Baucis and Philemon
Worn Out

Opened Doors


Today the lovely and immensely talented Wendy asked one of her #bixquestions on Facebook:

Who is a person who opened doors for you in your passion or your career when they didn't have to? What did they do and what impact did it have on your life?

I answered on Facebook, but I'd like to expand on my answer here. Aren't you lucky!

First off is my Pop. The night before I was to leave to join my first circus, my Mom was having an anxiety meltdown about my leaving. I mean, the circus, for heaven's sake! What kind of people are they? She was so upset - and trying to hide her upset so hard - that I was consumed with guilt. I was on the verge of giving in and staying home, when I passed Pop on the upstairs landing.

I said, "Do you think I should go?"

My Pop looked at me and said, "Yes, I think you should go. You can always come home."

And so I went, and so I had a glorious adventure.

Second is my second official corporate boss. I was then the Systems Librarian for a software time sharing company. And by "Systems Librarian," I mean "file clerk and receptionist." I answered the phone and updated the IBM manuals with replacement pages. (For all you young'uns out there, IBM would send update pages to the system manuals, and I got to replace the old pages with the new pages.)

At my first performance review, she said, "You're too smart for this kind of work. What do you like to do?"

I said, "Well, I like to write."

So my boss started giving me little writing projects. I enjoyed these projects and did well at them, so she encouraged me to apply for a Publications Assistant position in the Technical Publications department. Now, by "Publications Assistant," I mean "Word Processor." However, that move was the start of my 40-year career in Technical Communication.

Finally, there's my high school World History teacher. I was petrified of her, although I really didn't need to be. She insisted that we all do our best and did not coddle us in the least. But what I am most grateful to her for is that she taught me (and the rest of the girls in my class) how to study and think critically. Those skills have served me well ever since.

So what about you? Who opened doors for you?