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My employment Progress - achieved my goal

Thread starter #1
When I got sober in AA, I stopped fighting my trauma. I immediately ended up in the mental hospital. I did not see that coming. I spent the next 6yrs in group homes, in and out of the mental hospital. At 4yrs, I told the group home counselor I was getting a job at Burger King. He said not too, that I wasn't ready. I ignored him and got the job. I would get there at 10am everyday and make salads until noon. After about a week, I woke and discovered I couldn't summon my will. It felt like I was in a grave, I could literally feel the walls of the pit around me. I cried in frustration as I laid there, unable to get out of bed and go to work. Later, I went down and apologized to my manager. He gave me another chance. I was now to fry french frys everyday for 11-1. But I couldn't anticipate demand and get ahead of the rush. The young women working the registers were angry at me and said so. I was fired. A year later, I tried again. But I had a much worse experience. I was fired. I called my contractor, he was angry. He said to get the deal, he had agreed to pay my first month's salary, which is now a total loss. I went into a flashback, and wandered for hours in the parking garage looking for my car. I discover it has been towed for a gas leak. I walked 10miles home back to same group home. Just like last time, the counselors were furious at me for ignored them again.

Today is 28yrs later. I am a principle EE at a startup in Silicon Valley. I am well liked by everyone. My friend is a PhD in Antenna Design, called me and told me the founder, a PhD from Stanford, is jealous I call my friend more than him. I am highly regarded as an expert in many fields. I am giving the toughest problems and I am considered the ace in the hole. I do circuit design, board layout, an expert in wireless, firmware, software, computer security, and manufacturing. I am an expert mechanic, I once worked at Infinity. I was semi-pro motocross racer. Last year I won a kart race. I am 60yrs old. The young guys ask me questions about gaming (seriously, I am the only one with a VR headset, and I am an expert at Skyrim politics). I love to mentor, and pass on what I know. I will end with this, a text sent 3 weeks ago by my good friend, the PhD in Antenna Design:

"Bill, you are a magician, I am awestruck by your versatility, experience and work capabilities .."
Thread starter #2
I have 2 years of an EE degree from San Jose State. I attended when I was 47. My classmates couldn't figure it out, they were all around 19yrs. But I had friends, and I listened to them. A young guy from Sir Lanka was desperate to get a degree to sponsor his brother (costs 10k), before he was conscripted and killed back home. They all break your heart with their stories. I left after 2 years to have my son (it was a better deal). I used to get my own room and extra time for tests because of my disability. (It was a big deal, try focusing on a final with hyper vigilance in a classroom with 35 people). My point is I am almost completely self-taught. I don't have anything resembling a credential. A new hire today said he has a bachelors and masters in EE from Columbia University. I don't have that. It is assumed and expected this is required. But it was easy to get hired though. Just say the truth and show them what you have done. Answer their technical questions like a freaking encyclopedia :)


Congratulations on achieving your goals and having come so very from where you started! Hopefully your experience has given you a lot of personal fulfillment, as well as compassion and understanding for others who may find themselves where you were so many years ago. Keep up the good work!
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