1. What exactly do you do?
- What field is your job in?
Security And Service Industry
- What is your job title?
Security Officer & Host
- Please provide a brief description of the firm or organization that you currently work for (size and general description of what type of organization it is)
Feed The Flathead Community Kitchen - about 10 paid positions, and another 60+ volunteer positions, we provide hot meals, drinks, food, commodities, and a safe, Christian environment for low income and homeless individuals and families.
- How long have you been employed in this position?
Almost 4 years
- How many hours do you work a week on average?
40 or more
- Please provide a BRIEF description of your duties and responsibilities. (job description)
40 or more
- Please provide a BRIEF description of your duties and responsibilities. (job description)
I provide on site security for all meal locations, address client concerns and issues, help seat and serve people with mobility issues, as well as do inventory, set up cafeterias for meals, help serve food, help clean up after every meal, receive shipments and stock store rooms.
- What was your gross income last year? Please include any bonuses or incentives received.
- What is your expected gross income for this year? Please include any bonuses or incentives you expect to receive.
- Please list any benefits you have (Please include number of weeks vacation, sick leave and type of health insurance, retirement plan 401k)
I get 24 paid vacation days per year.
- Do you feel you are under/well/over compensated at your current position?
I feel I am well paid, and honestly, over paid for what I do, its really not that hard of work at all
2. Work environment!
- Does your job entail you working with others on a daily basis? Is this something you like/dislike about your job? Explain
Yes I work with 3-9 other people every day, and also I interact with 30-60 clients per day. I like it just fine, and enjoy the work environment. I think the only part I do not like is when clients show up to the meals under the influence of either alcohol or drugs, as they often cause trouble of one kind or another.
- Do you work collaboratively with supervisors/managers?
- Do you work collaboratively with your co-workers?
- Describe your work location (e.g., office, home, theatre, in the field) and what you like/dislike about working in it
The work location rotates- we have 5 locations in this area, and we rotate depending on the day of the week and the time of the month. They are all located in Churchs, with the exception of one location, which is a catholic elementary school. I like this just fine, the locations are all central to town, easy to get to, and spacious enough for our needs. I think the only location I do not like is the catholic school, as we have had conflicts with school security and custodians over issues relating to clients wandering the building into areas they arent supposed to be.
- Please rank in order of importance from 1-8 (1- most important 8- least important) Assign each number once.
- 4 Income
- 5 Work Environment - co-workers
- 6 Work Environment - supervisors
- 7 Benefits
- 1 Hours
- 2 Level of responsibility
- 3 The actual "work" you do at your job
- 8 Job Title
3. How should someone new to the workforce get a J-O-B like yours?
- If someone wanted to go about getting a job similar to yours, what would you recommend for him or her to do?
A background in both security and food service is a must. Also, I would say they should canvas the local charity organizations in their area, as many have paid positions (like mine) and most have very flexible hours, good pay, and decent job environments. The other must is a willingness to work with large groups of people, especially the poor and homeless, and willingness to be around people down on their luck and or afflicted with mental illness, physical disabilities, alcoholism, and or drug addiction. A love for the Lord Jesus Christ is also a must, as our organization (like most charities in this area) are Christian based.
- What skills do you think a person should have if they want to pursue a position like yours? Please be specific and explain why (e.g., social skills, organization skills, technical skills)
The most important skill in this field is compassion. A love for your fellow man, and a desire to help those who cannot help themselves is a must. Strong interpersonal skills are necessary, as are a desire to serve. Also important are skills in recognizing, and handling people under the influence of alcohol and or drugs are important, as are cleaning skills, food prep and serving experience, and knowledge of the Bible and Christianity. Another very important skill in this field is patience. Without it, this job would be impossible.
- Do you feel that you need a certain level of education or training to be successful in your job?
No, not at all, we regularly have teen and pre-teen age volunteers working for us.
- What advice would you give to someone who was about to start work in your position/ line of work?
I would say keep a smile on your face, be patient, just relax, and realize that these people that we are caring for would be lost if not for us, as many rely solely on our meals to eat all month long, and rely on our meal sites as their sole source of socialization. They depend on us, so try to treat them with respect, compassion, and love, even if it may seem some of them do not deserve it.
4. How did you get your J-O-B
- How did you find your current job? (e.g. newspaper, internet, referral, etc.)
I was asked to do it by the director of Feed The Flathead after meeting her, then talking at length with her when I took a neighbour to a meal site.
- What was the application process for your job? (e.g. submitted resume, paper application, electronic application, all, etc.)
She was in desperate need of help with security, as the sole security officer had been fired, and I was available at the time, so I was hired on the spot, less than an hour after meeting the director.
- Did you have to interview for your current job? If yes, what did the interview process entail? (e.g., number of interviews, who you interviewed with, group interview, individual interview, etc.)
I did an on the spot interview standing in the kitchen, I ran down the list of my past work experience, and related skills, and told the director about myself, where I grew up, my I moved to this area, my schooling, my goals for the future. I also talked about my being a Christian, and wanting to serve the Lord. She hired me right then and there.
- If you can remember, what questions were you asked at your interview?
I was asked about past security experience, past food service experience, what church I go to, have I ever worked with the homeless before, have I ever worked with people who have mental illness, physical disabilities, alcoholism, and or drug addictions, and I was asked if I was a Christian.
- Is this the job / field you planned to work in?
- If your job is in a different field from your original plan how did you get here? Explain (Plan can be from high school/college/post college/personal plan)
I worked in healthcare, as a nurse aid, licensed care provider, and activities coordinator. I was laid off due a reorganization of my work place, and my position suddenly became redundant. I had planned to continue working in health care as either a nurse aid or caregiver, as that is what I mostly have done since I was in my teens, and is what I went to school for.
5. Background: Are you qualified?
- Was there training for your current position? If yes, what did it entail?
I took both CPR and First Aid classes, and for the job sites, I had to learn where all food supplies, as well as cleaning supplies are located, as well as how we prepare and serve, as well as the cleaning sheet order, and where to stock and store shipments.
- Do you feel your employer properly prepared you for your job? Explain
Yes I feel she was very good at making sure I was prepared for this job. She went above and beyond to explain every aspect to me, as well as to prepare me for what I would likely go through on any given day at work.
- Do you feel your educational background prepared you for your job? Explain
Well I think having previous training and experience working with the mentally ill, physically disabled, and those afflicted by alcohol or drug addictions has come in very handy. I also think being a compassionate, caring, attentive, and friendly person has helped me a great deal to fit in well to this job.
- If applicable, do you feel your internship experience helped you prepare you for your job?
6. The Future and Beyond (FINAL SECTION)
- If someone were to observe you at work, what would he or she say is "fun" about your job?
Being able to serve the clients who come in and need food, being able to help the poor, and being able to share Gods grace with the needy.
- What is (are) the most fulfilling aspect(s) and least fulfilling aspect(s) of your current employment? (e.g. fiscal, spiritual, type of work, hours, commute, compensation, etc.)
The most fulfilling parts are that I am able to serve and help those in need- many of the clients who come to our meal sites are completely dependent on us for food all month long, and if it wasnt for us, many of them would not eat a hot meal, some wouldnt be able to eat at all! The least fulfilling part is having to deal with those who continually show up to the meals either drunk or on drugs, especially the ones who are combative and or argumentative. Its really frustrating, and sad, to see what these people willingly do to their bodies and minds, in an attempt to escape reality.
- Is your current employment part of your career plan? Why or why not?
I really have not decided this yet. I can see myself still doing this 5 years from now, but really, I would prefer a more long term career with higher pay and benefits somewhere down the road.
- What are your current career goals? (Can be broad or specific)
To finish my college degrees and get a career in either video game or website design. These are my loves, and hobbies. I hope to finish developing the skills to begin constructing, then publishing my own online games, and make both a career and an income from it.
- Is there anything else you would like to share about your career?
Until I started this job, I had no idea just how bad the economy is in this country, nor did I realize just how badly neglected the poor, mentally ill, physically disabled, and addicts are in this country. They are almost completely shut out of society in many aspects, and many have no hope for the future. They are given the barest minimums of financial support, be it through welfare, SSI, VA pension, food stamps, and or medicaid, and many are unable to pay for even the basics like rent, heat, a telephone, or medical copayments. They are highly dependant on what I do for them, as well as what my organization does for them, and it fills me with joy to be able to help feed them, befriend them, serve them, and give them a safe, loving place they can eat and socialize.
7. A Day in the Life Of...
- 7 am - 8 am
Arrived at 7:00 am. I helped set up for breakfast- set out salt & pepper, creamer, sugar, napkins, and silverware. Made several trips to the pantry for the cook. Greeted clients as they arrived for breakfast. Helped seat clients, and brought them beverages. Took some boxes of donuts around to each table so every client could have one with their drink before breakfast was served. Made rounds around the building and the grounds, to ensure everything was secure.
- 8 am - 9 am
Served beverages to several clients. Sat with some clients and ate breakfast. Visited with a number of clients. After the meal, I helped clean up- put away salt & pepper, napkins, creamer, and sugar. Took out trash. Stocked free bread shelves in entry way. Made a final security round around the inside and outside of the building. Finished at 8:45am then went home until lunch time.
- 9 am - 10 am
- 10 am - 11 am
- 11 am - 12 am
Arrived at 11:30am. Set out salt & pepper, creamer, napkins, and sugar. Checked bathrooms, and did security rounds. Greeted clients as they arrived for lunch. Helped seat a woman in a wheelchair, then helped seat a man on crutches. Got beverages for several others.
- 12 am - 1 pm
- 1 pm - 2 pm
Continued cleaning cafeteria, helped cook clean kitchen. Did more security rounds, and escorted 3 clients from the property after they were reported to be drinking alcohol at the picnic area outside. restocked bread shelves, then did a final security round. Left at about 1:30pm.
- 2 pm - 3 pm
2:15pm - arrived at local food bank, where our regular commodities shipment is delivered. Coordinated with Director and Supply Chief over distribution of supplies to delivery vehicles. Helped drivers sort then load commodities in several vans.
- 3 pm - 4 pm
- 4 pm - 5 pm
Arrived at dinner meal site at 4:45pm. Did first security rounds. Talked with school custodian and security officer about known local sex offenders. Gave printouts on local sex offenders to school administration, and posted copies in pantry and kitchen.
- 5 pm - 6 pm
Set out salt & pepper, napkins, silverware, creamer, and sugar. Took several cases of excess yogurt and 3 boxes of bananas out of walk in and put on the 'free table' for the clients to take home. Did another security round, and asked 3 clients not to smoke within 50 feet of front door. Helped a man on crutches down to the cafeteria, seated him, and got him a beverage. Walked around cafeteria and socialized with a number of different clients. Also helped serve drinks to many of the clients.
- 6 pm - 7 pm
Just prior to meal time, made several announcements to the cafeteria, related to security matters and requests from the school that the clients only enter and exit through the main front doors and not the back or side entrances. Reminded everyone to watch their language as we were in a school and both women and children were present. Helped lead the meal prayer, then sat with several clients and ate and socialized. Helped clean up after several clients, and took dishes to kitchen. Was alerted to a disturbance out front, so went outside and broke up a verbal altercation between 2 groups of young adults, sent one group away in one direction and the other group the other direction. Continued cleaning, wiped down tables, after putting away salt & pepper, napkins, creamer, and sugar.
- 7 pm - 8 pm
helped finish sweeping cafeteria, then moped both kitchen and cafeteria. Straightened up pantry, as an elderly client had wandered in there and began to rummage through things. Made a final security round inside and outside. Checked bathrooms for cleanliness, then took out trashes. Helped put away dishes and cookware, then helped cook and director secure the pantry, kitchen, cafeteria, then the building. Went home about 7:30pm.
- 8 pm - 9 pm
- 9 pm - 10 pm
- 10 pm - 11 pm
- 11 pm - 12 pm