Stephanie Jeffery Carlino – Making Lemonade Out of Lemons

I was out of work for three years and getting pretty desperate. Almost applying for anything. Just about when I was ready to give up, I went on an interview and was annoyed that they had me waiting in the room with someone else. A stranger. Is there anything more annoying when you are not yourself!  And for the same job, no less. Well, she looked nice enough and we started to talk—we were both there for the same job. But, we were older and realized that we brought different things to the table and agreed to phone each other afterwards. We would share job leads and almost immediately adopted the motto of “one for all and all for one.” If someone was going to get the job, why shouldn’t it at least be one of us. We compared notes, laughed a little and decided to stay in touch – especially once we realized were on the same “circuit”. We decided to meet and include a mutual friend, and met at a diner for breakfast, possibly the least expensive meal you can have out. We met a few times, each time sharing news, job offers, etc. Well, one day something happened—we were asked to leave the diner. Can you imagine how it feels to be thrown out of a diner? We walked out, we laughed, we cried and we got angry. It was at that moment we  decided to take action and formed the Long Island Breakfast Club. We are an organization that provides support, advocacy and inspiration to the mature individuals who find themselves unemployed. We are growing by leaps and bounds. This is probably the only time in history that growth has a negative connotation. We provide job coaching, resume writing and wit and wisdom, in equal parts.

But the best part of the story are the friendships we formed that most people only dream of. Sadly, our mutual friend Joann has passed away, and while she is no longer with us at the “diner,” she is always with us in spirit, encouraging us at every step.

If this isn’t making lemonade out of lemons, I don’t know what is.

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