Tuesday, October 28, 2008

"I Think You Would Love Working Here"


Jenny's friend called me the next evening. His name was Ralph. We made arrangements to meet for a drink the following Friday. Ralph was an engineer. He was tall, impressive looking, intelligent, and fun to be with. We had a nice time, but he drank too much and the date had a disastrous ending.

He called me the next evening to apologize and we started a long journey of getting acquainted. I'm not certain that we ever got totally acquainted, but as life and circumstances played out we were destined to be in one another's lives for the next 15 years.

In the meantime, Jenny had called and said that she had set up an interview for me. If you have read my earlier entries you know that I was an Admitting Supervisor in a large hospital. A hospital was not where I would have chosen to work, but need and a divorce had created my current situation. Now it was time to move on. I am a people person and the hospital atmosphere was affecting my emotional well being I cared too much about the people that I saw suffering, and I was unable to let it go when I went home.

I was very excited about the interview. This was going to be the start of taking my life in a new direction.

The interview was with a Department Head that needed an aministrative type to pull his office workings together. It went great and I was offered the job. Before I left his office he called the Employment Office to get the paperwork initiated and they set up a date for me to have a company physical. Everything was moving beautifully. I went home from the interview with a light heart, feeling like I was taking a very positive step.

I didn't tell the Office Manager at the hospital that I had accepted another position because no definite date had been set for me to start the new employment. The new place was a large Aircraft Company and, as I was soon to learn, paper flowed slowly.

Two days later I went to the Employment Office and filled out all of the required forms and took my physical. And that is when my joy turned to tears.

The Physical: An older, gray haired, testy doctor(?) came into the cubical where I was waiting. He grabbed a piece of paper and a pen and started barking orders. "Stand, sit, lift your arms, bend over, squat!"

"I can't squat."

"Why not?"

"I have a stabilized ankle."

'Why was that done?"

"Because I had a drop foot."


"Because I had polio when I was two years old."

"You can't SQUAT?"


"You can't do any damn thing, can you?"

"I can do everything! I just can't squat."

"I've seen enough," he said as he furiously scribbled on several sheets of paper.

He took the sheets of paper and inserted them in a manilla envelope, handed it to me, and said, "Give this to the Employment Representative you're interfacing with. DO NOT OPEN THIS ENVELOPE!"

So began a saga that took everything my parents had raised me to believe about myself and turned it upside down to be picked apart and analyzed.

Continued in next entry

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