Monday, January 4, 2016

New Year Heard!

Sometimes the years seem to blur together but not so with the past few. They stand out like a beacon, like a light that showed me the way.

Massey and I went to meet our former manager from work a few weeks ago to have dinner and drinks. It was awesome seeing him, I was crazy about having him as a boss and once Massey started working there she quickly felt the same. He was a stern boss but a fair one. He led by example and constantly urged you to be better at your job by constructive criticism and encouragement. He made me a nervous wreck when I first started at the airport. I thought he didn't like me but totally understood why he constantly corrected me, I was a fish out of water and way out of my league. It took literally at least three months before I began to feel comfortable about my job performance and mostly due to his constantly correcting and telling me how to perform my duties with perfection. I work for a five star upscale restaurant and customers demand (as they should) five star service.

While we were eating dinner that night the conversation veered into something about one of my kids. My former boss was chuckling about whatever story I was telling but then said something that struck me like a lightning bolt.

He told me one of the things he liked about me the most was that I was a fighter,  I fought for my kids and encouraged them to fight as well.

I liked that compliment, and after looking back at the last few years tend to agree with him.

When your back's against a wall, there's nothing you can do but come out swinging and throw your hardest punches hoping at least a couple of them land solidly and make a difference in your battle.

No wonder my hands and knuckles look so bad.

For a couple of years we borrowed from Peter to Pay Paul and even gratefully accepted charity from friends and family. Just as I began to feel the knot at the end of the rope we were clinging to, I got a job offer at the airport (thanks to my good friend, Tia) and everything turned around.

I had to borrow a vehicle (thanks Susan) to even go for  my security and FBI background check and once cleared borrowed numerous vehicles for the first four months I worked there. I bummed rides from friends and hitched rides with others. I ended up buying one of the borrowed vehicles and then when my husband got a great job offer bought another one of the borrowed used vehicles to move him out to Texas where his job sent him.

Here's what I've learned at the tender age of over half a century.

Be a good person, you don't have to be one is but if you give you get. I am far beyond flawed and no where near perfect but can swing like a slugger when it's the bottom of the ninth, bases loaded with two outs and a full count.

You may strike out but you might knock it out of the park. You'll never know unless you swing with all your might.

Tonight was slow at work, like an international ghost town. One of my fellow co workers even commented "You know it's dead if even Kelly's walking slow, she never does." and he's right, I don't.

I hurry from the time I get into my car at home, out of my car at work in the parking garage to the time I clock out. I live my life in a hurry because you never know how much time you have.

I try and make every table I wait on a high priority and connect with them. I treat every employee, from the shuttle driver who picks me up in the parking garage to the woman who cleans the toilets in the airport to the woman who takes  my twelve dollars when I leave the parking garage like a friend of mine, because they are. I treat the dishwashers at work as equals because we are. I speak to every cook, utility person and learn their story while telling them mine. I work hard from the minute I clock in until the minute I clock out because that's what I'm paid to do.

It's not a perfect world or job and a few people don't like me but I take it as a back handed compliment. If they don't like me it's most probably because everyone else does and that's their problem not mine.

This new year, this 2016 is going to be terrific because after well over half a century I finally figured it out.

Swing hard, love deep, never give up and you'll always be a winner.

I'm still in the race and have a long way to go but think I'll cross the finish line. I may not be first place but will certainly show.

Til next time...COTTON

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