How long it takes us to figure out what is our purpose depends on our circumstances, our past, and whether or not we GIVE up. As for me, I am not giving up, I am a servant and will always be a servant, helping people in all circumstances is what I’ve done the majority of my life, and THAT seems to be my purpose.

For years I worked and got a paycheck, but one day I lost it all. It wasn’t anything I did or didn’t do. I was in a job I loved, with people I knew. I just became complacent. I thought I was okay. I thought I was taken care of, and I KNEW that nothing was going to change. I was so wrong….

I was blessed to have worked for over 22 years with the same company. Many people don’t have that opportunity. I had the ability to live in many states, meet many diverse people, and raise my family in a variety of cultures. Along the way, the people I worked for, and the many bosses I had throughout the years taught me the necessary skills, not only to help myself, but others. My personal goal in life was to be in a meaningful job helping people. When my position was eliminated, my outlook on life was SHATTERED.

Out of every one this could have happened to, why me?

THIS EVENT GAVE ME SOMETHING I DIDNT HAVE, something that sparked my ego. It gave me a unique perspective on life and family. It paved the road for my next adventure. In the year and a half since my career demise, I have met some amazing people. People I could not have met had I continued working. People that helped me uncover hidden talents and skills. People that continue to make a difference in the lives of others, as they did me.

I started my un-working “career” with the Tennessee Unemployment Office, and came to know a lady working at the unemployment office by the name of Cheryl Wycoff. Due to Cheryl’s demeanor and attitude I had the ability to meet her supervisor, Laura Miller. These two individuals were in my life to help me in my time of definite need. Because of what they do, they help others EVERY DAY.

Although the workers at unemployment offices are aware of the frustrations and anger in the unemployed, they continue to provide excellent customer service. I can tell you firsthand that the workers try to compensate for the issues by using their skills, understanding and knowledge to help those that want help. Laura and Cheryl and are not just leaving people in the system to fend for themselves, they are involved.

We live in a world where we don’t have to personally meet people to get to know them. The internet has opened up the ability to randomly communicate anywhere with anyone. I know, from experience, the frustration of filing for unemployment and searching for a job. Throughout my un-working career, I was able to find small jobs here and there, but ultimately I found the job I so much wanted — and it was all because of the internet.

As an example I want to use the “Johnny, the bagger” story. Mac Anderson puts it this way: “Service is the lifeblood of any organization. Everything flows from it, and is nourished by it. Customer service is not a department, it is an attitude.”

businessman-feet-up-on-desk-relax-stress-MConnors-MorguefileI realize all companies have some individuals “just working” for a paycheck, but in my experience, the employees at the Tennessee Unemployment Office are well trained, happy to help, and knowledgeable in how to deliver the ultimate in the customer experience.

People honestly searching for employment have many resources available. The unemployment officers have tools to share.

But personally, they might benefit from remembering there is a reason for every season, and although it may not appear to be in a person’s best interest, there is always an opportunity to “make a difference” somewhere, somehow, someway for personal satisfaction or the nourishment of someone else.

We are all here at this moment in time to find our destiny on the road through life. I often prayed that I would find another job with meaning, a job I could grow with, a job to fulfill my ambitions, and I FINALLY did.

Eileen DeStefano
Smyrna, TN

Photo credits: INSPIKS Inspirational Pictures (top) Michael Connors (lower)


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