Friday, November 18, 2011

A Place where people do share a Part of Them (North Shore Career Center)

I for the first time had taken a chance and entered into the world of Starbucks this morning in Salem, MA. It was a world of so many different varieties of beverages that my mind was temporarily boggled until I saw under the word "peppermint" on the wall menu the word "hot chocolate." Thankfully, my oldest daughter had rehearsed with me how to precisely order at the counter so I did not sound flustered when I placed my order. I was there to meet a special woman, a woman that I have yet to meet in the physical sense; she is my Audrey Hepburn and our correspondence during many past months has shown to me a beauty that has not only been in her words, but also must be inside of her soul. Having no idea as to what she really looked like I sat and for the first time since I can recall in a long, long time I actually relaxed at a sunny table near the window – way in the back so the chaos of those entering and leaving would not hinder Tammy’s time; my time for me and me alone. Though I was not really alone because the other patrons were either engrossed in conversations with others at their respective tables or working diligently on their laptops. As I made my way to my spot in the back I did smile at one woman in particular and her reaction was as if I had said an expletive to her; however not everyone chooses to share a part of them with another human being with even something as simple as a smile. Yet, another customer was laughing along with her little girl as childhood creativity allowed her to pretend she was a dancer on a stage full of life and full of fun while mom enjoyed her Starbucks treat.

My peppermint hot chocolate did taste heavenly and I savored the flavor as long as I was able. I did not meet with my Audrey Hepburn, but as I was leaving to continue my day I knew that eventually our paths will cross in the physical realm. The cold nip in the air nibbled at my nose and I automatically made my way to the North Shore Career Center in Salem where I often go to either try and find a job or to utilize the career center to help promote my writing which may eventually lead to a writing career that may pay me either as a staff writer or even as a freelance writer instead of just being a contributing columnist. Now, recently I had decided to stop writing if only temporarily as a contributor and truly that particular situation related to my exit had nothing at all with not getting paid; it was related to my principles - to what I consider loyalty that is shared by the editorial staff for their writers and always having a line of communication open between the staff and the writers no matter what. Though I truly believe things are not always done intentionally and yes even I can feel slighted for no particular reason except that is part of who I am.

I left a world at a coffee shop that was unfamiliar to me; however I instinctively ended up where I was comfortable at the North Shore Career Center in Salem, MA;comfort because of my long history with the center and its staff; comfort that stems from a time in my life when the center had a branch location on Congress Street. It was during this difficult time in the life of my family the job counselors, the receptionist, and even the director of the branch office made me know that they really did care - just like the staff does now at the Washington Street location. I recall when my job counselor at that time Rose knew I had no interview clothes to ensure that I had the edge needed to land a job. I felt so professional wearing the black dress pants she got for me and though I did not get that particular job, the kindness that was extended to me is now part of the kindness I try to extend to others. It is a kindness that is reflected when I go to the North Shore Career Center as I am always greeted with a helpful staff, as well as people who do choose to share a part of them with another human with even something as simple as a smile.

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