What a wicked thing you say to make me feel this way
(I was going to offer this as a "Second Brilliant Career)
I had finally come to the reality that Debra was not going to follow through. It was time. I had reached fork in the road and I needed to decide before anna stabbed me with it.. I needed to choose which one
I went out with a few well placed woman in the community. I met them through the magazine I worked, Curtain Call. I honed in on the ones that would piss Debra off the most…and it did. I cannot name these people without their permission, but anyone who knows me, knows who these people were.
That night at the Ranch with Tracy Rubio, Sheryl my knight(ress?) from the Ranch, came home with me and she stayed…for four years! I was not in love, I didn't want to fall in love.
She didn’t have a job and that wasn’t going to work. So I showed her, finally doing it for her, how to make a resume and going after what she wanted. She was useless in this endeavor, so I did all the cold calling, creating a beautiful resume, hand writing the letters and sending them out. She wanted to work in the legal field, so I opened the phone book and hand wrote onto graph paper every firm, address and phone info, then I would call each one and get names. She had a job within a week.
She could help with the bills, but many times she would leave “walk out” when the bills were due. She would throw in my face my family’s comportment and how privileged I had been. Which had nothing to do with anything since I was a big girl and should be supporting myself. I needed to have a responsible room mate and Tracy didn’t like Sheryl, quickly moving out.
Debra made the best of that. Whenever Cheryl ducked out of paying her bills, Debra was there to lend a helping hand. I needed the help. I really could not continue like that so after talking with Jackie,
“Why don’t you follow your own rule. You get everyone jobs, including me, why not do the same?” Jackie said
But I still didn’t know what I wanted to do.
I had, to date, never hada resume’. Didn’t know how to make one. But I learned quickly when my husband wanted to change jobs, or got fired..After one of these momentous occasions, he had put a resume together, typed in the fashion of a child banging out letters on a typewriter. The resume was a joke at best. Words misspelled, letters a bit above or below the previous one. I found that to be questionable since he was a brilliant individual, a clever wordsmith, but horrific speller. And obvious lack of vision. But it wasn’t just the graphical issues, it didn’t “flow”. There was no rhyme or reason. And he had sent out a dozen or so..
I took the pathetic excuse for a resume and retyped it, and it was beautiful. I then opened the phone book and transferred to paper every Computer Technician company. And in Houston, I promise, there are a boatload. I then called each firm asking who was in charge of the computer department. Many times I was immediately transferred to said person. The first time I was aghast..
“Oh my god, what do I do, what do I say?”
“This is Joe Computer, what can I do for you?”
"Well...I am calling companies to find leads for my husband”
“Why isn’t HE doing that"
“Well…sir…he is working, and he cannot take the time out of his day that belongs to his present company, to do this research”
And right away, the person became impressed. In the end, I would send out 50 or so, and he had the kings choice of firms. After 11 years our marriage began to fail. But anyone who is familiar with this biography knows, Jackie started to destroy the marriage early on. I was just finally getting fed up. During the marriage I painted, created, designed whatever I could I thrived on art. My husband would bring home computer units from National Semi-conductor and set them on the table for me to play. These units were HUGE. They would take up 4 square feet of space. The units had “Star Treck”, a game used to diagnose problems. The company would get this diagnoses free, because I would play for HOURS, unaware that I was the guinea pig. And if I had known, it wouldn’t have made a difference.
I had a wonderful time playing on the computers. When I was pregnant with Devo, while Trey was at school I would go out with Jackie when he worked on the Positalker, those annoying machines that would speak the item and price as it is being scanned.
I would build computer cable with him, or place additional data (via chips) onto the computer boards.
So when Jackie made this suggestion, he followed it up with an idea. Why not try computer graphic firms?
I did. I comprised a valuable list of leads. Over 300. The very first firm I called, Achratech, an engineering drafting firm, hired me. It was all the way in LaPorte, almost 80 miles away, but it was a foot in the door.
James was not happy about me leaving Curtain Call, but he graciously understood letting me continue to live in the apartment. The only difference, he could not subsidize, so I would have to pay the full rent. Tracy moved out, Sheryl was as reliable as the cable guy and my rent just went up to $500. In 1986, that is no cheap living.
Thank goodness gas was not as pricey as it is today. So I would rise every morning at around 5 am, thankfully driving against traffic all the way to my new white collar job. I was very lucky to get THAT particular job.
There is a competition in the engineering industry, and all industries that require graphic illustration. The top competitors Cadvance, Intergraph, Microstation and AutoCAD. They were all pretty amazing products, but once you learn one of these software programs, it is hard to move between the three and the people assigned their preferential package took it personal if you didn’t use their personal favorite. Something like the schools do with our kids. For so long they have been using Apple computers so when they reached the Job and computer market, Apples investment will pay off.
The main difference was AutoDesk, the makers of AutoCAD marketedit the best. Cadvance and Microstation had locks on their software to keep people from taking a copy home. Stupid. AutoCAD relied on that. They wanted people to take it home, let their kids use it so they will become of those who feel the product they learned was the only one to have. So they succeeded simply by having a broader spectrum.
Eventually, any company that wanted to compete would fall short if they did not use the program. Shunned by other firms because no one wants to deal with the technicalities of translating. The industry has more drivers affording the use of any program one wants these day.
So there you have it, the reason Achratech was my best choice. But it didn’t end there. Achratech was only paying me $8.50 and I couldn’t survive on that.
I had inundated the market with resume's, and I did this every 6 months until I was forced to retire
The second company on my list, Avery Engineering, had been calling me. Of all companies, that was the most unlikely. When I called, asking for whomever as in charge of the computer graphics department, a woman, Earline would not give me the info I asked saying instead that they were not hiring and hung up. But I was not to foiled. I sent a resume’ to “Mr. Avery”, utilizing the name of the firm. I went ahead,, followed through and called, taking Earline’s job. Lesson to be learned? Yes, do not let anyone hold you back.
Avery Engineering was a subsidiarie of Cad Cam center, one of the very few AutoDesk training centers at the time. So now my luck doubled. I was in the right industry and now I could learn it at my leisure. My job was to bring in companies that required training. The people from AutoDesk supported it. And I got a nice salary of $22,000 a year. I was exposed to MANY MANY firms. The best of the BPOil industries, Architectural firms, and Consulting Engineers. I have a good phone voice, receiving many compliments on my ability to be trusted.
At this time, Devo had started kindergarten. She is a very intelligent child, reading at 3 and all that, I won’t bore you. She started at Sharpstown Kindergarten with a very aged teacher.
Through the years I have had issues from schools, usually it was my child. Misbehaving, not doing their work, not living up to their talents. You know the chant.
When I received a phone call from Devo’s new teacher, I was ready and the teacher was ready to follow through. Devo was not a very bright child and she felt that Devo needed to be held back. Well that was not going to happen.
I knew this child and I was afraid to let her continue in that school district, so , we moved to Spring, the same little city Debra and I were going to move into. I took her to school the next morning, purposefully leaving out the contention from the prior teacher. I had no more walked into my job when I was told the school called. Ohooo, they found me out.
“Ms. Lindsey we need to meet about Devo” And there it was, the beginning of a new battle.