Chance Encounter

Carpenters Instructor Changes One Woman’s Life For The Better

By Craig Hood

Who knew McDonald’s store manager Roxanne Cole would meet a man who would ultimately change her life? 

This gentleman would frequent the restaurant so often that she knew his usual order, and always took care of him. His name is Tim Rekosh, and he works for the St Louis Carpenters Joint Apprenticeship Program as an adjunct instructor.

One morning, Tim came into the restaurant just in time to observe an incident.

Roxanne’s drive-thru server had handed out the wrong order. She overheard what happened, grabbed the correct bag, and ran the customer’s food out to the people waiting at a stoplight just before the car drove away.

Witnessing what had just happened, Tim asked Roxanne, “Did you just run that out to someone at the stoplight?”  She answered, “Yes, I did.” Tim complimented her for going above and beyond and told her that as hard as she works, she should be making more money and should consider getting into the carpenter’s trade.

For about the next two years he would come in and ask Roxanne each time if she ever went to carpenters’ school to get into the training program. One morning, Roxanne was having a terrible day at work and Tim again asked if she visited the carpenters training center yet. “I am going today after work,” she replied.

My name is Craig Hood, and I am the coordinator for the carpenters training center. Recently, I learned Roxanne was graduating from our program. I asked her if she had a moment for me to ask some questions. My interest in Roxanne through her apprenticeship was sparked because we come from the same small town and know many of the same people. Roxanne told me she wished she would have started this career earlier, but just didn’t know anything about it until she met Tim.

She told me she had been treated very well in a predominantly male industry with no inappropriate behavior towards her. “The different tools were a little intimidating at first, but the school training and working on the job with others gets you over that hurdle,” she said.

Roxanne says she would tell others to take the leap even though they don’t know much about the trade. Afterall, it took two years for Tim to convince her to make that move.

We all have many people that cross our paths in life. Sometimes it’s a gas station, an event, or just getting a sandwich at McDonald’s. When you meet someone with a good attitude, share with them your experience in our trade. You may help change someone’s life with a new career.

As fate would have it, Tim Rekosh just happened to be working at the training center the day Roxanne Cole journeyed out. Congratulations on a job well done to both Tim and Roxanne!

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