!St Job Essay

Submitted By moneytalks12
Words: 1008
Pages: 5

Getting my first job at age 17 wasn’t as easy I thought. It was the summer of 2011 and I had tried for more than a year unsuccessfully to get a part time job. The economy was rough and the fast food jobs and store clerk jobs that were normally performed by teenagers were often filled by overqualified adults struggling through a bad economy and high unemployment. Nonetheless, I was persistent, and even more than that, I was lucky. By the summer however, I would question not only this so-called luck, but also my career prospects, my education choices and my future. A close business acquaintance of my aunt was a manager at a local printing and marketing business in Miami. When my aunt mentioned I was looking for work he said I should go and apply that week. I completed the necessary paperwork and was immediately hired despite having no work experience. I then learned the schedule and the fact that there was no reliable public transportation. My reason for working was to purchase a used car, but without a car I could not get to work. Again, luck was on my side and I was able to convince my mom to buy me a 1999 Honda Civic in order to support my new career endeavors. I was excited and nervous the first day on the job. I arrived early and it was then that my new employer realized he had neglected to ask me a very important question during the interview, “Do you speak Spanish?” I suppose my name, my appearance, and my checking off “Hispanic” on the EEO form that asked about my race led him to assume that I did. The fact is that although I can understand simple Spanish, I cannot speak it, or at least I could not speak it then. I only spoke Spanish to my Grandparents and babysitter as a preschooler but at the age of four I decided that “Spanish was for old people” and I told that to my parents. Boy was I wrong! Despite my poor Spanish that I was embarrassed to speak, after that summer things quickly changed. All of the employees at the warehouse were recent immigrants to the United States, mostly from Latin and Caribbean countries. Spanish was the language spoken by all the men and women working there. In order to fulfill my duties which included delivering supplies and boxes to each work station, loading boxes, and filling pallets I needed to communicate with the other workers. I quickly learned Spanish on the job, at least enough to perform my job. When I was offered the position, I never asked how much I would be earning; I assumed it would be minimum wage which was $7.25 per hour. I screamed for joy when I opened my first paycheck. I was earning $8.00 per hour – well above minimum wage! I was proud to tell my mother the good news and even she seemed impressed. I later learned that other men and women who worked there earned $7.25 per hour, although they performed the same duties. They were working through a staffing agency or as they called it “La Agencia” while I was working directly for the company. I learned many of them relied on friends and co-workers or the unreliable public transportation. One 60-something year old man who worked there, Jorge, rode a bike to work every day and rode home after ending his midnight shift. Nonetheless he seemed to have a lot of energy and told me he often went dancing at the local Latin Clubs after ending his shift. The working conditions at the warehouse were difficult. The work was back breaking and you were on your feet the entire shift. There was no air conditioning and only a small break room where you could take a 30 minute unpaid lunch break. My job required…