In 1975 I started to work with the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP). My first job was a correctional offficer making $9,000 per year. Between then and my retirement in 2004, I held numerous positions of increasing responsibility, eventually become Associate Warden at the Federal Correctional Institution in Jesup, Georgia, a 2000 bed, medium security, male facility. My final position was as Regional Correctional Programs Administrator in Atlanta.
The stories of my career are many. Maybe I will highlight some in the future, but suffice it to say, it was an great career filled with lots of excitement, joy and sorrow. I always felt I should have excelled more, but really, I was quite successful. Much more so that I ever thought I would be when I started out. I just continued to reset my own bar for success. When I retired I had book marks made for all of my employees and coworkers. The top said "Work hard, play hard, and be kind to one another." The bottom said "Do what makes your heart sing." That pretty much summed up my philosophy on work. If you are good to one another and work really hard at a job you really like, it won't be like work!
During those 29 years I relocated 12 times. The BOP's philosophy was that you had to move to promote. I lived in Atlanta and Washington, D. C. several times, but the different locations were: Atlanta, GA-Lexington, KY-Washington, DC-St. Simons Island, GA-Fort Worth, TX-Marianna, FL-and Jesup, GA.
I could have worked two more years but Dad had cancer, Mom was in a wheel chair and they needed help. I didn't move there but I went frequently and stayed for long periods of time. Furthermore, I was going through a phase of depression that just made me feel like going to work was punishment.
I dabbled in some contract work with the Department of Justice and Homeland Security until 2008.