(AP, Boulder) Pamela Sinel was offered a fabulous position with Functional Solutions, a Boulder-based occupational therapy practice specializing in Functional Capacity Evaluations. This position will not only allow Sinel to use her skills, but will also challenge her to develop new ones. The office is about four miles from her home and the possibility that there will actually be work is 100%.

Sinel arrived in Boulder on January 31st with an offer from a local home health company seeking to grow their Boulder county patient-base, promising “as much work” as the energetic, optimistic occupational therapist could handle. Perhaps she was naive to accept a position that paid by the patient as opposed to a salary. Sinel admits “it was a bit of a risk” considering there was no written contract but that her supervisor “seemed so sweet and genuine” and that they “really connected during [the] interview.” She recalls imagining the worst case scenario, that she might arrive in Colorado and not have as much work as she wanted, or that the job would require too much driving between patients, or that the paperwork would be overwhelming. “So, the worst case scenario more or less came true. But like my dad said, ‘Hey if it doesn’t work out, get a new job.’ You see what your options are and you move on. I knew something would come my way even though the job I came for wasn’t exactly working out.” Records indicate Sinel saw one patient since she started working for this company on February 5th. She was given the impression she would be seeing at least 20-25 patients per week.

Almost immediately, Sinel saw her future with this company did not look good and started her job search. “It was disheartening at first. Of course there are always jobs for occupational therapists, but I was burnt out on the hospital setting, nursing homes can be downright depressing, and none of the outpatient clinics seemed to be hiring. I was beginning to think that I’d exhausted all the options in my field and I might do well with medical sales. I knew in my heart though that I would miss being a clinician and that sales just wasn’t me.”

Then she saw an intriguing post on Craigslist. It was a couple of weeks old, but she figured it was worth a shot and emailed her resume and a thoughtful cover letter. Within a few days she had what would be the final of many job interviews this Friday. It went very well and she was told she would hear something Monday. Sinel reported, “Saturday was fine because I stayed busy. I got out on a nice 50 mile bike ride and shopped for a pair of Nordic skiis. Sunday I headed up to Eldora Ski Resort and had dinner with friends, but let me tell you, Monday was awful! By noon I was going a little crazy when I still hadn’t heard anything and by 3 I was using all my energy to keep from going completely nuts. I’m telling you, every minute felt like an hour!”

A watched pot never boils. While Sinel was enjoying a hike from Chautauqua park, her future employer was leaving her a crucial voicemail. They asked her to call back anytime tonight. Sinel glowed, explaining, “Come on! Like they would want me to call after hours to tell me they offered it to someone else? No way! I knew when I heard the message, the job was mine!” Sure enough, they extended her an offer and exclaimed about how excited they were to have Sinel on board.

Sinel nearly bubbled over, exclaiming “I am the happiest person on earth!” But will she miss being mostly unemployed? “In some ways, yes definitely. I mean, how can you argue with not setting an alarm and going for bike rides at two in the afternoon? Its not all bad. But lets face it, a girl needs an income. And I’ve realized that its important to me to have some responsibility and to feel useful in a professional capacity. And this position offers me everything I was looking for! I had basically given up hope that I could find a gratifying, challenging job that would allow me to be creative and use my skills, and now here it is. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.”

Sinel’s mother reported “I am so happy for [her].” In a text message, Sinel’s sister reported she was sorry for not being more excited for her when they spoke on the phone but that she was very happy for her. Sinel reports her sister sounded sufficiently excited and that she wasn’t sure what the text message was referring to but that she appreciated the sentiment. Sinel’s father was proud and primarily concerned with the salary and health benefits. Sinel stated “They’re good” but refused to comment further.

Is she afraid of jinxing everything by agreeing to an interview? She paused to think and said, “At first, sure a little bit. Who wouldn’t be? But I realized, my roommate Sofia was right when she said you create your own intentions by saying them out loud. It might sound hokey but I think putting your intention out there and not being shy about it helps you put that energy into the universe and brings your closer to connecting with what you really want.”

*Author’s note: Sofia is not only not hokey, she is intelligent, driven, attractive, and funny. She is also single and ready to mingle.


  1. Michele says:

    Dear Pam,I have been thinking of you and of course have realized that I forgot to tell you (I told your mom) how thrilled I am for you and Dan!!! Lizzy showed the ring photos this weekend during her visit…It is beautiful…I know harold is all excited because now he will have someone in the family to talk compost with,he already planted things in the garden under glass…also I learned on your blog of the new job and congrad…well keep in touch hope we talk soon love Aunty Michele

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