My first jobsite I stepped foot onto was a remodeling construction project for a major health insurance company. The company space was located in a high rise building in the heart of downtown White Plains, New York. My union called me up and directed me to report to work for my first electrical shop during the month of December, 1995. I was a first year electrician’s apprentice and considered ‘green’ by my peers. I was a young wife with a small one year old child when I had gotten the call for this jobsite. Four months before, I enrolled myself in college to pursue an associate’s degree in business. I had wanted to get a degree while pursuing my apprenticeship.
I would soon
discover that my plate was to become very full. I became immersed with work, college courses,
apprenticeship school, my family, and my new house that needed attention. The juggling of my new schedule left me with
limited free time. This new schedule was
a change from my life in the U.S. Navy as a construction electrician in the
Seabees. My husband and I were both
recently discharged from the military at the same time. He had also served his country as a U.S.
Marine. We settled within the New York City
suburbs so that we could be near his family.
I was a young woman who was in love with my husband and was willing to
follow him. I was young and rather
foolish to discuss my relationship so openly.
I clearly remember the topic of my wedding ring came up at work. My co-workers used to tell me I should not
wear it to work. I would tell them that
my ring is symbolic and I would be willing to lose a finger just so I could
keep it on. I now view this response as
typical nonsense an 18 year old would say when foolishly in love. I remember feeling awkward that I had to
defend my choice to wear my ring.
This was when I got my first exposure to typical, bitter
electricians. The average co-worker was
very vocal about telling me that I would be divorced and miserable in no