When I was a little girl I wanted to be Florence Nightingale. But, although blood and gore do not bother me
(farm girl that I am), bilious dysentery would definitely do me in.
Then I was introduced to Emma Peel (The Avengers) and thought “wow, I could be her” – a least I could handle the gun and I was pretty sure she and Steed avoided vomiting and diarrhea…
The reality is that I started my career driving a tractor for my father who originally paid the princely sum of 50 cents an hour – but then it did come with board & lodging and other luxuries that come with living at home. At some stage the pay increased to 75 cents an hour but I was trusted with the header (harvester) and landplane equipment by then. Considering I was still at school and driving only a couple of hours a day and on weekends my bank balance was pretty dismal. Once I had a license I supplemented the slave wages with baby sitting. (Although once I took $20 home after babysitting for 4 hours and my mother made me give half of it back!).
I thought I wanted to be a Psychologist so off to university I went – but 3 days visiting Shenley Mental Institute in Hertfordshire, England (voluntarily!!) was enough to drive me to comfort eat and made me think my fortune could be in food. So back to school I went and learnt all sorts of interesting things from micro-organisms and deadly food-borne illnesses to whipping up a Bechamel sauce, how to butcher & cut up a sheep and how to tap a keg.
Ten years in the commercial catering industry followed before my (then) husband started making heaps of money and I got to stay home & do exciting things for 5 years; misfortune struck in the form of a divorce so it was back in to the workforce I had to go. I trained as a Gym Instructor and got a job in a huge gym which included opening up at 5.30am and teaching the first circuit class of the day at 6am! But Gym Instructors are not well paid so I cashed in a life insurance policy and bought a computer and started night courses offered by the local community college. It was an Information Technology course so I learnt some DOS and programing as well as Microsoft Suite. Armed with this new technology I started a second job in an office and was soon the full-time Personal Assistant to the Executive Vice President of the company.
Then the manservant came along and whisked me off my feet and out of my country. No green card meant no employment so I entertained myself for 8 months by calling 1800 numbers and practising my typing speed. Eventually I got a Work Authorization Permit which allowed me to work while I waited for the green card. I went to a temp agency the day after I got the permit – they did skills testing (which included a spelling test which was actually quite difficult given my Australian english) – they sent me to a job that very afternoon. Nine years later I am still with that same company. I started as the Receptionist and am now the Office Manager.
But …… I ride the metro each day and am often tempted by the advertisements I see. In the last month I noticed this advertisement which had me wondering about a career change…. Of course age might be an issue for a field job, not to mention the citizenship matter …… oh, and that little thing of being willing to throw yourself infront of the speeding bullet! I think that last factor is the decider - Secret Service is not for me!