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Eighth-graders spend day observing adults at work

February 03, 2004|by SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

The teenage son of Hagerstown Permits Coordinator Mary Reichert spent Monday with his mother and confirmed his suspicion that if he had her job he would quit or try to get fired on his first day, he said.

"I never want to do this job. It is too boring for me. I could not stand it," said Jared Reichert, 13, an eighth-grader at Western Heights Middle School.

Instead, he plans to pursue his dream job of working as a chef.

Reichert was one of 1,600 Washington County Public Schools students who participated in the annual eighth-graders' Day on the Job activity, co-sponsored by the Washington County Board of Education and the Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce.

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The event is a chance for students to spend a work day with a relative or other adult.

Reichert said he wanted to spend a day at work with his mother to find out something important about the job she has done for almost 24 years.

"I wanted to see why she likes this job, or is doing this job," Jared said.

After watching her work Monday, Jared said he remained mostly mystified.

He expected to find the job boring - and some of her work fits that description - but said he also was amazed at how many different tasks she had to perform, including recording each permit by hand.

He would find much of the work frustrating and annoying, if he had her job, Jared said.

Mary Reichert said she was not surprised by his attitude.

"I think any teenager would find an office boring," she said.

But Mary Reichert said she finds the work is more interesting than her son thinks it is because she deals with different people and different permits.

Jared said he was surprised at how many of the people applying for various permits seemed confused about the permit application process and his mother's explanations to them.

"Some of them didn't pay attention to what we were saying," he said.

If he had his mother's job, he figured he would lose his temper dealing with some of the customers.

But Mary Reichert said, "It is an adventure, as far as I'm concerned."

Jared Reichert said his mother deserves a pay raise for what she does and what she puts up with. When she pointed out he doesn't know her salary, Jared said, "No matter what it is, it is not enough."

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