I arrived in New York State on February 14, 2004. I moved in with a friend who lived in a blink-and-you-miss-it town called Olivebridge and I was ready for my new chapter in life. I started searching through the local papers and looking online for jobs that I felt I was qualified for. With no college education and only a high school diploma it felt very limiting and I hesitated applying for many positions even if I felt I was qualified and sometimes even over-qualified for the job. I had been my ex-husband‘s right-hand for so many years, taking care of the bookkeeping/payroll side of his business but with no real formal education. I went on a few interviews which was scary since it had been SO long since doing such a thing. I finally landed a job as an office manager for the Depuy Canal House, a New York Times four-star restaurant located in tiny little hamlet called High Falls that was primarily made up of a postage stamp sized Post Office (pun intended) and 6-8 restaurants. I was thrilled to be hired for this position and loved the energy of the atmosphere and the quaintness of the town. The lady I was replacing trained me for one week and then she was gone and I was left to figure things out as I went along. I never used QuickBooks to keep bookkeeping records for my ex-husband‘s business but now I was faced with learning this newfangled software. Since math was always my best subject, I quickly got the hang of it and I was able to do my job with flying colors. My boss, John Novi, and I formed a close friendship and I felt he truly liked and trusted me, which from stories I would hear wasn’t usually the case with many of the office managers in the past. Before I knew it I was asked to do several different job tasks including filling in when waitresses didn’t show up or when we got extremely busy, being a hostess or bartending in the evenings, and cleaning the five B&B rooms that the restaurant also operated when we lacked cleaning staff. I got the hang of using Quickbooks and took charge of the company’s accounts payable/receivable in a way I believe no one else had in a LONG time. Life was good, I was making new friends, spending my days off roaming the unknown roads searching for “lost soles” and familiarizing myself with my new surroundings; I felt very much at home and my new life chapter was playing out very gratifyingly.
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