Jana Opperman

I seem to take on the manager role myself and ask a lot of questions, I try to figure out how best to handle them! I find it is hard to get people to understand my point in a discussion about serious issues, well my ideas usually are a bit different than what they are used to (I’m out of the proverbial box!). I do think differently than most people. I was a teacher for 12 years so I could just do what I had to do without much supervisor input telling me how to do it unless I asked for assistance. In fact I often ran workshops for teachers-I was often asked what I do when there are certain troubles in the classroom…

Then when I quit teaching I was given a reference letter that ravished all sorts of kudos on me and I said thanks for the “lying” and my supervisor explained I was one of the best science teachers he had seen. I had no idea I was one of those “great teachers”! It turns out I had to quit the career when I tried to come back to teaching after 5 years of being a SAHM (Stay at Home Mom) due to too much experience, so I was back to thinking I wasn’t that good again.

Now I work in a cubicle, and do interesting things at work and have a lot more energy at the end of the day than when I was a teacher. My supervisors here have to work with an older lady who works differently than they are used to, but they guide me through the government “stuff” really well and, when they have time, answer my question “why” a lot so I think I learned to work with a supervisor after that first experience, rather than work for a supervisor. They thought there would be a problem with my positive “friendliness” with our regulated community (You have to be “regulatory”, not make “friends” with the regulated community!) but then they found out that I have great output and get our customers into compliance- but I can still “fine ’em” with a smile on my face! So they let me be me…I don’t think I could ever get better supervisors who can learn to “handle” me in the future…but I will have to train up some new supervisor sooner or later!

Changing careers means I have no pension to depend on for retirement so I will be working until I die, which I don’t mind. I plan on walking around with a cane, all hunched up working and making people smile until I don’t come to work anymore. Maybe I’ll become a supervisor some day…