I have a Hallmark greeting card hanging above my desk from a retired Goodwill employee. It features a picture of two dinosaurs on a rock surrounded by water and in the distance is an ark with several pairs of animals visible. One dinosaur is saying to the other, “Oh Crap! Was that today?” The inside of the card reads, “A bad day is all about perspective.”
It’s a good reminder, and one which was brought home again recently, when a group of customers toured the James O. Wright Center for Work and Training on 91st and Fond du Lac. This visit was part of their company's employee outreach and enrichment program. Of course they knew of Goodwill, and they were aware we packaged items for them, but none of them had actually seen the items being placed into the blister and the cards sealed into place. In fact, many of them had only seen the finished product and not how they were being assembled. They were also intrigued by the number of companies we do work for, showed interest in the warehouse and docks, were fascinated by the industrial laundry, especially the folders (but then again, who isn’t) and were impressed with the Workforce Connection Center, which anyone can use the center services free of charge.
However, what was mentioned most were the Goodwill employees. From those working on the production line who welcomed the opportunity to show visitors how they did their work, to the excitement of the participant who had just been hired in the community through a Supported Employment Services, to the pride of the gentleman in the Workforce Connection Center who had completed his Temporary Work Experience. He had done such a good job there that he was hired to assist customers and staff.
But the comment that struck me the most was, “Everyone just seems happy to be here, and not just the people with disabilities. The receptionist and security guard when we first walked in, to the people who just served us in Café 1919; it is obvious people like working here and you make a difference.”
So when I find a part of my job especially challenging and my attitude is slipping, I look up at the card. I think about what other people see when they come to visit Goodwill and realize I am one of the happy people who gets to work here and then get on with the task at hand. Because I have learned, it really is “all about perspective.”
—Written by Julie Barber, Senior Account Manager