It’s 8:00 p.m. on a slow night in January at Direct From China Fireworks in Gary. Freshman Bria Ortega is carrying and unpacking 60 lb boxes of “Nowhere To Run”, a slow-paced finale with red, green, gold, and pink fireworks that have big flowers, glitter, a crackle effect with chrysanthemum plus strobes, and a big crackle at the end. She is tired and still has homework to do, but this job gives her some pocket money and something even more precious: the lesson of responsibility.
Ortega has been working at Direct From China Fireworks store for two years.
She got her job at the firework store through her older sister, who had been working there for four years prior. As a 14 year old, having a job is very exciting and important. For Bria, there were things that made her job interesting.
“What makes fireworks so interesting to me is that there is a lot that goes into it and you need to be very knowledgeable. Also, you have to work with many different types of people and agree on different things,” said Ortega.
Ortega says she considers fireworks to be very interesting. From the popping and loud booms, to the pretty colors, fireworks are pretty interesting and beautiful.
“Some important facts about fireworks is how you have to handle them. You cannot let fireworks get wet or get smashed. If you do, it will cause the firework to mess up,” said Ortega.
Getting a job as a teenager is very exciting. You learn new things about yourself. You learn how to be responsible. You get good experience. There are many life lessons that come with having a job. Bria wanted her job and was happy to get the experience that she needs. Though people doubt her since she is so young, she is pretty mature and rose to the occasion. While proving herself essential, she also learned new things.
“Some life lessons I have learned while working at my job is that hard work really does pay off and that it isn’t easy dealing with people,” said Ortega. “Also that you need to have a mutual understanding with someone over things. Keeping your temper down and respect is alsol big parts that play in it.”
But for a freshman new to high school, having a job isn’t easy either; it comes with many challenges and difficulties. Sometimes those challenges really affect you, but it’s up to you if you want to keep pushing or not. Bria really isn’t a people person, but that doesn’t get in her way of selling fireworks. No matter how weird or rude people are or can be, she keeps pushing on.
“Some challenges I have faced at my job is dealing with people, especially rude ones,” said Ortega. “Being really closed off and not talking to being one of the best sellers there. Having to take a lot of time to learn the product and figure out what I’m doing.”
Even though she has faced minor challenges, she will continue to keep pushing. Ortega feels that she will continue to be at her job for a couple of more years.
Ortega said she doesn’t think many people know how many different types of fireworks there are and the different effects each of them have.
When having a job, you also accomplish things. You start off small, then see your work pay off. Bria is still young, but she still gets the job done. She has become a vital part of her job’s business.
“Some accomplishments I have made at my job is being one of the top sellers. I learned products and how to do stuff the correct way really fast,” said Ortega. “People ask for me directly to work with them. I have had to put together thousands of dollars of shows together. I have worked with people from Nebraska, California, Washington, and many other places.”
Getting a job when you are young can be stressful, but it prepares you for the future. Getting experience can help you plan for your future job. Bria isn’t sure about what she wants to do with her life, but she likes what she does. She hopes in the future her job will give her the same feel as her current one.
“The career field I want to go into is having my own business or being in something where I can work with people,” said Ortega. “How I see my current job help me prepare for my future career is because I already will have experience working with people and helping people out. I will also have a good working mindset.”