What is your role at TGR?
I am Production Supervisor.
What time do you work every day?
I work Monday through Friday from 9:00am to 4:00pm.
What do you do when you first get here to prepare for the day?
I take about 15 minutes to read my emails and to mentally prepare myself for the day. I go over my tasks and what I have to do for that day.
Take us through the morning work process.
Between 9:20 and 10:00 I set up the stations so when the girls get in by 10 everything will be set up. I also make pulp for the production day which starts roughly at 10. I make sure everything is set up and working. At 10, we actually start making paper. I try to rotate the girls to different stations of production so that they know how to do everything in the process. 12-12:30 we have lunch.
Do you have set goals or quotas for each day?
On average we should have at least 100 sheets of paper made – 20 sheets per hour.
What projects are you working on right now?
We’re working on things for one of our events – invitations & thank you cards. Now we’re working on Christmas items – tags and cards; and paper for Stitched classes. We have a private Stitched class on Monday.
As supervisor, how do you interact with the other women working at TGR?
I motivate them and encourage them, and I also am their friend. I try not to be too hard on them because I know people have been hard on them their whole life. I talk out problems with them. I’m their friend more than anything. I’m the team leader because I know the process and how to handle everything, but I do the work with them and try to go above and beyond to show them we’re doing this together.
What do you do for lunch?
Leroy provides lunch for us. On Thursdays, we have Lunch & Learn.
What does the vocational development piece of TGR look like? What do you do on a typical Thursday as part of the vocational development segment?
We review our goals and talk about them. We do Lunch & Learn where we go over different teaching series and learn how to improve and better ourselves. We also have other tasks that we have to complete on a weekly basis. Right now we’re reading through the book “Crucial Conversations” – a chapter every week, and a time management booklet.
What has been your favorite Lunch & Learn so far?
I really like the study we’re doing now – the “Ask It” series by Andy Stanley. It focuses on different pointers for how to go about your everyday life and helps you think about how to act wisely. It puts a lot in perspective and I can apply it in my everyday life. It gives me extra tools to use when I’m not here.
What impact is the vocational development piece having on you?
It’s actually making me a better person. Now, before I do something, I question myself first. I think before I act now, rather than just reacting to a situation. That used to be one of my biggest struggles. I really think I didn’t have the tools to know how to do that before – but now I do.
How is it helping prepare you to accomplish future goals?
It helps me because we discuss things that tell me where I went wrong with some of the mistakes in my life, which helps me want to become better and accomplish my goals. It’s equipping me to be able to accomplish my goals. It makes me want to follow through with all my goals.
What do you do at the end of the day to clean up?
I make sure all the paper is pressed and in the drying racks. I put everything back in its place that we’ve used during the day and make sure everything is clean. Make sure the towels and everything else is ready for production the next day. The girls help me clean up; usually I have them each clean up a different station in the production line. I’ve created a task list, and we rotate on that list each day.
How do you feel after a day of work at TGR?
I feel so good! First off, I feel good that I’m working. Second, I feel like I accomplished a good, productive day. I feel like I’ve made a tremendous change. I’m bettering myself for my future and for my son. It all works out. I don’t feel like I’ve done anything wrong or have anything to feel guilty about. It just feels so good. It’s so rewarding.
Some days it is hard. To be around Leroy, Janelle and the other girls, it brings me joy. I used to feel some days like I had nowhere to go and no idea what my purpose was. But I’m in a good place mentally right now. I have peace mentally – I may not be where I want to be financially yet – but I’m not angry, not mad, not sad. I’m really in a good place right now and I really want TGR to grow because I don’t want to leave here yet. I don’t feel like my job here is done. I really want to inspire women and girls everywhere – across the world, nation city – to let them know that change is scary but you can do it. Especially if you have people behind you with encouragement.
Contributed by Kate McGaughey