Sunday, January 15, 2012

Bye Bye College Job

When I met Dan back in high school, he knew exactly what he wanted to do when he graduated: go to school and become an auto mechanic. After that? Probably work at a dealership or shop with dreams to one day work with a race team. So, after high school he enrolled in classes at a locally based national tech school that specialized in all things mechanical. They did cars, boats, you name it. So, Dan started learning all of the ins and outs of cars.

But about half way through his two year program he realized it wasn't what he wanted to do anymore. It wasn't that he didn't love working on cars. On the contrary, he loved everything he was learning because it meant that he didn't always have to rely on a shop/dealership when something broke down. But, he realized that he didn't want to spend every day working with the type of people he was going to school with. Now don't get me wrong, not all mechanics are like the people Dan went to school with. But he wasn't sure he could put up with all of the cussing and talking down about women and other "manly" things like that day in and day out.

The part that really stunk about all of it is that if Dan decided to drop out, he would have to pay back the student loan he took out in full shortly after he quit. There was no way that was going to happen. So, he stuck it out and finished the program. Then it was time to do a little soul searching and figure out what he wanted to be when he "grew up."

Ever since I've known Dan he's worked. I don't know how old he was when he started working. Probably like 8. I'm telling you, this man can work! Anyways, when we met in high school Dan was working at a doctor's office in their medial records department part time. And he continued to work there throughout most of his time at the tech school. At this point my memory fails me because I don't remember when this job switch happened, but he was eventually let go by the doctor's office. He managed to get hired at another doctor's office in the same specialization doing practically the same job as before. And he's been there ever since.

People always found it funny when we told them our jobs while we were in college. We both worked at doctor's offices. Granted, our doctor's specialized in different things, but oddly enough one of his doctors was the brother of one of my doctors, so there was this sort of family link. Plus, we both worked near the major (but competing) hospitals in the Orlando area. And, we both worked in medical records. And, we both worked at the same practices with our moms. See, my mom has been at her practice for 15 years now and she got me my job there. My mother-in-law helped Dan get his high school job at the first office. Then, to make the story even more funny, after Dan started working at the second office, he actually helped his mom get a job there too.

We both knew that the jobs at the doctor's offices were suppose to be our "college jobs" and that when we were done with schooling we'd move onto our "careers." See, at this point, Dan had gone back to college to become an EMT/Firefighter. He'd worked really hard to get through the program and was actively looking for a job anywhere within a reasonable driving distance. And let me tell you, his definition of "reasonable" was a 2 hour drive time. 

We both graduated around the same time, but Dan was out of school a good 6 months or so ahead of me. We both thought for sure that he'd have a job before I would. The job market for teachers in our state was absolutely abysmal and there was just no way I was going to get a job right out of college. But shockingly enough, I was offered a job within a month of graduation. Dan continued to put out applications, went to testing appointments to evaluate his physical and mental abilities, and practically jumped through hoops whenever asked.

(I thought the hubby would appreciate this one!)

But almost 2 years later, we were both starting to wonder if he'd ever get a job. Everyone wanted experience, but you can't get experience without first getting a job. Everyone wanted a FireMedic (firefighter with paramedic), but Dan couldn't afford to quit his job to take the classes and do the clinicals needed. And after so much time, his firefighter certification would run out and he'd have to start all over again in school to get it back. Let me tell you, our hope meter was practically on empty.

Until yesterday...

Yesterday he got the call! He was offered a job! FINALLY! To say we couldn't stop smiling is an understatement. We went out to dinner to celebrate last night and let me tell you, the boy was beaming. Kept doing his little happy dance.

Even though the job is 108 miles away (that's one way, so 216 round trip), its within Dan's definition of "reasonable." and even though that's almost 90 miles more per day he'd be driving back and forth, considering an EMT/Firefighter only works 10 days out of the month, he'll actually end up driving less and spending less money on gas each month. (I just spent 10 hours at school, I'm not in the mood to do math, so I'm not breaking it down any further for you. I hope you understand.)

He still has to go for fingerprinting and a drug test (which he should pass with flying colors). As long as everything checks out okay, then his tentative start date is February 20th. In the beginning his training will have him working 5 days a week, so he'll be staying with his parents during that time. But once that is done with, he'll be home more often.

Words cannot express how excited we are about this new chapter! Nor can they express how proud I am of my husband!

(I think this is as true for teachers as it is for anyone who is starting a new job!)

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