Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Call came today to finalize my position with the NPS.

My answering machine spoke it's message as I came in from dropping Dorian off at NIAD for her art classes. "Betty, would you stop by some time today to drop off your resume? And, you'll need to include your academic stuff." Did so a little while ago, after editing it to include the last place of employment, "Office of Assemblywoman Loni Hancock of the 14th Assembly District, Field Representative." Since I met the NPS people while representing Loni, this one had to be a slam dunk, right? Nope. Not so.

Stopped by with neatly-typed resume in hand and presented it to the director of the Rosie project. "We're bringing you in as a park ranger (classification), Betty." That apparently has some criteria that my resume -- impressive though it may be -- just doesn't have. Rick Smith scanned the 4-pager with all its interesting accomplishments and achievements then asked for my academic credits. (Gulp!)

Since I married at 19 and spent the next 25 years raising a family of four kids, there had never been time for formal study.

My first job of any significance was with the University of California at Berkeley, where I was brought on by a friend who was hired as chief administrator for a research project. Though I had no "resume," I was not only hired immediately but was married to the Principal Investigator six months later! UC personnel figured that they simply didn't have the right boxes for me to fit into in the job application, but took a chance. Told Rick that I'd entered into a ten-year non-traditional doctoral study project by being married to Bill and being exposed to the world of the academy.

Since that time I've experienced more of life than most and learned from every new challenge. Told Rick that -- if they want to hire me -- he'd just have to convince his personnel department that I am a one-of-a-kind-talent-who-can't-be-quantified-or-measured-by-ordinary standards! Crazy? Sure, but that about sums it up. The poor man then asked for the name of my high school so that he can secure whatever records are still there. (Got those little boxes to fill in, donchaknow.) Weird? Right. Let's see, that would be about 62 years ago. How relevant would such records be? The bureaucracy is such a slave to those little boxes, isn't it? How could a grown man with advanced degrees allow himself to be influenced by anything so stupid? Judy Hart, the CEO and Head Ranger, holds her degrees in English Lit! She told me so today, laughing all the while.

He's apparently set aside the fact that he's been working with me for about three years, during which time we've sat together in meetings with historians, engineers, park rangers, architects, politicians, museum directors, etc., in planning operations for the new national park. The reason they offered to me, specifically, the position was because they'd obviously been impressed by the quality of my participation in their projects, right?. Otherwise..? Wassup?

It appears that they have to confer and get back to me after they've received my Castlemont High School transcript(!)

Meanwhile, I've had time to re-read my resume and find it a pretty good sketch of where my "professional life" has taken me, with or without advance degrees. Have never felt more ready for next steps in a new direction. Being a Park Ranger is a little far-fetched, but what the hay ...!

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