Stephanie’s previous job driving a forklift in a large warehouse was satisfying, but their performance point standard put a lot of pressure on her to complete work that she wasn’t necessarily well trained on. As a result, they parted ways, and she was without meaningful employment for an extended period. That all changed in 2015 when she saw the “Now Hiring” sign on Grand River Avenue and applied for a position at Peckham.

Stephanie said the Peckham difference was evident from day one. “I asked for help, and everyone who helped me stuck with me the entire day and made sure that I was okay to do it,” she explained. With the weight of not being able to successfully do her job lifted off her chest, Stephanie had not only found a home working Peckham’s Airport Warehouse, she thrived. “I enjoy shipments,” she said, the first of many smiles crossing her face. “Moving this, picking that up, (putting) it where it’s gotta go.” As a result, she’s been given additional responsibilities and become a steadying presence, extremely important for a department which typically sees forklift drivers come and go.

Stephanie’s supervisor, Lawrence Ludy, said that he’s had the pleasure of working with Stephanie for five years. “With the high turnover on forklift operators, Stephanie has taken charge to ensure all shipments are delivered accurately and on time to our customers,” he said, and then emphasized the importance of the work she’s doing, calling her a great example of “personal and professional growth” during her tenure.

Stephanie talked about a past filled with anger issues; about not knowing how to accept it when people insisted that she do work that (as happened in her previous jobs) she had not had training on. Her response was to shut down. She said that at the time, she’d been unable to tell people she was having a bad day. A year’s worth of anger management and therapy turned the tide. “That made a big change in my life,” she said. She’s now able to speak with people even if she’s having a bad day, without showing it. Instead, “I’m now smiling,” she continued, “I can now say ‘hello’ and ‘how are you today?’ without being upset.”

Stephanie said she feels good about coming to work every day knowing that she has plenty of shipments to handle to occupy her time. It’s also comforting, “knowing that I can ask someone a question, and they won’t blow up at me,” she explained. Her smile widened when talking about helping others, both inside and outside of her department. “I feel great about giving my experience to somebody else,” she said.

She ended the conversation by musing that if it wasn’t for Peckham, “I’d be working at a gas station somewhere. I think I would be working where it’s not good for me.” But instead, she’s excited to be working in a position where she’s appreciated, valued, and able to build friendships. Goodbye anger issues, hello job satisfaction, which has led to an important change in her daily life. “I feel happy,” she concluded. “I really do.”


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