Hello and welcome to Karl's desperate attempt to land a better job.
Noticed that I don't mince words, did ya?
Guile, deceit, flummoxery, "padding", or lying; just more trouble than its worth.
Nothing here but the facts.
OK, where to begin...
I am a 32 year old (where does all the time go????) Chemist. I currently have a terrible job
which,unfortunately, pays decently. Enough to support the nice apartment and the Oldsmobiles
and the student loans.
A problem that complicates the situation is that, no matter how much I hate it, I am good at
what I do. I often experience euphoria after a shift where I really came through for the company.
This makes it even more of a downer when I return to work only to find the same problems
unaddressed by co-workers (including the boss) who have more resources for dealing with problems
than I ever will. Perhaps it's a psychological result of this scenario that causes me to be
somewhat lazy in my job-searching... but I don't say that as an excuse. The slow job search
is a fact.
Before I regale you with my education, experience, and exploits, I wish to explain a tad more
about myself. I'm 32, and single, living in Chicago, IL. My parents have sold the house I grew
up in and moved to MI,and my brothers and sisters have all married; as a result, I have no
palpable ties to this area. In fact I am desperate to relocate. Thus, for my job search, I
am much more concerned about the job than where it is located. In fact, I might not care if
"relocation assistance" is not available. I fear that a perceived desire for "relocation
assistance" may be causing potential employers to pass me by. That would be unfortunate.
In order to convey a proper image requires I begin at the beginning.
I was highly intelligent for as long as I can remember. [Somehow this is linked to my terrible
insomnia??] I learned to read rather early, though no documentation of this exists. Perhaps
my intelligence helped me to get through elementary school and high school without putting
forth the effort I should have, leaving me with poor study habits for college. Perhaps not.
That is all academic now.
I attended Kate Star Kellogg Elementary School, then graduated from
Morgan Park High School (not Morgan Park Academy) in 1987. In high school I had a
wonderful Physics teacher (Mr. Coleman) and did very well, taking Advanced Placement
Physics as a result. I ultimately scored a 3 in the AP exam. not high enough for
further merit, but by then my path was set. Physics was fun!
My parents were college teachers. My father was, by this time, a Theologian of some renown,
and my mother taught nursing and public health. They both taught at a local college;
St. Xavier College [SXC has since made sufficient changes and upgrades to be considered a
proper "University"](not to be confused with Xavier University). As I had no scholarships
forthcoming, there was little option but to attend St. Xavier.
This proved unfortunate for a physics-minded youth. After I had gotten past the first year or
so of 100-level and other core classes, physics hit a dead end. There really was no Physics
program at St. Xavier, though they did offer a unique "2+2" engineering course in conjunction
with IIT (that was 2 years at SXC and 2 at IIT IIRC.....).
As I soldiered on (the verb is probably not accurate, but it sounds good...), it turned out I
had a "head" for chemistry. In fact I did extremely well in Organic Chemistry, when the
mechanisms were corroding the brains of classmates. This brought my perspective to a head
regarding my future education: Supposing I did continue on with Physics? What would my vocation
be, ultimately? Furthermore, how could I continue with Physics without attending another college
by way of *GASP* student loans??
Of course, Chemistry was the answer. A degree in Chemistry clearly had more applications in
more fields than would a degree in Physics. A Chemistry existed at SXC; the central curricula
at SXC was its Nursing program (nurses don't need much physics). So, I changed my Major path
At the same time, I was fleshing out my knowledge of computer languages. I had a
Commodore64 computer (cant call it a PC, remember those) when ... (I don't even remember,
it must have been during high school) ... a lad. Yes, it saw more games than word processing,
but I learned BASIC on it and even fiddled with some machine language over the years (code
provided in magazines and such...). To that base, during high school and college, I added
Fortran'77, Pascal, COBOL, and Assembler (on a VAX mainframe), doing rather well in the
process. I honestly can't say why a future with computers did not occur to me. Particularly
as I went on to turn
an xx386 into a P200MMX system, parts of which survive in my P!!!800Mhz mega-tower.
[mind these languages are dated... to 1987 or so...]
Back to chemistry. At that point in time.. 1991? my father began teaching at Loyola University.
Not only a much better school but renewed hope for me. I had been crazy to go *AWAY* to college,
and SXC was a fifteen minute drive from home. Loyola's Lakeshore Campus was at the opposite end
of Chicago, warranting my living on campus! I thoroughly enjoyed that experience, and even
benefitted from the Chemistry faculty, which were cumulatively superior to previous educators,
and graduated with an A.C.S.-accredited B.S. in Chemistry on an extremely cold day in January
of 1994. (My father:"It'll be a cold, cold day when graduate!" It was actually the coldest day
for Chicago that winter...)
WORK AND FURTHER EDUCATION
I was working for W.W. Grainger at their Niles warehouse part time when I graduated. I promptly
began seeking full-time employment but wasn't finding anything but ‘technician' at plants that
seemed to have startling turnover rates. Not finding anything, I tried "Lab Temps", which was
based not far from me at that time. I probably should have had a better idea of what working
as a temporary implied, but it was full-time (though temporary) employment and paid the bills.
I was promptly placed at a pharmaceutical plant; "Wesley-Jessen", who manufacture those
colored contact lenses. As a Final Device Inspector, I measured the physical parameters of the
soft contact lenses; base curve, diameter, magnification, and so on. Unfortunately, there I
began learning a harsh lesson...
The contact lenses that reached us by ersatz random sampling had passed (presumably) earlier
screening of the results of the manufacturing and painting process. We ultimately began receiving
specimens that had paint flecks in the Optic Zone (center clear area the pupil will see through).
These should have been discarded earlier in the process, but it wasn't within my power to reject
the sample or lot, as I was charged with specific testing only. That rankled bad in the soul of
this sheltered idealist, but I carried on somehow. Finally the day came when I arrived at the
plant and heard "Didn't anyone tell you? We don't need you anymore."
The next assignment came fairly quickly, but I realized that the temping "thing" had a serious
down side; no job security and no benefits. S & C Electric Co., analytical chemistry, Chemistry
at last! Possibly one of the best situations that I had (odd how those scenarios slip through the
fingers...). I was involved in testing all incoming raw materials (mostly metal rod stock and paints),
the tricloroethylene used in the degreaser units, and even monitored metal content in the "outfall"
water by flame AA. I learned the use of X-ray fluorescence spectrometer, flame AA, and my first look
at automated units for pH and Karl-Fisher titrations.
At approximately this time I was accepted by Loyola University's Graduate School. I began
work towards my Master's in Organic Synthesis with classes in spectroscopy, mechanisms,
organic synthesis, and Environmental Chemistry as an elective. Then came a semester to forget.
Only one thing was lacking... the synthesis itself as a final step to the degree. The
substrate to synthesize was a part of a joint project. A biochemistry faculty member
had been working on a project of attaching molecules to hemoglobin. The concept was
something like this; a receptor-specific chemical (hormone or some other species)
would be bound to a compound that would act upon the site of that receptor. For the
intended "action" to occur, the local environment should be relatively oxygen-rich.
(remembering as I write...) No problem, tack on a Hemoglobin for the oxygen supply.
If I recall correctly, this had the possibility of creating site-specific
chemotherapy for cancer patients.
(If I can find that this work has been published, I will supply the link/reference)
I set up my bench in the lab, cleaned glassware, ordered chemicals, and waited.
Then the Graduate School informed me that they had lost ALL my paperwork.
As I never anticipated anything like this, I had to procure everything from scratch.
Fast forward. To my knowledge, no chemicals ever arrived, the Graduate School
(turns out that is intended in the sense of a body of predatory fish!) lost ALL my
paperwork on two additional occasions, and I was never properly registered until
the last week of the semester! Naturally, by that timethe tuition is non-refundable.
Fun, fun, fun.
Well, what to do? Try THAT again???
By this time I had student loans to pay off, so there was only one clear choice;
concentrate on joining the work force.
END EDUCATION, NO END TO WORK
I'll fininsh this later in the week and add photos
I ... dont have the heart to finish now....
I'll update it during the week