Hitchhiker’s bLOG – 2019.12.30

Beautiful and Precarious!

So I am sitting here looking at the snow and freezing rain in Burlington, VT. No, I am not here to ski, nor am I here for R&R. My son, Peter, is here for an interview, and I made the trip with him.

Both the environment and situation on this cold winter morning have me thinking about life journeys, and how beautiful and precarious they can be. Mine has been no exception.

I graduated from college with a degree in biology, and certification to teach biology and general science for grades 7-12. I had two stints as long term substitute (one month and six months), but I never did land that permanent gig in teaching.

But most of the time that year after graduation was spent working the same warehouse job that sustained me through college. Hundreds of resumes and a meager handful of interviews.

Then a fluke intersection with an old high school friend prompted me to send a resume to a medical device company. Even more flukey, the hiring manager grew up with my sister in law.

My first real job was an entry-level position as a quality assurance complaint investigator. It came with benefits and a whopping salary of $23,000 a year! (Modern equivalent approximately $42,000). I was able to use part of my degree (biology, science) but not the focus (teaching). I was 24 when I landed that job, just like Peter.

In twelve years, I moved into management, then changed companies, and continued to advance. Over that span, I more than quadrupled my income. BUT eventually “42” had something else in mind…

I look out at the snow and ice and can’t help but think about Peter. He has been working at two part-time jobs in the past year and a half. He is interviewing for an entry-level position in a very large established company, and there is a lot of potential to learn and move up. Like me he would be using part of his degree (communication) but not the focus of his degree (media).

I have known people who got their starts like me (and hopefully Peter). One started his career as seasonal help and became a retail guru, and another sold snack cakes and became a beloved exec in that same company. One of my first bosses went from QC inspector to Senior VP, and one of my direct reports (PQA tech) went on to replace me, and now is a VP in that same company.

I can see “42” in these success stories, and also in the collapses. The Triune God of Grace has been, is now, and will continue to be there, even when we stand looking out at the unknown.

I know “42” is on Peter’s beautiful and precarious journey with him, whether he gets this job or continues to search. God loves Peter, and despite my best efforts to screw him up, “42” has made sure Peter turned out okay.

To Peter on this day…

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