October 31, 2013

“I’ll know you for a long time!”

In September 2012 I was laid off from Supervalu, it was on the one year anniversary of my lay off that I received my offer letter from Nativity of Mary in Bloomington. Today, I celebrate one month at Nativity of Mary in Bloomington!

Two Women One Inspiration
I met Jackie Sauber in 3rd Grade at All Saints in Lakeville-she was my teacher. As I became more active at church Jackie served as a mentor and supporter of my creative talent. I was proud to tell my students & people around me that she was my teacher. I am even more proud to tell people she was my friend for 35 years. She is a wonderful women that impacted thousands of lives. Each time she saw me she would ask about my job search and left me with the encouraging words of “God has a plan for you and the right job will be there at the right time and you will know it.” On July 22, 2013, Jackie passed away and I lost a women that has been a lifetime friend and supporter, but I know she still is keeping an eye on me.   Jackie’s sister and my good friend Mary Kay Bungert had been equally encouraging in my search.  Mary Kay started sending me jobs from the Archdiocese of St. Paul & Minneapolis website that fit where I wanted to be going with my life and offered to be a reference. One of the jobs was here at Nativity of Mary for the Development Director position.  Shortly after I emailed in my resume I had a call for an interview. For the first time in the year that I had been sending out resumes and having interviews I was excited; I had the feeling this is where God wants me to be.

A Priest, Principal, and Administrator walk into a room …
It sounds like the beginning of a joke, but that was my second and final interview at Nativity.  I think I even made reference to the last time I was in a small room with a priest and a principal asking me questions was in high school.  There were no canned list of questions filled with “tell me about a time…” They wanted to know ME and what I have done. Trust me any smart interviewee can make up scenarios to the “tell me about a time…” question. (Heck, I have done it.). Then came the question that every interviewer has, “Do you have any questions for me/us?” I have some canned questions I typically ask, but this time I had one, “If I am hired what is one thing that you really want me to accomplish?” The principal wanted an alumni program and the priest wanted parish stewardship.

Is God Testing Me?
After the first interview, I sent a follow up “Thank You” and received an email to set up the second in about two days. After the second interview, I sent another a follow up “Thank You” and I waited. And waited. Uh-Oh, was it my reference to the priest and the principal joke? I sent an email to ask if they needed additional information or if I could give them the names of people that would emphatically say, “Hire Kelly.” Should I call? Patience! One more day. The next morning, September 26th I had my answer.

 “Do you like your job?”
I love it!  My excitement for the job is the same that I think I share with a little girl, who on my first day walking through the hall joyous told me she had just lost her first tooth as she pointed to the small gap in her mouth.

There is a saying, “Everything I need to know I learned in Kindergarten”, three days on the job I met a Kindergartener named Brianna as I waited for an assembly to begin. She asked if I would help her with the zipper on her sweater because it kept getting stuck.  I commented that I liked her Hello Kitty lunch bag and she told me “You need to remember your snack.” as she proudly held it up.

One benefit is I can have lunch from the cafeteria for $3.50.  The first day I went to get lunch I was greeted by young girls who welcomed me to sit at their table. “Are you a teacher?” they asked.  I told them I worked at the church office and I was new.  I asked what grade they were in, to which they answered “First”.  I said, “Oh you girls are new too.” My new friend Quinn told me “No, we were here in Kindergarten.” Then Quinn, Isabelle, Angelina, and Autumn showed me the ropes when it came to eating in the cafeteria like if a teacher puts up two fingers in a V then you are supposed to be quiet, and where to put trash and your tray.  I was invited to see their classroom and their teacher, Mrs. Barth, welcomed me to say for “What’s in the Sack” (Show and Tell). The girls told me I can have lunch with them anytime; I try to have lunch with them once a week.

“I’ll know you for a long time!”

Today, as I celebrate one month at Nativity of Mary I coincidentally got my new ID badge.  I didn't have a lanyard to put it on and was given one by the school secretary.  The lanyard was for Academy of Holy Angels School, many students from Nativity go there.  I had also promised my first grade friends I would join them for lunch and today was the day.  Quinn asked, “Does that say Holy Angels?” “Yes, the school secretary gave it to me.” I said.  “Well I am going to go there after Nativity and you will be here so I’ll know you for a long time!” I paused, thinking of my relationship with Jackie Sauber and said, “I hope I will get to see you graduate from there!” I think this is God’s way of saying “this is the right job and I am here at the right time.”

I don't remember if I knew in 3rd grade that I would know Jackie for a long time. I don't know if Quinn will remember telling me she will know me for a long time. I do know that if we do what we love the world around us changes and we make an impact and that is what will  last a long time.