Twenty years

I have reached what I consider to be a rather significant milestone, especially when you consider the gauntlet through which the American economy has been.

Today, I celebrate 20 years of working at the same company.

Okay, two caveats:

  1. July 1 is listed on my service record as my first day. Back in 1992, that fell on a Wednesday. This year, it was Sunday. So I’m declaring July 2—the first working day of the month—as the celebratory date.
  2. I was initially brought on as an intern, so even though I have literally worked with this office for 20 years, my service record won’t acknowledge 20 years for a few more months. Whether it will be September 16, 2012, or January 1, 2013, I’m not positive. That’s because my original three-month intern was extended to another three months since the tasks I was brought on to do were negated by spending nearly the entire internship helping move my department to the newly established headquarters—from Orlando to Winter Park. I was under the impression my second three months was also considered an internship, so my actual 20 years of permanent employment would be January 1. But my service record doesn’t use the word “intern” for those three months, so September 16 may be the day. (The 16th instead of the 1st is a result of simplifying records based on the fact our pay period begins the 16th of every month—yes, I’m on a monthly pay cycle.)

I truly didn’t even remotely fathom I would remain here after the internship period. The fact that I apparently made myself indispensable enough to justify a permanent position being made for me is humbling. I was especially grateful given that I repeatedly hit brick walls looking for a permanent job toward the end of my internship, and that a placement service I had tried using (which came quite well recommended) more or less stole the service fee I paid them.

So, by way of a brief history:

My internship was from July 1–December 31, 1992 (or until September 15, 1992, depending on how you interpret things, with September 16 beginning the second internship). I then received the title of Production Assistant on January 1, 1993.

Toward the end of 1999, some decisions I may never fully understand initiated a modification of my employment. Although I don’t know for sure, and I suspect no one up north would ever confirm it, I have the belief that our parent office up in Maryland was pining for me to transfer up there. This suspicion came from a result of them twice contracting me for special, web site-related projects. Furthermore, my boss at the time, along with the department Associate Director, apparently felt my hourly status pay scale was inappropriate. (Indeed, I was essentially at the same level as secretaries.) That fact, combined with what I suppose might have been an incentive for me to stay put (not that I would ever have wanted to move to Maryland), led to my being promoted to Assistant Director and switched to salary status. It was effective January 1, 2000; however I recall the details of it not getting hammered out until a few months later. It was made retroactive, so I was bestowed with a rather bulky paycheck one month which reflected the upgraded pay for the months back to January!

In late 2003, the organization endured severe budget-necessetated staff cuts. My boss was one of those let go, and my department encountered an odd and unique scenario during the cuts. In every other instance, those who were let go represented an entire department (just a Director, or a Director and secretary) with the functions of that department reassigned to someone who remained. But for my department, only our Director was let go. The Associate Director, Assistant Director (me), and two part-time secretaries remained. Because the office had been clear that it was positions being eliminated and not people, we went several years with the assumption that we couldn’t name a new Director. The office’s Executive Secretary served as an Administrative Director providing oversight to our department, but our Associate Director managed the day-to-day operation.

Jump to 2006, and we had a new Executive Secretary. Although the new person still remained the administrative head of our department, it was felt it was time (and legally doable) that it was okay to have a department Director again. So, effective January 1, 2007, our Associate was moved up to that position, and I was moved from Assistant to Associate Director, I imagine somewhat as a courtesy but also because there was really no precedent for having a Director and an Assistant Director with no Associate Director.

That brings us to today, where I still hold that position, and we stand at the precipice of relocating to a new facility. We’re busting at the seams in our current office and are in desperate need to expand. I’m intrigued at the coincidence of some significant news about our relocation being shared with the staff this same day as I celebrate my 20-year milestone. No, I’m really not at liberty to share any of that news here, but suffice to say it’s good news. Those of you who know more about where I’m employed can keep tabs on our web site which will get an update when there’s information that can be shared publicly.

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