Four years ago today, I was a high school senior who desperately wanted a job. I was also a high school senior who desperately did NOT want to work for her dad. My dad has worked at Greenleaf Nursery since he was fresh out of high school at 19 years old. 31 years. I grew up loving to visit Dad at the office, to sneak candy from the candy jar on his secretary’s desk, to be complimented left and right by his coworkers. At 17 however, working at Greenleaf was not my dream job, candy jar and compliments or not. I felt like I could do better than working for Dad, that people would just think I was a daddy’s girl who could only get a job that he gave her. I needed to do something though or I’d have to start taking blow off classes at the high school to fill the space that I’d intended to fill with a job. So on February 25, 2010, I started what I thought was a part time job until they laid me off in the summer and I started college. I still remember what I wore that first day. I still cringe at what I wore that first day. Who wears pink pants and sparkly Converse to their first day of work in an office? *facepalm* It was a busy time, learning the ropes, making mistakes, and working late. I also had high school and college homework to work in from time to time. But I loved it. I loved how grown up I felt working in an office, I loved calling customers, I loved having a desk with my own computer. I loved going out to eat with my dad for lunch and not having to pay for it. From the very beginning I’d been warned that when the busy season was over, I wouldn’t have a job anymore and that was okay. I was enrolled in college and didn’t need to worry about working. I’d figure something out. As summer approached and I graduated high school, my thoughts about the future started to shift. I decided that I didn’t want to go to college anymore. And God worked something out for me: I kept my job. Sure, I had to spend the summer filing paperwork for a department that I didn’t actually work in, sure it was the most boring and tedious thing I’ve ever had to do to date. But I was getting paid for it and I didn’t have to go job hunting. Four years later, I am still so thankful that God worked it out for me to keep working here. When I was younger, I always hated spring shipping because I never saw my dad. Since I’ve been working here, I get to see him all the time. I can take off work whenever I want to, no questions asked. I’ve been able to go on trips with my friends and family and that’s such a blessing to me. I love being able to leave work on Thursday so I can go to church at Parkland and have extra time at Keith’s. When the weather is bad, I can tag along with Dad in the 4×4 so I don’t have to drive on slick roads. I have three very funny, overly protective coworkers who treat me like their own kid (sometimes that’s not so good- it’s like I have four dads working here). I don’t make a whole lot of money, but I make enough that I can pay the bills and buy gas for my Jeep-which I bought and paid off with my Greenleaf salary. It’s not perfect here by any means. Our computers are slow, a lot of the truck drivers cuss a lot, and 75% of the work is done in 25% of the year. But the positives far outweigh the negatives and I know that God’s hand was in it when I started working here.
This would be the appropriate time to say, “Here’s to another four years,” but… I kind of hope to be married by then. So I’ll just say thanks God for providing me this job and thanks Greenleaf for being beautiful and a great place to work.
Now how about that raise?