I didn’t intended to meander to my “job” as a subject here, but reading Pearl this morning, and all the comments, I feel like writing about mine. It’s close to the best job I’ve ever had. I only have to show up, do it right, go home.
When I retired from weaving, I knew I’d need to work a few more years, but figured I’d get on that after I had the new hip installed. My last show was in October, my new hip came in November. I opened the monthly township news letter one day and found the current clerk of my township had not sought re-election at the general election; the position was vacant and the township trustees would accept resumes in order to appoint a candidate to the unexpired term. I put my resume in the mailbox on the way to the hospital.
The trustees interviewed all the candidates in January. I was just off the walker and left my cane in the car. Long story short, they appointed me. I took office on April 1st. I thought it would be a good cap to my career; after so many years in manufacturing accounting, construction accounting, general accounting, I’d go out with government accounting under my belt.
Government “accounting” has a deal more to do with Ohio Revised Code than accounting, but it’s no tougher than a topping out ceremony when the last floor of a building goes up. Just like being a self-employed weaver, no one can set my hours of work. Of course I make sure I’m on time for meetings, appointments and the bi-annual audits by Auditor of State.
On that April first, eight years ago, I showed up at 8 am. Well, the mail isn’t even sorted at our post office at 8 am. For several months I hit the snooze alarm until maybe 7:30 (half an hour to get ready, ten minutes to get there). Now I don’t even get up until 8 and leave at 9. The post office now opens at 9 and often isn’t sorted until 10 or 11. Fine, I can do my job, even with yesterday’s mail.
According to Ohio Revised Code, I stood for election at a general election two years from taking office, and then two years later for a new four year term. Eight years ago I was thinking two terms would be fine. This summer I was at a meeting of county fiscal officers. I’m probably twice the age of any of those great young whippersnappers. As we were leaving one of them said she was stopping for petitions on the way home. Was I going to? Oh, what the hell. That’s how you get on the ballot in Ohio; get petitions from the board of elections, walk them door to door, chat with the people, get enough valid signatures. Nice way to spend a couple of August weekend afternoons. So, I’m on the November ballot. Unopposed. As previously.
When I started the job was called clerk. The title has been upgraded to Fiscal Officer. Not the pay. Pay is set by Ohio Revised Code. It went up once, six or seven years ago, but that was it. Don’t let on, but if I could afford it, I’d probably pay them to do the job. Well, I suppose it’s part of the whole $10,000 in general fund taxes the township collects for operations, so I’m paying some. It keeps me out of trouble. I get to do things I think should be done, like make a great website for the township. Get two hundred years of records sorted out. Help plan a great bicentennial celebration. I work with nice people. When I go to breakfast with Carol tomorrow and don’t get in until 11 or 12, the road super will grin and say “Second shift, again,” and I’ll say “Yep!”
I could never give up days like this morning. It’s Columbus Day; the road department has a holiday. When I pulled in (after collecting Saturday’s mail), the road garage door was coming down and our front end loader was in the yard! There was a strange truck parked in the lot, and between the truck and the pine tree in the middle of the lot I couldn’t see who was driving it. That’s a $180,000 piece of equipment; it will be twenty years before we can afford a new one! I got out of the car as pronto as a hobbled up old lady can and started hollering “Who’s there! What’s going on!” The fire chief came around his new truck, grinning. He was taking it up the hill to work on the fire department driveway. Yep, only in a township population 707. Not a bad job, if you can get it.