A Burn Survivor’s Résumé and Career Experience

Contact me at: christopherfitts@yahoo.com

This is my résumé, but unlike the usual fare this one is very candid. Often when accomplishments are put to paper there can be the appearance that everything fell right into place and that each notch was positive advancement forward on the career ladder. This is usually not the case for most people, and I am no exception. However, everything I’ve done has added to my character and depth of knowledge. Also, I’ve held some very long term goals, which over time ocassionally reach a mile stone; when this happens I realize I’m still on a path that advances me closer to my goal horizon. So, anyway, the landscape this résumé illustrates of my life’s journey is broad and scattered, but a scatter-line pattern forms reaching to my goal objectives. This is a personal validation for me because feedback is so important in every aspect of life. I’m not advocating my method, but what I am saying is do what works for you and if you don’t like the results of your journey then make different decisions. We all make horrible and brilliant decisions.


Juris Doctor, The John Marshall Law School, Chicago, IL, 2005 [law degree]
MS, The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC, 1994 [library and information science (MLS)]
BA, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, 1992 [economic geography and GIS]

n/a, Hillsborough Community College, Tampa, FL 1990
n/a, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 1986 to 1989 [cognitive anthropology]
n/a, Santa Fe Community College, Gainesville, FL 1986
n/a, University of South Florida, Tampa, 1985
n/a, Indian River Community College, Vero Beach, FL, 1985 [dual enrollment while in high school]

Work Place:

Current: Florida licensed practicing attorney (estate planning: revocable trusts, living will, wills, pour over will, power of attorney, healthcare power of attorney, healthcare proxy, asset protection, etc.). I am not a burn injury lawyer, however, I have handled a case, and being a burn injury survivor myself I have extensive personal experience due to my own burn injuries and decades of living with those scars…most lawyers do not have personal experience with the daily ramifications of being burned. I have experience with criminal law defense.

5 years Freelance work (Legal work; Estate, Small Business, Asset Management, and Privacy Strategist; Business Process Analysis; and Information Technology)
2 years Director of Information Systems, USO, Washington, DC
6 years Divisional LAN Manager, Acosta Sales and Marketing, Chicago, IL
2 years EPA UST Docket Manager (Librarian), Washington, DC
2 years Subway Sandwich Restaurant, Tampa and Vero Beach, FL
4 years Contract/Temp Services (census, library, pc support, landfill recycling tech, records management)
4 years fishhouse and dock labor, bait fishing (pogies, aka Atlantic Menhaden) and trapping (mainly pigfish and the occasional crab) on the Indian River Lagoon (wikipedia entry for Indian River Lagoon)
1 year Horse Farm Ranch Laborer
6 months Genetics Lab Technician
2 years Volunteer Candystriper at Indian River Community Hospital
4 years seasonal ditchdigger (during hurricane season)
1 Summer operating a lawn service (my labor managed to destroy at least one sprinkler head per lawn serviced)

Other various work experience:

Door to Door Solicitation seeking donations for public interest group FPIRG (Florida Public Interest Research Group) — I quit after one day of canvasing in the Doctors Lake area south of Jacksonville, FL. Their tactics were too aggressive for my taste. I never got paid, but it was an interesting and long day, especially since we had taken a bus from Gainesville to Jacksonville early in the morning and back that night. Note: They do good work.

Moved cars from mainland warehouses to snow-birds’ barrier island homes. I drove a lot of great cars that summer. My favorite was a palm-green convertible 1970 mint condition Oldsmobile Cutlass 442. There were many others, but this one was just a thrill to drive.

I did the camera work in this My Scarlet Life promo music video. I’m credited at the end of the video. In all I did stills and video for five of their concert performances. I loved every second I spent with them on the road and in Chicago.

Presentations and Publications:

Presented USO’s Information Systems Initiative at the 1996 World Leadership Conference at Bolling Air Force Base.

Software Piracy, Team USO (circ. 900), May 1996

Bad Ass Dogs Don’t Do Ballet, Library of Congress Call Number: PS3556.I819 B3 1994 (mature adult subject matter) — The full text and other poetry can be found at Stormgrove Press. The follow up book, Acid Fingers, is also available.

Protecting and Managing Your Digital Persona, 2004, JMLS class paper (topic: intellectual property and privacy)

Lectures: Online Privacy; Internet Resources for Business Research; Document Retention Policies; Entity Structuring; and Corporate Formalities. (Dates span 2007-2008.)

Third Degree Burn and Finger Nails, etc.

The last few weeks have been tough on my body. It’s winter, so of course the weather is dry, which is havoc on my skin. In addition to dry skin, it was that time for my pinky finger nail to decide to separate hanging on by its roots, which is very painful when it catches on something. This happens every couple of years. There is a newer nail growing under the existing nail, and it gets to a point that the old nail begins to detach, but not at the root and nail plate. I always say I’m going to let it grow out but it catches on something, and then I’m ready regardless of the pain, to pull it out, which I do and then everything is so much better. Intense pain for short duration versus sudden pains for a prolonged time–I choose the former.

The nail lifted off nail bed. New nail underneath pushing old nail off.
Small puncture on third degree burn site; small pool of blood.
Small puncture on third degree burn site.

After the nail thing, my right thigh must have been poked by something that broke the skin, or perhaps bitten by a bug. There was a small round bump (didn’t seem like a scab), and I scraped it off, and then to my total surprise I saw and felt a pool blood. I cleaned the blood away, and it didn’t bleed any additional blood.  Something this happens with my calves, and I’m not thinking about it until I feel blood on my ankle.


Burn Victim Questions and Answers

Some questions I’ve been asked recently:

Does all that hurt?

The quick answer is “no,” but it is an incomplete answer. I’m guilty of that response more often than I’d like to acknowledge.

Are you burned in your dreams?

Usually not, but I’ve have several dreams where I was cognizant that I was burned. Very odd to have any scars on my body within dreams. I very well could be burned in my dreams and it’s just not a very significant aspect of the dream realm. Though, the few dreams I’ve had where I am burned have surprised me. It like, “Wow, I’m burned. Didn’t know that.” Of the nearly 13,000 days that I’ve lived with burn scars, I’ve only had a handful of dreams that find me actually burned. I’m not sure of the implications; I’ve not studied dreams.

Why do you have hair growing in unusual places?

During the placement of full and split-thickness skin grafts many of my hair follicles came along for the relocation.

Why is your bottom lip different from mine?

My bottom lip is a combination of full-thickness skin graft and the inside of my mouth pulled out to make a lip. It is very stiff most of the time and quite in-tune with the weather conditions: dry and cracked during low humidity, and softer and pliable when humid. Depending on the rigidness of the lip my annunciation of words can be quite off at times. Very embarrassing. I’m still attempting to train myself not to apologize and just keep on talking.

I’ll work on expanding the list and my responses.