Tuesday, February 26, 2013


I find it interesting from where I sit today - to turn around and look back at the path I created career wise.  Many years ago, when I was in high school I didn't have my head wrapped around what I wanted to be.  All I wanted at that point in time was some spending money.  I needed a job to pay for my social life!
At fifteen I landed my first part time job.  I was so excited.  The funny story behind it is one ill never forget... For those of you who grew up in the capital region you'll remember this place... chuck E Cheese in Northway Mall.  Ha hah!! It was where Staples is now, out by Central Ave., not in the actual strip mall with Target, but by the main road.  Anyway, I saw the ad in the Times Union that they were hiring when the place first opened up so I went with a friend and applied.  He got a phone call to come in for a group interview but I didn't.  I was mad.  So, when he went for his appointment, I tagged along and pretended I got a call too!  The manager couldn't find my application (of course) as he was talking to each perspective employee but I assured him I wouldn't have been there had I not been invited! (Yeah, self invited....!). Well, the guy didn't seem to care that my paperwork was missing, guess he liked me enough to hire me, so he stuck me in the "hostess" group and I went on for training and learned to wipe down tables and keep the place tidy.  That was probably the most fun of all my jobs.  After the place closed we used to flop around in the "ball crawl" where the little kids play in that netted area with a tremendous pool full of colored plastic balls.  We'd fling them at each other so hard we'd end up with welts on our arms.  Good times.  We also used to use gobs of gold coins and play all the video games.  My favorite was Centipede but I did OK at PacMan too.  
I even got promoted to wear the "Jasper Jowls" dog costume eventually.  Now that was a hoot.  The characters aren't allowed to talk to the customers but under that doggie helmet?  Oh wow, I had a few choice things to say to the little kids who punched me in the stomach or pulled my tail!  And it was so hot in there, OMG!  We used to take breaks like every fifteen minutes so we could breathe.  I needed a quick lesson in walking in those pawed shoes too :-)

I went on to have some other fun jobs too.  I was a bank teller for Albany Savings Bank in Colonie Center for several years.  Remember that branch? On the back side of the mall just down from (now) the Christmas Tree Shop... Flah's Department Store used to have an entry near there. (I'm dating myself...). I loved working with all that money.  I used to dream about what I would do if it was actually available to me.  I remember standing there many times thinking to myself "I literally have thousands and thousands of dollars in my possession right here at this very second!". Now it's not like it was really mine, but I recall vividly letting my imagination run wild at the variety of things I could do if it was.  Imagination is a fabulous thing when you're fresh out of high school and the world is yours!  Imagination is good at ALL ages. I've got a pretty good one still. :-)
I worked waiting on tables at several different restaurants, sold retail clothing, worked in the office at a car dealership, worked for an airline checking people in for flights, sold real estate, sold cosmetics, was the payroll assistant for a nursing home, became an Administrative Assistant, Executive Assistant and then moved on to Office Managing.  WHEW!  Turns out I know a little about a lot of things!  I did most of all that while I commuted to college locally so I tended to bounce around the 518!
I went back to school in the late 90's for television production which lead me to work as a Production Assistant and make up artist.  Those are fun jobs, I still do it when I can.  I really like being behind the scenes - not so much being on camera.
Doing the Healthlink segment with Benita Zahn a couple of weeks ago was probably not uncomfortable for me because I already knew what was going to happen and I'm familiar with the goings on around the set.  I was also passionate about the topic so nerves weren't a problem.  I've assisted with the taping of many different topics over the past ten years or so and I really enjoy it.  My biggest claim to fame? Colin Powell.  Yes, I did his makeup!!!

So why am I blogging about this?  It's really a long winded and roundabout story regarding a comment made to me years ago by a family member.  One of them said to me "You are so lucky! You find the best jobs!".  I never forgot that for some reason.

I logged it into my brain and somehow it never left me.  I've thought about it many times since then but it now occurs to me I didn't "find" these jobs easily, I searched them out.  I created my opportunities by going out on a limb and stretching.  Some of it came to me but not without work on my part too.  I'm sure you've gone thru it too.  Fear of the unknown can hold you back but most times taking a chance is so much sweeter!  Had I cowered at the opportunity to work on the video shoot with Colin Powell I would be mad at myself! Plus my story would be different.

I also worked with several other celebrities over the past decade but to be among a military leader was amazing!  He truly commands a room.
What makes life interesting are the choices we make - the choices we have control over.  It's important to keep your eyes open for opportunities to broaden your horizons and be the best you can be.  I'm learning that even more now since Chris passed.  My life has been redirected, things have shifted.  Sometimes I have clarity and I know where I'm going and other times I'm nothing but a fuzzy mess.  I'm a work in progress. My 100% is not complete yet.  There's more for me to do and although I don't know how it will all play out I do want to get even further down my path so I can once again turn around and see where I have landed.  I hope you carve an amazing path for yourself too :-)

Thank you for reading.


  1. Maybe your next path is author? I'd GLADLY sell those land promote your book(s)... ;)

  2. Good morning Regina,

    You absolutely crack me up! You are so funny.. Explaining how you got your job at Chuckie Cheese.. OMG! I would never have the nerve.. My telltale lie would have lasted all of 5 mins before I would've have to fess up! What a cute story!
    So great to have had all those different experiences.. It definitely molded you into the person you are today.. I feel every life experience does that.

    I too had many different jobs when I was in HS.... Right after I graduated from HS I went to school to become an RN...and I'll be celebrating 30 years this June in this profession. Ohhhh the stories I can tell.. I can add a little flavor to any get together if invited to tell them! Sometimes just to liven it up a little I may even tell a story or two without the invitation. :)
    It's a part of my character now.. It has molded me into who I am as well.

    Thanks again for the stories.. I love reading all that you have to say.. You are a true blessing Regina..

  3. I made costumes for Colin Powell's daughter at the theatre I used to work at in Boston. It must be genetic because Linda has a very strong command of the room too! And my husband's first job was at that Chuck E Cheese- he made pizzas and has really gross stories about the place. :-)

    These are great stories. We all start somewhere, but where do we go from there? Thanks for sharing.

  4. And I just realized- Is Chris holding a giant turkey leg??? Hysterical.

  5. Regina,

    Hahahaha..."Now that’s a life you can hang a hat on!!!!" “It’s good to be the baby!” I give credit to birth order for your determination! That is the type of stuff I would do, because I had confidence because my older siblings had paved the way and taught me to be self reliant, it gives ya guts to go out on the edge...It teaches you survival of the fittest, it helps you learn that you have to go after what you want, because being in a large family NOTHING gets handed to you!!!

    What great life experiences you have had all because you went after what you wanted and did not accept no for an answer. It kind of reflects the personality we have all come to recognize from you...It doesn't seem like anything holds you back, even what you are facing right now...Even though this is not the “new” thing you wanted to be doing, none of us wanted this for you! But, you are handling it with dignity and determination to live out your life for your son in his honor...we know you are proud of him…but more…He is sooo proud of you!!!

    Nice job Regina!!!

    God Bless, XO

  6. Good Afternoon Regina!

    I will tell you once again what an inspiration you are. I, like you, am a "glass half full" person. I love your strength and determination!! I am sure your words are now "parenting" many of the younger people who are avid follows of your blog. So many young people today are not as lucky as your boys to have a parental figure they can look up to and get advice from. I think you are doing that wonderfully. Chris would be proud and I am sure Jeremy is proud as well as the rest of your family. Keep up the good work.

    God Bless You and Yours!!

  7. Hi Regina,

    I really enjoyed the Chuck E Cheese story. That was so brave that you did that. You deserved the job after that!

    I keep writing to you and then deleting what I write. Not this time though.

    I thought maybe I'd tell you a little something about me if that's okay. I know you like this new church you've been going to. I love my church but sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming. On Sundays church is three hours long. Our first class is from 10:20 to 11 am and it's Sunday school. Then I go to Relief Society and Josh goes to his Priesthood class from 11 to 12. Relief Society is for all women ages 18 and up. Then we have Sacrament meeting or what some people would call Mass. Sacrament is passed to us as we're seated. Then three members from our church will speak on whatever they were assigned. But wait there's more. Also on Sundays I do Seminary with my son. We also have missionaries. They were coming over to my house every week. I just ask them to drop down to once a month. Then there is Mutual. That is for young men and women. They do an activity like tonight they play Capture the Flag. Mutual is the last two Tuesdays of the month. On other Tuesdays I have Faith in God Activity Day. I'm one of five leaders that plan an activity day for 8-9 year old girls. The next time I go I'm in charge and I am going to teach them the fundamentals of basketball. It'll be my first time in charge. I'm a little nervous. There's a total of 19 of them. Anyway, I'm still not done with all the things for church that I do. Once a month we have a mid-week meeting for Relief Society. This is fun. We have lunch and talk about some topic. So I really like church but like I said, it can be a little overwhelming. I am disabled.

    I am a single parent to my 14 year old boy Joshua. His middle name is Evan. What is Christopher's middle name?

    I feel bad about what's happening with Bailey. I read about it. I think she's a classy, genuine, beautiful young woman. I admire her strength in this too!

    Well, so, I was thinking of you today so I thought I'd write.

    Hugs, Ann

  8. Hi Regina. I loved that you basically stalked Chuck E Cheese to get the job you wanted. I'm quite impressed that you had the confidence at such a young age to walk in there and do that. Did you ever tell them??? You outsmarted the management. That's pretty funny. I don't know if I could have taken them seriously after that.

    You have quite the employment past. Every thing you did, got you to who you are today, and that is pretty neat as a whole when you map it all out.

    I have my list of fun jobs (dietary in a hospital kitchen; gymnastics teacher; pizza place; payless shoes; sears; law offices). There are those ones I would prefer to do, but would never make the money I need to keep our family "out of the red!!" so I volunteer doing the things I love and "work" to earn my salary. Most times it's not bad. It's actually gotten better in 2013 with new attorneys that came in and work in my areas of the law, so I actually feel useful and more confident these days. It sure does a lot for motivating me to get into work every day.

    I get a positive quote sent to my email every morning. I haven't been checking my home email much, but now that Ally put my email address on her PSAT form I have to check.

    This morning's positive quote email (that I just opened before writing to you), might interest you or at least make you chuckle. I thought it was funny this came today:


    Whatever job I'm doing I try to do the best I can with it and enjoy it for what it is and what it entails. I passed the time in the shoe shop by trying to be the best damn shoe salesman in the whole of New Jersey. The fact that I didn't succeed and ended up washing the coffee cups in the kitchen didn't really matter. I just tried to get those coffee cups the cleanest they'd ever been. Playing in the band was another job. The only difference was, I was finally doing the one thing that I had any aptitude for.

    -- Jon Bon Jovi, who worked selling shoes before becoming a rock star and actor

    Gotta love Jon Bon Jovi!!!!!!!!

    Thanks for sharing a bit of your past. It sure helps me understand you better and part of your strong personality. I do think I will laugh every time I go past a Chuck E Cheese! Good for you not letting sitting back and waiting and watch your friend get the good job you wanted!

    God bless...

  9. Regina,

    Thanks for sharing about all your jobs. I love your CEC job story...you've got spunk!! I went to the grand opening invitation only Chuck E. Cheese party because my girlfriend's brother, Frank, was one of the managers....small world! My first job was Knickerbocker newspaper carrier. I was a cashier at The Present Company and The Barbizon. After getting a degree in legal secretarial science, I started as a secretary at the NYS Comptroller's Office. I've been there almost 32 years and now work as àn auditor having worked my way up the career ladder taking exams. I never expected to be in one place so long but my bureau afforded me the opportunity to work part-time for many years when my kids were young and it was perfect for me. Plus
    I love my job, which is a plus. I have worked with lots of great people overt the years, many now retired. FB is. A great way to keep in touch with them!

    Thanks for sharing.
    hugs and peace

  10. This was a great post about you!!! You have such confidence in yourself!! the chuck e cheese story proves it!! very few 15 year olds would do that sort of thing.

    I used to work in a bank and I remember dreaming of what I would do with the money. also, working in a bank I met a vast range of people. I loved the people but the job itself I was glad to leave behind.

    thanks for sharing.