Personal Stories of America at Work

Monthly Archives: January 2011

How One Working Mom Finds Satisfaction in her Nursing Career

Nurse Janice Alamillo responds to all kinds of emergencies all day

"Being a nurse is a great career choice for women who want to have families, with flexible scheduling and abundant opportunities.”

Janice Alamillo, Nurse

Alamo, California

Delivering babies in the parking lot

I’ve been an emergency room nurse for twenty-one years. The ER environment can be nutty. We can get four traumas at once. We can deliver babies in the parking lot. We’ve had to put our fingers in holes to stop the bleeding as we push the patient down the hallway until they can get into the operating room. We might do critical, life-saving things in one room and be treating someone for an infected mosquito bite in the next.

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molly | January 25, 2011 | Healthcare, Women, Working Mother | 10

Lessons learned for professional hockey player

Hockey player Mark Lutz grapples with leaving the ice for a financial career

"I worked my ass off because I wasn’t always that top player. I had to earn it."

Mark Lutz, 27

Professional hockey player turned financial analyst

Stevens Point, Wisconsin

Grunt work for a goal

I was a hockey player for nineteen years. When I was eighteen years old and just out of high school, I moved away from Wisconsin to Michigan where I played junior hockey in a scouting league. While I played, I had to make a living, so I had quite a few part-time jobs in succession. My team paid for my room and board, but I needed to pay for all other expenses. I worked at a Subway restaurant where I did some dishwashing and sandwich making. I was pretty exhausted all the time, so I liked to sit in the back and wash dishes and not interact with people. I worked at a snow hill where we would put kids in tubes on a rope that went up the hill and just hope they didn’t fall off and roll down the hill. I did a lot of grunt work for a brewery—cleaned kegs, hand delivered kegs between Stevens Point and Madison, did bottle returns, labeled bottles and kegs, and bottled the beers.

It was at this time that I received advice from my older sister, and it was the best piece of advice I’ve ever gotten.

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molly | January 18, 2011 | Finance, Sports | 4

How an unemployed carpenter became a reality TV star

Carpenter Paul DiMeo shines as a minor celebrity who uses major craftsmanship to create hope on the reality TV show, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

"There are many actors who are just as good and never find work creating as they expected to create."

Paul DiMeo, Actor

Los Angeles, California

I needed to eat

I’m reluctant to call myself a star and prefer the moniker “Minor Celebrity.” And in my case, “Minor, Minor Celebrity.” And a lucky one at that. It all began for me back in college where I majored in theater with the hope of acting in dramas and musicals on and off Broadway. Television was always an option, but I like live theater; I get energy from the audience. So I went to New York after college, hustling audition after audition, and quickly realized there was no shortage of talent in New York City. Still, every once in a while, I’d see an advertisement for an audition calling for my exact talents. One called for a thirty-something male, slightly balding, who played a mean piano, sang, played the harmonica, and could juggle. I thought, “This is me!” I showed up early, assuming there were not many people who could do all that. So did about six hundred other thirty-something, slightly bald males. I got a call back but didn’t get the part.

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molly | January 11, 2011 | Entertainment, Job Search | 3

Grandma, P.I.

Private investigator Nancy Poss-Hatchl uncovers hidden facts to help straighten out tangled lives

"I don't think the assailant expected to see a little old lady."

Nancy Poss-Hatchl

Private Investigator

Undercover with a soldering iron

I have a B.S. in Chemistry and an M.A. in Anthropology. I was looking for work after a divorce from my husband of twenty years. While I was married, I was primarily a homemaker. After the divorce, I wanted to be as independent and autonomous as possible. It was 1974, and I needed to develop a career, though my children were still young teenagers.

A friend of mine was a secretary for some private investigators. They had an opening for an undercover operator who was bilingual, and I am fluent in Spanish. They had me go undercover into a small electronics factory where three employees had died from a drug overdose. They wanted to know if there was a drug ring operating within the company. I worked as an undercover operator under a pseudonym and with a fake address.

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molly | January 04, 2011 | Entrepreneurs, Job Search, Small business, Women, Working Mother | 20

The Working Chronicles

  • The Working Chronicles captures an intimate look at work in 21st century America through candid interviews with people from all walks of life and all corners of the country.

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