As I crossed the bridge, from the station, there it was— 108 stories of steel and glass coming off the ground. The Sears Tower (I will never call it Willis) had more people working in it than my small town of Warrenville had living in it. I was in a new world.
From the ground level, I caught an express elevator that took me to the Sky Lobby. I think it was the 30th floor, but I really don’t remember. Then, from the 30th floor, I took an elevator to the floor I worked on. It was complicated and overwhelming to a small town girl.
I was 22 years old, and I had just made one of the first foolish decisions of my adult life. I quit a job without having one to replace it.
Erich, my boyfriend of about six months, had told his dad about my situation. His dad worked at the Sears Tower and suggested I apply because business was booming and they were hiring like crazy.
He was right, and shortly after I applied, a woman from Personnel (yes, we really called it that) asked me when I could start in the Internal Operations office.
Days, weeks, years passed— I moved to a new department and married Erich. One day, my father-in-law took me up to the rooftop. He urged me to come out closer to the edge so I had a better view, but I told him I was perfectly content to stand smack-dab in the middle. (I had learned that the building would sometimes shake when the wind was blowing exceptionally hard.)
This was before my messy divorce from Erich, after which I don’t think I would have gone up on the roof of a 108-story building with him, to be honest.
But I still think the Sears Tower is one of the most magnificent buildings ever created. I see the Sears Tower as a female: tall, sleek, and sexy.
The last time I walked out of her, I had changed so much since the first time I walked in her revolving doors. The young girl who was shocked by a lot of what she saw barely looked twice at anything.