A story of Resilience: You only stop learning when you die.
I’m 55 now. I’m either half up the hill or down the hill, where the top is 100.
Many will say I’m a crying baby for what you are about to read. Behind everyone there’s a story of survival, a story of adaptation and aceptante?
I’m a normal human being, I believe in equality. We all deserve to be treated equally regardless of their sexuality, background or skin color.
Life taught me that planning ahead never helps, at least in my case. For me the more I planned for something, the less chances for me to not happen were higher. It was like a curse for me, so I decided take one step at a time. In time, that became a challenging task. I found myself trapped in a vicious circle I couldn’t get out. Having a graphic and advertising design background, my mind wander off, never stopped creating possible scenarios. From 9 to 5 protocol day work. No holidays on my agenda. I think they didn’t stopped. even when I slept.
Time proved me that the way I am is not a product of a dirty minded, twisted fella. Doors opened to me, and I went through the opened door. I thought I could take that opportunity and I went for it. At that time I was young. When you are young, you fear nobody.
It was like a double-edge sword.
I worked hard, but these jobs didn’t last long. Government and no enough money related issues forced these new jobs have a short life on my country. I decided to emigrate to a new country, new opportunities, new life. With that in mind, also came language barriers. Eventually got the hang of it and allowed myself to find a job. Anything that would’ve made me more fluent, I would’ve taken. Found one job that would allow me to study in the afternoon and study in the mornings. I had to leave that job because of the working schedule conflicting with my English classes. My friend was kind enough to offer me a job that made practice my English. Unfortunately I was transferred to a higher level English classes and had to quit my job.
I heard my brother comments of a company looking for people to work for them. It was a new company just starting, the current company was to divide, so a ‘small’ sister company was to be created. For that purpose, new people were needed to start this new venture. My brother was told to pass the word to anybody that was looking for a job to apply.
I just had to send my resume.
Days later, I got a phone call. I was offered a half day job, proved that I was studying to improve my English.
In a few months, the company started to grow, and with that growing, my duties started to grow as well. Fom picking and packing of orders to office administrative support. I learned to traste teas for purchasing to preparing new blends to file and process orders in their computerized system. I was not aware, but I learned to recognize when tea was not good, bad crops, best times to purchase, best growers and to recognized when and how to proceed with suspicious growers. For me this was a new world that I was opened the doors to. Another challenge I happily took. Sometimes there wasn’t much to do, so when I was approached and asked if I could do something else, I never hesitated. Then at the end of the day I would go go home. There was always something new for me to do. I did not hesitated to take it, I was asked, I took it. No problem.
I never said no. I took it as a challenge. And I solved it.
When I saw they were short of hand, I offered to help.
I found myself learning new things, which I enjoyed and loved.
As the company grew, I went from picking and packing orders, to processing and filling orders in their computerized system. I could recognize the best tea samples for purchasing, which allowed me to create a new system to to find them easily in case of a recall. I learned and created a system for tracing samples from the point of purchase to the arrival point to our premises. I started to deal with customs paperwork issues. All shipping documentation had to match from the time of purchase, shipping to arrival to port, to arrival to our premises. Once the shipment arrived, take a sample of goods received and match it against our purchasing samples. That involved visual and organoleptic testing.
Once approved, the shipment will proceed to be store in our warehouse for future use. I learned to recognize tea shipments received were ok and matched to the purchasing samples first approved to the samples at receiving.
The company started to pack their own products, so I learned about the process of repacking teas for sale to the public and make new blends. I also learned customs shipping. As the company grew, I grew in the acknowledge of the steps involved in selling a new product, from the purchasing of new material, receiving, storage and packing, to selling to other customers and businesses.
Our new packaged product needed some type of information to tell our customers information about the product they were purchasing. Collaboration was needed to create information labels for the teas we packed. I new baby was born. All of the tas packed and blended in our company had our distinctive label. There was also offered with the teas purchased a longer version of the story dedicated to that blend or tea. The variety of teas we offered grew, so a new catalog was needed. Here my acknowledgment of graphic and advertising design helped make that dream a reality.
All that acknowledgement I was exposed to open the doors to a new job. Quality Control supervisor. With that acknowledgment, the much needed ‘Hazardous Analysis of Critical Control Program (HACCP) was born. Then ‘Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism’ (C-TPAT) program got implemented in our company. We are currently Tier 2. From HACCP, we got Organic and CFIA certified. Big time.
We started to do business with many hotel chains and restaurants due to our quality control and product protection when shipping overseas. The little company that once started as a little kid, it was now bigger a maturing into one of the main suppliers of the big food chain.
Of course, it would have been the ideal of working on my profession I got certified for – Graphic and Advertising Design. I saw doors opened for me to other places and work not related at all to what I graduated from, but I saw I could apply what I learned into other types of jobs. It wasn’t the end of the world for me.
Instead, I saw there was still something to be saved and applied to a new job I didn’t have idea how to do. I just did what I thought it made sense from what I learned and applied that acknowledgment to it was offered and presented to me.
I learned there’s a solution for every thing, hidden in plain sight.
The only time that you stop learning is when you die.
I love my job because it taught me that although I might not be exercising my ideal job, there are other jobs where I can apply what I learned. It opened up the door to other positions I never thought of working on. The door opened, and I decided to go through it.