Whenever someone asks me to share an account of my work history and I try to do so, it seems the order of the years and the actual jobs gets fuzzy. It happened the other day when a young woman asked about the way I spent years gone by.
When still in Boston, I worked in a Chinese restaurant, a bakery and a drug store. The people at the drug store were lovely. The women in the bakery (who had been there for at least 50 years) actually pushed and shoved me non-stop. When my friend Marc came to buy bread and saw what was going on — they had no shame, “what are YOU doing here” he yelled at me over the crowd, I thought about it and yelled back, “I have no idea but I’m turning in my apron,” and stormed out.
Eventually I got a job at Snelling and Snelling employment agency. We had to change names, and that should have been a clue. Soon after my start date came the finish date. They fired me because I was trying to place people in jobs they liked. The firing letter said, “you do not understand the concept of this business, you are supposed to place people whether they like the job or not. You are not a social worker.” At that point I called Dr. Bender at Emerson College and begged him to give me a teaching assistantship so I could get a graduate degree.
Then what? My graduate degree finished in 1971. In 1972, I got pregnant, a job at Boston University, (with part time teaching at Emerson) and started to volunteer for the McGovern campaign. Any work on a political campaign, even part time, is pretty intense. But we lost.
Far as I remember the following order was —
a. Waltham High School.
b. Boston University.
c. Straining the air with chicken soup for the baby.
d. The Morris K Udall Presidential campaign.
e. The Carter campaign where I worked for Rosalyn and the Carter family.
f. The US government
g. Moved to DC
h. Director of Security for the 1980 Democratic Convention
—- and then it was the 80’s, best as I can remember.
i Started a business, “Arrive Unlimited’ — a boutique PR company.
j. Worked on the Dukakis campaign.
Alright, that’s the best I can do right now. More tomorrow. It may just get more interesting. When we look at the way we spent our lives are there mistakes, apologies, good decisions and bad. Sure. But my resumé is quite eclectic and in some ways special. Are there any regrets— sure, when you work in public service there is no money.
We’re just sayin’…. Iris