Sarah, Katy’s Job Coach, shared, “From the time of her interview to the present, the Chili’s management team and servers have supported and welcomed Katy with open arms. Natural supports on the job are so important for us all, and in Katy’s case her managers, Sarah and Q, along with Katy’s co-workers have fostered a fun, supportive, and productive environment. Every time I stop to check in, I am inundated with compliments about Katy. She’s always joking around with her co-workers and has quickly become an integral part of the restaurant. I can’t think of anyone I’ve worked with who has earned employee of the month this quickly or deserved it this much. Many thanks to the Chili’s team, and congratulations to Katy. Her work ethic and dedication to her new job are something to be celebrated.”
We sat down with her to learn more about her success and are happy to share her story with our readers.
Katy W: My goal in 2022 was to get a job. Not only did I get a job, but I also got “Employee of the Month” in July!
Q: How did you get your job?
Katy W: I came up with the idea when I was eating lunch one day at a restaurant. I wondered if I could be a hostess somewhere. I shared the idea with my job coach, Sarah. We went online and filled out an application for a hostess position at a Chili’s Restaurant. I got an interview right away. I kept calling to let them know I was interested and asked about the next steps.
I got an offer about 2 weeks later. They fell in love with me right away. Chili’s hired me because they loved my personality and saw that I was perfect for the job.
Q: What kind of support did you receive?
Katy W: Sarah helped me prepare for the interview and came with me to the interview, but I answered most of the questions. Sarah came during my training, but it didn’t take me long to understand what I need to do. She only checks in on me occasionally now.
Q: What is your job?
Katy W: I have a hostess position at Chili’s in Skokie. I greet customers. I say, “Good morning! Welcome to Chili’s! How many people are in your party?” Then I seat them at their table and let them know their server will be over to take their order.
Q: How long have you had your job?
Katy W: I have had my job for four months, but it doesn’t seem like it’s been that long.
Q: How often do you work?
Katy W: I currently work four days a week for 3 hours a day. In September, I am going to add another hour each day.
Q: How do you like your job?
Katy W: I love my job. It’s perfect for me because I’m a people person. I like to talk to them and get to know them. I love my colleagues. They’re wonderful. They’re very warm and nice and helpful.
Tell us about becoming Employee-of-the-Month:
Katy W: Employee-of-the-Month – that was a surprise. It was a Saturday and I was just doing my job rolling silverware when my supervisor came up with three of my coworkers. I looked around and thought, ‘uh- oh.’ I thought I was in trouble. They told me they had a surprise for me. Then, my supervisor, Sarah told me I was Employee-of-the-Month, i.g. ChiliHead of the month.
It was awesome to find out that I was ChiliHead of the month even though I had only been there for a short time. But I had been doing a great job!
I got a card that says wonderful things about me and that was put up on the board for everyone in the restaurant to see. I got recognition for a job well done. Customers say good things about me.
Q: How did being Employee-of-the-Month make you feel?
Katy W: It kind of makes me shy because I am just doing my thing and I love it.
Q: How has working impacted your life?
Katy W: This is my second official job. Working for me is a wonderful thing. I get to earn and save money for special things and to pay my bills on my own without asking for help. For example, I am saving to travel to Colorado.
Working gets me out of my apartment and gives me the opportunity to socialize with people.
I just love being at work. People often don’t work at a place like Chili’s for long – it’s often a summer job or short-term position. But for me, I look at this job as a long-term job.