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  • W-O-R-K ... shhh...don't you know that's a 4-letter word? Well, so is l-o-v-e....and I love to work. I've worked, earning a wage of some sort, since I was 5 years old. I expect to continue working, earning a wage, until I'm 90.

    I became eligible to retire a year and a half ago, with 30 years on the job and age 56, but honestly, I can't even imagine myself retiring for at least 10, probably 15 years from now. Then, I will retire from this job, but go do something else.

    Retirement to just sit around and do nothing has no appeal whatsoever to me. The worst periods of my life were the times I didn't have a job. So, I got good at getting jobs.

    When I moved home to my parents' house for the last time early in 1984, I went out walking (had no car at the time) and got offered 3 different jobs in one day. I had to choose which one I would do.

    I've never understood why "work" is such a dirty word to so many people. All work and no play, now that's not wise. I love to play as much as I love to work - much more, actually. But without the one, the other is not as much fun. I need 'em both! The Yin and the Yang, perhaps.

    You might say that I've had a variety of jobs in my life. Here's the list, in chronological order - paperboy, Bakery boy, balloon-seller, busboy, pot-wallup, waiter, short chef, coffee-house manager, framer, sailor, machinist mate, reactor operator, chaplain's assistant, carpenter's helper, forklift operator, warehouse manager, inventory specialist, laundry operator, lama-skin leather totebag salesman, intake counselor, truck driver, siding deliveryman, pack-out man, ball bearing order-picker, machinist's apprentice, insurance and securities salesman, pizza delivery man, Imported Beer Stand Manager at Veterans Stadium, supply clerk/typist, support services supervisor, assistant administrative officer, administrative officer, fleet manager, property management branch chief, resource management director, deputy budget director, deputy chief financial management officer, chief financial officer, administrative services division director, financial management division director, deputy assistant administrator, senior special assistant.

    Between 1980 and 1984, I went through 17 different jobs. Since 1984, I've worked for the same outfit, going from a Supply Clerk/Typist to a senior executive leadership position, with a progression of positions in between, one leading somewhat logically to the next.

    I love what I do, and the fact that it contributes to the public health mission of my agency. Most of the people I work with are driven by that mission, and are passionate about their work. Some things that I have initiated, or had a major hand in, have had a major impact on how well my agency delivers its mission. That makes me proud beyond description. Why I'd ever want to leave this job is beyond me.

    Riding the metro into work, I literally have to contain my excitement about what new things I wil learn today, who I will meet, what story will reveal itself to me. I love my job. Call me a freak.
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