I met my Franchisee 4 years ago by accident like most preparers do. I was looking for a job and he saw my resume and asked me to come in.
To be quite honest, I did not really know much about Liberty Tax Service® other that there was a location a few blocks from my house, and so I was a little apprehensive at first. You see I have always been in transportation, and when I came in to meet Steve Tyler 4 years ago I had not been working in over a year and a half. I was convinced that no one was going to hire a girl that had the unfortunate luck of locking the doors to two companies and, well, it was a last ditch effort of being able to put food on the table.
I know no one wants to hear that Liberty was a last ditch effort, but at that point in my life I was looking for a miracle and it came in the form of a phone call from Mr. Steve. I have to admit I was shocked that he was interested in my resume and even more shocked when I came in and sat down and talked to him. I was intimidated. I mean did I mention that it had been almost 7 months since my last interview and here this man had called me in for a face-to-face (interview) after speaking to me.
I come from a very humble family and we don’t have much, but we have an attention to detail and a love for focusing on the people and things that matter, but I will get to that. You see, what I didn’t realize is that I was coming in to interview for tax school, but it was a shot worth taking.
I signed up for what would later become the best decision I ever made. Before tax school ended my dad got really sick, but I maintained my studies and kept up appearances by bringing breakfast for the class. Now keep in mind, I didn’t ask people to pitch in. I was just appreciative of having somewhere to go. A few weeks passed, and I then let Mr. Steve know that I was appreciative of the opportunity to have tax school with him, but that I was interested in working with Sue Medicus at the location around the corner from my house.
I don’t know what was worse - saying those words to the man that had given me the chance or the fact that I couldn’t tell him why. You see by this point my dad had developed Severe Diverticulitis and had been through 2 major operations in 3 months time. We were about to lose our home, as a result. Mr. Steve, who has no idea how much he means to me, told me that he didn’t care what it took, he wanted me to work for him. By the time graduation came, I had decided that I would indeed stay with the man that had brought me in only to see him leave for his big promotion in the company to Area Developer of Macon Georgia.
When I came to work first day of tax season, I was nervous but excited. I mean I knew I was soon going to be homeless, but I had hope because my franchisee had been kind enough to take a chance on me. I did my first tax return as a Liberty preparer on January 12, 2012 and I am happy to report that that client, Mr. Palmer, is still a client even though he is now living in San Diego, California.
By the end of January, I had completed a total of 81 returns and had only one walk out. I was really proud of this and I kept pushing. I figured the better that I did, the better I could thank Mr. Steve and his son, Toby, for the opportunity that they had provided me. As a result of how well I did, Toby decided to give my mom a try as our courier between stores. At the time, we had the Laurel store down off of 198 as well as Glen Burnie. We loved it.
I was working, making a paycheck. A paycheck - I know it doesn’t seem like much, but when nothing is coming in and you don’t know where your next meal is coming from a paycheck means everything. By the end of February we had had some management changes in the Laurel office and I found myself working at both Glen Burnie and Laurel.
Season one ended with me, a first season preparer, doing 226 returns my first year. I am proud to say that 4 years later, I am now second year manager to Store 10359, where my senior preparers include my mother, Gloria Urban, who is a third year preparer and my sister, Jennie Urban, who is a now second season preparer. You see, family is everything to us and when we were on the brink of losing everything, a father and son team gave us a chance to stay intact.
Don’t get me wrong, in 2013 we did end up losing our house after my dad's third operation, but that gave us all more drive. Thanks to the chance that Mr. Steve took on me, we are now in a better home and we are all within blocks of one another. Not only did Liberty change our lives for the better, but they gave us a chance of a lifetime to work for an amazing family and to be one, as well. Thank you Liberty.