Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Per Olaf: my "boring" work

To many folks, I have a pretty blah job.  I sit at a computer all (most of the) day.  I review channelization plans.  I coordinate a bunch of specialized folks in environmental, traffic, utilities and real estate offices to make sure they are all communicating and getting work done.  I design traffic control plans for construction.  I budget.  I estimate.  I write specifications.  I try to figure out solutions with lowest cost and highest benefit to the public.  I inspect roadway construction.

It's not sexy.  I don't dress up in a nice suit every day and meet with big businesses on 50th floor office conference rooms.  I don't travel (except to even more rural parts of the state).  I get paid about 50%-60% of what my private sector counterparts make, though my job is no less challenging in my opinion.

I work in a small town.  Like somewhere around 27,000 people I think.  Maybe?  (quick someone look up Wenatchee, WA).  Which I used to think was huge when I was growing up in Leavenworth, population tiny (3500?), but really it's not.  You run into people you know EVERYWHERE.  But there are some neat advantages to working in a small town.  Like the fact that I can actually affect change in my community.  Tonight I set up and led an Open House for a big project I was working on.  In this short time period I met with 1 state legislator, the mayor of Wenatchee, two City Council members, the City Engineer, the County assistant public works director, got quoted for a radio news story and met with at least 25 business or home owners in the area.  I didn't stop talking the entire time I was there.  And I got to interact, listen to concerns, show off all the good stuff we've designed, get feedback, and provide information to the community.  All while rubbing elbows with the (small time) politicians.  But even small town politicians actually have  say in State government and you know what?  That's pretty sweet.  Because that means I can affect what happens in my area.

So I'll take my non-sexy job with the salt of the earth type people because you know, I like living in a place where I can meet people, lead projects, represent my organization, and know I'll run into those same people year after year as we "share life" together.

Here's to small town life!


gina said...

it is a good feeling to have a job where you have the ability to change things for the better! :) glad to hear you're making a difference! (ps. i've been on the 50th floor of a building - it made me sea sick. lol)

simply sue said...

thumbs up on this one Jenn...glad the open house went well. plus, I know you and how great you are with people, planning and all of your skills...nice to hear you appreciate what your job is and what you bring to the table...