And even now at twenty-five, He has to work to keep alive! 

-Hilaire Belloc (1930)

 It’s tough going for those who are looking for jobs these days. Back in the 1970’s-1980’s, it seemed almost effortless. However, given that I tend to remember only the good times, maybe I have forgotten how hard it could be, especially when I was first starting out. 

After college graduation, I worked in Houston at my regular summer job at Methodist Hospital (in Medical Records… this was in the days before computers, and it’s hilarious to think about our record keeping and filing systems). But as September drew near, I decided to head north to Dallas, where Joel would be a student at SMU Law School. 

I wasn’t sure where to start, but I got lucky when our friend Andy (who was a year ahead of Joel and a summer clerk at a law firm in downtown Dallas) told me of an opening in another law firm nearby. They needed an accounting clerk and relief receptionist. He recommended me, and I made an appointment for an interview (of course that involved making a long distance call, back in those days before e-mail and websites). 

So armed with my hand typed resume and my interview suit, I flew up one day; Andy picked me up and dropped me off at the building downtown. Did I mention that I majored in Art History and knew nothing of accounting or the legal business? No matter. I was too naive to be nervous. 

The managing partner’s name was Mr. Rowe. He was probably in his 50’s, which of course seemed ancient to me, who was all of 22. He sat me down and looked at my resume… and said, “Oh, you went to Randolph-Macon Woman’s College! Would you like the job?” Seriously. 

Of course I was so inexperienced, I just said, “Why, yes!” not asking a thing about the details. I needed a few weeks to move myself up there and figure things out; long story short, I worked with that group of guys for the entire three years Joel was in school, learning about and taking on new responsibilities, getting salary increases commensurate with them. By the time we left Dallas, I was making twice as much money as I had made starting out. 

After moving back to Houston, it took me awhile to find another good job; I finally used a personnel service to land one at Fondren Orthopedic Group, where once again, I got some great on the job training (I had a terrific boss who trusted in me) and ended up being assistant to the administrator. Besides  overseeing the financials (receivables, payables, payroll, checking accounts- which were balanced by hand back then), I also took care of personnel issues such as interviewing, hiring, reviews and some firing (I wasn’t very good at the latter, because I am such a softie). 

I had some really successful hires, three in particular that I recall as being really terrific workers. One of them was named Candice, and she was well liked and had a great attitude. She wasn’t that much younger than I was, if I recall, but then time has faded my memories. In my mind, Candice is frozen in time as being forever young! 

Fast forward 26 years and now my Shannon has been out looking for a job. Due to a wonderful and timely coincidence, we heard that Candice is looking for someone reliable to be a long term substitute at a day school right around the corner. 

After Shannon’s interview yesterday, Candice hired her! She remembered me, and I think that it is very, very cool that she has passed the favor to the next generation. I plan to pay her a visit to thank her; maybe there’s a lunch in our future! We’ll have to invite our mutual friend, Bonnie, to join us, as she was the go between who knows all of us. 

So now Shannon will be juggling two jobs that sync nicely time-wise, with mornings/early afternoons at the school and then a late afternoon job driving a sweet young girl from her school (also around the corner) to her ice skating lesson and then back home. That job came about thanks to our Sunday School friends who were ecstatic that Shannon was available. 

What goes around comes around. Funny how that personal connection plays such an important part in a successful job hunt; we are grateful to our friends for thinking about Shannon when opportunities have arisen.


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