An Average Day
Job Coach Ann-Terese describes an average day with the interns at Fig Café.
It’s a sleepy Sunday morning in Templeton, California. Coffee is on and it is time to wake up. The warm summer air activates my motivation to begin the day with vigor & fun. My mind begins to think of the good day ahead. I take a moment, bask, savor my intention, and arrive. The Sunday Brunch bunch will be here soon.
Today, four interns will work at Fig @ Courtney’s House: Max, Hunter, Rio, and Emily. Each intern is a sweet, special, multitalented force of nature. I know this crew will do their jobs well with their own unique style and tender diligence. Heart opening and inspiring, I welcome the day and my role as Job Coach.
Max starts his day as a dishwasher in the Back of House. To say Max is doing dishes is an oversimplification of everything the role entails. There is a large amount of physical, cognitive, spatial and social awareness involved in washing, drying and putting away all the dining and cooking materials. Max completes these responsibilities well. But first, he needs to put on his “just for dishes tennis shoes.” Next to arrive is Rio. A little sleepy, Rio shows up to work in Front of House as server support. Her cool confidence makes for an easy day of drink refills, bussing and setting tables, and anything else that may come up.
Afternoon Transition: It is noon and Hunter struts in ready to relieve Max. Hunter’s upbeat, ‘I got this down’ attitude sets the tone for efficiency. Max can now move to the Front of the House as Host. But first dishes shoes have to come off. Max puts on his fancy wingtips hosting shoes. Rio stays on as server support. Emily is next to arrive and comes to the cafe on her not so invisible moonbeam. How does she do it? Emily will work at the Front of the House as a server. Her energetic smile and warm eyes set a magical tone for the day and in her service to others.
The day slows down and I find myself sitting on the front porch wicker furniture talking with Rio and Emily about college. These talented and upbeat women generously share their thoughts about going to college and other aspirations. Rio expresses an interest in taking a history and child development courses at the local community college. She might want to be an early childhood education teacher. Emily listens to Rio and in a timely and polite manner, says, “Me too, Rio! I want to go to college and take a math and science class.” I didn’t know the girls wanted to go to college. I am intrigued. My turn. I add and follow their kind enthusiasm and openness, “I like nature and science too and I love child development.” Rio remembers another class she wants to take, “Me, too, I want to take a Biology course.” Together the three of us share our interests and ideas as we all take a well-deserved break from a busy day. But mostly we are getting to know each other.
It is the end of the day and I find my way to the front porch. There is a timeless sense of security when I stand on this hundred-year-old porch. It is quickly becoming my favorite spot of the house. The air has shifted from morning warm to afternoon hot, and I relax. The heat feels good. Really good. I stand still, grounded and allow my senses to absorb my surroundings. Straight forward ahead of me from across the street a big beautiful oak tree witnesses me. Her branches reach up, out and around me. Her roots are nourishing, strong and lovingly beneath me. I feel centered, connected, and cared for. Yes, in Templeton, California on this one-hundred-year-old porch, I am in the right place at the right time.
Empowering those with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities
Courtney’s House is a nonprofit organization offering vocational training and employment, in addition to social & life skills training for adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (ID/D), an underserved population in our community.