Many moons ago, on a planet far, far away, in another lifetime even, I did something at the age of 19 that changed my life. I left the comfort of my apartment (by that time I had already moved out of my parents house and had been living on my own for a couple of years), the only job I had ever had since I was 16 (a big deal to a 19 year old), even left college, to trek the 55 some-odd miles to the town of my birth and to the home of my Father, who I worshipped (and unfortunately, still do although we haven’t spoken in years), just to live with him for the first time in my life. I was shy, inexperienced in life and people, completely anti-social, and quite frankly, extremely immature. It was also when I first started showing signs of OCD. I know now I’ve had mild Asperger’s my whole life, but back then no one really even knew what it was, or would have even guessed that I had it, I just knew I had bad problems and tried to hide the worst of them as best as possible, but I’m digressing as usual.
After a time living with my Father I had to get a job. The very first one I applied for was at the local Housing Authority. For those of you who don’t know what a Housing Authority is, you might know it as a HUD office. I’m pretty sure since I only had pathology laboratory experience and was only 19, it was my Father’s influence that got me the job (he was a police lieutenant at the time), but needless to say, they did hire me and my life’s history began to be written!
At the same time I started, Ray McGlothlan also started working there. He was hired as the Assistant Executive Director, I was just a lowly Section 8 Clerk. Although he came from another Housing Authority and knew the business, we learned the local computer system together and how this particular branch ran. Ray and I butted heads a lot! I was head-strong, opinionated, (hate to keep repeating it) immature, and stubborn (all traits that come from my Father, just so you know and I swear that’s where my Asperger’s comes from BTW), dealing with internal struggles, but Ray never really seemed to be put off too much by my moods! There is no telling how much crap I gave him, but I can’t ever remember a time where he showed (at least to me) any anger for it (which probably just made me give him more crap trying to get him angry , I told you I was immature!).
Working at the Housing Authority gave me things I have never gotten anywhere else: my surrogate Ma who I still keep in touch with, introduction to a culture I had very little interaction with before, and a "sort" of compassion for others (as much as an Asperger can have anyway). It was the only job I have ever had that I truly loved and the only place I ever worked that I felt like I belonged. I felt like I made a difference and I actually wanted to make that difference. I was respected there, valued there, and wanted there. I will never have that again. Ray was a part of that.
I eventually fell out with my Father and moved back home (the first of many fallings out, but another story for another time). I drove back and forth between the two towns for a year, but an hour each way got to be too much and I eventually had to quit per my Step-dad's instructions (but I did so kicking and screaming!). I also eventually ended up working at the Housing Authority in my home town, but it pretty much killed all that I learned at the first Housing Authority since it was it's polar opposite in values, so I ended up back at the pathology lab where I started and have been back ever since, almost 16 years now. But longevity does not breed contentment folks...another blog for another day.
But Ray stayed on, and eventually became the Executive Director, and now he’s retiring! My how time flies when you are getting old! Wednesday is his retirement party. I wanted to go (I thought it was next week when I had scheduled off, but apparently not and someone sent my invitation to the wrong address so I didn’t get notified in time to made adequate arrangements to take off in time). So I’m doing the next best thing…blogging my presence!! I did pull out the pics from my going away party and am posting some of them, can't really post them all, and yes, there are none of me, but hey, I did post one of my desk and notice the early trappings of the OCD! So enjoy our past together, and Ray, enjoy your retirement future!!
Sincerely, your most annoying underling...