To my mother with love…

I love my mother.

Not everyone can say that but I truly can. She makes me laugh, has a way of getting right to the point when you least want her to, is incredibly supportive and protective and loves all her children each in their own way.
My mother turned 60 today and after a year of changes and upheaval in her life it seems that things are starting to look up. This past year saw her job searching; finding a job in a field she knew nothing about but where she enjoyed the challenge; somehow her job changed and eventually she ended up getting laid off; she had a massive gallbladder attack and it caused her gallbladder to rupture; she waited months, losing tons of weight in the process and getting very ill until she finally had surgery.
Not really knowing where to go, and feeling that life was getting away from who she is and where she really wanted to be, she sat back and started to look at what she really wants to do.
My Mom loves to work with people – mainly in the service sector.
For a long time though my mother focused more on making money than being happy. But when she started to look back at her favourite employment positions – she thought of McDonald’s. Now I’m not talking the McDonald’s with the cafe style tables, bad service, fireplaces and wifi – I’m talking the great service with a smile McDonald’s of the 80’s and 90’s. My Mom was the breakfast manager for 15 years at a McDonald’s and loved it. The job was consistent, expectations were there and training was fully provided. She was able to smile and make people smile just by doing a good job. She got to know the staff and the customers and she loved the fast pace.
With Service in mind she started to realize that the money wasn’t so important. Not really wanting to go back to management as she’s now in her prime, she decided to focus on what she was good at and look for a part time position working at a Tim Horton’s or a McDonald’s. These are things she knows – food quality, great service and cleanliness. My Mom is an amazing billboard for Q.S.C.!
Being slightly more experienced she has been passed over for younger candidates more times than she can count. For some reason many employers were more concerned that she was going to up and retire – than the fact that they’d hire a younger worker who may go on mat leave in a few months. My mother has been recognized for her attendance record – but that doesn’t really enter into many employers minds.
She handed out a couple resumes at McDonald’s again and at a few Tim Horton’s in Cambridge only to find that they weren’t really looking at this time. Either her age and experience scared them, or they really legitimately had enough staff at this time. Feeling a little discouraged, we had a heart to heart last weekend. I think it was great that she was looking for jobs in a field she enjoyed. It would get her out of the office and back behind the counter with a smile. It’d give her a purpose and she’d see the results of her hard work every day after each customer was served quickly and with a smile.
I remember that a new friend of mine made an off-hand comment a few months ago about going to the Tim Horton’s out in Aberfoyle. It’s not in a big city, but it is a busy location. It’s just off the 401 and he told me that they are always looking for good people. Knowing that my parents live outside of Cambridge on the Aberfoyle side, I suggested for her to apply. She was interested and thought she’d give it a try. What could it hurt right?
After driving the big whopping 12 minutes (less than it would take her to get to a most of the stores in Cambridge) she found herself dropping off her resume and having a good conversation with the manager. She was told the same “We aren’t really looking for those hours at this time” (day shift before 3pm) but the manager did say “I’d hire you right now if you could work all shifts as I think you’d be great.” With a final parting of the manager saying “Give me your resume and application as you never know” my mother left feeling a little better about herself. If they didn’t have space, they didn’t have space but getting some positive feedback went a long way for her self esteem.
On the drive home she stopped at her sisters farm and they had a tea and discussed how things went. She had no idea, but she sparked something just by going there and taking my advice. By the time she got in her driveway they had already called and arranged an interview for her with my uncle who just happened to answer the phone. It seems something may have opened up after all.
She went in for the interview and by the end they hired her. She starts in two weeks and was absolutely glowing as she told us about it today at her birthday party. She talked of uniforms and her new non-slip shoes and you could see her just bubbling.
I love that she’s finally followed the advice she’s given all us kids for years and years – Do what you like to do. She deserves this challenge and will excel because that’s who she is! She is a wonderful service machine and they will see this.
So Mom – on your 60th birthday I have to say how proud I am of you!

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