June 30 2003

It was a Monday.

I know it was a Monday not because of my super-human calendar skills but because it was my first day of work at the Office of Historical Trust Accounting.

Today is my last day at OHTA.

Starting on Monday, I will be working for the Interior Business Center, reporting to the Chief of Staff.

I never imagined that I would be a career federal employee. Not that I ever had a good idea of what kind of career I would have or if I would even have a career. I’m very “take things as they come” on the job front.

But here I am. Almost 15 years later.

When I started my federal career, my office’s internet access was cut off by order of a District Court Judge. My first project was to do research about how the government could collect Indian trust-related documents from private companies and individuals in order to fully respond to a Court order for the collection and preservation of Indian trust-related documents. So for the first few days of my job, I actually worked at home where I could get on a computer that could access the internet, which was necessary for me to pretend to do any research. I never could have known those first few days that I would spend the last (almost) 9 years working primarily from home. Funny.

At OHTA, I traveled across the country. San Jacinto and Hemet (via the Ontario airport and the most terrifying freeway driving I’ve ever done). Spokane. Portland. Reno. and Boulder City. Provo. Albuquerque and Santa Fe and all around that part of New Mexico. Denver. Bismarck (in the middle of April 2013 and was amazed at the snow piled over my head and realized I didn’t know what winter was). Tulsa, Bartlesville, Pawhuska, Tonkawa, and all the Oklahoma back roads in between. Houston. Lenexa and Kansas City. Shepherdstown. NYC and Nedrow (<– that’s just south of Syracuse if you didn’t know). Boston.

think that’s everywhere. But I could have forgotten one or two places.

Albuquerque and Denver and Pawhuska were my most frequent destinations. I spent four straight months flying back and forth to Albuquerque in 2004. All that travel bought the plane tickets for my trip to London and Paris with my husband and mom in 2010.

I am baffled that I never made it to Arizona. So many Native American Tribes. How did I not go there?

At OHTA, I met with government leaders from dozens of Tribes. And enough attorneys for the government and for Plaintiffs to last me a lifetime.

I was deposed in two cases, both of which settled soon after. You’re welcome. Haha.

I was good at my job. People liked me AND I got stuff done.

I actually got my new job because I am able to get stuff done. Hard stuff. Gnarly stuff. Stuff no one else wants to do. Not sure if that sounds like my new job is a good job, but I’m hopeful. At a minimum, I will be doing different hard stuff.

On Monday, I turn in my laptop, my phone, a bunch of cords. I get a new laptop, a new phone (and phone number), a new email address.

I still get to work from home most of the time. I will go into the office a couple of times every two weeks. And as long as I keep getting stuff done, that huge benefit of my job will continue. Being able to work from home is a real motivator for staying productive.

I have worked with some great people. The list of annoying people is super short, and I’m glad about that.

Today would probably be more emotional for me if I were transferring to a job at a different government agency or at a different company. But I’ll still be at the Department of the Interior.

And I’ll still have a job that’s a pain to explain if someone asks what I do. So not much is really changing.

 

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