Saturday, March 31, 2012

and now, to find work ...

and so, daughter and her batch mates had graduated. another fine young crop of highly skilled individuals added to the work force.  problem is, are there enough available jobs for them?  has not the papers shown that in our country many are unemployed or underemployed?  from time to time, as i browsed the internet, i also come across news from other parts of the globe that this problem of lack of jobs is also prevalent in other countries. in most third-world countries.  imagine my surprise when i came across the information that even in the mighty united states this is also happening now!

well, daughter and the rest of the young graduates must be prepared to job hunt.  they are skilled, they are educated.  they have the enthusiasm of youth, the verve, the gung-ho attitude, the wildness even, the hope, the positivity, and the keen sense of excitement to discover Life's other possibilities for them.

this early i am telling my daughter that university or college life is way much different from the work world.  way much different. i cannot elaborate, i cannot explain much. i just wanted her to anticipate that what she experienced as a student will not approximate the challenges of a working person.  of course, she is expected to use the skills she learned in school to hurdle the tests at work once she lands a job.

i remember the time after i graduated.  it was about two weeks after graduation.  i had already submitted a job application and was just waiting for the feedback from the employer.  even in those years, landing a job was very difficult.  i was lying on our sofa tinkering with my guitar trying to experiment on some combination of notes hoping to find a tune that may trigger a song composition.  a car stopped outside.  it was my uncle.  he instructed me to dress up.  he had a sure job for me.  he was bringing me to the factory he was working for.  i hurriedly dressed up and went with him.

it was a big factory.  indeed they were hiring but they needed somebody with some factory experience especially in machinery maintenance. although i am inexperienced, through my uncle's connections, i landed the job. the people at the factory treated me with antagonism and disrespect at the onset.  they knew i was a greenhorn. they knew i got in only because of connections.  so i had a lot of pressure on my shoulders.  i got challenged to prove my worth and also to make my uncle proud. and so inside the factory, i humbled myself, i always kept in mind that although i have a college diploma, still, i should not consider myself above most of the workers who had generally completed secondary education only or high school.  what they lacked in education, they made up by experience.  in my heart i knew they were once greenhorns like me and they also just learned inside the factory.  once again i became a student.  inside the factory i always kept this student frame of mind.  i always looked at every one as a possible mentor. day-by-day, as i interacted, i imbibed new lessons of factory life, of a working man's life.  one day one of the workers approached me and invited me to join them for a drinking joust after work.  right then, i felt i have been accepted.  although i held a supervisory position they knew that i was one of them now.  i spent many happy, fruitful, experienced-laden years in that factory till the day it had formally closed.  monetarily, i did not get much, but i learned much, of Life, of being a working man.

there was a time when we had a company magazine and i was asked to contribute an article.  below is that article i wrote way back august 1989.

on prayer and the power press

early morning, i come to work.  the factory had just opened.  the machines are still very quiet.  i fixed my gaze at the machinery area.  sunlight has stealthily crept in and has illuminated the vast work space.  it is easy to figure out the machine silhouettes.  they looked imposing against the sunlight.  ah, the power presses, i could easily recognize them any day even with half-closed eyes,  they are still sleeping at this time just as the other pieces of machinery do.  and yet, it will not be long before they all come to life.  just a flick of a switch, permitting that power called electricity, to flow through their metal limbs and animate them.  they will be menacingly productive, their familiar sounds filling the air.  alive. vibrating, from the smallest screw to the most sophisticated machine part.  of course, i shall be there, one of the men who will operate them, who will guide them through the day, to oversee that they do right, to be productive.  but then, on second thought, am i different from the smallest screw of this machine i am assigned to operate?  was it not that day in, day out, within the year, within many years, i have been upon this machine? so much so that i have known it and it has known me, silently?  ROUTINE.   my god! routine has reduced me to just another part of this machine!  for eight full hours, i keep on, struggling to be in constant rapport with every other part, so that without failure what is expected will be done.  and so, am i still different?  human?  yes, yes!  for one, i am capable of praying, praying like this:

o Infinite, another day has come. 
after the work-bell has sounded
 i shall be again as a machine myself.  
protect me, keep me from harm. 
ensure that i am always aware of what i am doing.  
i am different, human.  
i bleed.  i feel pain.  i cry.  
and, at the end of the day, i have family to go home to, 
earnestly waiting for me to arrive in one piece.

prayer does make a difference.  having done so, i am confident that i shall end this day with a smile.


Christopher Dos Santos said...

Namaste my dear brother; this blog reminded me of how much I value your writing.

In Lak' ech, peace love unity...I am...

sito saguid said...

thanks for not failing to visit. i just hoped some young readers elsewhere will somehow manage to read this and find some sense in this especially if they are struggling to find work or had just started.