Last weekend I met up with a friend I have not spent time with for far too long. I think we said it had been over a year? And we live in the same city. How does that happen? She is someone who has been an inspiration over the years and is always a treat to get together with.
Life can get a bit nuts. Schedules don’t always jive or plans made now need to be canceled. It happens, and I’m cool with that (unless you cancel every time. Then a girl can take a hint.) Now that she and I were finally visiting we had some serious catching up to do, which led to us chatting for almost three hours. It was such a good evening!
Especially when I discovered something new about her after 10 years of friendship.
She has granted me permission to share the story as I thought it might resonate with my readers too. I hope you enjoy learning about her experience as much as I did!
She moved to Canada from Europe at age 19, looking for new adventures and experiences. She had a thick accent and while she spoke English it was not her first language, so her job options weren’t overwhelming…yet.
She found work on an assembly line where she handled saplings — itty bitty trees that she had to quickly review for the quality standards and either keep it or move on. She and her colleagues were not allowed to make small talk while working: Head down, review, keep or toss, repeat.
Quality Control would come by and instead of giving any positive feedback for her speed and ability, they would pull the occasional sapling from her discard bin, saying it met the one millimetre requirement.
One millimetre. Because that’s an easy measurement to be exact on under pressure. Ah, Management. Try doing the job and then get back to us, eh? It was not fulfilling. Frustrated, she didn’t want to continue hating her daily bike ride to work to do the same thankless monotony. But what were her options?
One day on her way in to her shift, she saw someone else on the property who was spraying the trees. “What!? He gets a job with fresh air? And sunshine!Cool breezes with the mist from the hose?” She wanted a piece of that gig and she wanted it now.
The next time she spoke with her coworkers she asked about the job with the hose. She was told he was an Irrigationist. “Well how did he get that?” she inquired. The rest of them only shrugged. No one knew. They had never thought to ask.
Further irritated by her cirumstances, she took a detour from her usual route the next day — off to the building where management could be found. She propped her bike against the wall and went right in:
She:“Hi. I’d like to speak to the boss, please.” Secretary:“He’s not here right now. Can I help you?” She: “I want the other job. The irrigation. I hate the assembly line and I want that one.”
Confused, the secretary didn’t know what to tell her. Another fellow piped up and asked her if he could help. To him she repeated her desire to try the new job, simply saying “I really want to water the trees . It looks like so much fun.” Unfortunately, he too didn’t have an immediate answer but graciously took her name and she left.
The next day she was visited at her current position and told to gather her things. Shit. She thought. Had she somehow overstepped?
Nope. She was taken to her new job…watering the plants and learning the irrigation duties! As it would turn out, the fellow she gave her name to was the OWNER. He respected her tenacity and recognized she was worth a shot.
She asked and they delivered.
Some of her colleagues were not as stoked on the situation. There was animosity — “why her and not me? I’ve been here way longer!”
Strange looks and questions about how she moved up so fast happened the next while. Some of her pseudo-friends from the sorting plant held resentment. Or maybe it was jealousy? Because they were not as brave as she to take the chance that she took. And that didn’t matter — she kept on working and loved watering the trees.
She’s not in the horticulture business anymore but taking those first step years ago, and continuing to climb and pursue what she wanted, led her to now being a very successful and thriving Community Service Manager. She has aspirations of being promoted to Director.
“Moral” of the story? She persisted and showed what she was capable of. She had no experience doing the job she was asking for, but she did have the determination to TRY.
That’s all we can ask of ourselves. Know your worth. Seize the opportunity, or create your own.
We may not always succeed… But what if we do?
I don’t know about you but I think the possibility is pretty exciting. I’d love to hear about your “She believed she could so she did” story too, whether you’ve done as she did or are dreaming of trying. Time to rise and glow, friends.
Time to Rise and Glow.