A few weeks ago I marked 13 years of being gainfully employed at the same institution by, um, forgetting about it. In fact, it wasn't until a week later that I realized my anniversary date had come and gone and life was pretty much still the same.
Tomorrow, March 1st, I will mark another milestone in my professional career. Tomorrow I will be promoted. My job won't change. My duties and responsibilities won't change. But, my classification will change and I will climb one more rung up the ladder.
When the news came that my promotion had been approved I was, of course, excited. But, as the day wore on I found myself reminiscing about the past 13 years of my life here...
1. When I applied to work here the list of openings was not online. Instead, prospective employees called a phone number every day to hear the advertised positions. Applications were accepted only in person at the central HR office and then mailed to departments from there.
2. My very first paycheck, which comes monthly, was $1200. I was thrilled to be making so much money and managed to pay all of my bills, buy groceries and still have money left over to see a movie or put the extra away in savings.
3. I used to live about a mile from work. I could walk when the weather was nice, got to work 15-30 minutes before the office opened, walked over my lunch break, ran after work, and took all of my breaks. Every. Single. Day.
4. Yeah...number 3 is pretty much the complete opposite of what I do now. And, number 2.. extra? What is this "extra" money that you speak of?
5. In 13 years I have worked in four different departments and held six different jobs. I once worked during the summer as a student employee while I was in college. My job? I packed and unpacked cases used for eyeball donation. Did you catch that? I unpacked eyeballs.
6. When people around here talk about "blue reqs" and "watermark paper" and "life before the online workflow system" I actually know what they are talking about.
7. I have held other jobs, finished school, studied for certification, planned big events, experienced major life changes and gained at least 40 pounds during my 13 years here.
8. The student employees that I once supervised are now married and have children. That just makes me feel old.
9. During my time here I have: survived historical flooding, observed as fire destroyed a campus landmark, feared being laid off because of massive cuts in state funding, experienced the implementation and update of electronic systems (both medical and student-related), and witnessed the aftermath of a devastating tornado. Just to name a few things.
10. Thirteen years ago coffee had only been necessary during late-night study sessions in college. Now... I am a gold card member of Starbucks.
Wedding showers, surgeries, baby showers, graduation parties, funerals, Christmas parties, tailgates, open houses, shopping trips, prayers, moving, shedding tears, embarrassing moments, house-warming parties, speeches, retirement parties, hospital visits... have all, at some point, been experienced with co-workers.
So, anyway, tomorrow starts the next chapter of my employment story.
Here's to the next 40 years.