Carolyn Clancy-Detmering



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 times.

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..



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