13 March 2009

An Auspicious Friday the 13th

On December 17, 2008, I spent my last day (exactly 7 years to the day in fact) at my former job. The Evil New Boss (aka ENB) had made my life such a living hell that I was starting to really believe that I was as stupid/useless/low-class as she kept saying I was. It also became clear to me that she was moving towards firing me, so I decided to resign before that happened. The whole thing was not mentioned here because I can stand only so much "Are you OK?," "What will you do now?," "But you don't have another job!," or "You quit in this economy? You will regret it," from anyone - in person or in cyberspace.

Fortunately, I was able to spend Mondays and Tuesdays since the beginning of February working at Rosie's, which allowed me to buy yarn vicariously by selling it to others. (Win-win.) Though I wasn't making very much money, it was helping out - as it was better than nothing, and it made me get out of the house and participate in the world.

Alas, dear reader, that job is now also ended, as my life has taken another unusual turn. This morning began my first day in prison. Actually, not in prison, but in the penitentiary.

Eastern State Penitentiary, that is!

Today, Friday the 13th, I started my training to be a tour guide at the Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site, here in Philadelphia. I will be working there full-time during the "season" which runs from April through November. The site is a National Historic Landmark, and rather than being all spanking-new-renovated, it's a ruin.

Eastern State is an imporant part of history, because it was at the time of its opening in 1829, considered to be a radical place. Because it was a "Penitent"-iary, the idea was that those who spent time there would do their penance, and be rehabilitated into society as contributing and upstanding citizens. It remained open until 1971, and was not designated a historic site until 1994.

Our basic introduction today included a chance for us to have a tour like those we will be giving. At one point, when we were in the central area, our guide was talking about how Eastern State's radial construction (like spokes on a wheel with a center spot) became a model for other prisons, and he said, "It was similar to the design of the panopticon." At which point, I thought, "Franklin?" and then realized he meant "the panopticon," not The Panopticon ...

Ahem.

In any event, I consider this to be a lucky Friday the 13th for me. I have a full-time (albeit temporary) job, and unlike the penitentiary's former residents, I get to go home at the end of the day!

12 comments:

Jenn said...

Congratulations on your new job! :D

sprite said...

Congratulations! Good to hear of such a promising future for you!

Chris said...

Congrats! Some jobs (and bosses) are just too toxic to be borne, so I commend you for taking action in December.

a simple yarn said...

Big, big congratulations to ya! It'll be great fun for you, I'm sure.

Anonymous said...

CONGRATS!! What a cool job!
Do they require you to wear strips or the fashionable orange jumpsuit!!?!
Just kidding...

Best of luck -sounds like fun!!

Karen

balladofyoko said...

Now that is a great job! (So is working at Rosie's, of course) - Hope you have a lot of fun-- say hello to Al Capone for me!

dmaxi said...

Congratulations. These weird times we live in are cathartic: many of us will re-emerge having reinvented ourselves and with redefined priorities.

The very best of luck in the new job.

Channon said...

Congrats! It sounds like a fun "summer" job.

Kathleen said...

Congratulations on the new gig. Be sure to watch Phil Hartman's cameo as Vickie in So I Married an Axe Murderer for inspiration! And I'm sorry to hear your boss was so amazingly toxic - I just can't believe people get away with behaving like that.

Knitting Granny said...

I'm so proud of you for quitting. I had a boss just like that but was too spineless to quit...and then he fired me and it's taken a long time to not care about being fired. And this past December he was fired. Sorry to say I was over-joyed.
Your new job sounds fascinating. Best of luck, and may you be surrounded by people who emulate the goodness that comes from loving hearts.

Quilting Mama said...

I'm having an illegal amount of fun with your new position.

Now I have an even bigger mission to get in for a tour. Do they allow requests?

puffthemagicrabbit said...

Taht sounds really interesting! I love old buildings anyway- but I bet there is some intriguing history to go along with this one.

Sorry you had to go through all that other crap. Glad you had a stint at Rosie's- not sure I could be disciplined enough to just let the yarn walk out the door with others...