Who am I, why am I here … and why have I had so many jobs?

I’m a deep thinker from way back. As a small child, I recall wondering, for example, why my first grade teacher was so unhappy. Her name was Mrs. Sullivan and she didn’t seem to like first-graders.

Since then, I’ve discovered that teaching is a profession that can make it difficult to appreciate any age group, from 6 to 26. I added teacher to my criminally long list of jobs a few years back. They might cough up a clue or two to explain me.

Buckle up, Medium readers, you’re in for a bumpy ride.

1. Delivering newspapers (The Washington Times)…


The tragic story of a beautiful person wrongly accused of murder, and her life on the run.

Lawrencia Ann Bembenek was a tall, striking young woman. She could have chosen nearly any career, but she wanted to follow in her father’s footsteps. He had briefly worked for the Milwaukee Police Department, and from a young age she wanted to become a police officer.

The youngest of three girls, she grew up Catholic in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the 1960s. She ran the hurdles on her high school track team and took up the flute, graduating in 1976. For a couple of years, she attended junior college before working as a waitress and model. …


You don’t have to get fat just because we are

Dear Gen Z,

I care about you and since you’ll be shouldering the burdens of global warming and living mostly on insects, and I have some heartfelt words of dietary wisdom.

I, too, come from a generation reduced to a single letter. I am X.

Real food is your friend, so don’t let the Boomers and the boring Silent Generation and my tiny little cohort of cynical Xers confuse you with our dietary garbage talk that is all over social media like a cheap suit on a used car salesman.

If it hasn’t been ruthlessly denatured, stripped, dyed, powdered, thickened…


Don’t be intimidated — the main talent you need is patience

I worked as a Disability Examiner for years, and currently moderate an online board answering questions about SSI and SSDI. Let me back up: SSI stands for Supplemental Security Income. Its fraternal twin, SSDI, is Social Security Disability Insurance.

Those two acronyms are important, but so are a slew of others.

Have you ever wondered why there are a boatload of online sites explaining SSI and SSDI?

Because it’s a monumentally complex process with tons of rules, not unlike the volumes of official fire safety code that have been written since the first horrible multi-story structure fire.

Thousands of Americans…


I bet you love solving other people’s problems, so here’s your opportunity to shine

I currently have some problems I can’t solve. They might be wrecking what would otherwise be a perfectly good life. I need a lot of free advice.

It’s a numbers game. If enough people respond, someone will set me on the right path.

I will do you a solid and promise not to fix any of your problems, including:

— I won’t discuss with my spouse how we could solve your problems “if only.”

— I will not tell you about the time I nearly died learning a valuable lesson.

—You won’t hear a peep of career advice, even if…


Follow the eight steps and you will go far

Weight loss is difficult.

Most of us would agree with the raw honesty of Lester Burnham from American Beauty.

Lester: “I feel like you guys might be able to give me some pointers. I need to shape up. Fast.”

Jim: “Well, are you just looking to lose weight, or do you want to have increased strength and flexibility as well?”

Lester: “I want to look good naked.”

Looking good is short term while health is long term, but you need both goals to get going and stay motivated.

If you have a weight problem, you’ve been overeating for years —…


Take my FREE QUIZ and never experience self-doubt again!

This isn’t original, sorry. I’ve modified the top secret, now-banished-online version from 2003, when I learned I was a St. Bernard.

The prototype test, which consisted of 112 questions, was so powerful it’s been dismantled permanently. In some countries, you can be killed just for speaking its name. Which I won’t reveal, for your own protection.

But having gone through some personal growth, dyed my hair jet black with blonde highlights, and lost a few pounds, I re-took the same test three years later and discovered I’m a German Shepherd.

The kinship I felt with being German Shepherd was immediate…


Mirror, mirror on the wall — who’s the most invisible of them all?

In middle-age, women get tossed off a high cliff.

Unlike the adolescent years, when we are too young for self-knowledge, menopause is a sudden cliff we see coming. At the top, we are adults in our prime and carry a certain identity, much of which is invisible to us. As we fall off the cliff, we see our lives flash before our wrinkly eyes.

I was in a bike store the other day and the employee was unaccountably rude. He ignored me, as his boss, a man a few years younger than me, talked to me like a person. …


Boy, was I wrong.

Dear Nancy,

I recently stumbled into the ballroom of the Fairmont Hotel in Austin while you were speaking. It wasn't total happenstance. I paid for three days at CrimeCon.

I’ll admit to being a little disoriented but by the time I sat down I was too tired to get up again and as the cheers rose I realized, hey wait a minute, I’m in the wrong dadgummed chair.

I didn’t put you on my schedule, nope, didn’t even consider it. I chose something else…maybe it was the sub task force on solving cold case necrophilia murders. …

Jean Campbell

Writer in true crime, humor and poetry. For more, check out my web page at https://jxcampbell.com

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