JACKSONVILLE — I have two words to describe the city of Jacksonville's summer work program I recently participated in:
I like to think I was one of the target candidates for this program. I had just graduated Jacksonville High School in May — the summer directly before beginning my freshman year at Jacksonville College.
And I needed something to occupy my time to keep me from, you know, getting bored and mischievous and stuff.
Don't get me wrong. Working for the city of Jacksonville was hard, hard, labor. I'm not really built for hard labor. It certainly isn't as fun as my side career of writing and publishing my own comic books. It DEFINITELY wasn't free money given to me while I sat on my rear end and did nothing.
No. No. No. No. I had to work for this money.
As a nap-oriented person, I don't think I would consider this a “favorite” job. But that's mostly because there was so much personal responsibility and effort involved.
But it certainly wasn't the worst job, I could have had. After all, I made friends, made money, got my first Texas ID card, started my very first account here locally at Austin Bank and learned a lot about work ethic. Tons.
However there were many downsides — as my family, co-workers, or boss would quickly tell you:
At the time I started, I was a whiner. Wendell Whiner, attorney at law. I didn't have a shred of work ethic in me. None. At all. My boss and my supervisors all knew I was a slacker.
But my superiors in the Jacksonville public works department didn't let me get away with goofing off. They accepted nothing less than my very best. And Jacksonville Public Works Director Will Cole himself pulled me aside at one point and told me I needed to “man up,” quit needlessly complaining, and get my job done.