Jane Turlo & Associates - Tenacious Perseverance
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Tenacious Perseverance

Tenacious Perseverance

I love the word tenacious. I like the way it sounds when spoken….ten-a- cious, sounds powerful.    I love what it represents; persistence, seeking something desired. When you think about tenacity, what do you think about? Who do you think about? What story pops into your head?  When I think of tenacity, I think of the following tale and I hope by sharing it, it brings you joy, laughter, and perhaps inspiration.


There was an eighteen-year-old girl who worked at a local hospital in the dietary department delivering trays to patients’ rooms. She started working there at sixteen when she was in high school, so she could earn some extra cash. She liked the people she worked with, had fun at work, but desired to further her education. She decided to apply for the two-year radiologic technology program that was offered at the hospital where she worked. She applied and got waitlisted…waitlisted…she was like what? She had not experienced rejection like this before, so she decided to take a few classes the year after she graduated high school, so she could beef up her knowledge base while she continued to work in dietary. Shortly after her decision to continue working in dietary, leadership asked her to become the hospital cafeteria manager. She accepted, worked on running an efficient cafeteria, managing others, and waiting to reapply to XRAY school.


She worried and obsessed about getting accepted, what if she got waitlisted again, then what? She couldn’t work in the cafeteria for another year, I mean she could, but she didn’t want to. She decided to reintroduce herself to the XRAY program director and express her desire to become a radiologic technologist, after all, she just had to walk upstairs to radiology from dietary.


The girl was nervous Initially walking into the radiology department to seek out the program director, but she approached the employees covering the front desk with confidence, introduced herself, and asked to briefly speak to the program director. The director came out to the front desk to greet the young girl, she knew her from her previous interview. The girl stated she was extremely interested in becoming a radiologic technologist and wanted to inform her in person. The director encouraged the girl to reapply to the program in a few months for the September class of the following year. The girl asked what she could do to improve her chances of getting accepted; the director stated concentrating on improving your knowledge base is a great place to start, so taking the additional classes was a good move. The girl asked why she wasn’t accepted upon her first application and interview? The director shared she didn’t see the fire in the girl’s eyes that she really wanted this opportunity. The girl thanked her for her candor and honesty and went back to the cafeteria. 


The next day, yes, the next day, the young girl headed up to the radiology department on her lunch break to seek out the program director again. The director came to the front and asked, what she could help the young girl with today? The girl stated I just want you to know why I am interested in being a radiologic technologist. I’m intrigued by the science, technology, I want to help people, and I like to learn new things. The director nodded, thanked the girl, and left.


The third, fourth, fifth, and thirtieth day came and went, that’s right, every damn day the determined young girl who managed the cafeteria in the hospital basement, walked up to the radiology department on the first floor dawning her white uniform, blue apron, with occasional food stains, to plead her case of why she should be accepted to the radiologic technology program. Sometime around the thirty-something day, the program director sauntered down the hallway toward the young girl waiting at the front desk, came up close to her and said, you are accepted to the program for the September class. The director kindly, but emphatically said, please do not come back here and ask for me, we will send you all the information you need to start school as September gets closer. Congratulations. The young girl, with an ear-to-ear smile, thanked the director profusely, the director acknowledged her gratefulness, turned on her heels and walked away.


That young girl was me and the program director was a smart, savvy, wonderful woman who was way ahead of her time. She not only taught me so much about radiology, but she made a big impact on me; I still remember her after thirty plus years. She clearly believed in me and my desire to pursue radiology, and at the same time was probably rather sick of seeing my face daily. I recall when I was ready to graduate, she said to me, Jane, you will run a radiology department someday. Well, her prediction came true, and I fortunately continue to excel above and beyond my expectations. I credit many people for my continued success, but one of the biggest reasons I have continued to forge forward is my tenaciousness, when I want something, I go for it. I mean really, what do any of us have to lose…absolutely nothing.


Disclaimer: the advice in this blog is meant to provide guidance and be thought provoking.  It is the writer’s opinion only.