Kathie Flett was student at Montrose Junior High School during the time when the Peace School of Hope operated in a wing of the school. She could never have foreseen that her early connection with the handicapped would resume in her workplace later in life. Kathie is now the Accounting Clerk for the Association.
Kathie remembers that having the Peace School students attending the regular school was a good arrangement and she doesn’t recall any problems occurring as a result. One of her vivid memories of the time involves one of the Peace School students, seven or eight years old, who would wander from the Peace School Wing into her math class, take a seat and “visit” from time to time. He would be sent back to his own classroom without any big fuss.
Kathie was hired in 2002 to work in the Purolator drop centre, an outlet that the Association held the contract for at that time. The drop centre ran out of the Association main building and shared front office space with the Association employees.
Customer service was an issue because of the Purolator center not being a full service operation. Customers often did not realize that the drop centre had no control over what the deliveries were or where the drivers were at any given time. Association work carried on amongst the Purlolator business and at times it was extremely busy between the constant flow of customers in and out and the nonstop phone calls with shipping enquiries.
During renovations to the main office building at 113 St, most of the staff moved to a temporary office location while Kathie remained at the main building. She ran the Purolator drop centre out of the shop. Kathie describes some cold and lonely days in the shop, especially when renovations continued into the fall of that year. She says it was nice to have staff return and to work together again in the newly renovated building.
The recent name change to Signature Support Services has caused some confusion with the public. Kathie thinks that Signature Support Services, as a name, is somewhat vague and doesn’t describe who the organization is. Confusion arises because it is listed in the phone book yellow pages under the Employment Opportunities section but it doesn’t specify that the listing refers to employment for handicapped clients. As a result she answers many calls from people who are looking to reach Canada Employment.
Another confusion arises when there are questions regarding the businesses, such as Recycle Plus, that fall under the umbrella of the Association but operate unto themselves for business purposes.
Kathie is an active member of the Association’s Social Committee. She says there is a mixed response to participation and it would be nice to see more people involved. With the wide variety of age ranges within the staff, it is sometimes difficult to find activities that will appeal to everyone.
Kathie enjoys the regular contact with clients and loves to visit with them as they come in and out of the office on a daily basis. She says many of them recognize her and greet her out in the community as well. “It’s fun to see them out in a different environment altogether.”