I recently changed my place of employment. I now work for the Town of Ryan and do whatever is needed. Interestingly my primary responsibility so far has been supervising a gaggle of teenagers that came seeking summer employment. A lot of people are finding humor in the idea of my being in charge of, being patient with and teaching ten teenagers. Yes, you read that right, ten young people looking at me like I know what I am doing. It has been an interesting experience to say the least. The first lesson that I imparted was that they needed to speak louder and not so fast. As I age, my hearing has suffered from years of being around a lot of noise. After me repeatedly having to say what, they have gotten into the habit of speaking louder. If your child is one of my crew and they have started talking louder at home, I am to blame. An important series of lessons that I have tried to teach have been about safety at work. Wear your safety glasses, hearing protection when operating power tools, don’t stand there , don’t put your hand there and in one instance, go home and change your shoes, sandals are not acceptable at work. Having never raised children myself, it has also been a learning experience for me. The first advice that I received was, treat them like they are human. Okay I can handle that, I think. I also had to learn to let go and let them make mistakes on their own. The best way to learn a job is by doing. I had to remember myself as a kid and being allowed to try and fail and learn from the failure. I owed it to these young people to let them try and at times fail and hopefully to learn. No one comes into this world knowing anything useful but whenever I let one of them operate power equipment or climb behind the wheel of a vehicle, I am still as nervous as that proverbial long tailed cat. I don’t know how parents manage. I don’t want to leave you with the idea that it has been a negative experience because it hasn’t been in the least. It has at times for me been highly entertaining to see just how goofy a cluster of teenage boys can be and no, I was no better at that age, I was just as goofy. I hope that the summer employees have learned something useful and the importance of public service. To all of the young people, thank you for your efforts.
Y’all take care of one another.