Ignoring the Barking Dogs

Relief and Frustration


As the title suggests, this was a week fraught with both emotions. The relief is for the developing news regarding Jo’s recent diagnosis of an anomaly in her left breast.

Over the last few years, when Jo has had her annual mammogram, the anomaly was noticed and she was asked to return for them to take another look. In each case, using some other method of “seeing” inside, likely a sonogram, they determined that there was nothing to be concerned about. However, this year was different in that they determined that the anomaly had “crystallized” and that they wanted to do a needle biopsy.

The pathological report from that biopsy determined that the anomaly was not cancerous, but instead was pre-cancerous. The actual name of the condition is called LCIS or Lobular Carcinoma In Situ. It is a little bit of an misnomer in that it isn’t really a carcinoma, but what they call a neoplasia, or a collection of abnormal cells.

Following the determination of what the condition was, it was decided that it was important to do a lumpectomy. The doctor stated that because the anomaly was so small that the needle biopsy likely removed the majority of that anomaly. However, to insure that there was even less chance for cancer to grow and spread, he said that the lumpectomy process would remove a golf ball size of tissue surrounding the anomaly.

That lumpectomy was done on Tuesday of this week. After about an hour’s worth of surgery, the doctor told me that the surgery went very well and that Jo was waking up from the surgery in good condition. Then, all we needed to do was to persuade her to stay home and recuperate instead of trying to go back to work too soon, and to wait for the results from the pathology report on the removed tissue.. Fortunately, she agreed to wait until next Monday to go back to work

Today, Friday the 14th, she got the call that the pathological report was good and that there was absolutely no cancer present. Now, while that is good news, LCIS is still a pre-cancer, so it will be necessary for Jo to get acquainted with yet another doctor in her life to assist her in helping to prevent the LCIS from becoming cancerous. If anyone should be interested, a link to some information is below.

Lobular Carcinoma In Situ

Because of the possibility of LCIS actually becoming a breast cancer, Jo is considering staying at work for the state for another 5 years, when she will be 65 and old enough for Medicare to give us assistance with health care. So, instead of retiring early in October of next year, our plans may have to be changing. That dilemma leads to the circumstance in which I find myself, leading to the frustration.


Jo and I both work for the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations. She is employed in the Information Technology (IT) department and is actually in a position of being like an assistant division director. Years ago, she accomplished what I’ve never done in that she got her college degree in IT.

Without a degree, the best I’ve been able to do is to work myself into supervisory or management positions. However, I have managed to be in those positions for a number of years and companies over the years.

With the state of Oklahoma, there are positions called Administrative Program Officer ranging from APO I to APO IV, being four different levels. Those are basically management positions. Over the 13 1/2 years I’ve worked for the state, I’ve applied for about 8 or 9 APO positions.

While the state’s Office of Personnel Management never gives a full list of levels that one’s work experience qualifies them for which to apply, when one applies for a position, they determine by the experience as to whether the applicant qualifies to go for that position. Over the years, I have had it determined that I am qualified to apply for APO II positions.

In spite of being qualified for at least an APO II position, I’ve never been able to be promoted into even an APO I position. Just this week, I interviewed for yet another one and again was rejected for that position.

I really don’t have a problem with not being selected for a position. There have been many jobs over the years for which I was not chosen. However, with the state, and at least with the OSBI, I’ve found that there are some definite instances of favoritism for certain applicants.

While I don’t normally complain about not being selected, this time was the case of the “straw breaking the camel’s back.” The individual who was selected already works in the area of that position and a while back was told to go do a certain job at another building that the OSBI owns. The individual refused to go for some reason, and another person had to go in that individual’s place.

Now, maybe it is just me, but I would never consider a person for a promotion if they had refused to do a task assigned to them. So, the last couple of days I have been very depressed because of the frustration of not being able to be promoted into an APO I position, even though I am qualified for at least an APO II slot.

When I got home this evening, Jo wanted to go for a walk. While we walked around the RV park next door, we discussed my frustrations. Then, she reminded me that like the case of the state’s Information Technology personnel being consolidated into an “agency” of its own and then “farmed” out to the various other agencies, the state is also going to consolidate all of the Administrative Services positions in a similar fashion. Such a consolidation might even cause some of the folks in that newly consolidated “agency” to lose their jobs. I would think that someone newly promoted into a position might find themselves on the short end of the stick.

So, I guess I should be really grateful that not only is God looking out for my “Lady,” he may very well be looking out for me as well. However, since I am so utterly bored with my job at work, one I’ve been in for 13 1/2 years, I am considering the possibility of going ahead and retiring myself and then find another job to keep me busy and help bring in a salary to help get out of debt.

In spite of the little issues like health and boring jobs, life is still good.


Purgatoire River; Purgatoire River Campground; August 2006

This entry was published on September 14, 2012 at 11:54 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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