Created: August 26, 2019
Updated: November 1, 2019
Who Is This Guy?
No, I don't want a job. I'm happily retired. I just thought it might be nice to let y'all know who I am and what I've been. This will be fun and somewhat weird to write.
1957 - 1963
1963 - 1966
1966 - 1969
1969 - 1973
1974 - 1976
1986 - 1988
Harlan Elementary School, Birmingham, MI
No degree earned, but they passed me on.
Derby Jr. High School, Birmingham, MI
Again, no degree. Who knew that 9th grade would count toward my GPA? Pity. It's now Derby Middle School.
Seaholm High School, Birmingham, MI
Somehow I passed. I have the diploma to prove it, not that anyone cares once you get two college degrees. I finished with a 2.2 GPA, a classic underachiever.
Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI
BS, Psychology major, Sociology minor. I turned things around here, with a GPA somewhere around 3.6. It turned out that studying, doing homework, and reading books and stuff actually helps. Again, who knew? Sociology? It made sense at the time.
Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
MBA, concentration in Personnel Administration. I don't remember my GPA but it was pretty good. I actually started at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, but decided that pursuit of a PhD in experimental social psychology wasn't for me. I was there for about two months. I saw a horrible job market for psych majors, so I went back to Eastern to take some business classes. I went up to MSU in the fall of 1975 and between EMU and MSU wound up taking eight straight terms of classes.
UC Berkeley Extension, San Francisco, CA
SF State University, San Francisco, CA
Lots of computer classes. Took a leave of absence to start on a masters in Business Information Systems, but neither my heart nor my wallet was in it. But it got me a job in computers. Mission accomplished.
1966 - 1968
1970 - 1972
1972 - 1973
1977 - 1980
1980 - 1988
1988 - 2005
An odd job for a guy with a driver's license, but I figured that driving a route would be really easy. I managed to total the family Corvair and seriously damage a neighbor's car in the process. Nobody was hurt because nobody was in either car. Darned parking brake. The Detroit newspapers went on strike after about six months. The end.
Lawn and Misc. Maintenance
My dad ran a nursing home in nearby Rochester and had me go out there to plant gardens and lawns and other general stuff.
You'd think I'd have learned that delivering stuff wasn't for me. This summer job actually worked out pretty well. I did get one ticket for a rolling stop at a stop sign.
I was given work for three summers by a guy my dad worked for at one point, and remained friends with after he started his own business. It was a small factory operation. The work tended to be boring, but the people I worked with were an interesting assortment of... we'll leave it at that. Except Jim Root, the brother of my brother-in-law who gave me someone I could relate to, and Eddie the High-Low Man, a Viet Nam Vet who told me what was REALLY going on over there. DAMN!
Awarded on merit, I was a flunky for a faculty member, Ron Byrum who was working on his PhD. It was lots of fun doing some tutoring, teaching a class, seeing "office politics" and helping with research. Best of all, Ron set me up with a fast-pitch softball team for that summer.
A step down from Undergraduate Assistant I think. It was a Perkins in Nearby Ann Arbor.
I spent half a year working for General Motors as a clerk in their Design Center's Artist Supply department. I was asked if I wanted to be considered for a full-time trainee position. Talk about the road not taken. At the time I was set on starting my PhD program at Bowling Green that fall.
At Bowling Green, the professor I was assigned to was ill. I never met her. I basically got paid for doing nothing for two months.
I worked for Chrysler Corporation's Engineering and Product Development Group in Highland Park, Michigan, doing affirmative action, management development, college and other technical recruiting. Layoffs were rampant, I laid Chrysler off before they laid me off.
I found myself at Pacific Gas & Electric doing management placement and labor relations until I burned out. I took a leave of absence to retrain myself as a computer geek.
Analyst / Programmer
Still at PG&E, I re-emerged as a computer geek, programming a billing application. I was in heaven figuring out how to implement complex tariffs until Y2K and Sarbanes-Oxley work tragically ruined the rest of my career. I had two objectives in my career: 1) be financially able to retire at age 55 and 2) to not want to retire at age 55. One out of two ain't bad.
Yeah, this is the life. Lots of work as a volunteer and musician. If you think you'd be bored, that's the least of my problems.
I Am: John Graham Shinnick II
Born: March 3, 1951, Detroit, Michigan
Faith: Some (Unitarian)
Relationship: None (Never married)
Family: Parents - deceased
2 sisters (deceased), brother and family
Residences: Michigan - 29 years (Birmingham, Ypsilanti, East Lansing)
California - the rest (Salinas, Kensington)
Name: I was called by my middle name for the first twelve years of my life. There are still some holdouts. I wish they'd stop. Lots of people call me "Shin" for obvious reasons. At Eastern Michigan, I had the nickname "Jose" (after Feliciano). I've been called other things that I won't go into here.
Music: I've always played stuff though I never had the self discipline to play at a high level. My roots were classical then folk, then rock and roll. I consider myself an eclectic. My principle noisemaker is guitar, but through the years I've annoyed people with bass, clarinet, oboe, flute, tenor and alto sax (my current infatuation) banjo, harmonica, keyboards and perhaps most annoying of all, singing.
Diet: Vegan since June, 2019. I will likely begin allowing exceptions making me about 95%. Man may not live by bread alone, but if we relied on vegan cheese we'd likely go extinct in about five months.
Exercise: Occasionally golf and bicycle. More strenuous stuff tends to lead to pain.