Memories From a Working Girl
Yes, I said girl because that is who I was when I joined the Port
Authority of New York ( pre bi-state distinction) shortly after
graduating high school. I landed a great job at the PA, while attending
college at night. I went on to graduate school and acquired licenses and
certifications over the years that the PA paid for, while continuing my
full time career.
My fondest memories are many, as vast as the organization itself. As I
truly grew up there.
Most significantly was the nurturing environment I was surrounded by, so
many great people not threatened to share their knowledge which helped
me navigate through what could have been a very intimidating experience.
To quote a former manager, when I informed him that I didnít know enough
about my prospective opportunity, his response was, ďyouíll learn just
like everyone elseĒ. Little did he know how profound that statement was
to me, as I took it with me to each new position I held from that day
forward. I also made sure I learned as much as I could as not to
disappoint. But that is what distinguished the PA from other private
organizations, so many resources and learning opportunities were there
just for the asking.
My career with the PA spanned four decades, working in numerous
departments both Operational and Capital.
I canít say that it was always smooth sailing, over the years there were
ups and downs but the good times far outweighed the bad, and the
relationships I formed there will never be forgotten. I guess getting
back to that old adage of Mother PONYA really applies, as there was
always a security and family bond. I can also say I witnessed greatness,
empathy, support, and what I believed at certain times were
insurmountable challenges, yet we managed to get through them by
stepping up and coming to each others aid under the most difficult of
We also celebrated our accomplishments and had the best holiday parties!
I worked through two recessions, stock market crashes, and two
terroristic attacks. But I must applaud the PA for having gotten us
through these experiences without ever skipping a beat, that is never
missing a paycheck coupled by their empathic response to their
employees. Their call to action during those devastating times was
significant; egos were left at the door and all who wanted to, rolled up
their sleeves and worked countless hours side by side to return the
organization to normalcy.
My experiences ran the gamut of young and foolish to experienced and
confident and I feel so lucky to have been able to grow and evolve my
career at the PA.
One of my recent cherished memories before retiring, was one early
evening when I was working later than usual I happened to take a break
to the rest room which was clear on the other side of the floor. As I
made my way around I noticed a few of the engineers here and there in
deep discussion or hovered over scale drawings in heated debate. What
impressed me most was in all cases there were older senior engineers
captivating the newer younger hires with their wisdom and direction that
really got to me and reminded me of what the PA is all about...
So, itís with a smiling heart I can say I loved working at the PA..