Mary started working for me in 2006.
To this day, she remains one of my favorite employees. We lost touch after she moved back east. I was thinking about her yesterday as I was roofing.
At the time I hired her, I was looking for one laborer. She met all of my qualifications but one…
Needed to be able to carry an 80 pound bundle of shingles up a ladder.
We talked about that at the interview. She thought she could probably do it. She told me her last job as an archaeological assistant was very physical. She liked working outdoors, in all kinds of weather, wasn’t afraid to get dirty. In the end, I hired her and young man named Brady. I knew Brady could handle the shingle lifting.
Like I said, Mary came to mind yesterday as that Christmas song Mary Did You Know was flitting through my brain…
Couple of quick stories about Mary.
First week she came to work, she cussed like a sailor. I didn’t say anything. Figured she just wanted to make a good first impression with a bunch of rough construction guys. I used to cuss like a sailor myself, so I didn’t think too much about it. About the 3rd day she came to work, she brought the cussing up. Seems she and her day care lady were talking about her new job working for me….(whom I kind of knew) The day care lady went on and on about what a “good Christian man I was.” (yea right) so Mary told me she was sorry about all of the “f bombs.”
I laughed. Told her not to worry about it. To my ears, they were just words. I noticed a change after that conversation. She became more relaxed and genuine.
Few months later, we were heading to work one morning. She told me to pull over, quick…. she was feeling sick. Lost her breakfast next to a telephone pole. (sorry) When she got back in the truck, I asked her if she (quoting now) “Had one in the oven?” 😉
“Absolutely not! It was probably a greasy salad dressing I had the night before.” She said. Well, me, having watched my wife go through pregnancy four times wasn’t convinced.
The time of day was suspect. The fact she didn’t have the flu made me suspicious.
In the end, I was right. 🙂
As we got closer to Christmas that year, I could tell she was under financial stress.
No family in the area.
My heart went out to that young family, 1000 miles from home. I mentioned something briefly in an adult Sunday School class I was a part of.
“Wouldn’t be fun to pass the hat in the spirit of Christmas?” I told the class I would have to come up with a way to present it to her, because she was not a mooch.
There is nothing quite as much fun as being able to help someone out who really needs it, and who is not expecting it. We ended up collecting about $300 as I recall. I gave it to her that next Monday morning before work.
Said she couldn’t accept it.
Can’t remember now what I said, but eventually she did. The following week, more money trickled in…
I had to apologize and tell her I had more money for her.
It wasn’t my fault. Someone else had heard about their situation and wanted to help. I think I got a hug out of that one. 🙂
I’ve tried to track Mary down a few times since she moved but she’s fallen off the radar. She reminded me a lot of my eldest daughter Angie.
I’ll close with Pentatonix’s version of Mary Did You Know.
Have you ever been on the receiving end of someone’s generosity?
Have you ever had the chance to be on the giving end to help someone out?
Tell me your stories!
I want to hear about it! DM