A good friend of mine, my late father and my brother has been transferred to hospice care. I think a lot of what he meant to me in my life, getting me consulting contracts, being on the Board to support my views on the problems the organization was facing.
I remember, being retired, that looking for a job is far more emotionally exhausting than doing it. You get the job, have no idea of the subject matter you’re analyzing and give yourself a crash course so you can hit the ground running.
My first real job after college was as an assistant legislative analyst for the Speaker’s office. The analyst was off on maternity leave. I was asked if I knew anything about insurance. Well, I have car insurance.
Do you know McKinneys? Who is McKinney. Law books. No. That was a Friday. I started my new job on Monday and went to a bookstore and tried to cram over the weekend. All I could find was one hardcover book, brand new, with a guy in a pinstripe suit on the cover that was about insurance.
That book even had a chapter about Gerber Life insurance, which they’re selling on TV now. It was called “Like Taking Candy from a Baby.” Bosses and lobbyists did not like that book so I took it home and learned the real stuff at work.
I remember introducing an incentive for insurance companies to offer well baby care in the early 1980’s. They wouldn’t hear of it. Every bill report I made to the Speaker, everyone of my party in the Assembly, was sent to lobbyists and the opposition before the meeting as per FOIA (Freedom of Information Act), for which I was later responsible when I got a permanent job as analyst for another committee. For every such report the insurance industry said “Will Raise Premiums.” That’s it. I should have stuck with Gerber and the first book I read.
Everyone who has health insurance (soon to go away) has well baby care now and it is somewhat thanks to me. The insurance companies finally realized that well babies cost them less than sick ones, preventive care works, and as they never lowered premiums they could put their extra money into offshore accounts and reinsurance and the stock market. And be given billions of taxpayer money for being “too big to fail.”
I have done many good things for people and animals in my life. This is not one of them. It was only four months and a “hazing” that landed me a permanent job doing the “grab bag” committee. Pick an issue, fill the bowl and let me in with the claw to pick up anything and I’ll learn it. Native American Rights, Veterans, Cable Television Franchising in NYC, Fire and Building Codes. Reapportionment, Legislative Ethics (?), how to raise and lower the American Flag, Human Rights, Civil Rights, Military Code, Sexual Orientation, holidays and non-holidays.
The biggest holiday to celebrate was MLK Day, the first, we all drove to D.C. and went to several services, the most moving of which was at the AME church where Coretta Scott King delivered a eulogy for her husband, with a choir.
The other holidays were more days of remembrance, such as Haym Solomon for financing the Revolutionary War, and Raoul Wallenberg for his heroism in WWII. It was an honor to do this for our country. Veterans was taken off my burden of a slew of bills before computers, by a veteran who sat next to me for several years. He saw stuff we never heard of from anyone, including him, in Vietnam and was mustered out to Texas for two weeks. They ordered him to go to Chicago for the 1968 Democratic Convention, as part of a military presence to suppress the people.
He refused. He said he’d do KP (dishes and kitchen prep) for the rest of his time but he would not fire on American citizens. He had been through enough. Now he is a leader in an anti-war organization made up of veterans.
I’ve had many experiences looking for work, but in the end if you interview the interviewer first, you’re better off if they offer the job. I flew in from the Rockies for a breakfast bagel at the Carlyle in NYC and was offered my own office, twice my salary. My new boss made me into a hamster going around a wheel. I left and spent my life savings to go to …… cooking school. I recently received photos from my aunt from our graduation dinner at the James Beard House, that I had framed.
Yes, I cooked at the James Beard House, and as our family was a large group they were upstairs in the loft where his bed had been under a mirrored ceiling. We cooked our hearts out that evening and everyone gave me the food they made so I could toy with it and make breakfast for 14 family members and 20 neighbors. They were proud of me.
Yes, I do read about cooking and have many books. I do cook. I do not do that much French anymore, more Italian or Greek. Normandy and Provence. Best ingredients, simple preparation. I’m only cooking for two a la minute.
Big storm coming in. Must get offline and check on my husband and old dog. Thanks for sticking with me over the years. I appreciate it. Cheers, Dee