I Love {Coca-Cola}

So, on a complete whim a few weeks ago I revealed that I work.  I know, I know. Just when you thought you knew more than you ever wanted to know about me.  I actually do keep a few things private :-)  If you will, let me start from the beginning…
Growing up, Coca-Cola was a huge part of our life.  It’s really hard to put into words, but Coke was there at all celebrations and it was there when we were sad, sick or hurting too.  No matter what was the matter, Mother would say “Let’s have a Coke.  Then you’ll feel better.”  I have vivid memories of drinking ice cold Cokes out of glass bottles on hot summer days.  Every single person in my family took the first sip and then gave the satisfactory “ahhhh”.  When we spent the night out at a friend’s house, Mother would pack a Coke in our bag.  You know, just in case we woke up in the middle of the night home sick.  When my parents visited me in college, they always came bearing a 12-pack.  And we do the same with our littles.  Coca-Cola isn’t taboo here.  It’s a treat and it’s a part of every celebration and pretty much every sick day too.I will never forget the day that Daddy-O said goodbye to me on the stoop of Cloudman dorm at Georgia Tech.  I acted brave and he did too.  (But I’m certain we were both terrified.)  The last thing he said before getting the car and leaving me for the first time in my life was “Work very hard and do your best.  And maybe, just maybe, one day you could get a job right across the street.”  If you are familiar with Georgia Tech or Atlanta, you will know that place he spoke of was the world headquarters of The Coca-Cola Company.That moment stuck with me for four and half grueling years.  (It was fun but it was super hard.)  And, in the middle of my senior year, my best Sigma Nu friend and Coca-Cola intern (now VP) called me up and said his group needed another intern.  To be honest, I really wasn’t interested in adding a job to my plate, but I’d grown up loving Coca-Cola more than any brand in the world, so I went for it…and got it!  It was with tears in my eyes that I called up Daddy-O and said “You’ll never believe what happened.  (I’m sure he immediately panicked based on all the other calls he received that started with that line.)  Remember how you told me that if I worked really hard I might be able to get that job across the street?  Weeellllll…. I GOT IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I got a job at Coke!!!!!!!”

My internship led to a full time job as soon as I graduated.  I did look at other options, but I knew deep down I’d never leave Coke.  (In spite of the fact they offered me less money than any other offer I had.)  I was happily employed and greatly challenged for 8 years in Business Analysis, Strategy & Planning and Revenue Growth Management.

 

When I had little John I was really at a crossroads.  I had worked SO hard to get a good job and then even harder to keep it and do well at it.  I earned four promotions and a 10-day trip to any Ritz in the world (we broke it up between Hawaii and Jamaica) in that time.  But, I also wanted to be a Mommy.  I went back to work full time for about two months after my maternity leave.  I didn’t want to assume that I couldn’t do it all, so I truly gave it my best shot.  And I cried the first week.  And the second week.  And for six straight weeks feeling like I was failing at everything.  Work, being a mommy and being a wife.  Oh, and just being myself too.  The day that I had to shut my crying baby upstairs in the master bathroom to take an important call from a senior VP was the day I knew it couldn’t go on.  Honey was completely supportive of whatever decision I wanted to make, and it was to be a stay at home mother.  I gave my two weeks notice and felt like I was walking on air.  Like the weight of the world had been lifted from my shoulders!

Two weeks into retirement, I got a call from a work acquaintance.  She had her first baby just weeks before I had John.  She too went back full time and was extremely unhappy.  But she had managed to talk her boss into this rare little gem of a situation called a “job share.”  I had no earthly idea how to do her job or what it entailed (“marketing”), but it was too good of an opportunity to pass up.  I went in for the interview and landed the two day portion of a job share!

Nine years later, I’m still going strong two days a week!  I’ve had five different managers, four different three-day partners and recently received a big and slightly terrifying promotion.  My job has evolved to something entirely new since I started it.  I am currently application manager of two b2b type websites providing sales and marketing information and direction to the Coca-Cola system.  Now that I’m not paying for two in part-time day care, I am making a decent income for a company I’ve admired my whole life.  I worked very, very hard for my Georgia Tech degree and my masters (paid for by Coke!).  And while I don’t currently do anything even remotely related to my education, it was that education that opened this door.

photo 1 (28)

 

So I guess the cat’s officially out of the bag now…  If you have any burning questions, ask away because I just might never mention the J.O.B. again.  Oh and I finally decide to share today because it just happens to be my 17th anniversary of working for The Coca-Cola Company!!
xoxo

PS. On shareacoke.com right now you can buy your very own personalized glass bottle Coke.  How fun!!!  If your name is not already available, like CeeCee, you can have it added to the database!

78 thoughts on “I Love {Coca-Cola}

  1. What better company could there be to work for?! This was so interesting to read, as I never would've DREAMED that you have a job. When you first mentioned it, I assumed that you'd just gotten the job. This makes the way you mother even more awesome to me! xoxo

  2. Happy Anniversary!! And COKE is the only soda product in our house. When I was a little girl, Coke was such a treat. ( Most of our family drank Kool Aid….it was cheaper). To get your own bottle of coke was a red letter day. And if you were ever sick, Coca Cola appeared! It still makes me happy now that I am blessed to be able to have a Coke whenever I want one. And bravo to Cherry Coke, my favorite.

  3. I love to hear about companies that have created flexible opportunities for Moms to remain in the workforce in a meaningful way and to spend time at home with their children!! Way to go Coca-Cola Company! Thank you for sharing this part of your life.

  4. There was some event you wrote about a long time ago that made me think Homey worked for Coke (I have family that also works for Coke, & they had attended a similar event). Never guessed it was you. Congrats on your anniversary!

  5. So inspiring! Will your new job entail more hours, are you still part time? You give me hope that there is fulfilling, but part time, work out there for Moms. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Thanks for sharing!!! Coke sounds like an awesome place to work! Love the job sharing idea.

  7. I love that you shared this. Being very new to the working mom thing, I realize how incredibly hard it is to juggle it all. Living in Atlanta (and loving Coke), kudos to being an amazing mom, wife and coworker!

  8. well, i sure didn't see this coming but i'm not surprised. you truly are a "superwoman" and i mean that in every good sense of the word. congratulations! coke is lucky to have you.

  9. You are such an inspiration. I have been a stay-at-home mom for the past 6 years, almost entirely since I have been out of college. My husband went to Tech, and his degree (ChemE) requires us being in the middle of nowhere. Not that great for my career aspirations. Ha! I have really been feeling the itch to work, but not without the mommy guilt. You seem to have really struck a great balance, which is so encouraging to me! Do you have any tips on getting your hat back in the ring? It's hard for me to feel relevant when I have been out of the professional world for so long. Congrats on staying true to yourself! Cheers.

  10. Great how things work out! I must confess, I just KNEE you worked for Southern Living! Lol!
    Natalie

  11. Aaccck. The job share will be ideal. I work full time for a major company too, but I have never heard of such positions in my group. Do you work remote or come in to the office? What's your schedule look like?

  12. I also thought you had just gotten the job. My first guess was Disney. I don't know how I ever got that idea! I also thought your hubby works for Coke. Maybe you both do? I'm just relieved it's not full-time. First, because you'd seriously have to be a Stepford wife that requires no sleep and second because I couldn't imagine how you'd make it through summer with the boys and work. This part-time job sounds perfect for you and your family. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Oh my goodness! How wonderful! My very dear friends/neighbors were transferred here from Coke Atlanta and recently moved back to Coke Atlanta. I miss them so much! Their loyalty to Coke is much like yours! xoxo

  14. Thank you for sharing! I LOVE Coke :) and reading your blog. This info makes me love it even more. You do an amazing job with your family and juggling it all!

  15. As a working mom (with a soon to have flexible arrangement) I loved reading this! How do you manage the days that you're in the office with getting the boys off the bus? How do you handle summer vacation? Im curious to see how you manage the schedule without daycare. Jen

    1. I work a set two days each week and they very rarely ever change. I have them in an after school program (chess) one of those days and the other day varies between after school programs and family helping me out. The summer is much more challenging because there are NO two day a week camps and I cannot afford and do not want to send them for full weeks when I really only need two days! The good news (?) is that our summer is only two months long so by the time you take out holidays and vacations that doesn't leave a lot of time. I rely heavily on a baby sitter but my mother in law, parents and besties pitch in as well when we are in a pinch. Figuring out summer child care is super stressful!

  16. I just found you blog a few days ago! I imagined that you were a stay-at-home mom. I grew up on Coca Cola too, and I still drink about 4-6 cans per day. There is nothing like it, and a dietician recently told me that it was OK for me to drink all of the Cokes because I run so much and have a healthy weight. Most "authorities" (and many friends and acquaintances) act as though I am drinking toilet bowl cleaner and warn me of the peril of soft drinks. Your blog is awesome! :)

  17. Thanks for sharing! I don't know how you do it all! I swore you had become a Disney travel agent- and was I ever wrong! Look forward to reading your blog each day!

  18. What a surprise! You must never sleep! That is great that Coke is willing to be flexible for Moms! I run a music therapy company, but when people ask, I usually just say I am a Mom. I think a lot of people at my kids' schools have no idea that I have an office. (I am very flexible with my employees and welcome them to bring their babies to work if they want to manage it. I have brought mine as well and worked while they snuggled in the baby carrier on my chest.)

  19. I'm dying to know how vending machines in the break area are set up! Cans, bottles, no-cost/free-flowing fountain drinks?! Any rare flavors available, or just standard fare? Also, I've been imagining all morning how wonderful it must be to have my coke in hand throughout the work day, even during meetings! Do your co-workers actually do that?:)

    1. Yes! All you can drink Cokes all day long :-). The fountain machines and freestyle machines are mostly in the Main Street (cafe/shopping) area. The break rooms have vending that just dispenses free!! Lots of choices but my fave is Vanilla Coke (I drink one a day) and DASANI Sparkling (for the rest of the day)! You won't go to a meeting without a drink in hand!

  20. Happy Anniversary Amanda!! I am so glad to learn this about you, I thought for sure you were a stay at home Mom with all the things you do for your boys, now that I know you are a working Mom too, I feel more inspired that I can do it all with my 2 girls!! I'm a GA girl who loves Coke, what a cool job!!
    Lindsey

  21. As a working mom completely dedicated to being a mom/wife as well, I think it's fantastic that you shared some insight on this topic. I would personally love to read more about all facets of your experience. Happy Anniversary!

  22. This is so awesome! Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I too was a working Mom for about eight months. Like you I cried every day and was extremely unhappy. I prayed everyday that I would get layed off. I did pharmaceutical sales for almost 10 years so lay offs were very common. God answered my prayer and I was layed off shortly after my son's 1st birthday. I was probably the happiest unemployed person alive! Since then I've loved being a stay at home Mom to my two precious kiddos. Job share is always an option in Pharma as well so maybe I'll go back to work when my daughter is older. Thanks again for sharing this part of your life with us. It's yet another way I relate to you and another way you inspire all of us readers. Love it!

  23. Congratulations on your anniversary! You are one amazing girl. (I thought Disney travel also.) Coke is THE all American product. Nothing beats one (especially when made with cane sugar.) How DO you do everything and still have plenty of leisure time? Can you share a typical day and hints to accomplishing even a quarter of what you do?! You really are fascinating. Maybe having a Coke, instead of coffee, is the answer! :-) Jane ~ SD

    1. Ahhhh, well, I don't require lots of sleep and I move fast all day long. It's not something I've tried to be… just how I am. Oh, and I start my day with a cup of coffee too. :-)

  24. Amanda, you are inspiring! You seem to have found the best balance of being a wife, mommy, and employee; and you look great while doing it! How does a promotion work when you are job sharing? Do both you and your three day counterpart have to interview for the position?

  25. Oh my, I love, love, love this post. You are going to inspire so many new mothers. My daughter is a new Mom. She worked so hard for her degrees and her job. Luckily she works for a company that allowed her to go to a flexible schedule after going back to work. I do hope you talk about your job and knowing you are trying to do it all makes me like your blog even more.
    DiAnne in nC

  26. This is amazing! How on Earth are you doing all of this?!? Plus blog?!? How do you do it? Do you have a team of people helping you? Do you never sleep? I am baffled and amazed! I really wish you'd post your daily routine, I just can't do the math on this one.
    Dee

  27. Congratulations on your long anniversary with Coca-Cola! How wonderful that you're able to job share, that really is an ideal work situation. My burning question is, what happens to an employee caught drinking a Pepsi product??? Just kidding! Thanks for the heads up on the bottles. My family is so excited to finally get their names in print.

  28. That's incredible. When my kids were young I had a flexible job so I could be there for their after school activities. It wasn't a dream job (Coke or Disney) but I good job and I didn't miss out on their adventures. Oh and thanks for the heads up on ordering the cokes (with names). My grandkids name are Makenzie and Brody and they are either not common or not spelled the usual way. What a great surprise for them since cokes are a special family treat for us as well. Congratulations on your work anniversary.

  29. We spent spring break in Atlanta (we were going to go south but it was really stormy). We were going to hike Stone Mountain for like the fourth time, but after reading honey's 40×40, we hiked Kennesaw. Had no idea it was open for hiking and we had a BLAST!! Thanks for the info!! We also went to World of Coke. It really was a lot of fun, but as I sat watching the Coke commercials from all around the world I said to my husband, "OK, we just spent $75 to watch commercials for one of the world's most heavily marketed brands!!" But that's Coke for ya!! Gotta love 'em! It's such an iconic brand and I think for especially every Southern kid, Coke is happiness!

  30. You are amazing! I live in ATL too and make my choice of where to eat out based on who sells Coke products. I've been known to go thru an extra drive thru just to get my diet coke with my Arbys!!! Glad to hear Coke is so supportive of moms.

  31. Wow…I need a nap just thinking of all you do. You should really do a post – heck a whole series – on how on earth you do so much so well!

  32. Thanks so much for sharing this part of your life. I've been at the same company for my entire career partly because they were supportive in my working part time for over 10 years. I love hearing about companies supporting their employees family lives. It makes for very loyal employees.

  33. Congrats! You are amazing, not sure when you find the time though! Funny, we're actually a Pepsi family…my Dad started there when he was 19 and put in 26 years with them, to this day Coke is not allowed in my parents house ;)

  34. We also grew up with Coca-Cola as a delicious treat! Growing up in Houston we always went to the Coca-Cola Bottling Plant in the summer. You would be rewarded with a cold bottle of Coke at the end of the tour. I LOVE your blog and read it everyday! I am always quoting things I have seen on it to my friends. Just curious….was it your idea to put the "names" on the Coke products?

  35. I also work part-time while doing the mom thing. I love it, but often time feel like work hours creep into my evenings. Are you able to "turn off" work when you go home for the day, or are you working on some of your off days as well? Do you say no to extra projects to keep your hours within your two days? It's always a struggle for me to say no. Just curious how you manage it! Thanks! And just reading this post makes me want a coke on ice… Although at this time of day it will impact my sleep. Better not. :)

  36. Wow! Great job with a great company—I too love all things Coca cola, especially the lesser known diet brand, TAB—still drink it, hope they never stop making it. It has quite the loyal following!! Have a great summer!

  37. Wow…superwoman! I wouldn't have guessed Coca-Cola, but it makes sense since I recall several coworkers doing job share when I worked there. I always liked how they supported that. My husband works on the support end of the system you work with. And drinks about 6 diet cokes a day!

  38. I am a California girl, but ALL of my friends KNOW I am a Coke girl thru & thru! My college friends still make fun of me for always having a Coke in my hand! Haha!
    I have been very curious about your job and I am very curious about your schedule. I am a 4th grade teacher. I stayed at home for ten years while my 3 children were very small. When my youngest went to Kindergarten, I returned to working. Teaching is great because I have the summer and other holiday vacations with my kids. Unfortunately, being a dedicated teacher is more than full-time. I try to do as much as I can after the kids are asleep or early in the morning. I, like many others, would love to have some insight into your schedule. How do you stay organized? Do you have a housekeeper and/or gardener? Do you use a paper planner (like Erin Condren's Life Planner) or do you keep a schedule digitally via computer and/or phone? I don't want to pry; I simply would love some tips & inspiration. :)
    Best,
    Michelle from simplysantabarbara.blogspot.com

  39. I love you even more now knowing this! As a full time working mom/teacher, I strive to be the best for everyone and everything…8 months pregnant with my third and finishing up the school year has not been easy! This post was exactly what I needed to see! Moms are amazing!

  40. Coca-Cola is an awesome place to work! I've been with Big Red for 32 years now; even met my hubby there. I'm pretty sure Georgia Tech perfected the robotics for the new automated system we have
    way up here in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

  41. I still can't figure it out…even with six hours of sleep and coffee! You have not only caused us to open many Cokes today, you have opened a can of worms! ;-) We are all going to descend on you until we get real answers about what is behind the magic (gorgeous fabric) curtain! We promise to bring great snacks, delicious drinks, wear cute prints and tassel bracelets, but we will also bring lawn chairs and tents. You can hold court on The Porch and answer all of our questions, as we gaze from below with astonishment! And if that doesn't work, we're heading over to Savannah to get it straight from the source! So spill the beans! Your subjects need to know! Who's with me?! Truly love you to pieces! You are beyond an inspiration. Jane ~ SD

  42. I am flabergasted. Not that you work for Coke…..we grew up thinking "coke" was the generic term for all carbonated beverages, so we would ask, "What kinda coke do y'all want?" So Southern gal that you are, the Coke part doesn't surprise me. What shocks me is–how on earth do you have time? You must not've slept in the past 5 years! I have followed your blog for about 2 years & am always in awe of your home, your talent, your adorable snacks and crafts for your boys, the amazing things you do for the boys' classrooms, etc—and now I find out that you also work 2 days a week!!! Oh my gosh, someone needs to buy you a Super Woman costume this very minute!!!!

  43. Amanda,
    To quote Clark Griswold upon seeing cousin Eddie showing up in his driveway at Christmas time…Eddie:"Are you surprised, Clark?" …"Eddie… I wouldn't have been more surprised to have waken up with my head sewn to the carpet." I KNEW and was convinced you worked for Disney! I mean who would take the time to write such detailed, thorough, amazing Disney posts and recaps unless you were being paid???
    YOU, that's who..Amanda!!! Out of your passion for Disney you spend hours putting together these awesome trip/ park/ resort/ cruise tips and recaps so we can glean from your experience! Your tips and tidbits have enhanced my Disney trips and turned me on to so many delectable Disney treats! Disney should be paying you, however,ha !
    Congrats on 17 years at Coke! Paula R.

  44. My son and I have been to Atlanta twice, and both times visited the World of Coke. Old and new. Be both loved it, and at the end getting to drink all the different coke products. I love coke. Always have, always will. Cheers France's

  45. What do you do with the boys during the summer months? I have two boys ages 10 and 7 and want to go back to work. Just not sure what to do with them during the summer months. Also, you look amazing. What is your fitness and cooking regime?

  46. Congrats on your workiversary!!! :) What a great accomplishment & one to be very proud of! :) I, too, am a good GA girl and will not drink Pepsi. Like someone said above, I will verify Coke or Pepsi before ordering what to drink when out to eat. And I don't know about you, but Coke is my universal term for what others call a soft drink… "What kind of Coke do you want?" could get a variety of answers from Diet Coke to Sprite! :)

  47. You amaze me! Keep up the blogging!! You are an inspiration! I just can not believe that you are so talented!!! I just LOVE reading your blog everyday!! It is a piece of "sunshine" in my mornings!! I just love that you are a TECH graduate! My grandfather graduated in 1928 and my dad and husband went there!! There are not too many Tech fans around!! So proud of all you have achieved!!

  48. So inspiring to see that you work outside the home as well and juggling it all. I would love to see a day in the life post of a work day and a home day. I think I could use some of your time management pointers!!

  49. Didn't think it was possible, but even MORE impressed with you! Love and Hugs, Heather

  50. So fun reading about your job, and how it all worked out. I would never have guessed you were working outside the home. I have many friends who work or have worked for Coke. It is definitely a great company!!
    Oh, and if you get in a pinch this summer, let me know…I have a fantastic "nanny" living under our roof for the summer before grad school starts!!

  51. What an awesome story and job! Now I don't feel like such a goof sharing my Coke story with you. This weekend I was heading home to TX to help a family member with a yard sale (I live in LA) and stopped for gas and something to drink. I reached in the cooler to get a Diet Coke and as I stood up I came eye level with a 20 oz. bottle of Coke with the name "Noe" on it. Noe was my grandfather's name and we'd never, ever heard anyone else having that name much less seen it in print anywhere. I posted a picture on the Facebook tagging all the cousins and they were so excited and surprised I found it. It brought back a flood of memories of Grandpa that we shared and it reminded us even though he may have passed on, he's still here with us. Sorry for the long comment, but I'm thrilled I could let someone at Coca Cola know how they made the day of some girls who still miss their Grandpa even after all these years.

  52. Now I know you are my hero! I am a Coke girl through and through. When I was a child my very elderly piano teacher would give me a glass bottled Coke for a special treat. Your mom was right, a Coke will cure what ails you! I tell my now grown kids that all the time. A couple of years ago my college roommate and I went to our 25th reunion and my roomie asked me if I still have to drink my CoCola when I'm feeling weak! Just in case you wonder, I surely do!

  53. Does this post win the award for most comments? Haha! :) I think we are all surprised! I've worked part time (3 days a week) since my kids were born, and I actually just quit last week. Now that my oldest is in kindergarten (well, just finished), I just got so very hard to juggle it all. And my job is so incredibly inflexible that it made it really hard. I'm so impressed that you have been able to work two days a week while being a wonderful, creative and fun mom! I love all of your ideas and copy so many things you have done. :)

  54. Wow – Happy Coke Anniversary ! Its such a small world (after all) I read your blog from Far Far Away in South Africa. I also work for The Coca-Cola Company and have only ever worked for Coke since I joined their graduate program after I finished University and this year is my 17 th year with Coke too ! My son was born last year and is 17 months I love how make childhood so magical for you boys. Thanks for all the inspiration Michelle

  55. This is so awesome! Coke was the only brand in our house too. Still is. It's so awesome they let you job share. My company won't. I went back full-time (I am supervisor of my department) after having my first baby. I cried every day for 3 months. Five months of struggling and tears and feeling like a failure, I told my boss I'd like to stay but I couldn't keep going like I was. So he agreed to let me work 30 hours a week, but still be there 5 days. So now I work partial days but 5 days a week. I had baby boy #2 last summer and I'm still maintaining my barely full-time status. It's so awesome you have that opportunity with Coca-Cola. I'm really glad you shared. – Leighohb@gmail.com

  56. I wondered about you working for Disney too. Now we know! It's great that you were given the opportunity to work job share. Many of my colleagues at the school board I work for have also taken advantage of job sharing ( 2day/3 day, Mon-Wed-Fri/ Tue-Thurs every other week, half days, 2/3 days etc.) Plus they get to keep their seniority. For us it worked out better for me to work full time and hubby worked afternoons so we didn't have to pay child care. With summers off, March Break and Christmas holidays, plus hubby able to walk them to and from school etc. It worked well for us when the kids were young and now they are finishing high school and at 50 I am 5 years from early retirement.

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