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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Center City, Downtown Philly

YouTube Music Video: "Downtown" by Petula Clark
This song has been a favorite of mine ever since I was a child...

I entered the work force fully charged and ready to prove that I was an “adult” in March 1978. I fell in love with the typewriter in high school, learned the skill of typing with relative ease, and my life’s ambition after that was to be “the best secretary” anyone had ever seen. After high school, I enrolled in a two-year Medical Secretarial program at a small but reputable business school in Philadelphia. I finished the program with no problem, earned an Associate Degree, and had my heart set on working at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. I felt that CHOP would be the best place for me because I knew that I would really enjoy working around children. Needless to say, that didn’t happen and, as a matter of fact, I was never able to get a job as medical secretary and had to settle for being a "regular" secretary.

Over the years, my places of employment have not been as varied as some people. At present, I am still employed at my second job and have been since 1982. When I started there, my daughter was 11 months old and she is now 28 years old, married, and has two kids of her own. Through no fault of my own, my tenure at my previous place of employment was much shorter and only lasted for 3 years. While I was on maternity leave, several of the department heads got together and hatched a plot to dethrone the executive director of the company. Of course, their attempt to get the CEO fired failed miserably, just as I was returning to work after having my daughter. The executive director, feeling as though he was surrounded by a bunch of modern day Brutuses, fired everyone who knifed him in the back and laid-off everyone else. I didn’t really understand at the time why I had to lose my job because I wasn’t even there when everything went down. But, I had to take my lumps along with everyone else and I was unemployed for quite a while before I found my present job.

Technically, I did have another job before that one which I don’t talk about much. My very first job was actually a part-time cashier position at Rite-Aid while I attended business school. It doesn’t really count as a job to me and I never list it on my resume because I was only employed there for 3 days. Unfortunately for me, I crossed paths with a couple of Bonnie & Clyde “wannabees” who robbed me of the money in my cash register on the third (and what was to be my last) day there. If it were not for an elderly male customer who was standing in line behind this “dynamic duo”, I might be serving time for being in on it with them. You see, I never knew that I was robbed because I left the cash register drawer open while my back was turned. I was actually getting something off the shelf behind me for the female counterpart. While I was doing that, the male accomplice reached into my cash register drawer and took all of my (or should I say Rite-Aid’s) $ 20.00 bills. The elderly man saw this, left the line, and reported it to the manager… who promptly raced to the front of the store and informed me that I had just been robbed. The sad part is, I never saw a thing and by this time, the couple had left the store. Long story short, after going to the police station to report the robbery which I never actually saw, I was fired because I broke company policy by leaving the cash register drawer open while my back was turned. A lesson was learned but, since I had no intention of ever being a cashier again, it didn’t really matter.

The one thing that all of these jobs had in common is the fact that they were located in Center City Philadelphia. All of my life, I have worked in downtown Philly and loved every minute of it. As far as I was concerned, your job wasn’t really a job unless you had to go downtown to get to it and, in all of these years, it never crossed my mind for one minute that one day, I might not be working downtown anymore. Well, because of a very unfortunate incident that occurred at my job in 2006 and the economic downturn of the country that followed shortly thereafter, it has become necessary for my employer to leave Center City Philadelphia forever because we can no longer afford to be there. We, the employees, were first informed of this in 2007 and it was predicted that 2009 would be our “last hoorah” downtown. The news hit me like a “ton of bricks” but, at least I’ve had some time to accept it and prepare for the change.

Now, we are down to our last couple of months before moving and must begin the process of packing up the office. I don’t like what has happened and I’m not looking forward to the move at all. You see, I don’t drive and I’ve already found out from good ol’ SEPTA that I will need to take 3 buses to get to my new job location. My commute will be approximately 1+1/2 hours each way, which will add 3 additional hours to my day, beginning with leaving my house at 7:00am. As you can probably imagine, I am not a happy camper right about now. I’ve had plenty of time to look for another job but, these days, it’s probably best to just "hold on for dear life" to the job you have and count yourself as "blessed" that you even have a job.

If you read my Purpose Statement on the right sidebar, you will know that writing for a blog of my own is something that I will have to grow into so, I hope you will be patient with me. I decided that this would be a most fitting subject for my first “real” post because it is a major change that I will have to adjust to over the next few months. I will miss Center City Philadelphia very much… the fast pace, stores, shopping, restaurants, vendors, people, meeting friends for lunch, sports parades (whenever one of our teams won a championship), and all the other "goings on" that have always made being downtown during the work week special for me. In some ways, this move almost seems timely, as I turned 50 years old last year and can begin to feel myself slowing down anyway. So, I will obediently move on to the place where God is leading me and treasure all of the many memories of Center City, Downtown Philly that I must now leave behind.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Hi Luvy! *

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!

I wanted YOU to be the first to know that, for once (although, I know it has been more times than that), I actually did something that you told me to do... I created a blog for myself! I have been "secretly" working on it for about two weeks and, as of the date of this post, I finished the set-up. Are you shocked?

Now, you're probably wondering why I didn't just tell you about it but, I thought it would be much more "fun" this way. I wanted you to accidentally discover it when you noticed the "Lady (Bug)" link on your dashboard and/or blogrolls. I actually envisioned in my mind that you would notice the unfamiliar name and then ask yourself... "Who the hell is this? I don't know nobody named Lady (Bug)!" At that point, I knew that you would have to click on the link to satisfy your curiosity. Well, was I right (smile)? And, just in case you didn't notice, I also added myself as one of your followers. So, check your dashboard... you should find me among your followers and this post should be appearing there as well!

Just so we're clear, I have no intention of blogging every day the way you do (smile). I simply do not have that much to say and my track record for readers and comments has been "dismal" at best. But, on those rare occasions when I might have something to write about, I suppose it does make more sense for me to have my own platform in which to do it. I also intend to keep The Booga Wooga blog going for the grandkids but, because the posts for that blog are not as frequent as they used to be, I can do something for my blog in the interim.

I will continue to edit your blog and post photos for you, just as I have always done. And, for the time being, I am not going out of my way to let anyone (other than you) know that I have this blog so, I would appreciate it if you wouldn't call attention it now. I would like to have some "alone time" with the blog so I can get used to writing posts and I'm content with letting people discover my blog whenever and however they discover it on their own. I'm in no great rush for "friends" or "comments". Remember, I'm not quite the social animal that you are... nor do I want to be. It's simply too demanding (smile)!

Finally, I don't know where I will be at the precise moment that you find my blog and this post but, I'm hoping that it will happen while we are sitting in the library together because I want to see the look on your face when you discover it. I'm sure it will be absolutely priceless! Thanks for the constant "badgering"... I had a really great time creating it because that's the part of blogs/blogging that I love the most. Now comes the hard part (at least, for me anyway)... writing posts. OMG! What have I done?

Wish me luck! Smile

* This post is for none other than my husband, "The Maverick Of All Bloggers!"

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