I graduated in May 2008 down in Florida. Whilst enjoying my free time after graduating, the economy exploded, so I move back up to NJ to shelter-in-place at my parent’s place. I got bored quick, did the free training to be an EMT, which a few of my friends were.
Circumstances are a little different now, but I should emphasize the absolute clusterfuck that 2008-2009 was to the people I graduated high school with. Half the ones that left college in 06 with BA degree and got jobs were fired. Others stayed in shitty jobs with no hope of a future because it was better (in their assessment) than going back to school and accumulating more loans. Some did just fine, either due to talent or, quite often, family connections. This is an expensive area, and a lot of my friends racked up $20, 30, 40,000 in loans on undergrad alone. I hit about $30k and managed to pay them back in 6 years rather than 10. Kind of proud of that one. Would have had a house without the debt, by now, or at least two weeks in a foreign country circa 2012 that I wouldn’t remember and would be better off not.
I got an entry-level job at a risk management consulting firm in 09. I’ve moved jobs a couple times to a couple different insurance agencies and volunteered as an EMT on the side up until last May, when I moved to a job that is a bit of a hike - about an hour there, 1.25/1.5 back (it’s NJ…). I’ve moved out, moved back, moved out, moved back, as the commute and area I work in demand (plus the dog. See below about the dog)
The nice thing about my job is that people my age with the male dangly bits are in short supply for back office operations (the sales team, on the other hand, is basically a frat house), so by virtue of not being a 60 year old woman who talks about her hot flashes all day or a 2nd-generation immigrant who can’t read, I can basically sleepwalk through a workday and be more productive than 90% of my cooworkers.
I do well enough for myself, but early on in '09 I adopted a rescue case dog who developed seizures after a year and makes it a chore to find rentals - more for the logistics of making sure she’s taken care of than the costs. You try to find something that’s within 15 minutes of where you work AND allows 50+ pound dogs AND the neighbors aren’t assholes who complain every time the dog so much as yips OR is farther away + accepts 50+ pound dogs + has affordable doggie day care nearby. You’ll stumble into Brigadoon before you find a deal on real estate in NJ. At least in a place where you’re not going to get knifed or shot within the first week.
Right now I figure I’ll stay where I am another few months and either put down on a house or condo (probably in eastern PA), or ask for a transfer to the southeast somewhere. I hate the winter. I hate the cold. I hate the people in NJ. The only thing I want to be up north for is the week each year I spend vacationing on an island a friend’s family owns in the Thousand Lakes region about 2 hours from Toronto. About 20 close, personal friends and I head up there in the summer and come close to burning that shit to the ground every time. Good times.
Whatever your experiences in Baltimore, I must say that alcoholics and EDPs were my favorite kinds of emergency calls. There’s nothing like doing your job calming down a 52-year old house mom with a sleeping pill in vodka cocktail addition by having her hit on the 17-year old probationary member who goes to school with her 16-year old daughter in the back of the ambulance on the way to the hospital.
I’m proud of that one. I also saved a few lives or something like that.