1. No matter what’s going on in your life, what always makes you smile?
2. What’s the biggest lie you’ve ever told?
Once during college, my roommate wanted additional time to study before taking the final examination in an accounting course. I had a terrible cold, so my voice was scratchy and hoarse. Since she had never spoken up in class, the professor didn’t know what her voice sounded like, anyway. She convinced me to call him and pretend to be her so that he would believe she was sick and allow her to take the exam at a later date. It worked.
3. Do you hold a grudge?
I’ve tried, but I’m just not a person who can successfully hold a grudge against anyone. That is not to say that I don’t distance myself from people when it is appropriate in order to maintain healthy boundaries or protect myself from being manipulated.
4. What is the worst job you’ve ever had?
I worked as an accountant for a local trucking company. The president/owner had no children, but he thought of the vice president as a son. Unfortunately, the vice president was a liar and cheat with absolutely no integrity. I tried everything I could think of to make the president/owner see the truth: The company was in serious financial trouble and he stood to lose everything he had worked his entire life to amass. But as soon as I finished speaking with him, the vice president would talk to him and convince him that I had no idea what I was talking about. On numerous occasions, I met with the president/owner’s former partner — his best friend and a man he trusted implicitly — and provided him with facts and figures. But even he could not make the president/owner listen to reason. He was completely brainwashed.
As a last resort, I met with the corporate attorney. I brought documents and told him all of the details. A couple of days later, he had lunch with the president/owner. I sat in my office anxiously, waiting for the president/owner to return to the office after hearing the facts from his trusted lawyer, convinced that would be the day the president/owner would thank me for my honesty, integrity, and loyalty to both him and his company. Instead, I heard him stomp through the back door, summon the vice president, and announce that, in his opinion, his long-time attorney was “getting senile.” I knew at that moment that my efforts to save that man from himself would prove futile. His fate was sealed, as was mine. The vice president was allowed to select the company’s new attorney.
When I went on vacation, the vice president went into the files in my office and set me up, just as I told BigBob he would. We saw a “help wanted” ad in the local newspaper and I told BigBob that it was an advertisement for my job. Sure enough, the day that I returned from vacation, the vice president fired me. It was the one and only time in my life that I have been dismissed from a job. That evening, we went out and celebrated the fact that the stress of working under such horrible conditions was at an end.
I collected unemployment benefits and used the funds to decorate the nursery: When fired, I was pregnant with my oldest son. I wrote a lengthy narrative and submitted it to the unemployment folks because I knew that it would be forwarded to the company. I’m sure the vice president intercepted it, as well as the copy that I mailed to the president/owner’s home. Some years later, his wife died and I sent him a sympathy card, along with a note saying that I had no ill will toward him, despite what happened. By that time, I had heard from some of my former co-workers that he eventually had to face reality and sold the company. I don’t know to this day whether he ever learned all of the ugly truth. He died a few years ago.
As for the vice president? His oldest son died tragically in a motorcycle accident. I heard about six years ago that he had been diagnosed with cancer, and not long after that there was a very brief obituary in the newspaper for a man with the same name. At the time of his death, he had been living in the state in which the vice president was raised. He was 54, the age the vice president would have been at the time.
That experience compelled me to return to school and complete my education so that I would never, ever have to work under such circumstances again. I never have. And I never will.
5. What would be your dream job?
I pretty much have my dream job, i.e., practicing law. The only thing that I might find more enjoyable would be the opportunity to make my living as a professional musician, so long as steady work was guaranteed.
6. What is the happiest event you’ve experienced?
That question is unanswerable because I have been blessed to have had so many wonderful experiences in my life.
7. What is the saddest thing you’ve experienced?
Standing at my father’s bedside and watching him die. He was totally coherent. Mine was the last face he saw. My voice was the last one he heard. I’m happy that the last words he heard were these: “We all love you.”
8. Do you tend to exaggerate or underestimate?
Neither. Since I am an attorney, I’m pretty much a “just the facts” kind of person.
9. List the cars that you have owned. Give us just a few words about each one.
I have not owned that many, actually. The first car I ever purchased myself was my 1979 Mercury Capri Ghia.
While in law school, I drove a 1990 Nissan Sentra. It was reliable and got great gas mileage. In 2000, when my mother could no longer drive, we purchased her 1989 Buick Regal from her. It had about 8,000 miles on it. It sat in the garage so long that the tires went flat and all of the belts, etc. were rotten and had to be replaced. It was very tiring to have to tell mechanics that the odometer reading was not 108,000 miles, but just 8,000. It was known as the “Kennymobile II,” the first having been my father’s 1966 Mercury Parklane. (BigBob dubbed it the “Kennymobile.” I always called it simply “The Tank.”)
In the spring of 1997, I traded in my two-door Nissan for a four-door 1996 Toyota Camry LE because my boys were getting too big to be crammed in the backseat of that little Nissan. I still have my ’96 Camry — my son drives it. I am still driving my 2004 Toyota Camry XLE and plan to continue doing so. I was going to buy a 2010 Camry until the Governator illegally snagged 15 percent of my salary. Perhaps it is a good thing that I didn’t, given Toyota’s recent troubles. I’m going to wait and see how the issue resolves and perhaps still purchase yet another Camry.
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