By Mary Mertes, PRIER Intern

When thinking of the most awkward experiences one might have on the job, I’ll bet that going to a sexual harassment seminar with your father isn’t on most people’s lists. I’m lucky enough to have it on mine. For most teenagers, moving away from home is something they look forward to, to get away from their parents. Maybe I’m just different. There’s a plethora of things I could be doing with my spring break, I chose the one that lets me see my dad at lunch every day. 

Growing up I was daddy’s little princess. I had a pink castle on the wall of my room, a legion of stuffed animals that I ruled over and a white knight to swoop in and save the day in the form of my father. He taught me many things over the years; the importance of diligence and determination, the true value of hard work and how to throw a decent punch. It was through watching him interact with the world that I learned a lot about who I wanted to become. His struggles, and the steadfast determination and never-quit attitude he faced them with, taught me a lot about perseverance.

I remember very clearly how excited he was to work at PRIER. When he first got the job, I remember him enthusiastically telling the family about how wonderful the company was. The first time I read PRIER’s mission statement, I thought it was too good to be true. It’s clear to me now that the company lives their Mission Statement to the fullest and that they truly consider “the achievement of their primary goal at the expense of any of the stated objectives a failure.” PRIER’s dedication to the well-being of the whole company and its employees is a beautiful reflection of the ethics by which I’ve seen my father live his life. 

Last summer, I had a free week and nothing to do with it. My dad offered me the opportunity to come and work at PRIER. Working at PRIER has been a wonderful experience; I’ve never felt like anything less than a full member of the team, even though I was still in high school when I started. My favorite thing about working here is the environment. PRIER has managed to build a wonderful group of employees that are some of the best people I’ve had the opportunity to work with. And my dad agrees, “the people and the culture,” was his response to my question about his favorite thing about the company. 

Picking a college, I was told a lot that I could be happy anywhere because it’s the people you meet who make the place what it is. That’s true in all aspects of life. It’s the fantastic employees and a company who prizes the well-being of their employees as much as their profits that makes PRIER truly what it is; a shining example of what humanity can accomplish if we value our neighbor as much as our success.

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