By Savannah Jack (Tulia, TX)
My name is Savannah Jack, I am 16 years old and before last summer I had never had a job.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been doing chores for as long as I can remember but haven’t had a job. My parents told me that the day I stopped being involved with school was the day I got a job. I AM involved, what can I say? I’ve tried a lot of different activities–but volleyball, softball, and theatre are my main interests. But still no real job. This experience has definitely opened my eyes to the realities of the workforce. I have learned so many things- things I would like to explore further, and things I know I would never like to do again.
In my first week, I was at the Byrds Nest, which felt less nerve-wracking because I am friends with the girls. We did all the things you would do at a local boutique. I learned a lot about owning a local business but the main thing I learned was the value of family in business. Leigh, Kenzie, Rexie and Rustie all have their own role in the shop and complete their tasks seamlessly. I would go back there in a heartbeat.
At the District and County Clark’s office, my main job was to digitize the first book of marriage licences in Swisher County from the late 1800’s. I’m not going to lie, I couldn’t read most of their handwriting. The lesson I learned here was that things are more complicated than they seem. I had no knowledge of what the job was, and it was huge. There was no time in our day for breaks.
At the Daycare Center I have never been asked so many questions in my life. They wanted to know everything. My takeaway was definitely patience. Like some of the other places, I had no idea the amount of work it takes to operate a daycare. From cleaning and organizing, to paperwork and snack time, then actually watching the children, it was a full day.
My next week was quite a change of pace. Delivering meals to shut-ins was definitely my favorite part of this internship. They were such a blessing. I wanted to stay longer and talk to each one of them. I consider myself a pretty happy person but the level of joy these people brought to me was incomparable. It solidified my feeling of wanting to do service work in my future.
The museum was amazing. I’m not a normal teenager when it comes to history. I’ve been watching documentaries with my parents for years. I didn’t realize Swisher County had such a rich history. I really enjoyed digging through files and finding old pictures and articles about the important people in my life, but my favorite part was definitely when Frank told me to create my own exhibit. I chose “The History of Picnic” and loved every moment of it.
I somehow managed to end up at the Chamber before picnic and boy were we busy. Phone calls, phone calls, and more phone calls. I got to do a few other things but Picnic was “king” the week I was there. Tyson and his staff were really great and they worked with me. That same week I was doing Meals on Wheels and school workouts had resumed. It was so hectic! I learned how to be flexible and how to ask my boss for something. I learned that when you have a job not everything fits in a Google Calendar just perfectly.
I got my own office at Swisher Electric. I felt so grown up! I learned that I had no idea what a coop is, nor what they do. My job was primarily to connect addresses with their appropriate poles. I’ve lived in town my entire life so I had no idea what an FM meant. I now know! In my teenage brain, I thought that going to work was an endless cycle of 1. Go to work 2. Have a bad day 3. Come home 4. Eat supper and 5. Go to bed. But the ladies I worked with at Swisher Electric were so nice. I really enjoyed them, they were so kind and thoughtful, and made me excited about what work can be.
I am fully convinced that Patrice is the hardest working woman in Tulia. Not only does she run the paper, but she also runs the memory maker, and chases Tulia Hornets. I enjoyed the deep conversations she and I had. Balance was the thing I learned from that week. Patrice was able to juggle the phone, the paper, and the customers, which amazed me! I will have a greater appreciation when I see her at our games now.
Concluding the internship was the DreamFlyt Station which is a retail shop. Brandi Reed let me know prior that I would be modeling the merchandise, which scared me to death! I don’t have low self-esteem, but I am still a teenage girl living in a social media world. I was able to step out of my comfort zone, and it actually wasn’t horrible. I was able to help Brandi at The Wild Ivy and I learned that roses with getcha. I helped her with sales inventory as well. I appreciate Brandi opening a store in Tulia.
Finally, I want to tell you what I learned about myself. I love being a kid and I am definitely not ready for financial independence. However, I loved the workplace. I enjoyed the experiences, the bosses, and the coworkers. I learned that I hate sitting down, and in the future, I need to work at a place where I can be up and around. I learned that I love kids and shut-ins and I need to work in a field with those folks. I love it here. I love how everybody knows everything about everyone else. I would love to work here and raise my own children here.
This internship sparked some conversations in my house. I feel like I learned so much about small town living both from work and my parents. I didn’t know that I didn’t know so many things.
My name is Savannah Jack, I am 16 years old, and I have had a real job.
I’ve had 9 real jobs. Thank you for this opportunity.
Savannah Jack is currently a Junior at Tulia High School (TX), and is very busy taking AP courses this semester, preparing for a career in the health care field.