I had never heard her use the word “career” when talking about any job. The store knows she wants to advance, and she has already been trained in various areas of its operation. When this training was first offered to her she didn’t want to do it. Initially they wanted her to learn how to demonstrate food; she felt this was a lower position than she currently held. It was, however, higher pay. I told her the more she learned about the company, the more valuable she would be to them. Later they wanted to teach her how to run their gas station operation. Now she does both in addition to acting as cashier, and she enjoys it. She also attended, on her own time, a class on the various methods for advancement within the company. She has now worked at the store for 8 months. “I want to learn all I can about the company before I try for advancement,” she told me. They only take 10 people a year into their management school and Rochelle knows she isn’t ready. The company does, however, offer classes to learn about its organization and operations, and that is how Rochelle wants to proceed. Rochelle is thinking ahead and thinking things through for the first time since I have been interviewing her. Of course, this is the first time she has ever had a job with any kind of future.
Rochelle is not even close to being out of poverty, but she is on a better course. Her car will still be causing problems, but things are definitely better than they were a year ago. I asked her what she thought. “I think I’m on the right track finally,” she told me.
I have not posted for the last month or so, though I did interview Rochelle weekly. I guess I was taking a needed break as well. I will continue to interview Rochelle for the next 6 months and then we shall see where this blog goes. I’m going to leave this post short because there is no need to elaborate. All is not going to be smooth sailing, but Rochelle just may have turned a corner. Again my fingers are crossed.