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One Memorable Summer
BICYCLE/ MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENTS
MALLS, EARRINGS, AND MY FIRST JOB
Summer break is here, and I’m sure many of our readers with teenagers at home are watching them apply to their very first jobs. Beyond just the financial independence this offers, I can attest there’s plenty of valuable skills a young adult can pick up from this early experience. My very first job was nothing if not memorable. Wanting to get a job out of the hot sun and away from any deep fryers, I applied to the fashion accessory store of the ‘90s: Afterthoughts. I’d passed by their location at the Westroads Mall many times and, at 16, decided to apply. They ended up hiring me on the spot and, to my surprise, handed me a piercing gun. I’d imagined I would be stocking shelves and helping moms pick out hair clips for their daughters, not piercing holes in people’s ears. That seemed like a lot of responsibility to give a teenager who just signed on. Thankfully, they gave me some training, letting me practice on foam sheets for 20 minutes before I moved on to actual human ears. To say it was a nerve-wracking start to a job would be an understatement. Not only was I constantly worried
about missing the mark or slipping, but I was also often piercing the ears of babies and toddlers. It’s a miracle nothing went wrong. Still, for all the stress, it was worth it to be the one in my friend group with the “cool mall job.” Compared to the horror stories I heard from classmates working in fast food and movie theaters, piercing seemed tame. While I didn’t build a career out of my time in the accessory industry, I still learned a great deal from that memorable summer. It goes without saying that being asked to puncture people’s ears teaches you a lot about responsibility. Beyond having a stranger’s fashion fate in my hands, I was learning the value of a dollar and how much I enjoyed financial independence. But what stuck with me well after I’d moved on to other jobs was the experience of putting people at ease. As much trepidation as being handed that piercing gun had caused me, the customers were often more nervous than I was. Often, I’d be working with little girls or young teens who would quickly begin having second thoughts the moment they saw my instrument
BRAIN & SPINAL CORD INJURIES
come out. I quickly learned to swallow my own concerns and be confident for their sake. I’d help them understand that everything was going to be okay, and they’d have beautiful earrings after just a quick pinch. That skill of helping others overcome fear has stuck with me for the rest of my life. I use it both as a mother and a lawyer, and I’ve seen the difference it makes. The clients Tom and I meet with are often facing some truly scary life changes. Being able to talk them through that uncertainty and help them see the legal path forward is one of the best parts of my job. Recently, my daughter, Heidi, (to my total surprise) asked to get her ears pierced! Amazed at how quickly she’s growing up, I took her to a store much like the one I used to work in all those summers ago. The procedure went well, and Heidi loves her earrings. As I watched the young, calm employee work with my daughter, I felt like my whole experience had come full circle! Finding myself on the other side of the process, I finally understood
NURSING HOME ABUSE
"To say it was a nerve-wracking start to a job would be an understatement... It's a miracle nothing went wrong."
SLIP & FALL ACCIDENTS
just how much of a difference a steady hand can make.
PHARMACEUTICAL & DRUG INJURIES
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