October 23, 2014

Don’t forget the people who support you

Posted 10/7/10

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Since I am now a fresh-faced college grad still finding my way in this world, I wanted to write my column this week about a topic that is near to my heart. As I continue on my journey through this life, I always want to remind myself to remember the people who got me where I am today.

Sometimes, I find myself so overwhelmingly busy that I forget about my greatest influences. But a few times every week those people come across my mind, and I think about where I would be without them. I hope that by reading this that someone out there will rekindle an old friendship with a person who influenced them.

Of course, there are members of my family, who have continued to guide me. I know that without the support of my parents and grandparents, I would have no values and no footing to stand on. They are there for me and always will be. I want to mention the people who I have met along the way, the ones who might not realize the importance they have.

When I was a young lad, still in high school, I worked for a local restaurant in my hometown of Kawkawlin. I did not realize this at the time, but I went from a boy to a man working there.

I always consider myself a hard worker; I get that from my parents. They had to move my lazy butt off the couch a million times. Those who have worked in a restaurant know, there is no standing around — you’re on the move all the time.

I hated my first few months there. It seemed like every day was harder. It was hot. It smelled, and it seemed like I could never keep up.

No matter how hard the work became, the people there were always supportive. They would help when they could, but they would also tease and make fun when I had it coming.

And as I stayed, things got easier. I found a routine, and I also found myself being more open with my coworkers. I learned that if you want to be respected, you have to work hard and treat people like you want to be treated. For example, my boss would always take time to talk with me every day. As I got to know him more, we became great friends. I can’t count the number of tickets to Tigers games he would give me, just because he could.

When I went to college and took a job in Mount Pleasant, I thought I would never return. But when things did not work out, I called my boss, who said I could come back, commute on weekends, no questions asked. I worked there through college, and when I was ready to take my next step, I had all the support in the world.

He is not only a person I respect, but I consider him a great friend to whom I still talk to this day.

Another person who had an influence on me was my boss at my internship. I was a nervous wreck when I started. It was my first real writing job.

I learned so much there. I got to take photos and write articles for an in-house publication. Even though there were not a lot of news and feature stories in the publication, my boss and the editor of the publication let me experiment and write stories. I believe it helped me tremendously.

Again I did not just meet a bunch of coworkers, I met friends.

I have been fortunate to meet so many great people along my journey through life. And I could never mention them all here. But I think they all know who they are and what they have done for me.

So let’s all remember the coaches, the bosses, the coworkers, and even that random person on the street who picked up your keys when you dropped them.

As they say, it’s all about who you know. Let’s not forget our biggest influences; remember them, and cherish the ones you meet down the road.

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