Sorry, not so much as a dog pic to be posted here. This has nothing to do with dogs.
As you know, my day job is as a landscape maintenance worker, where I am my only full time employee.
There are times, however, when I need additional help, and that is how I met E-.
E-‘s father has been working with me, on a very part time basis since E- was a wee one. I remember E- coming to work with his dad, because there was no one to watch him, and he would quietly amuse himself in his dad’s vehicle. Rarely did I ever hear a peep out of the kid. Even when he did peep, it was at break times, and he was with his dad.
E- has grown up a little. He will be graduating from High School on May 21. E- is a very good student, taking AP classes. I have no clue what Financial Algebra is, but it’s an elective class he is now finishing. He’s on the track team. If he can swing it, he will be the first of his family to see the inside of a University, at least as a student.
Against my better judgment, and having very bad experiences giving teenagers a chance on my jobs, a couple years ago, at the request of E-‘s father, I gave E- a try. He wasn’t even of the same caliper as those young pups who came before him. He was responsible, accountable, very hard-working and serious about the mundane work he was asked to perform. He’s been my #2 part time go-to guy ever since.
I always assumed the relationship between me and E- was temporary as we discussed his future on more than one occasion. That future did not include following in the footsteps of his uncles (landscaping) or father (delivery driver for a uniform company). As we approach E-‘s transition from student to real world, I fear our relationship will continue, and that is where the injustice lies.
E-‘s father, when we have discussed E-‘s future plants, seems completely ambivalent to E-‘s current aspirations, a University education, followed by a career in law enforcement. E-‘s father, through his actions, promotes work, even if it’s menial, over being a kid. His value system, which I really can’t blame him for given his own history, is that if extra work comes up, there is nothing else as important. Therefore, drop your life and go to work.
I have not spoken to E-‘s mother in a few years, but recent discussions with E- lead me to believe she is equally ambivalent, and rather than thinking of his future, she is more interested in what small bits of change he can make now.
E- does not have the money to go to a 4 year University right now, NAU being his school of choice, so he is taking a year or 2 off to save up. During that time, he wants to take community college courses to get as far ahead as possible. Go E-!
Here’s the meat of the injustice:
E-‘s mother is pushing him into a dead-end, pyramid job that isn’t worth noting on a resume. E-‘s father would be happy if E- found a full-time position on a landscape crew. Both paths destined to leave E- following in his family employment footsteps. E-‘s respect for his parents and their wishes furthers him down a road he shouldn’t be on. That he is a Mexican-American, and the only employment history he can list on a resume is working for me, in landscaping, only insures that path. Already that history has prevented him from getting a ‘respectable’ job, even in retail.
I don’t want E- to have to work for me, or anyone else like me, ever again.
For that reason, I sit here, imploring any reader who has access to employers or anyone who knows an employer in the Metropolitan Phoenix area:
E- is a remarkable individual and I refuse to sit back and let his life be chosen for him. E- is very intelligent, responsible, hard-working, adaptable and cooperative. The best thing he ever got from his father is a work ethic you can’t find anymore in adults in this country, let alone teenagers. As far as his integrity, I accidentally over paid him today. He called me to tell me. Find anyone, even in a religious based company, who will do that.
There is nothing this kid can’t do, and though training might be necessary – he’s an instantaneous learner. He is naturally bi-lingual, English and Spanish, and has taken a few years of French. As an aside, he said he wanted to learn Portuguese as well. (Really?)
Our discussions of his school projects and papers have gone so far over my head, I can’t even see the bottom of them, and I have 2 college degrees.
I can see this kid excelling as a researcher for a lawyer, academic or other professional who needs research assistance.
That he is a highly qualified interpreter goes without question. If a company needs a great interpreter who can multi-task with other non-language jobs, E- is your man.
Again, what the heck is Financial Algebra, and what would make a kid take it voluntarily?!?!?!
If you are an employer, if you just meet this kid, if you give him a chance, I promise you, without even knowing what position you offer, you will be impressed. You might even send me flowers as a thank you.
Please, share this post with anyone and everyone you know in case someone might have a connection with a company that can make the difference between a shameful waste and a success story, both for E- and the company that hires him.
If anyone is interested in getting E-‘s contact information, please respond to Runamuck.firstname.lastname@example.org.