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Los Angeles Girl Arrives in Pennsylvania
Rose Sheen – Notre Dame
I was born and raised in a little place called Los Angeles my entire life and I’m a city girl through and through. When my roommates and I arrived in our sales territory, I could not believe where I was. The city of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania which is a small historic town was my home for the summer. Honestly felt like I had been transported back to the 1700s. The town square consisted of a fountain, a post office, and a couple small stores. During our first trip to Walmart, I saw Amish people walking around. Needless to say, I had never seen an Amish person before. It was the biggest culture shock of my life.
Like a lot of first years, my first week in the Southwestern internship was not amazing. I started off in the country right away and it was my first time driving through country roads. I felt like I was in the middle of a movie. I longed for lamp posts, paved roads, and just humans in general. I think I may have seen more cows than people that week (which means I obviously wasn’t doing the job correctly). Every single day that first week was incredibly hard. I got lost, I had to deal with car issues, I had worked harder than I ever had to, and I was still trying to get over the disbelief that I was in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania for the summer. As hard as the first week was, I was able to get through it because I was told that it was going to be rough. I had been expecting this. I’m glad I had to go through so much in my first week because I felt that after all I had been through, there was NO way I was going to quit and that it couldn’t get any worse. I started my second week with a new enthusiasm and it was actually my best week of the summer. I remember there was this one amazing neighborhood where almost every single family had bought something from me.
Despite the challenges of my first week, the hardest part for me came midsummer. I had gotten into the groove of things but around week 6, it just hit me that it was only halfway over. I was devastated that I had to spend my 21st birthday in Chambersburg away from my friends. I started thinking about my friends traveling or working in nice air conditioned offices. I started thinking about the job opportunity that I gave up in San Francisco for this job. I was miserable. It definitely came through in my results. After the first week, I had been doing pretty well but that week I had my worst week (under 100 units or $500 profit midsummer). Being alone definitely gives you a lot of time to think.
Those Sunday meetings were so important. The one on one time to talk through your problems with a student manager was definitely helpful. After spending most of your day alone being reunited with the larger group brought me back to reality. Midsummer is when a lot of people start to do well because they start to understand how the job is done. I was so embarrassed while we were doing recognition and as all my peers had done so well that week, I decided to snap out of it. I told myself that even though I could never see myself doing this job again, I had invested a lot into it and I might as well make it worth my time. The rest of the summer went pretty well after I decided to change my attitude about the job.
A lot of things clicked for me during delivery week. It was awesome to see the people who had been nice enough to me to let me into their homes and into their lives. It was also a strange feeling driving through my territory but seeing it with completely different eyes. Driving down the main street, as I would pass by the all the small businesses and stores, I would be able to put faces to the families that owned them. I had the amazing opportunity to completely soak up the history, people, and spirit of the three towns that I had sold in within a short three months. It was like I had been living there my whole life. Central PA may not have not much to offer in terms of excitement, but the people I got to know that southwestern summer; my host family, the friendly people at the bank, the waitresses in our breakfast spot, along with the hundreds of families I got to interact with were what made the place special.
The day I drove out to Nashville to check out from my territory, I just remember feeling the best feeling of accomplishment. I had officially survived the hardest three months of my life. I had made a decent amount of money, a little over $9,000. I had hit Sizzler award trip. It was the best feeling ever… and strangely enough, I could totally see myself doing this job all over again. I am excited to discover, absorb, and learn from a new town/city in America this upcoming summer.