Sunday, September 6, 2009

Labor Day

As you may know, I am a full-time Public Health Nurse (P.H.N.) for the Ramsey County Department of Public Health. The career counseling service that prepared my resume told me I was the fastest hire they'd ever worked with. They mailed my cover letter and resume on a Monday night at the main post office and first thing on Tuesday morning the Dept. of Public Health called me in for an interview. At the end of the interview they offered me the job.

You must be thinking, wow, Anna must be a really great nurse! No, Anna speaks Hmong, and in 1994 I was the only R.N. in Minnesota who spoke Hmong! Tens of thousands of Hmong were immigrating to Minnesota, but no one at Ramsey County spoke Hmong. They put me to work immediately.

I like being a nurse because I like helping people. In addition to my work for the County, I worked as a volunteer instructor for the Baby Steps/Baby Ready program and the Face to Face Clinic. I also served on the Adolescent Health Work Team, and the Frogtown area Planning Committee for Children's Initiatives.

I spend the rest of my time at True Thai, but before we opened the restaurant in 2002, I moonlighted as an R.N. for several different home healthcare agencies, not unlike police officers who do security work in their off time. People need nurses and there never seem to be enough to go around.

While I was taking nursing classes at the University of Minnesota, I worked as a secretary for the Physics Department. Before that I was an accounts assistant for the University of Minnesota Foundation. Before I moved to Minnesota, I worked as an accounting clerk for Purdue University, and as a Statistics & Budget Clerk for Berea College's Labor and Student Life Department.

By now you must be thinking, Anna really likes working for universities! That is true, but there is a very good reason for that. My first job in the United States was working as a Lab Assistant in the Soil Science Department at the University of Kentucky. I arrived at the airport in Lexington at midnight, and went to work the next morning at 8 a.m.!

My sister was working on her Ph.D. there and got me a job working for her advisor. All day long Anna would look at dirt under a microscope.

I am posting this on Sunday because on Monday the restaurant is closed and Anna is going to catch up on her sleep!