Sunday, March 29, 2009

Embarking on a New Adventure




Tomorrow I embark on a new adventure. I begin classes for training as a census enumerator for the 2010 census. Classes are at the Light House Church in Laurel, Delaware, 23 miles from where I live. Classes will be for one week, 9 to 5. The first three days are classroom training. The remaining two days will be in the field. When I first was told that classes would be held so far away, I told the Census Bureau representative I wasn’t interested. Part of the reason was my fear that I would be assigned to conduct census training to far away from my home. Late on Friday a higher up in the bureau called and assured me that they would make every reasonable effort see that my area of responsibility would be in the Milton-Lewes area. I was persuaded. I’m easily persuaded. So, we will see.

I’ve held many different jobs in my lifetime. But I’ve never been a census taker. Somehow this is fitting because for years I’ve worked with old census records in doing my Tipton family genealogy research. I’ve looked at those old census records and noted the misspellings and thought “why couldn’t they be more careful?” Now I will have a chance to correct that error for future generations of genealogy researchers. Maybe this is my legacy as an amateur genealogist.

Life’s patterns do work in strange ways. I started out my work career as a five year old child running errands to the local grocery store for relatives and neighbors. From there I progressed to newspaper boy, office cleaner, dishwasher at local restaurant, meat counter clerk at local farmer’s market, soldier in the Army, hotel night auditor at the Pittsburgh Hilton hotel, accounts payable clerk at Lipsett Steel Products, remittance clerk at Girard Bank, trust operations manager at Mellon Bank, research project reconcilement and control manager for Fidelity Bank, gardener on private estate, trust operations manager (again) at Downingtown National Bank, front desk clerk at Hampton Inn (hotel work again), trust operations consultant at First Financial Bank, front desk clerk at Marriott Hotel (again), front desk clerk at the Inn at Canal Square, and now U. S. Census Bureau enumerator. Along the way I took no acting jobs.

For the past sixty years I’ve always had one kind of job or another. I’ve always had to keep bringing the money in. I wasn’t one of those fortunate children whose parents were committed to putting me through college (although I wanted to go in the worst way.) I didn’t have enough self-confidence to work my way through college so I joined the Army, perhaps the best decision I ever made in my life. I learned more in the Army that I ever would have in college. I matured immensely and gained a level of self confidence one I got away from the environment that did little to nurture self-confidence.

Through the G. I. Bill I gained a college degree (associate degree in business management from Peirce College in Philadelphia.) Also, because of my service in the Army I am now receiving lifetime care from the Veterans Administration. All the years I had complete medical coverage from my banking jobs, I never used it once. It wasn’t until I lost my job with the bank that I was in need of medical care. The care I received from the Veterans Administration Medical Center was the best I’ve ever received in my life for which I will be ever thankful. Socialized medicine work for me, so there Harry and Louise.

The only serious medical care I received before was when I was 17 years old. I had failed my medical induction exam to join the Army. I was informed that I was born with a hernia. The Army would not take me until I got it fixed. I had the operation. The operation went fine but I caught a staph infection from the hospital which almost killed me. I had the staph infection for six months. After a series of operations, the staph infection finally disappeared. I took the medical examination again. This time I passed and I joined the Army January 27, 1960.

Someday I will sit down and write the story of my life. My story may be of little interest to most people but I would like to do it for myself at least and for those future Tipton family genealogy researchers. Fifty or a hundred years from now some researcher may pick that book of my life story and be encouraged to write their own life story. In the meantime, my life story isn’t over yet. I have a whole new chapter to write starting tomorrow. The adventure continues.

3 comments:

  1. Ron,

    My suggestion is to start writing your life story now, not someday. "Someday" has a way of never arriving. Yesterday is over and tomorrow is never a certainty. Today is someday.

    Lar

    ReplyDelete
  2. You know something Lar? You are absolutely right. I've been working up to this point for a long time and I think now is the time. Tomorrow is here.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous8:17 PM

    Start Here!

    www.survivingcensus2010.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete