The kids in my office…
As I arose this morning, thanking, praying and doing stretches and ROM exercises in bed quietly… I reminisced when I had high schoolers and some college kids working in my office. It was so long ago. I would say, easily fifteen years ago. Those kids ages sixteen to twenty-one were many and were for the most part good kids. I think about them often. And to say so, is quite accurate.
I wondered this morning why they had always been on my mind over the years, as I had older people hired here and there. I think it is because I am fascinated, yet proud that they worked for me. Some were three hours a week, some were ten hours a week. I flowed with whatever hours they could work. Most of them went on to college and were incredibly successful. I think about sixteen of them, there were: MACS, Evan, Kate, Jenn, Britta, Sandy, Nikki, Alice, Tracey, Meghan, Edith, Melissa, Lauren, Lauren Alysson, Jenna, Three were sisters from Midland Park. I had a mixed bag of students, they were American, Canadian, English, Mexican and Chinese. I also remember some of their siblings as well and one if not both their parents. I had one young man. There were two Lauren’s. Which I thought was unusual. One liked to be called by her acronym, MACS, which was her whole name’s initials.
What I remember probably the most was, that I could be myself around them. My true-self is ‘goofball’. Well, not always, but much. I could get most of them to laugh and that to me many times is something I live for. They went into fields, of Nursing, Finance, Law, Physical Therapy, Social-Psychology, and Fashion Design, etc… I think four became nurses. As well, some have become parents.
So, the one of the four who remained longest with me was Kate. She became a fashion designer in Japan. Yep. I never would have thought of it. Kate loved the television show ‘Cheers’. I had already developed a knack for imitating… Oh yes. I do impersonations. Started at age, almost five, and haven’t stopped. Any-who, I imitated three of the characters on the sitcom ‘Cheers’. And one in particular. When I found out that it made Kate laugh, well then… When no one else was around… I’d backtrack to the office entrance (waiting for applause…hahahahaha) and start talking to her like I was that character. Kate would begin to giggle, and then lose it a bit. And we’d laugh together.
One day she interviewed a new client on the phone and it just so happened he held the first name of one of the characters on ‘Cheers’. And it was Kate’s favorite character, mind you. So, the week before he came in, I really worked on that character imitation. Kate warned me, “Jody, you’d better stop. What if you do that when he’s here?” She shook her head and began to giggle. I responded, “Oh com’on. That’ll never happen.”
Soon the day came we met the new client, who was ailing from straining his back. His wife and a colleague who knew me, had sent him to me. Well, I finished the session and walked out. And said his name in a quiet, funny way to Kate. She smiled and quietly said back, “Stoooop.” As any teenage young lady would. I giggled and went off to wash my hands. I came back and he’d just arrived at our front desk from my treatment room. Kate was waiting for me to see how she should fill out the statement with a prescription from his doctor. I came around the heightened desk/shelving top separating the client from the privacy of our business desk, where Kate sat waiting. I looked over her shoulder, and saw she’d only written his first name. I said, “You forgot his last name. It’s….” I remarked the name of the character on ‘Cheers’ I’d been imitating all week long. The client looked at me and said, “Huh?” I quickly straight-faced and all, stated the correct last name. We all kept a straight-face. Well actually, he couldn’t see Kate’s. She was beginning to lose it.
Everything went well. He paid and we gave him his receipt for insurance submission. About thirty seconds after he left, both Kate and I lost it. Laughing hysterically. So, the next time her mother came into my office to pick Kate up after work. She commented, “I heard you do impersonations.” Kate rolls her teenage eyes, “Oh no.” Like her secret was found out, of having fun at work. Then Kate said, “Can you imitate… for my Mom?” So… upon request… I did.---Jody-Lynn Reicher