I (Marie) was out of the office when Nicole came in for her first interview at Southgate Coins, but both Rusty and Maya told me how impressed they were with her. It became evident to me on Nicole’s first day at work that she was serious about the job and was giving an all-out effort to learn her basic responsibilities. I could see that she was smart and that she tried to catch on quickly to everything we taught her.
Over the past year, I have seen that Nicole is much more than the funny and pretty little blond girl that she appears to be. She always comes in well groomed and ready to work. She has learned so much about the technical side of the rare coin business, and she is very helpful to our customers. She has shown us loyalty and dedication beyond her years (last May, she celebrated her nineteenth birthday).
When we face deadlines at the store things can get hectic. One of the principles we adhere to at Southgate Coins is, if you make a mistake, the way to handle it is to accept responsibility, apologize, and resolve to learn from it. Nicole has learned the value of “clearing the air” when there’s a problem or a misunderstanding, and she knows now that admitting a mistake doesn’t mean she’s a weak person. In fact, it’s actually the opposite: it takes a strong and confident person to own up to a mistake and take responsibility for it. Nicole makes us very proud of how she has matured and grown during her time with us.
Nicole has faced challenges this past year due to a family member’s health issues. She’s impressed Rusty and me by facing these challenges with more grace and optimism than people who are twice or three times her age.
We all love having Nicole as a part of our team. She’s cheerful, always helpful, and will always crack us up when she mugs for the camera.
The main thing I have been grateful for is the closeness and trust that has developed between her and me this year. I hope she stays with us for a long time to come.
Southgate Employee Celebrates Anniversary!
Now here’s Rusty to wrap up this tribute to Nicole:
Nicole applied for a job at Southgate Coins during the winter semester break in late December 2008. Maya interviewed her first, and then told me that out of the 50 or so girls that had applied, Nicole had the most potential. Maya then turned Nicole over to me since, Marie, who normally conducts the second interview, was on another mission that day.
I asked Nicole many questions, and despite her young age (18 at the time) and despite that her only real job experience was in a tanning salon, I was impressed. Maya scheduled her to come in the next day so Marie could check her out.
Nicole looked different when she returned for her interview with Marie. She had her blonde hair pinned up on top of her head, instead of falling gently on her shoulders as it had the day before. And, instead of the modest, professional-looking dark jacket-top she wore for her first interview, Nicole had on a tighter, low-cut blouse. Maya and I glanced at each other and hoped that Nicole’s spicier appearance would not distract Marie. We also hoped that Nicole would conduct herself in the mature manner in which she had with us.
Nicole won over Marie just as she had Maya and me. She started working at Southgate on December 29, 2008 and has continued to progress ever since. Marie and I have appreciated Nicole’s willingness to learn new duties and her forthrightness in conveying her concerns over her stressful school schedule and her father’s medical condition.
One thing I noticed right away was Nicole isn’t camera-shy. This is a big plus around here where we love to take pictures. Nicole is a photogenic young lady and loves to ham it up when posing for the camera. She has perfected the art of getting her tongue stuck out at just the right moment. Once, when she was busy dusting the air vents in the ceiling, she donned a plastic bag to shield her head from falling particles, and she wielded a dust broom like a sword fighter, just as I pressed the camera’s shutter release.
Having fun at work has its place, but when it comes to getting the job done, Nicole is a conscientious employee. She is now involved in training our two newest girls. This is providing Nicole with a good refresher course in everything she has learned over the past twelve months; which as all of our long-term employees know, is a lot.
Marie and I have many fond memories of Nicole’s first year with us and we look forward to her second year at Southgate Coins in 2010.
Congratulations Nicole on reaching your one-year mark with our company. We hope you will stay with us as long as you can.
Rusty and Marie