I walked in the door, and my high school Dean of Students was standing at the front desk on his cell phone. He smiled, and I thought briefly that it was strange that he was there. The office isn't open for business yet, not until next week. I waited possibly thirty seconds before the owner came out. She and her husband own this business together. She said, "Hi Kylie." (Yes, I told you my real name.) I felt good that she had remembered my name.
As we walked back into the office, I see another woman there. She was possibly in her seventies, and I was curious. My thoughts were wondering. "Is she another of the interviewees?" "Am I early?" "Is there still an interview going on?" "Why is this lady sitting here?" As I sat down, she didn't move, and I was already sitting before the husband and wife team. As if that wasn't enough, there was another empty chair. Yep, you guessed it. My high school Dean of Students was sitting there. I was about to go before a panel of judges!
My stomach started to knot. My hands started to shake, and my mind started to race. I was introduced to the elderly woman in the office. She was the owner's grandmother. Then my high school Dean of Students wrapped up his call and came back to sit. Oooohhh...my stomach. I had no idea I would be going in front of a panel, especially not someone that I had actually been pretty close to throughout my junior high and high school years.
Almost immediately, they start firing off questions. "If I were a customer asking about the philosophy I could expect here, what would tell me?" "If I were a customer that had been waiting ten minutes past my appointment time and said I was leaving, what would you do?" "What are your top three priorities in life?" "What do you expect to gain from us if you get this job?" "Are you comfortable multi-tasking?"
When all the questions were done, we were all still smiling, and I had made it through. I told them I was so nervous because they mentioned something about the panel and the rapid fire of questions. They said that I hid it very well, that they didn't know I was nervous at all. That felt good because inside, I was all over the place. I had talked to them about God being my first priority and my family/friends that have become family being my second. I talked to them about wanting to find my purpose and about trusting God to make the right decision about my career. We talked about so much. I even talked to them about my mom's death and how that changed my whole life, my entire perspective.
At the very end of the interview, the husband looked at me and said, "On a side note, you have a very powerful personality." I was blown away. I said thank you, of course, but he went on. He said, "No matter what you do in life, you are so honest and so powerful that you will do very well in whatever you choose to do." He spoke as if he could just feel it in his heart. I wanted to cry, but I didn't. I said thank you, and I was utterly shocked. It was such a huge compliment.
Then, my high school Dean of Students looked over at me, and he said, "I don't know if this is the right time to say this, but I just want you to know that I am very proud of you." It was at this point that I started to cry. This man has seen me go through many struggles in the past 8 years of my life, and it meant a lot that he was proud of me. He continued as well, "I have seen you at odds many times in your life, and your family has been through so much." Looking to the owners he said, "She has just risen above." Then back to me he said, "I just want you to know that you should be very, very proud of yourself."
Through my tears, I whispered to him, "I appreciate that."
The grandmother said, "Don't do that, you'll have us all going." Of course, it was too late by that point. I had already opened the floodgates. The wife says something to about making a pregnant woman cry, and moments later, we were all crying and laughing at ourselves for not being able to shut it off.
The wife said, through her tears, "I really just feel like you are supposed to be here." I feel the same way. Her husband assured me they would be in contact with me by this afternoon, and I feel good about this entire process either way. I prayed this morning to God that if he wanted me in this new job, to make it happen. If he didn't, I told Him, I appreciated having the opportunity to be a part of what they were doing and getting to know them. Selfishly, I really hope this is God's plan for me, but I won't know until this afternoon.
It was very nice that we could all be comfortable enough with each other to cry with each other. I can't imagine this has been an easy road for the owners. There were probably times they didn't think they were going to get it off the ground, and now, here they are, making it happen. It is all real before them, and I'm sure, as it would be for me, that they feel a mixture of excitement and sadness. Excitement for the future and sadness that the past is over.
No matter what the outcome, I can firmly say that I will be a supporter of these people as I have grown to respect them greatly over the past few days.