Sunday, August 26, 2007

About Me

I'm new at this whole blogging thing and haven't even finished my profile ("About Me"). Typing in that my occupation is "writer" wasn't meant to sound pretentious. It was just the first thing that popped into my head as I hurried through the whole business of setting this puppy up.

I have a degree in English and as I braved the world after graduation, I couldn't say for sure what I wanted to do with it. I could easily tell you what I DIDN'T want to do: teach or write the news.

I worked for a time in advertising. Anyone remember that old print-ad headline: "Get ahead in life, but get a little behind at FigureWorld"? Yeah, I'm not surprised you don't. I wrote that for a small chain of fitness centers in San Antonio.

I also worked for a magazine once upon a time. There I honed my skills as a grahic artist on such in-depth feature stories as "Clay Pigeons or the Real Thing? Which Are Harder to Bring Down?" The magazine was, "Skeet Shooting Review".


Before my husband and I got married, one of his buddies told me, "You know, because of the transfers that come with his job, you won't be able to have a career." I nodded, but didn't really believe him. Turns out the guy was right.

After we got married, we settled into a tiny town in south Texas where jobs were scarce. I didn't feel very hopeful when I went to the only employment agency in town and the sign outside read, "Employment and Taxidermy." I guess if your new job didn't work out, they could have your boss stuffed.

Rather than hang out at home all day, I felt slight interest in a job posting for a "Girl Friday". I was told the position was at a small airport and the duties included filing, answering phones and AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL! I kept looking.

To my surprise, a job became available that had something to do with my education. It was as editor of a newsletter for a Nuclear Power Plant which was being built outside of town. (Let's not get into the fact that I used to participate in protests against nuclear power-I was desperate).

I showed up for the interview wearing a smart interviewing suit and high heels. I was told to put on a hard hat and walk across the gravel road to one of those temporary buildings they erect at job sites. During the interview, I produced my resume and portfolio. Everything was in order.

The interviewer leaned back in his chair and said (in a thick Texas drawl), "Now, once a month you'll be expected to put on a harness and dangle from a helicopter so that you can take pictures of our progress." I've always suspected that this was the moment I blew the interview. I burst out laughing.

I honestly don't remember what happened after that, but for some reason, he never called.

Thankfully, after about a year, we were transferred to Shreveport, LA where I landed my absolute favorite job. I was head of circulation in the library at LSU. (I love libraries. I could kill a whole day in a library and go home perfectly happy.) Sadly, I had to leave that job when I couldn't master whipping off my glasses and letting my long hair down every time a handsome man entered the room.

Ba-dom-pa! Actually, I left that job to have my first baby. I was a stay-at-home Mom until both boys were in school and then I worked part-time at a preschool. After that I wrote a regular column for our local paper for seven years. And, oh yeah, this is our seventh house.

So there you have it. My professional life in a nutshell (such as it is). But, I have a feeling the best is yet to come. Stay tuned.


Teri said...

Girl! That's funny. I know you're afraid of heights, I could just see you hanging from a helicopter!

jan.noel said...

Hey Caryl! Keep up the good work; I really enjoy reading your posts. One day I will have something interesting to post. Suffice it to say that I'm grappling with my new class and their names. One of my foreign students first name is "Turkey". God I hope he has a different way of pronouncing it - calling roll should be a lot of fun this year!


caryl said...

Welcome, Jan! Good to see you here!