I started thinking the other day of all the jobs I have had. I’ve actually had quite a few and have done a variety of different types of work.
It started off when I was a freshman in high school working at the Halsingland Hotel. It was kind of a rite of passage in our houseshold although I mostly cleaned rooms versus the waitressing my sisters did. That was actually a fun job, I worked with Joannie Gulliford and Mollie Manuell and we had some good times. Plus it kept me out of the garden which was my main objective!
From then I went on to grocery store clerk at Howsers. I worked there off and on for about five years. It seemed longer! Once again, my coworkers were classmates and friends and that made it fun.
My next job was a dental assistant, first in Port Angeles and then Juneau. I did that for about five years as well, and worked for 3 different dentists throughout those years. There was a period of time in there that I was a fill-in, ready to cover for assistants on vacation or out sick. I also assisted a periodontist that came down from Anchorage one week a month.
I worked part time at a Best Western Hotel as a night clerk checking guests in for a while. During that time I also worked cleaning houses as time allowed.
Next I got started on my career with the state inputting PFD applications at the Department of Revenue. That only lasted the summer and then I got a job with the Department of Corrections, Adult Probation Office. Even though I was a lowly clerk typist III, I had alot of responsibility and I loved that job. I wrote up presentence reports for felons, transcribed the notes from the visits with their probation officers and scheduled misdemeanor jail time. I also had access to NCIC and ASPIN, two offender data base systems. It was my first job utilizing a computer for word processing.
After DOC, I went to the Department of Law as a legal secretary I for the Governmental Affairs Section. About two years later I moved to the Attorney General’s Office as a legal secretary II and then moved into the executive secretary position for a few years. During my tenure there we started in DOS and then moved to Windows, first with WP and then MSWORD. In 2004, a new governor brought a new attorney general and I was out of a job.
My next position was an Administrative Assistant with the Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. I ensured the various shelters around the state got their monthly federal grant money and organized tribal/state forums around the state. Besides working in AKSAS I was also the human resource person.
I hadn’t been there long when I was commandeered to the commissioners office. They found themselves without an executive secretary so I filled in there and then remained there another two years. From there I went back to CDVSA and then over the Department of Health & Social Services; Director’s Office. I worked for the then director, Dr. Mansanger, but shortly after I was hired he moved on so I transferred over to Injury Prevention and EMS Section. I was the sole HR and accounting person there and and I got to work from 7:30-3:00 PM which was so perfect.
Which brings me to my present job. There isn’t much I can say about this job except it has been the most challenging position I have ever had. Not because of the duties of the job but because of the personalities and dynamics of the management. It’s the only job in 20 years that I don’t have my own printer. Or a decent chair to sit in. Or the ability to make a decision on my own. On the positive side my Juneau coworkers are all enjoyable and the Anchorage people are safely 800 miles away. You’d be surprised at how easily they can still make our lives miserable though.
The bottom line is I’m ready to retire. Working isn’t the problem, it’s more that I’m so tired of having to answer to people who have little regard for their employees. Or punks with attitudes. In the state system, in order to advance almost always you have to supervise. There are many people who are probably really good at their jobs but just SUCK at managing employees. It is the tragedy of many lives here. When you spend so much of your day in a toxic environment it can’t help but bleed into your life. My biggest regret is that I never discovered a vocation, a job that was my passion. I really envy people who do.