I just realized that today is my 7th anniversary with the company I work for. I started out as a temp-to-hire program assistant (read: Secretary) in March of 2001. I was just kicked out of Cost Plus World Market for refusing to join the union, and I needed a job desperately. I walked into a temp agency on Monday March 12 for assessment and interview. Didn't go so well, because it was during those days of rolling blackouts (thanks, Enron) so I couldn't take the required computer tests. I returned the next day for my tests, and I kicked ass on the MS Office test. (Well, duh.) On Wednesday I was called, I had an interview on Thursday. After my interview, I returned home and started packing my bags. I was going out of town on Friday to Palm Springs with my friends Kat & Mouse. It was a big, huge, weekend party, and I was going to get my grove on. Friday morning while I was waiting to be picked up, the temp agency called and offered me the position. I accepted. My start date was that coming Monday the 19th. So I went to Palms Springs, drank lots, danced my ass off, and got back into town Monday morning around 3am. I slept for around 4 hours and then got up, got dressed and reported for work at the CHC with the Breast Cancer Treatment Fund.
I have been with the CHC ever since. Not my longest employment, but by far my most productive.
I was a temp program assistant for 2 months, and then I was offered permanent employment with benefits. So even though I've been here since March '01, my official anniversary date is May 22, 2001.
I remained a program assistant for a few months longer, then I was promoted to program benefit specialist, dealing with patient billing. Knowing advanced database concepts has really helped me in my career. About a year later BCTF morphed into a new program called Care Coordination and Navigation Services (CCAN) and I morphed into doing full time database administration. I loved it, but it was not without its heartaches. I was in a technological power struggle with a colleague, and I was hating it.
One day, in late 2002 I was approached in the breezeway of my office complex by a mysterious woman in a black leather jacket. She asked me how things were going in my program. We chatted for a bit and then she told me this: "I've heard good things about you, we'd love to have someone of your caliber on our staff". Okay, I admit it, I bought it. Hook, line, and sinker.
And, okay, she wasn't a mysterious woman. I knew who she was, she was a program director for a different program in the company. But she did have a black leather jacket.
Shortly thereafter, an internal posting went out for the Cancer Registry of Central California, for a DC/QC I (data collection/quality control specialist). I applied. I was qualified. I had computer knowledge - I do have a BS in Information Systems from the Sid Craig School of Business at Fresno State, thank you very much. I had anatomy and physiology education from being an ex-dance major and having gone to massage school. And now I did have limited knowledge about breast cancer from my time with BCTF. I love to learn, always have, always will, so I knew I could learn whatever I needed to for this position.
I have no idea how many other candidates there were, but I was offered one of two positions open. The other position went to Melissa, who became my officemate, partner in crime, Romy to my Michelle. We are both Virgos, so things work out quite well. We are VERY understanding of each other. She is mommy to my niece Brianna who was born back in December, if you remember me mentioning it on my Blossoms blog.
I started with CRCC on 1/1/03 and hit the ground running. I had computer programs to learn, and about 8 manuals to go through BEFORE I even became useful. In a nutshell I had to apprentice for two years, then sit for a national certification. I took that exam in March of 2005 and upon passing I became a CTR- a Certified Tumor Registrar. Ah, so THAT'S where that came from. Yes! (Once upon a time my email address was cyclegirlCTR, but people kept asking me if I was Mormon, so I had to change it.) Of course passing my exam brought another promotion, so that's how I came to be the DC/QC II you now know me as.
Been doing it ever since.
I have tried, unsuccessfully, to leave. I applied to different regions, hoping to get the hell out of Fresno, but I think the "Grand Tapestry" had a different plan for me. I tend to cause problems where ever I go (personally, not professionally), so many lives and other things were saved by me not going anywhere. I am full of energy, ideas, and passions, with a touch of ADD, so calm collected environments are not quite for me. I long for them, those Zen environments, but I can't survive in Zen alone. I crave chaos. And I crave peace. I desire creativity, and I desire organization. I am always bouncing around from one extreme to the other, which is why I'm always tired ;) Okay, that and having two jobs. Eventually, I hope, I will find happy medium and be able to co-exist peacefully and creatively in the space where both realms overlap.