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It was a beautiful and warm sunny day in early September. I had just turned 20 years old in June and I was feeling very much like I was no longer a kid and I had reached full adulthood. I was also feeling very much like a failure in life. I had been unemployed for the first time since starting working. It had only been a month, but I was desperate for a paycheck. I knew nothing about SRC, but was told by my uncle that I should go and apply and that my cousin's husband could get me an interview.

I stepped out of the warm sunlight and into the 1960's front office complete with wood paneling. I filled out an application and while I quietly sat there and wrote out my non-impressive job history of several fast food places, a brief stint at a telecommunications call center, and the most recent manual labor job that apparently hadn't stuck, a man walked in to check on the status of his application. The patch on his arm indicated that he was an ASE certified mechanic. The secretary told him that he hadn't been selected, but that his application was still good for another month at which time he would have to fill out a new one to keep one on file with them. He had been waiting already two months with no word.

I was tempted to just walk out without finishing my application since if this certified mechanic couldn't get a job with them, how would my pizza making skills convince them to hire me? I reluctantly finished and turned it in. I got a call the next day to set up a panel interview. I was astonished, but accepted.

The interview consisted of sitting in a folding metal chair surrounded by three managers from three different departments. Later, I was told by my boss, one of the interviewers, that what convinced him to hire me was my response to his question: "How do you feel about overtime?" I immediately responded with, "As much as you can give me." I guess that they had a group of employees reluctant to work it, but I was just fine working 63 hours a week, every week, for years.

Over the nine and a half years I worked there my titles went from Cycle Counter, to Forklift Operator, to Shipper/Packager, to Receiving Clerk, to Traffic Assistant, to Inventory Control Manager, to Warehouse Supervisor, to Materials Manager, and finally to Supply Chain Coordinator.

I wrote a blog about my leaving SRC back in December of 2008 which can be found by clicking this link. Originally, I planned to take three months off and if SRC didn't hire me back at that time, then I'd go find a new job. I did look for a job during that time somewhat, but wasn't going to take just any job. If I was going to go back to work it was going to be with a company that recognized and was willing to pay for the skills that I had acquired over the years. I'm a math guy, and I did the math and found out that we would be okay financially for three months and if we needed to we could possibly stretch it out to 5 or 6, but that was definitely going to be a stretch and maybe not even possible. It was 11 months. And we were perfectly fine financially. God is good. Recently, we even did some financial math to fill out an application for a loan for a business venture that we're working on. In going back to see what our recent income had been, we couldn't help but laugh. The final dollar amount was ridiculously low, and yet we lived quite comfortably. I love it when God reveals himself so obviously. I could do all the math and figure out where it all came from directly, but I know where it all came from indirectly so I don't feel the need to waste the time.

DEI has been great so far. I really like the people there and the smaller company feel. Additionally, they respect what I am worth even more so than SRC which should know better than anyone. After all, they were the ones who invested so much money and time in me in the first place. They took a pizza delivery boy with nothing more than a high school education and turned him into a businessman. For that, among other reasons, I am grateful.


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