I met with Jamie in her home in Centralia, WA. We spent the evening talking about raising her kids and finding work. Here is a bit of her story.
“I had four kids and I went back to school and earned three college degrees. Working my way through. Sophia, my youngest, was six months old when I started. She was 6 years old when I graduated with my masters. They were amazing side kicks. I think that is the most interesting part in my life."
"I was absolutely broke… but that wasn't actually what propelled me. I had gotten a job in a doctor's office. I was so excited because I was making $7.50/hr. Minimum wage was $5.15/hr at that point. So I really felt like I had arrived. I was working 40hrs/week. I probably worked there four months or so. I never quite fit in. One of the doctors' wives didn't like me. I was always friendly, and the patients liked me.
They ultimately let me go. On my unemployment papers they said I was ‘overly friendly and helpful and it interfered with me getting my job done.’ I saved it because I couldn't believe you could fire someone for something like that.
But I was so worried and so honest that I always put that I was fired when I applied for jobs. So I carried that paper with me around for years. I’m sure it is still in a box somewhere. I wanted to be able to prove that I hadn't done anything that egregious. When I was boohooing about it... my stepdad sat me down and he said, ‘Kid, I only see you having a couple of choices… you are either going to do something like sell used cars, or you are going to become something like a social worker. But if you sit around and cry about it, it probably isn't going to help.’” - Jamie M.