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  • Writer's pictureChristine King

A Sneak Peek of Breaking Through the Silicon Ceiling

Updated: Mar 18

Have you ever looked forward to a moment in the future with much anticipation?


That’s how I’ve been feeling these past several months as I await the release of my book, Breaking Through the Silicon Ceiling!


As of this month we are officially 3 months away from publication and I couldn’t be more excited to share my story–with all of its ups and downs–with you. 


To celebrate this 3-month pre-launch milestone, I wanted to share the introduction of my book with you. This is the beginning of many years of lessons and learnings, and I believe it paints a picture of a situation many of us are familiar with. 


Maybe your situation isn’t the exact same as mine, but I’m sure you’ll be able to see a bit of yourself in this story.


A Sneak Peak of Breaking Through the Silicon Ceiling

_________


Ding, the gas pump chimed, as if to remind me that I was pouring my last pennies into the tank. I had 66 cents to my name, and I was using every one of them to buy two gallons of gas. My always active toddler, Eric, was squirming in the back seat, anxious for me to finish and for us to get back on the road home. “Keep your feet on the seat,” I called through the window, worried that his foot would punch through the rusted floorboard of my Mustang.


It had been a long day of searching for a job. I was bone-weary and leaned on the car for a moment of respite. I closed my eyes to shield them from the glare of the station’s lights and reflected on the events of the day; just one more in a week of days spent fruitlessly reviewing classified ads and making the rounds of local businesses trying to find a job that could support our family. Well, Eric and me. My husband had left us a week ago. He had always been a free spirit, so I guess I shouldn’t have been too surprised when he came home one evening and said he was leaving. “It’s nothing personal. I just don’t want to be married,” he explained. That may have been so, but it felt kind of personal to me. We hadn’t been married long, but we had a family, and now he had left Eric and me to fend for ourselves.


Eric and I lived in a rundown trailer park with the stereotypical cast of characters—drunks, lechers, abusers, and folks like us who were good people, just poor and trying to get by. Over the past week, I had been looking for a job—any job—to fix the increasingly desperate situation we were in, but I quickly discovered I was starting with three strikes against me. I was a woman, with all that meant in the 1970s. One company said they wanted to offer me a clerical job, but they couldn’t because I was “too pretty” and would distract the men on the  factory floor. Second, I was a 20-year-old single mom. I recalled the interview earlier in the day at a bank that couldn’t hire me to be a teller because they “couldn’t count on me to show up for my work shift if my son got sick.” My third strike was my lack of education; I only had a high school diploma. I was just one of millions of unemployed, minimally skilled people in the middle of what was called a “mild recession.” Again, it didn’t feel mild to me as I was turned down for job after job. 


Ding


That was it. Literally all of my money was gone, and I had no idea how, where, or when I would get more. I sighed, replaced the pump nozzle, got back into the car, and slumped down in the driver’s seat. I had two gallons of gas, a few odds and ends in the pantry at home, and a future that felt bleak and out of control. I alternated between passive hopelessness and active frustration that every option and every path forward seemed closed off to me. Fear began to well up inside at the thought of our dire circumstances, but Eric’s cheerful squeaks and noises from the back seat reminded me that self-pity was a luxury that I couldn’t afford. 


As I sat there for a moment to collect myself, Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower” lyrics came to mind, “There must be some way out of here.” Man, I wish, I thought ruefully to myself as I reached forward to turn the key. The car roared to life like a wind beginning to howl, and though I didn’t know it as I pulled out of the station, I was about to discover my way out of there.


_________


You can preorder individual copies of Breaking Through the Silicon Ceiling on Amazon. If you are looking to make a bulk purchase for your group, team, or organization, click here

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