What ‘New Years’ remind me of
Lot of us might have pretty similar stories related to chilled New Years.
It was exactly four years ago that I moved to Chicago, to join my love. I was new to severe winter and snow. And I did not have a car. And of-course, I had to find a job.
The only job I could grab was, a night shift factory job, STANDING ON FEET all night. Chairs were not provided since the machines run non-stop. And I made minimum wage. Yes; $5.75 an hour.
I wanted to get back to doing office type functionality. A month later, I was offered a temp office job. Since the temp assignment may come to an end at any time, I couldn’t afford to leave my night job.
Hence, I had to go to my daytime office work, after finishing my night shift. I was such a failure ! Those were the only days I slept in the office, sitting in a chair. And my temp supervisor caught me sleeping !
But she did not let me go right away. They were kind enough to let me continue for a month on the condition that I would leave my night job. I was glad.
After the month, I started to look around for a job again. Since I didn’t have a car, I had to catch taxies to attend interviews and sometimes, had to walk couple of hundred feet in snow, to reach an interview destination. Snow is not cold. It is hot. It burns. Some receptionists were sympathetic but that didn’t help me a get job.
Finally, I landed on a month-long assignment in a fortune 500 company in Lincolnshire, IL. There were a really nice set of Human Resource ladies. I had to catch 2 trains and 2 buses from my place to Lincolnshire, one way.
I used to leave my home at 5 AM to get my first train, then change trains, then catch the first bus, then the second bus. I reach their office by 9 AM. Leave office by 4 PM and get back home by 8 or somedays 9.
But my new temp supervisor was kind enough and agreed to pay me higher than they would have. And also, she allowed me put my work hours as 8 – 4.30.
Thanks to heaven, couple of months later, I was fortunate enough to clear all that up and settled in a non-stop temp job closer to my home and then became a full-time employee in the same office.(Oh and btw, we are moving to a new building from 1st January 2008)
Even today, when I see a person on a chilled winter weekday, walking on the pavement, or someone waiting on the roadside for a ride or for his bus to arrive; I can feel the cold. I really feel the chill on my forehead. I realise how cold the air in their lungs is. I know how much they wish for a cup of hot cocoa. And if they are in formal dress, I wish that they are not on their way to an interview destination.
I really wish all such humans settle down as early as possible, in their jobs and in their lives. And they be blessed with a very comfortable and safe and 2008.