Most of my adult life I have worked for companies in the areas of accounting or estimating. I really didn’t choose those fields as much as they chose me.
I did not go to college right out of high school. I graduated from Putnam City West High School as a Junior in 1975. Because I had taken summer classes after my Freshman and Sophomore years, I only needed one Senior level class, Senior English, to complete my graduation requirements during my Junior year and receive my high school diploma. So I went to the guidance counselor to confirm that and signed up to take my Senior English class during zero period and went home that day to tell my parents what I was doing. I never even thought to ask if it was OK if I graduated a year early, it never even crossed my mind to ask.
During that year the thought of college was in my mind but our family was not in a position to pay for me to go to college. I wasn’t a star athlete, so an athletic scholarship was not on my horizon. I was a good student, National Honor Society, but not an exceptional student. I could have received financial aid but that required my dad to fill out the paperwork, which was very similar to a tax return and so that wasn’t done. I didn’t have the gumption in me and it never even crossed my mind that I could put myself through college and the guidance counselor never really threw that out there as an option either. Another thing that just didn’t cross my mind. So, I decided to enter the workforce right out of high school.
My first full-time job was as a sales clerk for Dillards Department Store in Oklahoma City at Shepard Mall. A friend of mine worked there and suggested that I apply to work in the toy department, I did and I got the job. I worked there several months for a boss that was not very ethical or professional. She used her employees to cover her when chaos was going on in her family life which in turned caused chaos in my life and because of that I wound up leaving Dillards.
I decided to apply for an “office job” and so I went to the Hertz Data Center in Oklahoma City as many friends worked there and said I ought to apply. I got my first job at Hertz in the Litigations Department. I was making a whopping $98.00 per week…gross! But I was on the way to developing my “office skills”. Hertz was very regimented and so I started with a good basis of work ethics and experience. I moved up over the years that I worked there. I became an Adjustment Correspondent and then a Senior Unapplied Correspondent in the sales department. These positional moves while interesting just weren’t paying that much and so with the blessings of my husband Kevin I resigned from Hertz and searched for another job. I started with a temp agency and worked at a few places, one was an oil company located in downtown Oklahoma City. I got the fever…the oil fever. I decided that I wanted to work for an oil company so I applied at a company called Texas Oil and Gas, also located in downtown Oklahoma City. I just wanted to be a receptionist. At the time I thought my brain could use a break and answering phone lines seemed to be just the ticket. Well, once in the interview with the Administrative Manager, Roger Fite, to talk about the receptionist position, he brought up the fact that with my experience at Hertz I would be able to work in the Accounting Department and make more money than as the receptionist. It took a millisecond for me to decide…greed won out. So started my many long years of working in some way or another in accounting. For the past 30+ years that is what I have done, with the exception of a few years of being a “Stay-at-home mom”.
In October, 2008 with the downturn in the construction industry in California and all over the United States I was laid-off from my position as an Estimating Assistant with Lucas and Mercier Framing after over 8 years. There just wasn’t enough work and so the company over a period of about two years downsized to the bare minimum and I was in the last group to be let go due to “lack of work”. It was not a shock. Kevin and I have been through times similar to these and with Kevin always having worked in the construction industry we always try to have plans for “what if?”. So, as I continued to apply for jobs I also collected unemployment. Although I have a strong resume, one that also shows longevity with employers, it just isn’t enough for these times. My competition in the work force are younger and many in numbers. So I’ve had to rethink what I want to do with my life as the end of my “99 weeks” of unemployment is on the horizon.
I’ve always enjoyed anything to do with the medical field. My kids even bought me a medical encyclopedia once as a birthday gift. So it isn’t surprising that I have chosen to go into the field of medicine, specifically the direction of a Comprehensive Medical Assistant. I will have the knowledge to do the front office and the back office of a doctors practice and also learn what it takes to work in a hospital in this area. I am taking my classes at Saddleback College and I am entering my third week of classes. Medical Terminology and Medical Coding are both very heavy on the homework and memorization. My brain doesn’t know whats happened to it. I’m filling up new wrinkles with information. But so happy to be doing it. I think I am going to enjoy my new endeavour. Even the long commute doesn’t bother me at the moment because I am doing something that I think I will truly enjoy.