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  • When I 15 my mother used to pick me up from school three days a week to take me to work in her office. On our way we passed a hot dog truck and most days we'd stop for what my mom called "Dirty Water Dogs". The name grossed me out but I remember they tasted wonderful. What was more wonderful, was that time spent with my mom and the work ethic I now realize I have because of her.

    While other kids were going to friends houses after school or watching TV or taking naps or getting into trouble, which I was sometimes doing as well, three days a week I had to go to a medical office and file patient charts for 3 hours. My mother treated me like every other employee. I didn't get special attention or extra breaks and she barely came by to speak to me. She encouraged me to be polite, respectful of the other worker's space and to focus on the task I was being brought there to do. It wasn't fun and I didn't really enjoy going but looking back, I realize how much I learned that year.

    Every time I pass this hotdog truck, still parked in the same spot 18 years later, I am reminded of my time as a file clerk - quietly sorting charts alphabetically by last name, listening to the other employees make calls and copies and getting comfortable working around professionals. If I could go back, I'd tell myself "don't worry - this is all going to make sense some day. You'll be glad you came."
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