My Job Experience
I woke up with a loud ringing near my head. A few days back, or years to be exact, I would have easily put it off and dose back again on my soft pillows. Ahh, but this day was different. It’s my first day in my first job ever. I could hear my head pounding. I never needed the alarm clock in the first place anyway, since I hardly slept last night. I’ve always seen myself as a ‘cool guy’ but the butterlies in my stomach speaks much differently about me, though.
I headed for the shower and felt the water slap me from my semi-half-awake half-asleep state. Breakfast! But where are my stockings? Though contrary to real day-today experience, I wish mom was here. Well, better get off now or I might miss the bus. I surely want to make a good first impression and hope this will carry me all the way to promotions. I can hardly wait right now to experience the sweet smell of success! I stopped myself as I saw a man staring at me. Daydreaming may have been written all over my face. Secretly, I pinched myself for making a fool of me.
As I came inside the building, I headed for the shop to which I was assigned. Across the shop, Darlene Shepherd subtly nodded at me, acknowledging approval of my early arrival. She was the one who chose me as a shop steward. Of course, I wanted to prove my worth. I love the dignity of work, but best of all, I love to walk around the corner and shop just a liiiitle bit of little-bitty things. My first day in my first job closed shopped with less adventure than I expected.
This routine, except for the case of the missing stockings, went on for some time. Until last April, I saw my coworker named Daniels crying. Apparently, she was reprimanded. I came near her. At first it felt awkward hugging her a bit ( we hardly knew each other except for our first names). But when I did, her tears fell all the more, and I was completely taken over by her concern It was mid-afternoon, she said when her legs became awfully painful trying to stand all day.
As the pain became almost unbearable, she tried to sit on one of the chairs placed near the customer’s area. Though shoppers were becoming fewer by the moment, Mr. Jarvis (our head supervisor) came in just as she sat down on the couch. Think about perfect wrong- timing indeed! I could understand where Mr. Jarvis is coming from, since it did look the way it should’nt look.
I tried to calm myself down. Being angry might give me my fifteen minutes of victory but it could defeat my career-history. I brought the case to higher management. I carefully chose and weighed my words and to my amazement… they listened and relented. From then on my co-workers would start looking for me to speak for them whenever they have concerns that they feel uneasy to face with the supervisor or manager.
I found myself getting more and more involved in my co-employees’ work-related concerns. I have learned to listen and empathize with them, without getting emotionally involved myself whenever the outcome turns out unfavorable. I never did saw myself before as what I am becoming right now.
Lately, we’ve been involved in community outreach to feed the homeless. It’s a pretty sight to see big-muscled Jack teaching math to 5 year- old Sam. I’ve seen how generous below-middle class workers could be with their spare time. I thought plenty spells generosity, but my co-workers proved them wrong. Before we started this project, I honestly had some doubts as to its success and sustainability. Before, it was just us, me and the union. I believe in the union’s contribution to the betterment of the worker’s welfare. And yet, the more we ask, the more we see things to complain about.
There seems to be no end on what to grudge about. Of course, as we go along helping the needy, there would be more things to sort out, too. And more things to improve on. Yeah, life as a shop steward does have its many rewards. Shopping? Maybe. For now I see my storehouse rich with life’s lessons --- being my brother’s keeper (whether one is rich or not-so-rich), standing up for what is just and striving for equality. As we wrap our things and clean up the mess after the feeding program, all around me, I see tired happy faces. Tired, but happy.
“First-Person Narrative”. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia