Thursday, February 5, 2009

Day to day...

My job - the one I go to 5 days a week- that has my mind and my attention for 8 hours a day..

The job I like - talking to new people every day - of giving them information on how to do something, helping solve a problem on their account and sometimes, more often than not, hearing stories of why they are pursing DNA testing- what they are expecting to hear, to know, to discover.

Most of the time, it's a fun diversion in their day - a hobby of sorts. One that can reveal secrets, solve mysteries, and shed light on what may have been perceived as a dark hole in their heritage.

I am constantly amazed at the ages, the level of computer knowledge (or lack there of) of may of the people - some as old as I can think of that could be "technology wizards" and some young enough to know more about the use of their own computers, printers and telephones(!)

However, sometimes, sometimes it can be heart wrenching to hear ...a 71 year old man who is trying to find out information, anything, about his paternal side - his father not in the picture since he was born and a mother who would not, could not tell him.

He doesn't even know in what part of the world his heritage is from..he's guessing by the last name his mother gave him..

As I try to help him on the phone, I see his particular DNA is showing "no matches" within the database - hard news to tell him. "No haplogoup prediction"

He's trying to understand and I'm trying to help him - but I'm a Customer Service person, not a geneticist..I only know so much (and that's a little so much)

"No matches...?"

And them there's the elderly woman who's father died prior to her birth - wanting to connect with anyone who shares his DNA..any link to her she purchases an expensive kit for a male cousin in Germany that may (or may not) give her any clue..(women do not carry the YDNA - only males to males)

I get the usual number of {mostly} men wanting to know about paternity tests, who go into a great dissertation before I can stop them from telling me too much and getting a word in edgewise to tell them we do not process paternity tests - just testing for genealogical purposes.
'You have the wrong company...sorry.."

From harried women whose babies can be heard crying in the background, wanting to know about their LAST paternity test they had and could it be used...again...(!) ..."Wrong company, sorry!"

So sad, so fun, so confusing, so enlightening. All in one day. Every day.

Nothing is ever easy I's a "mental" job or a "physical" job - but everybody's job is ...hard.

As I write this, I am watching a big digger outside my window- they're putting up another (yet another) office complex next door.

The person controlling the digger is digging then dumping the loose dirt into a huge truck.

The "shovel" which I assume is HEAVY is being manipulated like a feather, digging in the correct spot, pivoting to the truck and giving up it's load - like ginormous fingers, evening out the dirt, smoothing the surface.

Imagine. Just imagine. Hard, hard work.

I bet when he goes home, he doesn't worry about an elderly man trying to figure out who his father really was..

.....but then again, I don't have to worry if I dug in the right spot.


ps - all photos included in this post are from my family - neat, huh?


Charmingdesigns said...

I had to go take another look...wonderful photos and your job...its wonderful that you are the one that is so compassionate to these folks. Have a nice evening...don't dream of digging holes.heehee.Laurie

Irish Cottage Dreams said...

I loved this post! I find genetics fascinating
and even have a dna test in drawer somewhere waiting for my husband to get around to swapping his cheek. LOL!!


diane said...

That sounds a fun job. Genetics not digging.

Sweet Repose said...

So Grandson faces a similar situation. His Father left the state after Jerid was born, they were never married...or a couple, but he seemed to fade into history. Never contacting his family...EVER, so they were in constant fear for him.

Then one day the missing persons people contact his Mother with a John Doe report that they believed was her son. This boy was hitch-hiking and was picked up by a car. They were involved in a head-on collision that killed all. The death mask of the boy strongly resembled him, but the Mother refused to believe, though all the siblings feel it was him.

So sad for my Grandson, now 21 years later...still has a yearning...


Betty said...

Thanks for sharing the great pictures of your family! You know how much I love pictures!

You have a really interesting job...sometimes hard on the brain, but not hard on the kind of career!

Shari said...

Those old family photos are dear, aren't they. Nothing more fascinating than tracing our family history. You must have a very interesting job!