Provide, a Reason

Stories of success at Skils’kin come in many different forms. Ordinarily, it is a landmark moment, or a redeeming story arch to show growth. In a recent submission, we were told of an employee who did have a radical story, an extreme commitment to her work, and her family. The first line of the submission was “Rose is our assistant project manager at Fairchild Air Force Base Dining. She is a true unsung Skils’kin hero,” and I found this to be true.
 
It’s hard to imagine yourself in someone else’s position. But I know, at the very least, I would find it nearly impossible to work two full-time jobs unless there was no choice in the matter, even then I doubt my ability to do my best at both positions. I have a great job and work for a company that I hold in high regard. Sometimes, my job allows me to meet wonderful people that, like me, also work for Skils’kin.
 
The Marketing Department reviews the story submissions and we tease out the potential in all of them, but we had no idea how great this would be. Rose Stultz, Assistant Project Manager for Skils’kin at Fairchild Air Force Base, showed up slightly before my shift began to have her photo taken. Today my job was to interview her for this article.
 
Smiling, she approached my cubicle and shook my hand while she expressed gratitude for the interview. Her contagious smile hit me and my smile stayed throughout the interview. Rose was so engaging and eager to share; she was glad to be here. Some people have that positive energy that just rubs off on you. Rose is one of these people.
 
The first question I asked was about her history with Skils’kin and where she was from. She responded, “When Skils’kin took over operations in 2010, I was working with the previous company that held the contract and I kept my position with Skils’kin. I came from the Philippines in March of 2001. I was widowed and came to the states through a petition for an engagement Visa filed by my fiancé who was in the United States Air Force.” She continued, “I took English classes in the Philippines and came here with about a 7th-grade level education in English. I did not finish all the English classes offered by my high school so I say I grew up here.” Punctuating our conversation with laughter, she then explained she felt like she had grown up here because this is where she really learned English, and all the practical skills involving her work, through experience.
 
I followed up her answer with curiosity and asked about her immediate family. She explained to me, “In 2009, I brought my kids here. Currently, my son serves in the Marines and my daughter is in the Air National Guard and going to school full-time to get her degree as a Registered Nurse.” She also informed me both children graduated from Medical Lake High School in Washington. I could tell her family played a pivotal role in her decisions.
 
I asked, “What drives you to work so hard?” She then explained, “I work two jobs, sixteen hours a day, Monday through Friday, and I sometimes help during the weekends when I am needed. I help, or helped, my six brothers in the Philippines, three have passed.” She pauses and pulls her phone from a pocket, “There are two seasons in the Philippines, typhoon (rain) and summer, my brother’s roof leaked badly so I helped him get a new roof over his head.” She held up the phone, I looked at the photo, and she literally put a roof over his head. It was a picture of a small living area, all the wood that was part of this area was aged and worn, except for the roof. She continued, “I support about 5 families back home too, including nephews and nieces.” She proudly continues showing me family photos. “My sister-in-law cared for my children when I moved here until they arrived in the United States, so now I help her get her children through school.” Then she shared their pictures. Even I can feel the love that transcends across an ocean.
 
Yet, I’m still grasping the thought of two fulltime jobs, so I ask, “Two full-time jobs can be too much for some people. How do you handle so much work and continue to do both jobs so well?” Her answer came fast with certainty, “I grew up with nothing and experienced a lot, I do not want to go back. So I provide and help my family to get through school. I need to work to ensure the future for them.”
 
Rose described a typical day saying every day is different, but she clocks in at 5 AM and will not leave the base until around 9 PM, working for Skils’kin the first part of the day and Aramark the second half. I asked why the devotion to Fairchild Air Force Base and her long-term employment and she said, “I decided to stay here. I like it here. I have land and a place. My kids go to school here.” She said she liked having two jobs at one location because of how easy it was to just clock out and clock right back in, usually breaking for lunch.
 
I am amazed at Rose’s diligence and dedication to work, which pushed me to explore further. I asked the name of the campaign, “Why do you work?” She answered, without hesitation, “To provide for myself and my family. I want to keep what I have and provide for my future.” But that wasn’t all, she continued “For me, it was the opportunity. Back home we don’t have any opportunity like here. Some who graduate from college from the Philippines will then go on to different countries to work.”
 
Rose explained that the more you knew, the more valuable of an employee you are. She said she is very eager to learn and always wants to know more. She states, “I know everyone and everything about my positions. I am currently learning Paycom. I wash dishes, do cleaning, and deal with orders and answering questions about the food system.” Before Aimee Hubbard filled the Dining Services Project Manager position, Rose performed additional responsibilities during the onboarding process.
 
Rose has wonderful interpersonal communication skills and has a lasting impression on people. Aimee has not worked at Skils’kin for very long, but she had this to say of Rose, “Rose is a star. I am so thrilled that she is being featured and grateful to all that recommended her. Rose is the heart of our operations.” Rose reciprocates her appraisal from co-workers.
 
I ended the interview by asking how she felt about her work environment, she declared, “I have a supportive boss, other employees sing and dance with me, I help the new hires as much as I can. My co-workers are very helpful and have a great attitude. I always tell them ‘life is beautiful’ no matter what, especially if they are down or need encouragement.”
 
Passion has the ability to manifest itself in the form of work. In many cases purpose is found through mission and that can drive us to invest in work. In Rose’s case, her mission is to provide, this might be through help or encouragement or through direct assistance to her family. Rose brings warmth to everyone she works with at Fairchild Air Force Base. She shares her joy and expertise with us. She shares and provides without boundaries. Rose is not just an unsung hero of Skils’kin, she is a hero in my eyes.
 
– Mike Ellsworth, Marketing Assistant
 
Note from Rose: “I forgot to tell you about my hero, the person who helped me to get where I am right now is my husband Dave Stultz. He was the person that gave me support and keeps supporting me with all of my success. He is my mentor. He is my hero.”

Skyler Oberst: The Journey of Work

I’m not here to tell you that once you make it to a certain point all things are wonderful. This is not that generic testimonial where I proudly say that “I’ve now arrived at being successful and you can be too!” In fact, I’m here to tell you something different…
 
I’d like you to consider what it means to be successful. It’s funny how when people reflect on the skills that brought them success, they tend to skip over the difficult and unpleasant realization that it’s hard work and can leave you scarred. Everyone will mention their first job of mowing lawns or working in a fast food restaurant but no one talks about how painful sunburns can be or how the hot grease from a fry machine can leave a pretty gnarly scar you if you’re not careful (believe me– it hurts!). Seldom do people want to hear these things because they’re more interested in the destination, thinking that they can make it there someday if they just had the right road map.
 
For me being successful is not a destination, but describes a way of moving through the world and interacting with people. That’s why work is so important. It’s a way of seeing every opportunity as a chance to grow into a better person. Successful people are the ones that are willing to put in the work to do the difficult and unpleasant things. Successful people do these things willingly because the work needs to be done and they see that discipline and fortitude are skills speak not only to their work but to their integrity. This type of tough work prepares you for life and when things don’t go the way they should. It’s good practice. Washing dishes or mopping floors have been some of the most rewarding experiences where I learned about the value of feeling like you accomplished something and the satisfaction of earning your keep. These lessons I learned I still apply whether in the boardroom or at home.
 
You can see this in the way strong leaders treat others, in the way they conduct themselves. And if you ask them… They may have some great lessons about the scars they picked up along the way. So why do I work? I work for the opportunity to enjoy the journey, learn the difficult lessons and savor each and every experience.
 

Share Why You Work
WhyWeWork@skils-kin.org