For Betty Jimenez, retirement means saying goodbye to a career that not only spanned three decades, but also to coworkers that became her family.
Jimenez was a single mother at age 29, when she started working at TSTC and was apprehensive about starting a new venture in her life.
“I had just gotten divorced and I was so nervous that I couldn’t type,” she said. “When they gave me another chance, that’s when I told myself that I’m going to stay here forever.”
While Jimenez held several positions during her years at TSTC, she’ll be most remembered and missed for the last job she held.
“I started as an admissions clerk back in 1987, and from there I moved up as a building secretary,” said Jimenez. “I’m going to retire as a switchboard operator. I’m the first person that people hear when they call, so I always make sure to be courteous and polite.”
Thirty years of employment with one company has brought a lot of great memories and joy into Jimenez’s life, and one moment in particular has stuck with her through the journey.
“All the gatherings we used to have are probably my favorite memories,” said Jimenez with a reminiscing smile. “I remember one Cinco de Mayo when I was just starting. I dressed up in my folklorico dress and just started dancing in front of everybody. I never took a dancing class, but I didn’t care. I was just having so much fun. I can’t do that anymore,” she chuckled. “I just love coming to work. It’s a very tight family here.”
The TSTC community has come to not only appreciate Jimenez’s work ethic, but the positive attitude she spread around campus, as well.
“For 30 years, and with a caring and dedicated heart, Betty Jimenez has served hundreds of students, staff and faculty,” said Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Development Mary Gallegos Adams. “In each of her roles, she has always strived to provide the best service to everyone. We sincerely appreciate her many years of service and dedication. We wish Betty a future full of blessings, and a happy retirement.”
Vice President of Enrollment Services Christine Stuart-Carruthers, also reflects the same sentiment.
“Betty Jimenez is an employee that has contributed immensely in helping connect our community, staff and students with the different services on campus for the last 30 years. Betty’s years of service and caring attitude for our TSTC community and students will be greatly missed. Our best wishes for a stress-free life full of success and happiness,” Stuart-Carruthers said.
While balancing a work and personal life can become quite exhausting, the reward has always been worth the effort for Jimenez, who credits her career at TSTC with helping put her daughters through college.
“I’m so grateful to TSTC for that. My daughters were able to go to college because of this job,” she said.
Jimenez’s daughters have many adventures planned for her as soon as she retires. Her bucket list includes travels to vibrant destinations across the globe. Her plans to see the world are one of the biggest rewards she hopes to gain from retirement.
“My daughters are taking me to London, Italy and Spain,” she said. “In Paris I just want to touch the Eiffel Tower. I’ll put it on Facebook. That’s my dream. After that, I just plan on taking it easy. My husband already retired, so he’s been waiting for me to retire and just travel with him. There are so many places we want to go see.”
As July 29 approaches, Jimenez becomes more and more emotional about saying goodbye to the career that she loves.
“TSTC takes care of its employees. You spend eight hours at work, you need to make the best of it,” she said. “Do your job. Be honest. Everything will fall into place.”
Before she packs her passport and treks off on her overseas adventures, Jimenez is looking forward to her visit to Sin City.
“I’m going to go see Jennifer Lopez in Vegas,” she said. “Retirement will be a new beginning. It might just make you a little bit envious and give you a taste of what you have to look forward to one day.”
TSTC prides itself on being a great place to work. For more information on employment opportunities, visit www.tstc.edu/about/employment.