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Interview with Mary Claire Feimster

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  • TRANSCRIPT: MARY CLAIRE FEIMSTER Interviewee: Mary Claire Feimster Interviewer: Marlee Wegmiller Interview Date: November 25,2018 [Interview beings at 0: I OJ Marlee [MJ: Are you aware that you're being recorded and this interview could be used for public use later on? Mary Claire [MC]: Yes, I am aware. M: Well thank you so much for meeting with me, urn, hopefully the cat doesn't attack the recorder. Uh, and I'm just gonna ask you some questions to learn about working women and we'll move on fi·om there. MC:Okay. M: So to start things off, for the people who wouldn't know, what is your name and where are you from? MC: My name is Mary Claire Feimster and I am from Statesville, North Carolina. M: And what do you currently do for work? MC: I am the Administrative Assistant at Goodwill Workforce Development. M: And is this, urn, what you've always done or have you had previous jobs in the past? MC: I've had a few other previous, short-term positions. I worked at an ice cream shop and at a dry cleaners, but this is my first serious position, I guess you should- you should say­professional job in the professional environment. M: And how are you- how would you define a professional job versus working at the dry cleaners or the other job? MARY CLAIRE FEIMSTER MC: Well this has benefits and a- uh ... salaty and ... a environment with other adults and we work together and collaborate and it's much different than the cleaners or the ice cream shop where I leamed how to do it and then just worked on my own. M: So what are those, sort of... tasks that you do in your, in your, position as an Administrative Assistant? MC: Well there is- uh- a part of it that is similar to a receptionist where I'm at the front desk greeting people who come in and directing them wherever they need to be and, urn, answering the phones and transferring them and we have three conference rooms that we provide, urn, we have events there and other people can have events there and all our services are free so we can, uh, I book the conference rooms and make sure they have everything they need and so there's a bit of event planning in that sense. M: Is that what drew you to the job? Was, like, the event planning and the answering phones or was it something else ... or? 2 MC: I think what really drew me to the job was the services that they offered there and that I really wanted to do something that made me happy because I felt like I was helping people and they have a lot of excellent services there that are all free and I felt like I would just get a really good sense, even ifl didn't work in those specific departments, just being there and being able to lend a helping hand in whichever department would just kinda ... I would feel like I was helping and that's what really drew me to the position. M: Okay. So what kind of work did your parents do? And was there any pressure to follow in their footsteps, or were you just kind of doing your own thing? MC: Well my dad is in sales and my mom is a Social Media Manager, but my mom majored in Graphic Design in college so there was a little bit of pressure from her to go into graphic design because we're very similar and she loved it so, so much and she thought it was perfect for me, but I think she realized as I grew up that, you know, I had my own passions and so she loves what I'm doing now and we talk all the time about our different positions and getting to do things and so, uh, no longer any pressure, I guess there was growing up and didn't really know what I wanted to do. M: Okay, and you talked about growing up, so was this the kind of job that you envisioned for yourself when you were younger or what did you see yourself doing when you were a little kid, like what was your dream job when you were little, if you had one? MARY CLAIRE FEIMSTER MC: When I was really little I wanted to be a teacher, um, but met a troublesome child and realized that that was not the position for me ... M: laughs 3 MC: ... and other than that l don't think I had a specific job in mind I switched around a lot. I'm vety family-oriented, so my number one thing that I wanted to be was a mom, so, and I found this Doh] and I was bouncing around from stuff in the medical field where I could help there or, um, other positions where I just um feel like I'm helping and then I found this and I thought it was just a job and then you get there and go through training and there are people who are saying "I also thought it was a job, and now it's a career and I love it and never want to leave" so, I feel like that's what's going to happen to me- it's going to be a career and I'm gonna love it and never want to leave. M: laughs. And how did you end up in this job or career? Was it an internet search or did you, mn, how did you find out about it? MC: Well it was mentioned to me by a family fi·iend who also works at the Workforce Development Center and I had, she had set up a meeting with my manager and I learned about all their programs and just got really passionate about it and then went through the whole process, and I hadn't heard much about, uh, Goodwill beforehand, other than the retail stores their logo on their t-shirts is "I had no idea Goodwill had so many surprises" and that's really tlue- they have so many amazing, amazing opportunities that I hadn't heard about and once I did hear about them I was very excited and applied and was really passionate about them. M: And is there anything or anyone that inspired you to go into the, I guess, the, the field that you're in? So, you mentioned that you wanted to be a mom, so, you know there's sort of a, I don't know, uh, organizational aspect to your job and planning and all that kind of stuff so was there any one specific aspect about it that you were like, this is definitely gonna be the job for me that I'm gonna want to do? MC: I don't think there was a specific aspect that was- that made me, I think it was all combined­it was that I had bounced around from thing to thing from what I wanted to do for a long time and this just kind of seemed to fill in a lot of, a lot of holes that I felt that I had- that I was like, I feel like I need to be doing this and this and this- I feel like it kind of covered all of those and I don't think there was a specific person that inspired me- for this job specifically, but to be a mom, and like you said, there is a sense of planning and organization- my mom, inspired me because she was a good one, so. MARY CLAIRE FEIMSTER 4 M: Urn, so what do other people think about what you do and are there any misconceptions about that? MC: I think one of the common misconceptions is that I'm solely a receptionist and they think "Oh you sit at the desk and have a lot of downtime and are answering the phone" when it's much more than that there's multiple events going on and, you know, I order catering and set everything up and, urn, ordering office supplies and lending a helping hand in whatever depmiment and doing little tasks with them and so it's- it feels a little belittling especially just over Thanksgiving and your family finds out you have a job and you're telling them about it a11d they're like "Oh you're like a receptionist", and it's like, but I do more than that! I'm better than that- which there's nothing wrong with being receptionist I just feel like there's not... people don't know about it and so I'm so I'm so excited and passionate about it and then I guess people downplay it a little bit. M: Yeah, or they think you're a secretary or, you know, I think 'woman at desk' is a lot of times a very misconceived career ... So what is a, sort of, legacy that you would like to leave behind at Goodwill or just in your family or just, you know, in general? So when people think about Mary Claire Feimster what do you want them to think about? MC: Well at Goodwill, I hope to have a similar legacy as the, urn, Administrative Assistant before me- she came back to train me and she was there for about a year, year-and-a-half, and she's still in the Goodwill, um, industry but she has moved to another position at another location so she kind of got a little promotion. And so she came back to train me and everybody was so happy that she was there and just remembered how helpful she was and it was just like a big family, so I'm hoping that I can sort of be my legacy: that everybody remembers me for however long I'm there that I- that I was very helpful and was open to, um, you know, anything. M: Alright sounds like a good legacy to me! And do you ever feel like there is extra pressure placed on you in your job because you are a woman? Or is it just sort of... nonexistent? MC: Well the environment is extremely comfortable and I don't feel like there is a lot of pressure as a woman, I do feel like there's a little bit of pressure as younger person ... M: Uh-huh MC: ... The people I work with are in their early 30s or older and I just really want to prove that even though I'm young I can do just as good of a job as a11yone else, but I don't feel pressure due to my gender. M:Okay. MARY CLAIRE FEIMSTER MC: And I think a big pmt of that is because there are so many women in the office, and it feels very comfortable I suppose. M: And what advice would you offer to a younger woman who was going to go into the same position as you, I know you're pretty young so, I mean, what is some advice you would have given yourself when you started the job if you could? 5 MC: Urn, if you have, naturally, a bubbly personality and you don't want to come on too strong, I know during the interview process that was part of mine because I had this ... bubbly personality that I didn't want to come through too much cuz I was afraid it would make me seem immature but really that's exactly what they were looking for cuz you're the first person anyone sees as soon as they walk in the door and you're the first one that speaks to them and, you know, they want you to be friendly- they want to feel comfortable and to be able to open up to you so don't hide that, you know, be that bubbly person because that might help you get the job and if you have weird little quirks like, taking an inventory of your entire closet just for fun, mention that because that's an excellent organizational skill that you feel the need for and did on a whim that's gonna make you look even better for the position. So, urn, don't be afraid to show you really m·e­I feel like you can apply that to many, many aspects of your life is just be yourself and in the interview process specifically, and maybe that I can even help you get the position so ... M: And what did the interview process for tllis position look like, for you? MC: Well it was- I think mine was a little different than others because I had that meeting beforehand so I had an extra comfort, urn, but at first it was a phone interview, and then there were two panel interviews, and then once I had heard about the position and went through the background screening and those types of things and then I had an orientation, which is required for working at Goodwill, and then started on-the-job training, but I guess it was t\tl'ee interviews one on the phone and two panel. M: Neat, and I know you mentioned you could see this turning into a career, I mean, 50 years down the line are you still working with Goodwill? Or have you moved on to something else or, you know, how permanent do you want your position there to be? MC: Well I'm fairly new and still am learning about the departments, I guess you could call them, that they have so I'm not sure if I'd want to stay at this position forever, right now I really, really enjoy it and I like that it's different everyday and I've joked with my family that it's different every hour cuz you never know who's going to walk in or who's going to need help in whatever department and so it really is different and it's a challenge and really enjoy that and I ' ' MARY CLAIRE FEIMSTER 6 hope that I, you know, enjoy it for quite a long time and then I'm not sure where exactly I'd want to move up because I don't know a lot about the other positions yet, but I'm hoping that one day I could move up. M: Alright, well I think that I have gotten all my questions answered but do you have any questions for me about what I'm doing with this information or are you good to go? MC: I think we're good to go! M: Alright, well thank you again and I will and let you know how eve1ything goes. MC: Alright thank you so much! [End of interview] Transcribed by Marlee Wegmiller on December 1, 2018.
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