Long-time tag office clerk retiring Sept. 30By Emily Etheredge Published 5:43pm Friday, August 23, 2013
When Laura Jones first interviewed for a job at the Chilton County Courthouse in 1983, she never imagined she would stay at the same job for more than 30 years.
“I guess some people would say I am pretty boring because I have lived in the same area all of my life and I have worked the same job for more than 30 years, but I have loved every minute of it,” Jones said. “I truly can say that I have been blessed to have worked such a wonderful job and truly mean what I say.”
Jones, 52, announced her retirement earlier this month and will step down from her position as chief clerk at the Chilton County Tag Office Sept. 30.
Although her retirement is bittersweet due to her genuine enjoyment for the daily work she does overseeing the six female clerks at the tag office, Jones is ready to embrace the next step of her life as she embarks on a new journey that will include lots of family time and camping.
At the age of 22, Jones interviewed for a vacant clerk position at the probate office and was hired to work under Mac Yeargan who had just been elected as the probate judge.
“Mr. Yeargan hired me and said I could start my job the following Monday,” Jones said. “After he told me my start date, I realized that my first day on the job was actually Robert E. Lee Day which is now Martin Luther King Jr. Day. So, I like to tell people my first day on the job was a holiday.”
Jones was the youngest person hired at the probate office and had previously worked in Pelham for an insurance company but wanted to work closer to home and was thrilled to get a job at the courthouse.
“It was almost as if someone had told me I would be working in Hollywood because that is how I felt when I found out I would have a job at the courthouse,” Jones said.
After working in the probate office for three years, Jones said the Chilton County Commission decided to have a “one-stop” tag office and Jones was one of three people selected to work in the newly created tag department.
Since March of 1986, Jones has worked in the tag office and has served as the chief clerk for 15 years.
During her time in the tag department, Jones said the best perk of her job has been interacting with the public and developing relationships with her coworkers who have become her second family.
Some of the best memories for Jones include pre-Thanksgiving dinners with employees from the courthouse who would gather the Wednesday before Thanksgiving each year and cook various items for a gathering among friends.
“We have always been a family,” Jones said. “The people who work at the courthouse really respect one another and enjoy working to help the people of this county.”
Although Jones said there haven’t been many unusual incidents working in the tag office, she has witnessed a fight break out from people who get frustrated about not being selected to be next in line.
“People are very touchy when it comes to their place in line,” Jones said. “I tried to always be sensitive to that and be as nice as I could because no one likes waiting in a line, but we have seen some people be really snappy about it.”
Jones’ loyalty to her job throughout the years has largely stemmed from genuinely enjoying the tasks set before her.
“The people of Chilton County are the greatest people,” Jones said. “I think that has been the best part of this job because each day there is something new and exciting happening I have developed a lot of friendships and each one of those people that I have met has helped my heart in some ways because they have been the ones who blessed me.”
When Jones turned 50, she and her husband, Mark, adopted a teenage daughter Josie.
“Josie is my life and I love her dearly,” Jones said. “People have been asking me what I will do in my free time and I tell them, I have a teenager to raise.”
Jones said she will also help train the new chief clerk and more than likely find a part- time job to keep her busy.
“When I started this job I never thought I would stay this long,” Jones said. “I am thankful I was hired to do this job and if there was one thing I could say about it, I would say it has been a pleasure.”