In 1974, I was working at a shoe company and had been there for six years, which at the time seemed like an eternity. On one of the few occasions I had ever called in sick, I was at home recuperating and decided to take a look at the newspaper want ads (yes, that’s what they were called back then) and came upon an ad for a part-time secretary at the Goldie B. Floberg Center for Children. I thought “why not”? Six years is a long time and I was ready for a change, and wouldn’t it be cool to work part-time.
I came in to the Center during my lunch hour to apply and I was flooded with memories of the last time I had been in that building. It was when I was in high school and the Center was then the Dalton Youth Center. Things certainly had changed! I was greeted by several staff and even more children. As I was completing my application, I thought this would be a fun place to work. My interview went well but I was unfortunately not hired because another applicant was willing to work for $.25 less an hour. I couldn’t budge on the wage because I had figured exactly what I needed to make my car payment. However, luck was on my side, and I received a call two weeks later asking me if I was still interested. Part-time work was going to be a luxury to this newly married gal!
I had never been around anyone with a disability and I didn’t know what to expect. My office was located right in the middle of kids’ living area so I found out very quickly what the Center was all about. These kids were really fun to be around. It became more than just a job to me and the children became a huge part of not just my life but my entire family (I volunteered my husband to be Santa’s elf at Christmas and after that he was hooked!)
As the years went on, my part-time job became closer to full-time and my secretarial position changed to a fundraising position on to Office Manager and then on to Finance Director and then Chief Financial Officer. Some of our young people have even called me “Money Lady”, which is probably the title I like best.
I have spent 35 years working at the Goldie B. Floberg Center (remember, I thought 6 years was a long time!) and feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to spend so much time with so many special people. I’ve watched children grow into adults and watched the Center grow into the outstanding agency it is now.
What a lucky break for me the first applicant they hired didn’t work out!