After 10 years as an official "manager" I have ended the school year in the black. Yes being in the black is what we all hope for although I have no idea why it is called that.
I stayed within my budget. Amazingly I stayed within my budget while still serving free fruit and a full salad bar. I offered more whole grains than ever, changed to brown rice and only healthy snacks.
I have taken a budget that was $60,000 over budget my first year. $40,000 my second and on downward until this year when I had money leftover!
There was no money in the school budget for confetti and balloons when they told me so with the super and budget director standing there I closed my eyes tight and told them it was all good, I could picture it in my head. They laughed...
I have been struggling with this for years. I have been threatened with being replaced, I have been given hard eyes by teachers as I take money from their budgets. I have taught myself how to place bids with companies. I have researched what healthy snacks children will buy. I have brought in product that sounded good then had to convince children it was. I have been doing everything in my power to make this job work, without one clue besides my ability to learn, to read, to try and fail at my side as I did it.
I was sitting here this morning and wondering why I am not doing the happy dance.
And it hit me.....
The one person on earth who would have been so terribly happy for me, who would have sat and talked with me about what a great job I have done starting from nothing, is gone.
My mom and I had work in common, that and 5 children, but we talked work and asshole bosses and struggling. She would have been so proud of me, so proud. I realized this morning just how very much I miss her.