Today a gentleman came to drop off a resume. He had just gotten an envelope to enclose the document. He asked me very respectfully to whom he should address the letter. I told him the Human Resource Department. My heart sank when I saw him transcribe:
“Human Resorce Manadgement“
I corrected the “Resource” but I never had the heart to say anything more as I watched him misspell ‘management’. I told him to write his name at the top of the envelope. My heart sank again as he wrote it above the “Human Resource Manadgement”, as if it was addressed to him, instead of in the top right corner.
Then, the imaginary anvil you always saw in Tom & Jerry
or Sylvester & Tweety fell on me. After handing me the letter he leaned forward and said: “Mi boss mi nuh really know yuh still, but mi a beg yuh fi jus help me out. Mi a come from Bull Bay and mi need a work bad bad. Mi need fi tek care a mi wife an’ mi daughta, jus see wah yuh can do fi mi.” I nodded, but it felt like a lie, because I knew:
1. I’m a temp–I’ve got very little to no say in matters outside of the tasks I’m assigned.
2. It would only go in the box with the rest of mail to be circulated in the building with no special recommendation, and I receive several emails daily with resumes and applications that I simply forward to Human Resource. He asked me to look over his resume if it was okay, and I did. He had training as a welder, but I had no clue if we needed any of those here.
|The more I heard, my heart sank lower and lower…
He went on to add: “a walk mi aguh walk off mi shoes todeh a drop off resume, cause a mi laas fare mi tek an’ come from Bull Bay.” Cue heart sink #3.
I felt sooooo bad, not only because the man’s situation was so dire and desperate, but also because here I was, only slightly better off than he. I wish I could’ve done something. But alas, I don’t wield that kind of power yet. What was I to do? Go upstairs and share his story? I didn’t even know his name. What would’ve happened if I did? I’d probably be given a good once over and ignored; after all, is not like I knew the man to recommend him personally.
The job situation is really looking hopeless in Jamaica. So many of my friends are unemployed, but at least they aren’t married, with families and those kinds of situations, and some still live at home.
I know about having my resume aimlessly passed around, bearing no fruit, and trust me; it nuh feel nice.
Yes, I’m a temp right now, but I’m soooo thankful. It helps that I still live with my family, because otherwise I couldn’t survive… That and I’m really not trying to pay rent when I can just give my parents a little support and live (relatively) free!
There are MANY more people like that man who came to me today. I only hope that soon I may be in a position to help.