In 1999, my children were 4 and 2 years old. I was a single mom and knew I had to provide for my family but also be there for my kids. I needed a job with a flexible schedule, not something where I was committed five days a week. I heard about Labor Ready (now PeopleReady) and found I really liked the jobs they sent me on. And the flexibility worked for me and my family.
One of my early assignments was a hockey game at the Cox Center in Oklahoma City. Before that job, I didn’t even know what hockey was; after they trained me, I was driving the Zamboni and working the ice. The manager tried for three months to get me to come on as a full-time employee, and eventually I did. I ended up working there for seven years, on events ranging from dog shows to the NCAA Tournament. I found satisfaction in that job. I could look at an event after it was set up and think, ‘I built that.’ I’m a people person and believe I was put on this earth to bring joy to others. Working at the Cox Center gave me the opportunity to do that – bring joy.
“Kolet is very polished, well-spoken and has great people skills,” said Rosa Gregory, PeopleReady assistant branch manager. “That stood out to me. She is able to take on whatever job and challenge is before her.”
I faced a big personal challenge I didn’t expect when I was 27; I had a stroke and my kids were 5 and 7 years old. I was paralyzed for a year, but came through it. I went back to school and worked for PeopleReady part-time. One of those temporary jobs was with Dillard’s Department store. They kept requesting me for more and more assignments. My manager saw something in me and offered me an opportunity for permanent employment.
“Dillard’s needed people who knew how to talk, work and dress in a sales environment,” Rosa remembers. “Kolet is easy to give instructions to, teachable and flexible. I knew she could do the job.”
Today, I’m a shoe stock associate at Dillard’s. I specialize in ladies shoes. I unload trucks and keep the stock room full and orderly. I’ve been here full-time since June 2011. It’s a great job; I even get paid holiday on my birthday.
My children are 21 and 19 now, and at 41 I am blessed to be working, walking and talking. PeopleReady has been a blessing to me, and the opportunity to share my story with others confirms to me that it’s all been worthwhile. It makes me want to cry. When I went out to work the first day, 17 years ago, I didn’t know I was going to come home with money. And now look where I am.
“I love seeing what Kolet has come through,” Rosa says. “To start off as her employer, she has overcome all those things the statistics say are impossible, and to be her friend today, that’s what working at PeopleReady is all about.”