“Happy Endings” my academic and employment history

I have yet to find an employment or an educational opportunity that I wasn’t delighted to leave.

And usually they weren’t too shaken up about my departure either… 

I was expelled in the third grade for writing a nasty note about my teacher and then later I couldn’t force myself to attend high school long enough to graduate because not only did I not want the responsibility for myself I couldn’t stand idiocy and brutality displayed there daily both by staff and students. For example, did you know that in Lakewood Ohio in the High School they have removed all the doors from all the stalls? These kids can’t even shit in privacy.I’d venture to say If you graduated from the hell hole that is a Lakewood education at Lakewood High School you have the intestinal fortitude of an elephant. That’s brutality and stupidity for decades , “The Lakewood Way” Go Rangers…

Perhaps I should have started planning my life as a hermit writer then. My Mother, God love her, saw the writing on the wall with this her seventh child and said “You’re going to beauty school, period.” I should have realized this woman was warming me up for orbit. After pushing and straightening out five other daughters into the “You will take care of yourself mode!”, she wasn’t going to give up on me. If I didn’t want school no problem but by God I’d have a trade to take care of myself, she and dad were OFF the case. At least that was her clear intent. GROW UP. I didn’t really want to. While its hard to work with clay that refuses to take shape, but my Mommy gave it her best shot. And she won. She found the door. She found what I had always wanted, she found a way to motivate me. And by supporting my dream of “Mary Tyler Moore’s apartment” she once again backed me up. And in doing so,  long before I could possibly move she showed her belief in me or at least my intention. Now my father had a totally different reaction when he came home from work for lunch one day and found me moving all my little paper bags into my boyfriends car.  I told him I wanted to move out and have a little privacy.

Privacy! Privacy! He said; literally throwing himself in front of the door that I was moving my bags out of…”You don’t need any privacy, you’re an 18-year-old girl. If you want to pay rent stay here and pay me rent, but you are not moving . Period.” Well, then he had to go back to work after lunch and I moved then. I moved into a little dingy pay per week furnished place and I can still remember coming home one night on the Rapid Transit from the Airport where I worked as a parking lot attendant (stay in school kids) , and walking up that dark stairway because the light had long ago burned out and finding Dad there perched on a ladder replacing the light in front of my door. “What are you doing?”  I said to him. Now here’s a Retired Cleveland Police Lieutenant perched high up on this ladder looking down on his girl who’s just trying to grow up. He was just wonderful…”I just noticed it was a little dim in the hallway thought I’d put in a bulb.” My Dad.

Not that I ever became anything to write home about, a clerk a data entry operator, a sales girl, a caterer, but I did try. And just like in 1st grade, that was good enough for my Mom and Dad. Just try, you’ll get the hang of it eventually. Don’t give up, don’t go crazy, don’t blame anybody else, and It really will be ok.

Before I had left home and after my 4 1/2 year stint at High School (three of them)  Repeatedly I tried different careers. To start with for a while I worked downtown behind a May Company Cosmetics counter during the  Christmas Rush, when people still went “Downtown”, I made it through January Inventory and then was let go. My next adventure took me for a week as a waitress, and was finally asked to leave . It seems my ability to recall “who’s on first” was just the same as my ability to recall who ordered the steak as opposed to the oatmeal, same with who got what check! It was just way too early in the morning to figure all this out. Getting up at 4am, who could remember anything at that time of day? Anyway the lovely Greek owner “Nick” told me that while his brother (the cook who yelled only in Greek what I perceived to be curse words each and every time I entered the kitchen) liked me, I could not continue to work there…but just the same he would love to date me and let me drive his car, (drive his car? I’m thinking what WHAT!!!?)

So I worked there as a kid of 18 for a week and that cheeseball tried to tell me It was my training period and wasn’t going to pay me the lousy  dollar and hour for my 40 hours. After about 20 minute tutorial in English curse words from me, in front of his hysterical customers he paid. What a yahoo, what a loser. Those same chickens are probably still turning on the barbecue spit in the front window.   

Then I worked nights in a parking lot for 7 years. The work agreed with my reading habits and until my twins were born it was about as far as my career desires ran. A  little well lit warm booth in the middle of a vast quiet snowy parking lot to read by. Rush hour came once a night at 3 am with 4 or 5 cars of people returning from a vacation in Aruba. Then when the kids were little and I took a little time off,  about 2 years. And later found a job working nights in a bank operations downtown. The old “Central National Bank” that was on the corner of 9th and Superior. I can still recall walking into that huge encoding room. It was akin to the old vast sewing machine factory rooms. You could hear the roar of those machines when the elevator doors opened on the 7th floor. And as you proceeded down that long hallway it just got louder and louder until conversation was simply not possible. Then you finally passed through the big double doors into the main encoding area, the roar from those machines  was deafening, really. So much so that they handed out earplugs daily.

Amazing. I was one of  only two white people in the whole 78 person department. The work ran from 7 until completion. We ran the checks through our machines and printed the the dollar figures on the bottom corner so the computer would recognize the dollar amount. It was my 1st serious employment, the job I couldn’t afford to lose because the husband wasn’t working and we had two little ones. So I learned how to run a 10 key adding machine, like lighting…but it only took me about 5 years, I’m figuring the bank defiantly took a loss on this critter’s employment. It took those proof clerks decades to unravel my tapes. and as far as balancing them. Hell, just start all over. But I was nice, I tried to be so nice and innocuous as to stay employed and one of their token white employees in that area. And it worked and eventually they shuffled me off to my own little job called the “Reject Machine” . NO, really! It was this huge old Machine about 5 feet high with a giant drum inside that turned as you hand keyed in the bank routing numbers at the bottom of the checks and it would turn that drum with a big WHUMP! and you’d drop the check in that pocket and at the end of the night mail those checks out to those banks. These were the checks that the computer rejected, they had to be hand entered. So my 1st success in life was as a reject running a “Reject Machine”. It actually was kind of nice because the machine sat at the very back of the room and I received very few checks, only the rejects or Items to large to process normally so it gave me time to look and think about the work and sure enough I came up with an idea to make more money out of the concept once I understood about deadlines and clearinghouse, I did a study on my own and then suggested we not wait for all the other machines but do a tiny sorter run on just the reject machine much earlier because the dollar amounts were so much bigger we could clear these huge checks faster and make more money on the funds involved and my boss really liked the idea and the vice pres wanted to meet me and that little pissants gave me a $100 dollar bonus and told me to keep the money for myself (don’t tell my husband) and go out and by myself a pretty dress. Yikes.

 This was the level of intelligence at the banks in 1983…just when the banking laws were being relaxed enough by the Reaganites to allow giant monopolies to big to fail and interstate banking became standard and before the Clintons theft of American Employment with Nafta and the Clinton destruction of our Social Safety Nets. IE; Nafta and Welfare (erasure) Reform.  All set in place by the hostage taking and destruction of the Carter Administration, by who? Some tiny little group of rebels? who took over one building in one country?  

Sometimes, read history backwards and see who comes out ahead. Who always survives the wars and always comes out ahead on the profit line? Without scruple , without wounds . It’s just win, win , win for them while we kill each other off. The only winners really are the Cororporations and their bottom lines and their development departments…that’s who.

Whoops…I fell over my soapbox…I’ll have to continue this charming employment and academic history tomorrow. After a few youtube views of either Robin Williams or Billy Connolly …

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