About the middle of June of this year, 2017, my boss came to my office to let me know that my position had been eliminated. She said something about restructuring and not having the money anymore for a Guidance Counselor position. My face didn't quite fall on the floor, but it could have. I was in shock. How can this be? I had worked hard at my job for over 10 years, was willing to take on whatever needed doing, and had fully expected to retire from PACE Center for Girls. Alas, it was not to be.
Not being in a position to retire, I began my job search immediately. I filled out the lengthy applications for the Broward School District and for Florida Virtual School. I sent out applications and resumes to the local universities and charter schools. I signed up for numerous online job search websites. I reached out to friends and former colleagues. My plan was to try to find work as an Exceptional Student Support person, a job I had been doing at PACE for the past 5 years. By mid-July, I was starting to get some response and did get an interview with a local charter school. Then my wife died. Everything on hold.
For the next several weeks, I dealt with grief and loss. I had a constant stream of houseguests and well-wishers. On August 12, we had a memorial gathering for Sue, and I was on my own again. I was not quite ready to start actively looking again. I have some savings so I wasn't critical financially yet. But, I did start getting more requests of interviews with the school district and other charter schools. I was not getting called back, however. Possibly because of my age, 74. No one will say that, but it's there. Anyway, to fill in while I was looking for full-time employment, I went through the process to become a substitute teacher, and after school started again, I began filling in at a boys treatment facility--thanks to a referral from my former ESE Specialist. There was also going to be an opening for an English Teacher in November as one of the staff was retiring. So, this was a possiblility.
In the meanwhile, I kept getting requests from the local AFLAC office to come in for an interview. My wife had cautioned me to avoid teaching and sales since I didn't have the talent for either. But I thought, what the heck. I've got nothing to lose, and maybe they'll stop sending me emails. It was a group interview, basically to present the AFLAC program for those who wished to go further. I was impressed, and a little spark in my enthusiasm which I thought had died, came back to life. I felt that this was something I could do, and make a decent living in the process. Here was a chance again to maybe make a little money. That would be nice. Michelle would certainly like that since she has many wants and needs. The district manager called me for a second interview jsut as Hurricane Irma was charging toward sothern Florida. I left voice mails but never got any response. Oh well, I thought. Another one of these. But I tried again this morning and call the peson who first interviewed me, and almost immediately the district manager called back. I was on for a 1:30 interview.
We hit it off. I had pretty much make up my mind that it would be a go on my end if it was a go on theirs. So, now I begin another career as an insurance salesman. I will start working on getting my insurance license from the state tomorrow, and start work after that. I must say that I am excited. I think I will be good at this. I think I made a good decision.