By Nita Johnson
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
“Can I help you?”
Even before you see the face, you can hear the smile in the voice of Tiffany Hurley, one of the 23 employees in the Laurel Circuit Clerk’s office.
Working solely in the driver’s license division, Hurley greets hundreds of persons each week and exhibits a professional and helpful attitude with each and everyone.
After nearly 20 years in the Circuit Clerk’s office, Hurley is one of several long-time employees. She credits her co-workers for maintaining a positive attitude in an office in which deals with a majority of people who are facing difficult times.
“What people don’t realize is that we are the court system,” Hurley said. “Most of the time when people come in here, they are facing something bad--a speeding ticket, custody cases, criminal charges. It’s very emotional here. Sometimes it’s hard to keep a positive attitude when people are upset and say things to you. But we try to help people the best we can and we all work together to help each other.”
Even in the driver license department, Hurley and those other employees who assist the public can face some irate customers.
“The people who come here every four years just to renew their driver’s license don’t have a problem,” she said. “But sometimes if someone hasn’t paid a ticket or has had their license suspended, we’re the ones to get to tell them the news. They think we might have done it, but sometimes we get the fallout when we have to give them the bad news.”
Hurley has seen massive growth over the last 19 years since she began working under former Circuit Clerk Eldon Keller. She began working in circuit criminal/civil court. divorce court. Soon after Roger Schott took the helm of the Circuit Clerk’s office, he assigned Hurley to work in divorce court, now known as Family Court. As the county grew and specifically in the driver’s license division.
But on her time off, Hurley pursues personal interests, such as traveling, singing, and being involved with her church. Her interest in travel is enhanced with the state mandated furloughs for court personnel this year.
“When we have furlough days, I travel, even if it’s just a day trip,” she said. “On the last furlough day, I went to Biltmore House in Asheville, N.C. The next furlough day (Oct. 15) I’m going to go to Natural Bridge.”
As for being involved with her church, London First Baptist, she is a member of the choir, performs solos occasionally, works with the youth on Sunday nights and helps with teaching a children’s choir on Wednesday night.
“My faith helps me a lot,” she said. “I don’t know how people go without faith. Everyone needs a firm foundation and a lot of people don’t have that, even with family.”
While she may see that frequently on her job, she also sees the good side of people.
“There are a lot of sweet, good people here,” she said. “My family and my friends and my church makes my job a lot easier because sometimes it’s hard working with the public.”
Hurley also finds refuge in enjoying activities with her niece and two nephews.
“My niece plays volleyball and one nephew plays baseball and the other plays coach pitch,” she said. “We go to ballgames and watch them and that is a good outlet.”
Another outlet is being greeted by her dog, a Shih Tzu named Gismo.
“He’s always in a good mood, always loving,” she said. “I’ve always heard that petting a dog is good for you and will keep your blood pressure down. So far, it’s working, because I haven’t had high blood pressure yet!”