A great worker story from this week is that of John D. Green’s. We’ve made a video to document John’s story, which will be on our website soon.
Last year I took John to meet the Mayor, who sincerely appreciated meeting him. I know so because after John told the Mayor his story the Mayor said with excitement, “I can’t wait to tell my wife!”
John is a true Charlestonian. He grew up on the East Side and went to Burke High School. John served our country in the Air Force Reserves. Several years ago he was working as a driver when he was injured in an automobile accident while on the job. His left arm was injured and it kept him from his job. He had to get therapy and in the meantime couldn’t find work. John ended up unable to pay his bills, and, without any other options, ended up living at a local homeless shelter.
That was when he came to IES, hopped on a longer term job through the warmer months, and got back on his feet. He saved and saved in his Hope Fund, and when the ticket ended he continued to work part time through the slower months at IES (the winter), used his Hope Fund to subsidize his bills, and waited for the same job to start again with the spring.
By this time last year that same job had already started, but this year there has been a slight delay in the work. Over the past few weeks John has been coming around the office a good bit, and I could tell he was a bit antsy. So when I visited my friends at a local carriage company this weekend, and they mentioned an opening for a greeter and that they would love to employ a veteran, I told them I knew just the guy.
John called me yesterday morning after his interview to say today would be his first day, and while he hasn’t given me a report yet, I’m sure it went well. If not, we’ll do our best to keep him busy; John’s the kind of guy we’ll keep as long as he’ll let us. But in the meantime it’s an honor to be a part of his effort to live the story written for him, and I really mean that.
I catch myself watching John’s video a lot because his story--like so many of our workers--means a lot to the staff at IES. We finished the video by asking John what his best advice for life would be, and he said this: “Patience. You have to have patience to endure a lot of things that you go through in life. A lot of things are not happening just right now. When I say right now I mean it’s at a pace that you have to be at peace with yourself, and able to understand that things will work out. But you have to see them through, you have to endure the process that you go through.”
When John talks about his story, and the things he’s endured, it makes me feel encouraged about my own. When he gives his best advice for life, I can’t help but think that’s pretty sound advice for my own. There’s certainly room In Every Story for patience.