Seniors working through the pandemic

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Emily Sohl began working at George’s Grill in Westwood as a waitress during her freshman year; however, she has recently been promoted to manager.

Sarah Shapiro and Emily Moy

PV senior and file clerk at Barrett Lazar insurance law firm Allison Garrett found that her co-workers were “very friendly and welcoming,” although she also recognized that her job was “intimidating.”

 “I love getting to read through depositions [or a transcript of a witness testimony],” Garrett said. “It’s interesting how certain people think they can cheat the system. My dad’s also a judge in River Vale for the Municipal Court, so I get to see all those documents as well, so it’s very interesting just to learn the ins and outs of the business.”

PV senior Emily Sohl began working at George’s Grill in Westwood as a waitress during her freshman year; however, she has recently been promoted to manager.

“I feel really comfortable and I have a good understanding of the job from working there for so long, so I like that I know what I’m doing,” Sohl said. 

PV senior Thomas Betsy chose to work at Lupardi’s Nursery in Closter for the past three years as opposed to “working in a ShopRite or a fast food place.”

“I’ve always been an outdoorsy kind of person,” Betsy said. “So, I figured working outside with animals and plants and stuff would be the best fit for me.”

Lupardi’s closes for the winter, so Betsy works from September to the end of December each year. He sells various items including flowers and pumpkins, and in December, he sells items such as weeds and Christmas trees.

Betsy said he gained better time management skills from working.

“[I’ve learned to] keep a schedule,” Betsy said. “You’re working during the weekend, and then [during the week you have sports and school]. It taught me that even when I grow up, [my] schedule is going to be booked up, and [I’ll] have to find a way to balance out everything.”

Although expectations for school have stayed the same, Garrett said her school workload has gone down. 

“I’ve tried to just make the schedule for myself [for balancing school and work],” Garrett said. “I’m pretty much either working, studying, doing homework, or I’m doing my extracurriculars, so [I don’t have] a lot of free time. 

In comparison to previous, pre-pandemic years, Betsy said that this year has “been strange.”

“We [usually] have hayrides and Santa pictures,” Betsy said. “We couldn’t have kids ride on the hay, we couldn’t have the kids sit with Santa, and we couldn’t do a haunted house.”

Sohl’s job was also impacted by the pandemic. 

“We had to shut down when everything did, and at one point we opened, but just for curbside pickup,” Sohl said. “June was when I started working again and we started just [serving] outside, so we had a few tables outside. “

Garrett said that her job helped her gain a sense of professionalism. 

“I get to work with clients one on one,” Garrett said. “They come in and we prepare them for their depositions, so they really know the case in and out, so it’s been such a great experience getting to see all these people and learn about their lives.”