I Needed a Job and I Had No Idea What to Expect!
I needed a job! A year and a half ago, I was a stay at home mom of two girls, Autumn, now 11, and Kiley, now 5. I love my girls like crazy, but I was going crazy running them to school and to one activity after another. I needed an escape for just a few hours a week. I needed a job! I needed something flexible. I wanted something fun. I was a waitress for years and was over that. I worked in a corporate office setting for years. I was over that as well. I was lost and had no idea what I wanted to do. I saw two posts on a Facebook page. One for a cleaning position (yuck) and another for Swimtastic (which I thought, please let there but only office work to do because I do not want to swim). I applied to both. I interviewed for the cleaning job and she called back a few days later and asked if I wanted the position. I told her I needed to talk it over with my husband and I'd call her back. That same day Swimtastic called and I did a phone interview with them. After the interview, I was asked if I could come in and interview in person. I told them I have two girls at home so it would need to be when my husband was home or if I can find a sitter. They said, bring the girls in, we would love to meet them. I was floored. I knew right then and there that I had to have this job!
Autumn was at school and I brought Kiley with me to the interview the next day. It went so great. I loved the office manager right away and the employees were so friendly! After I got home, I called the woman for the cleaning position and turned her down in hopes that I would get the job at Swimtastic! I am so glad I did because they offered me the job! I had no idea what to expect. They asked me what days and times I am available to work. They didn't say, you need to work these hours. I again was floored. I was so happy that I could tell them what hours worked for me and I didn't have to miss out on time with my girls.
March 1st, 2016 I was starting my new job! I was going to get part of my sanity back. I couldn't wait! The first day I woke up early to get myself and the girls all ready to go. 8:00 am we were out the door. 8:30 am, I walked into my first day of the job! It was so smooth, the staff was wonderful. I had fun! I had fun at a job! I couldn't believe it. I saw so many children's eyes light up as they would come in the door so excited for their swimming lesson! The day went by so fast.
At 3:00 my first day was done. I picked up Autumn from school and Kiley from the sitter and was ready to be able to spend my evening with them and my husband. The next day, I was all ready to start my second day on the job. Woke up early again and got myself and my girls ready to go. I wanted to leave a little earlier as it had snowed and there was a small dusting on the ground. I couldn't wait to get to work! Only the universe had other plans for me that day. As I was leaving the house, I stepped down off the step and down I went. I stepped right on the edge of the sidewalk and grass and rolled my ankle. I thought for sure I had broken it. I don't know if I was crying from the pain or crying that I was going to have to call in on my second day of work at a job I was so excited to get.
I called the only number I had and left a message on the voicemail letting them know what I had done. I called my husband from work to come get me and take me to Urgent Care. Luckily, it wasn't broken, just a sprain and I was lucky enough to have the Swimtastic manager be completely understanding. They told me not to come in until I was ready to. I couldn't believe it. I have never worked for someone so understanding. Two days later I returned to work with my cane. When I took this job, I knew I was going to love it but I didn't know just how much it was going to change me.
I had no idea what to expect. Everyone I worked with was great! We had fun and yet got the job done. I wasn't teaching kids how to swim. I was working in the office. Answering questions, calling clients, registering clients. Fast forward to today and I continue to love this job. I may not teach the kids to swim, but they are still excited to see me when they walk in the door. I get small gifts from the kids like hugs. I know many of the kids by first name and their parents as well. I've even become friends with parents and do playdates with their kids and mine. I get to watch that one child who was terrified to go in the water the first day and see their excitement when they tell me they floated on their back for the first time, or they jumped in without holding the teacher's hand, or that big moment when they tell me they swam for the very first time. I went from needing a job to get out of the house to needing THIS job because I can't imagine working anywhere else.
- Dana Fintleman
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