Tasks for Penance Day: Tell us – what has recently made you stop in your tracks and think?  What was a big turning point in your life? 


I had two major turning points in my life recently.  The first was the most significant for this. It was when I got fired from my job as a loan processor at a local bank.  The reason for the firing is a long story and I´m not going into that here but I was so shocked and hurt and thought my life was over.  Then I spent a lot of time thinking and remembered a personality test I took for a college class.  It said I would be good in a medical field.  I went to the hospital and talked to someone in HR.  I told them I wanted to work there but before I decided on what classes to take I wanted to volunteer in different areas to see where I wanted to work and what specific job I wanted to do.  They set me up to volunteer in different areas on different days and also gave me some recommendations based on what types of techs or nurses they hire and which they don´t hire or where those positions would be available for jobs ie nursing home vs main hospital area.  I decided to get a CNA certification to start and take the 1 month class where the whole semester long class is crammed into one month with full 8 hour classes 5 days a week and some Saturdays.  It was a lot of work but I did it.  The HR person I talked to was kept in the loop as to how I was doing and put in a good word for me to different departments.  My references ended up being other hospital staff or volunteers I had worked with when I volunteered.  The HR person was able to set me up with 2 job interviews before I even had my certificate in hand which is usually not allowed.  I was hired 10 days after my class ended.  I LOVED that job and it was so much better for me than the other job I was fired from.  If I hadn´t been fired I would have never had that wonderful experience working at the hospital.  


My 2nd turning point was when I started having pain.  I ended up only working as a CNA for 3 years and then had to quit.  Now I am on disability but I will never forget that 3 years I worked at the hospital.  Now when I look back I realized my time working at that bank was wasted time.  It was like I was just spinning my wheels and not really learning anything to advance myself.  I tried so hard and I finally got a promotion but I realized I was doomed to fail and they were just waiting for the right time to move me out.  I started out as a receptionist in that same department and was really good at that job but I didn´t want to do that forever.  Whenever I tried for other jobs in the bank I never got them and then one time they flat out told me I was just too good at my job and it was a hard job to find someone for so they didn´t want me to go somewhere else.  I am so stubborn though that I just kept trying.  I took classes, went to seminars etc. I would ask them, ¨what do I need to do to get this job?¨ I applied for the loan processor job 7 times and got turned down every time but the last time the person who got the job was arrested for felony shoplifting and after that the just gave me the job.  I was so happy until I realized I was only getting a small pay raise and wasn´t even making half of what the other processors were making.  I still dug in my heels and thought I would show them I could do the job and I tried so hard.  They were taking advantage of me though and I was never going to be able to please them and stay sane.  It took me a while to realize that after I got fired but when I did I wrote this poem and posted it in the local newspaper in the poetry section.  I think they changed a word at the end though but the message was still there.  I don´t even care if no one from that place saw it, writing it helped me. 


Thank you,
For not believing in me,
For not giving me the chance
To show what I can be.

Thank you,
For giving me false hope
And for giving me a vision
With such a narrow scope.

Thank you, 
For always letting me down.
Time after time you gave
Counsel to a clown.

Thank you,
For now I know,
There is so much more to life
Beyond this damn plateau.

Thank you,
For now I think I'll do
All the things I would have missed
If I didn't bid to you...