As my father would say, "Tempus fugit." A chaotic summer becomes fall and I realize that I have now been a church secretary for twelve years. That was not my aim when I answered the ad in our parish bulletin looking for someone to answer phones and do light office work. The job has surpassed anything I may have anticipated - for better and worse.
One humbling realization is that I have carved out a niche in a line of work that I once held in very low regard. I have such regret for the time when I was young (and stupid and rude) and told my aunt, who worked almost 50 years as an 'administrative professional' for only one company, that I just could never see myself just working in an office forever. So hurtful, stupid, and rude. My aunt went to work right out of high school, helped to put my mother through college, and was a most indulgent, doting grandmother substitute/fairy godmother to my sister and me. I had no trouble taking the gifts she lavished on me - but had not respect for the labor which gave her the wealth to spoil her nieces. Oh my God, almost forty years later and the thought of that comment makes me want to vomit.
And here I am. Doing the same work - only in religion, not upscale children's shoes. It's funny how these things work out. I didn't always show much respect for my mother. She had been a teacher, turned stay at home mom. And....I went on to have 6 kids and spend decades at home. And to be a teacher, if only to some of my own children. I even became a CCD teacher - in an unconscious recapitulation of my mother's years as a Sunday School teacher. And now I am a secretary. If only there were time and energy left for me to emulate my father and join the Marines.
I wouldn't say that majoring in art history was a waste of time. But that typing course that my parents insisted that I take in high school is what has really paid off. Twelve years and counting. Not bad for someone whose last job was in 1978 as a temp in the costing department of Jack Winter.* **
*Milwaukee manufacturer of mid-priced women's sportswear.
think Peggy Olson pantsuits
A helping hand, ca. 1910s
3 hours ago