Being Big Bird

in , , , , , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Do you remember watching Sesame Street as a kid? How about with your kiddies? Yes and Yes x 2 for me. One of my favorite characters is Big Bird.  For my first born, it was Elmo all the way; she only gave a brief nod to the sage wisdom that is Big Bird, but for my youngest; Big Bird was THE One!

 Maybe it's because he's Yellow and that is her favorite color, or maybe it's because my youngest appreciated that Big Bird wasn’t a know it all and was often asking questions because, "Asking questions is a good way of finding things out!"

Kids are really good about this, at least mine are. They ask me and my hubby questions all the time! So you Moms out there with 3 and 4 year olds thinking there might be an end to the non-stop Q & A, I say maybe not and that is a good thing! Feed their brains with your knowledge and truth first before the world tries to take over.
 So, why am I talking Big Bird this morning? Because I wanted to share an amazing tool with you, one that we all possess but may be underutilizing: the Art Of The Question and the often forgotten art of waiting for an answer.   Ask, listen. Repeat.  Small Talk.
 I have been offered 2 jobs in the last month and I am not even looking for work outside the home! I attribute these offers to my openness and my:  ask, listen, repeat way of interacting with others.
The first offer happened just as I entered the office at my daughter's school, signed the parent visitor log and was greeting the office staff.  I've been chatting with most of these ladies for the better part of 4 years, so when the main secretary asked me how I was, I replied  " great"   and then I stopped what I was doing, looked her in the eye and asked her how she was AND I waited for a response. I was open and in the moment, not three minutes down the hall in my mind and that's when she asked, Linda, would you want to substitute for us this morning?
 Just like that. A job I'd never even thought about doing was presented to me. I was so caught off guard that I told her I'd have to think about it. All the office staff chimed in assuring me they would help, they would make sure I had a trained aid in the class, etc.  I was honored and frightened and happy by turns. I left the office to go to my daughters classroom, telling these nice ladies I would think about it and let them know ASAP.
I told my oldest daughter about it and she said " Go For It", as did her teacher, who said I would be so good as a substitute because I have such positive energy. That had me smiling!
 I happened to run into my youngest daughter on the way back to the office and she was so excited about her Mommy being a sub that I was seriously considering it!
But I had questions, several questions in fact, just like Big Bird.  As soon as I walked back into the office, the secretary asked, Linda can you do it?   All eyes were on me as I asked my most important questions: What about a background check? Don't I need to be cleared by central office before I can sub?
Aha! They hadn't thought of that! They looked at one another and the secretary said " we thought you had already done all that and were cleared to sub, You'd be perfect for it".  Well, what do you know? They think I'd be perfect sub material, cool.
 I left the school with central office contact information, but more importantly I left with a new sense of self because these nice ladies had revealed a facet I didn't know was there. Not only did they think I was qualified to be a substitute teacher, they thought I'd be a good one!

My second job offer came Saturday at Sam's Club.  Did you know the sample ladies and gents don't actually work for Sam's Club but are sub-contractors? I know this because I ask questions and chat with these nice people who give me free food.  Well, I was standing there chatting with the lady who had just given me a sample of an herbal drink ( think super sweet green tea) when I noticed her name tag looked different from the other sample ladies that day, so I asked her what company she was with.
 I was just making small talk as I waited for my hubby to come back around the aisle. The next thing I know I'm being offered a job! Just like that. I asked a question, looked this lady in the eye showing a genuine interest in her and voila!,  I was being told all about the position, the pay, the flexible hours etc. Well, who knew?  I can be a sample lady and make more money than the Sam's Club hourly employees do.  I thanked this nice lady, assuring her I would think it over but I wasn't really looking for a job.  But hey, this WAHM is thinking it sure is nice to know I am employable should my needs change!
  Interesting. Big Bird is right! Asking questions is a good way of finding things out! It may also land you a job, so if you are looking for work outside the home, get out there and start chatting and asking questions. You never know who may be hiring. Don’t discount yourself or overlook a potential position just because you hadn’t thought of it.  You never know until you ask, listen, repeat.  Good luck!
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