MicroTech Systems July 2019

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July 2019

Worth It Memories of Summertime Freedom and Work

I’ve been working for MicroTech since I was just 12 years old, but not in the way one would expect the owner’s son to have worked. During my junior high school years, I was tasked with spending endless hours cleaning and scrubbing the typewriters at the various schools around Boise. To this day, I’m grateful I had the very modern, very hip Walkman to keep me company during an otherwise boring and tedious job. It was the only thing that made those days bearable. At least when I was 14 years old and had my driver’s license, I was able to branch out and drive to different businesses to clean their typewriters. Somehow this was just a little better than being jammed into a stuffy, quiet classroom for hours. These days were a far cry from the summer days I had prior to junior high school. Back then, both of my parents would head off to work, and I would be left to do pretty much whatever I wanted. When I was little, we had a babysitter, but as I grew older, my parents only had neighbors check in on me when they could. Regardless of who I spent it with or what I did, summer was all about freedom. I feel lucky enough to have been born during a time when cellphones weren’t even invented yet and video games weren’t that readily available. This meant my summers were spent doing nothing in particular but doing it all outside. We would ride our bikes around the neighborhood or go fishing with friends, and I will always remember cruising around with kids I lived by, relishing the three months of freedom we had.

After my brief — albeit boring — tenure with MicroTech, I went to work for my uncle during my high school summers. My uncle owned a floor covering store, so I would spend summers tearing up the carpet and tile, shuttling those items to the dump, and cleaning the floors. Experts would later come in and lay new flooring, but I was in charge of all the nitty-gritty, gross tear-up. I remember endless blisters and knee- breaking work all day long. Between typewriter cleaning and the physical labor of tearing up carpet, I pretty much knew I wanted to go to college and land a job that didn’t involve this level of tedious work. Those jobs were important and still are, but they were not meant for me. I guess I have my uncle and father to thank for that lesson. Today we go on one summer family vacation, my wife and I try to get a trip in together, and we have our traditional paddle down the waterways with the whole family. However, now that our children are growing up, I joke that Keri and I are preparing for our empty-nester life. Our eldest daughter is home from college this summer, but between her job schedule and our middle daughter’s work schedule, we can’t just get up and go camping quite as easily as we used to. It’s been a weird transition, and I’m sure my kids miss their summers of total freedom, too. But if my summers of sweating over old tile and carpets or cleaning sticky typewriter keys taught me anything, it’s that a little back-breaking work is worth the pain.

But as I got older, summer became more about responsibility.

–Randy Amorebieta

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