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In this economic climate, it’s in bad taste to complain about your job.  You’re supposed to be lucky to have a job.  I’m fortunate.  I have worked steadily since college, making a big career change eleven years ago, and staying with the same employers for long stretches of time.

Currently, I split my time between two entities, both small businesses.  The first is with the father/son owned brokerage where I am based.  It’s me and the boys most days of the week, except when our bookkeeper is in the office.  I sometimes complain that the office is like their treehouse, and I’m supposed to be glad that they’ve dropped the ladder down to let me up; but, really, it’s not a bad place to be.  I have a nice office, with floor to ceiling windows, and the building is ten minutes from home.  If you’ve ever worked with all men, you know that it is VERY different from working with an office full of women.  There’s much less drama…or, there’s drama, but it’s manageable.  There are jokes of questionable taste, lots of sports talk, and the occasional prank.  I have a bathroom to myself, and I have very flexible hours.  If I need to leave to do something for the kids, I can.

The other part of my job is working with the woman who gave me my start in the insurance industry.  As she is fond of saying, when she hired me back at the beginning of 2000, I couldn’t spell HMO.  She taught me the basics and then provided opportunities for me to learn & grow.  She provided avenues for me to prove myself, rather than handing things to me.  This woman has forgotten more about insurance that I will ever know.  She’s an incredible entrepreneur, business woman, mentor and friend. 

Both employers teamed up & split my salary.  When I left my last job, it was in a controversial way.  I lost vacation time and paid leave that I was going to be taking for a surgery that had to be done.  These people made sure that I never lost one minute’s pay.  They covered my leave, and gave me such peace of mind.  People in our industry sometimes ask me about my loyalty to these people.  They don’t understand how grateful I am to them for taking chances on me.  In return, I would walk through fire.

The best part of my job, at either place, is the opportunity that I have to help people.  It sounds corny, but when someone needs help to get a procedure approved, or has been sent to collections over incorrectly billed medical claims, I am able to find ways to sort them out.  Financial peace of mind is huge; but, to get a double-transplant approved for a twenty-one year old kid who has been turned down three times already is the best feeling in the world.  Today, I was able to help a woman find a doctor in town that contracts with her particular insurance company and who performs a very rare procedure.  She would have had to travel out-of-state or go out of network and pay thousands of dollars more.

Sure, there are stupid days, and times when I say that I’m going to run away with the circus; but, for the most part, I love my job.

Today, I’m grateful for the people who I work for and with.

I’m participating in #30daysofThanks, inspired by my friend, Amanda, over at www.memydogsmylife.com.  We are finding one thing each day in November to be grateful for.  Join in!  Just use the tag #30daysofThanks and blog or Tweet your daily item.

(image credit)