit. No one ever complained - just warned others. It was 1961.


Next job was after I quit college. I had no idea what I wanted to do, had changed my major 3 times and was clueless. I got a job at Saks Fifth Ave in St Louis in the Junior's dept. It was when Saks was still on Maryland Plaza, was small and there were lots of interesting shops on that street. While working there, I applied to Tobe-Coburn School for Fashion Careers in NYC and was accepted.


While at Tobe-Coburn, we had two work periods. During the first (right before Thanksgiving to Dec 23), I was a "Green Pen" at Bloomingdale's in the ladies robe dept. Only a "Green Pen" could authorize a check or do a return. I also did the scheduling of the sales staff. I swear, every woman in NYC bought at least 3 robes and returned them during this time!. I got to know Bloomingdale's very well and it was a very special place at that time. Since I was living (required) at the Barbizon Hotel for Women at the time, my "commute" was easy- about 3 blocks! My spring work period was spent working for a small fashion consulting firm. They sent a weekly newsletter to buyers in small stores across the country, telling them what was hot on Seventh Ave. I spent a lot of time on Seventh Ave on shopping/research assignments!


I chose not to stay in NYC as it was too costly. Went back and lived at home in St Louis and was an Executive Trainee at Famous Barr (a May Co dept store, decades later bought out by Macy's). I was a trainee doing a variety of jobs for about 5 months and then was placed as an Ass't Buyer in the Misses Budget Dress dept. It was not what I was hoping for! It was a pretty boring job and I quickly realized that I hated the working hours of retailing. I worked there for a year until I got married.


When we returned from our honeymoon, we moved to Washington DC where husband was stationed at the old "Tempos" in SW Washington. He was in the Army Intelligence Corps. My first job came as we were looking for an apt to rent. There was a new co-op huge complex called Harbour Square and I loved the apt. It was a bit above our budget but then the rental guy offered me a job renting apt's in the complex (many bought these as investments and rented them out). Now we could afford it! It was a horrible commute - 2 floors down on the elevator, directly under our own apt! I was so good at it that I rented out all the apartments and out of a job in about 9 months! It was an interesting job as I got to see all the apts (many different sizes/floorplans), and VP Hubert Humphrey bought one of the penthouses to live in during that time. At that time, the VP had to find his own housing. I was the liaison between the Secret Service and the contractors hired for some remodeling and work the SS wanted done. Met lots of interesting people.


When that job ended, I took the Civil Service test to be a clerk/typist and got a GS3 job in the library at the National War College 2 blocks down the street. They provided a car/driver to meet us at the gate in the morning and drive us the length of that LONG parade field, and back to the gate at quitting time. It was an interesting time to be working there as this was during the riots after Martin Luther King's assassination, and the GHQ was at Ft McNair at the War College. We were well protected at Harbour Sqr by Marine guards with fixed bayonets due to the VP living there! While working there, Eisenhower and Omar Bradley came to speak and we all got to watch them arrive from the balcony in the rotunda. It was a McKim, Meade & White building and very beautiful, and seeing these icons of WWII was a true thrill. Ft McNair was where all the "hail and farewell" parades were held, so we saw many of the Vietnam War General's parades (great, free entertainment - love that Fife & Drum Corps!). I managed to add duties to my job and ended up a GS5 when I left 2 years later when my husband finished his 3 year enlistment.


We returned to St Louis and I didn't work and then had two babies. I did tons of church work and volunteer work through the Junior League. I was divorced when they were 3 and 5 and needed some form of employment that did not involve costly childcare. I ended up babysitting for friends when they went away for winter vacations without their children. My two and I moved into their homes and I got paid for doing what I was already doing everyday. It was winter and I just turned down the thermostat at home (cats didn't care and they stayed in my house, with me coming twice daily to see/feed them). When I got a dog, it came along. I was very popular and it was a huge help financially. It quickly grew into a year-round job but I could choose when to take it or leave it. I remarried and we continued doing this occasionally, as a couple, for 3 years until we moved to LA.


While in LA, I got my first re-sale tax number and accounts at the LA Design Center. Friends had been asking for my decorating advice/help for years, and now I had access to to-the-trade-only products. I spent weeks going through all the showrooms and learning what they each had. it was invaluable. My two best friends were just starting their own careers in interior design and we fed off one another. One went on to become quite famous - 2 books, a shop, her own line for Lee Jofa; the other later worked as a showroom manager and ass't to a famous designer and then went on her own before retiring a couple of years later.


I stayed home for 2 years and then got a part-time job when a Laura Ashley store opened in my town. I quickly became their "home furnishing expert" and worked there for 5 yrs. I won nearly all the national sales contests they had during this time! After I left there, I continued as a free-lance designer for many years. I'm now retired - don't even work for family anymore.




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OklaMoni

I was a wife/housewife for 38 years, then worked at HomeDepot for 2 years and finally for three years in a school kitchen.

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Louiseab Ibbotson

I worked for a while as a rcepttionist at a construction company. Then worked as a dental assistant for a couple of years. After that I got a really cool job as a science lab technician in a high school. That meant getting the science experiments ready for the students. Making chemical solutions and setting up equipment and such. That was a great job when I had kids. Summers off, school holidays off and short days.

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abbisgram

Very interesting topic, I've enjoyed reading.

I went to work in a panty hose factory while still in school. Worked there 6 months then went to work at a company that manufactures IV bags. Stayed there 38 years during which time I moved thru several different positions. The last one was the hardest and most stressful. After being out for 6 months undergoing cancer treatment, I went back to work for 6 months and decided I was done with it all. Been retired 2&1/2 years, loving every minute.

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wanda_va

I graduated from high school. Went into the federal government, starting in the secretarial pool. I worked hard, learned everything I could about the operations, and made myself indispensable. I worked my way up to senior-level management. I was Executive Officer of the Medicare program, then Personnel Officer for the Public Health Service.

I had a great career, and loved my job (although I became a workaholic). My husband and I took early retirement in January 1994--I was 46 and he was 52. We have never regretted leaving early, and don't miss our 80-hour work weeks.

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kathyg_in_mi

Not the only job I ever had but certainly the most fun!

I co-managed (with a friend) for 11 years a pop up Halloween shop. It was so much fun! We had fart spray, fart perfume, shock lighters and all kinds of costumes and accessories. One Saturday night I had just one employee working with me. A young man came in wearing a hockey jersey, he walked up to me and I knew what he wanted (he had been in the store the week before). So I told him to "assume the position". My employee almost choked when he laid down on the floor! He wanted me to put on (latex) scars and blood on his face like he had been in a fight at the rink! He was headed to a party again and it went over really well the weekend before!

There are so many stories like that. Just a blast every day.

It took us 2 weeks to set up, we were open 6 weeks and it took one day to pack it all up! In 6 weeks we took in $150,00.00. I sure miss that job!


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HU-629454853

RN. Worked over 20 years at last hospital of employment where I drove 50 miles a day round trip. Favorite job in my life is being mother and grandmother. soxxxx

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provogal

What a wonderful topic! It just illustrates to me how resourceful, talented and determined we all are. Despite setbacks, challenges and difficult circumstances, we are all successful human beings who should be proud of ourselves and what we have contributed to our families, our communities, and the world. Good on us!


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glenda_al

When I retired age 54, I did volunteer work. Local hospital delivering complimentary birth certificates. travel agent as a courier for airline tickets, local zoo as a volunteer in their educational dept,,then decided to take care of myself and got involved, 23 years ago, in water aerobics.

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Raye Smith

Louise, I did the same thing for high school science classes when I was a student, we had about 6 - 8 science teachers but I mainly assisted for the Anatomy & Physiology courses. I enjoyed it so much that I chose to go into a health profession.

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sheilajoyce_gw

I was a high school English and public speaking teacher for 6 years. We started our family that point and, I wanted to be a stay at home mom. Eons later, I served on my school board, and the kids were in high school and college by then.

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mojomom

Attorney, business litigation primarily and partner in large law firm, now semi-retired.

Business degree undergrad (banking and finance major), married, had DD, worked for a year in the trust department of a bank, then started law school when DD was 18 months old. Loved law school and did well. In order to avoid the real world a bit longer after I got my JD and passed the bar, I continued my education with an LLM before beginning practice 35 years ago. I’ve been with my current firm for the last 29 years after starting at a smaller firm closer to my hometown.

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Lars

I worked on the farm and at my father's feed store as a child - I hated the farm and the farm work. In college I worked part time at the Rice University bookstore, and then I moved to Austin and worked at the UT Main Library cataloguing a Slavic literature collection that had been donated. I got that job because I knew enough Russian to read title pages. That lasted six months, and then I moved to San Francisco, where I started designing and making clothes because I hated 70s fashion. I also did upholstery jobs, including wall upholstery (just as a sewer) and worked as a fashion model for a couple of photographers I had met.

Then I moved back to Austin to get an interior design degree, and after that I moved to Los Angeles where I got a job in a custom furniture company, and eventually my furniture designs started to get produced, even though I was not hired as a designer. The owner of the company did all of the rest of the designs, and I was the only person whose designed she produced besides her own.

Now I am retired and will be working on getting our new house in Cathedral City ready for AirBnB or VRBO to supplement my income. I'm in CC right now (off season), but I do enjoy the pool after 5pm and at night.

ETA: I also worked part time as a baker for a restaurant in San Francisco, but I only did that for about a year, as it was graveyard shift (11pm to 7am) two days a week, and that upset my normal schedule of getting up at noon and working until about 8 or 9 pm.

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Bevthebrit

Originally from England, I finished school at 16 and worked in a department store for a year.

Spent next 10 years with British Telecomm International, similar to AT&T, as a telephone operator connecting overseas calls. Good old fashioned, plug in switchboard, before digital and automation. Late 70s to late 80s. Became a supervisor and trainer for new hires, who had to do a 3 month course. Loved this job, was so interesting dealing with people all over the world. We connected to ships, military, sheep farms!! Hamlets in the middle of nowhere. Left to take a management position with a retail company doing telephone sales.

A year later was offered a job at Disneyworld in Orlando. Great job, lousy pay. Made great friends. Was only there a year. Spent the next 3 years as a nanny/housekeeper then started my own housekeeping/cleaning business. Still going after 25 years albeit part time. Been thinking of getting my real estate license. Married 15 years, hubby took early retirement last year.


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pudgeder

After I had almost 2 years of college, under my belt, my father was diagnosed with Multiple Myleoma. Back in the 80's there was no hope with this type of cancer. I left school, the stress of trying to deal with his disease and school was overwhelming.

I went to work for the Gov't at the AFB. (Worst job environment ever for a young and naive woman.) I was a records clerk. Spent almost 3 years there. My father passed away about 2 weeks before my husband & I married. About 4 months after, I left the AFB job and went to work at a hotel reservations center. Back before the internet you had to call in your hotel reservations to an 800 # and I was right there to make your accommodations, plan your stays in either Disneyland or Disney World areas. Did that for a few years.

Left there and went to work in the public schools in the library of a Junior High. I was the AV specialist. Thoroughly enjoyed the educational setting. Was just about to go back to college and finish my degree, when I became pregnant with #1. Continued to work for the school system for about another year, when I quit to stay home w/our child. About 4 years later, we were blessed with #2 child. She was 3 when we moved to the Tulsa area.

I was a stay at home mom until the youngest was about 10. Then I went to work part time at a local University in the admissions area. When we moved back to our home town area. I took a job as an admin. assistant with an attorney. His primary work was estate planning. I'd probably still be there if his wife hadn't gone to work in the office. She was one crazy woman.

I left there and went to work at another local University. I worked in the library, again, for 12 years. Most recently, I moved to another department as an administrative assistant for 3 departments. It's quite a challenge that keeps me busy. I love the people I work with. They're supportive, respectful, caring and dedicated.

This will probably be my "last" job before I retire. But that's not for several more years.

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ghoghunter

I graduated Duquesne U with a degree in Nursing and worked at various Nursing jobs till I retired in 2011. I did Med-Surg, Nursing Homes, Got my Masters and taught in Nursing School and did School Nursing. It was a great career and kept me secure through a divorce and being a single Mom till I remarried. I am loving my retirement and being able to do all the things I love and couldn't do while I worked. I sing in a Womens chorus, belong to a Genealogical Society and a Garden Club. I love retirement!

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hounds_x_two

BS in Speech-Language Pathology, MS in Audiology. After several years, I decided to “hang up my earphones” and return to school for a career change. Have certifications in education of Students with Visual Impairments, and am also an Orientation and Mobility Specialist. Retired now, and have let all of my certifications lapse. Grand parenting is a very rewarding new career!

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Architectrunnerguy

I'm a professional runner. I only had to take on this architect gig back in the '80's to temporarily have a means to pay a few bills. Purely temporary mind you.

And I think my ship is finally coming in. Last weekend, in a 5K race, I got 2nd in my age group and won a coupon for $5 of gas at the local gas station. Yes, I think I've turned the corner, the money will really be rolling in now. The long wait is finally over. Yep, I can feel it! Won't be long now!

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Jasdip

I've done a few jobs, factory, chicken barn, office work, financial product sales, and now I'm working from home doing market research. There are days where I don't even want to see a human, so working from home I like. I also get complimented regularly by the people I call, how good I am, friendly, and they enjoyed talking with me.

I don't like the heat at all, and our summers are longer stretches of very hot weather.

I can only say I'm glad I'm not doing this anymore!


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eld6161

Hounds, interesting! I actually was accepted into an O and M program in NYC but choice the MSW route instead.

Would love to time travel and see where that choice would have brought me.

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peaceofmind

I never had a job until after I was married. I worked for Frisco railroad (SLSF) for six years until I had children. It was a great job for a great company. It was important to me to raise my kids myself so I didn't work for several years. I did lots of volunteer work through my church and my kids school. I really enjoyed PTA and planning Fun Nights and talent shows, etc. This really sounds archaic but my kids elementary school didn't have a library until the PTA stepped in and was giving a small room which was formerly the janitor's closet. We bought the books and staffed it without much supervision. After a few years, we were able to move into an empty classroom and a district wide librarian chose the books and came by periodically to check things out. I was in charge of scheduling volunteers and when one of them called me and said she'd got a job working for the public library I was amazed. I thought everyone who worked in a library was college educated and she and I both were high school graduates. At that time, college wasn't required for many library jobs and it didn't take me long to apply and get a job shelving books. I had loved libraries all my life and thought I was really something to be working in one. I moved on up to work in circulation and then in the reference department. I took many college classes but never did graduate. It was a requirement in our local college that one pass algebra. I have never understood math beyond the basic stuff. I took classes and had tutors and just never was able to master adding letters, etc. I suppose if I'd been more ambitious I'd have found a way. I have suffered with depression since shortly after my first child was born. I was fortunate that I never had to support myself. With medication I've been able to function but can't handle much stress.

I'm retired now but I was so fortunate to work in a field that I loved so much. The people, the books, all of it really.

I've really enjoyed reading your stories and I marvel at how often life is just a series of happenstances. We plan our lives but then stuff happens and we adjust.


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glenda_al

Thank you, everyone, for your wonderful responses. What a great group we have at the KT.



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Louiseab Ibbotson

it was great to hear wasn’t it!

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secsteve

First job was at age 13 as a caddy at the local golf course. Back then the pay was $1.50 for 18 holes plus tips which usually weren't all that great. But it was spending money. Best memory of that job is when I got a golfer who was known for abusing caddies. There was one name I wouldn't (and still won't) tolerate and that was being called an SOB. On the third hole, he bungled his putt, turned to me and said "You stupid little SOB, look what you made me do." I asked him to repeat what he said and he did. So I took his golf bag, turned it upside down dumping out all his clubs and walked off. I reported back to the caddy master to let him know he'd have to fire me and told him what I did. Just as I finished up Mr. M came running up and I informed him that I had all ready told the caddy master what I had done and was leaving. His response? "Like Hell you are. I want you for my caddy from here out." Don't know who was more surprised me or the caddy master. I continued caddying for him until I turned 16 and got a part time job. He was really sorry to see me go. Later one of the other caddies informed me that Mr. M. was impressed by the fact that I stood up to him as none of the other caddies had ever done that. In addition, he paid me more then the $1.50 and usually tipped that much and more.


After graduation (1966) I joined the Navy and served until they had a reduction-in-force and got out. Got a job at a local trucking company working nights, but one problem was the fact that when layoffs came I was the first one who got bumped. Tried to get back in the Navy, but they were going to drop me two pay grades back to an E-3. Air Force friend talked to his recruiter and went and saw him and enlisted in the AF. Spent 16 years with them and retired as a Master Sergeant in the Administrative field. While on active duty earned my Bachelors degree as well as getting trained in the new "technology" computers. Helped me out when I retired. Had interesting assignments in England, Germany, CA, AZ, WY, DC, Thailand, and finished up in OH where I retired.


Held a number of admin positions with various government contracts until I had to go on disability.


We discussed our email names some time ago and mine (secsteve52, the 52 was added after I switched to gmail, otherwise was Secsteve) came when I first used AOL. Had a boss who thought it was funny to call me his "secretary". So I used the sec part and tacked on my name.

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cherryfizz

I enjoyed reading all these posts

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myrica4

“I'm a professional runner. I only had to take on this architect gig back in the '80's to temporarily have a means to pay a few bills. Purely temporary mind you.”

LOL, same story here except for the exercising part ;-)

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liz

this has been an interesting read! I started working at 13 for a piano restoring company...first I started by cleaning their house, then moved to the shop where I helped refinish old pianos, inside and out...it was a job I still use today (the furniture restoring part)...i also babysat a family of 5 kids...then I worked for a credit company filing reports and typing up credit reports, worked as a server at Lucky Steer steakhouse...then banking for 5 years...for the last 42 I've been a Flight Attendant for a major airline based in Atlanta, Ga...I LOVE MY JOB and wont even think about retiring till I get my 50 year pin in 2027!

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nannygoat18

Starting at age 17, I worked my way up at Social Security Administration, from Clerk Typist to Quality Assurance Chief. After thirty-plus years of adjudicating disability claims, I retired and decided to become an advocate for clients instead of the government.

I'm enrolled in a Masters of Psychology program to became an Addiction/Trauma therapist. For the past two years, I have been doing an unpaid internship and the rewards far outweigh those of my former high-paying career.

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DawnInCal

liz, my sister is a flight attendant who's planning to hang in there until she's 65, but you have her beat for years of service!

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