Ashton Deroy Writes: For me to approach my blog in a more mindful way. I must learn to come to topics not completely negatively & not entirely positive. I must learn to approach both positive topics such as my relationship, success in the workplace & academic success with negative topics such as workers’ rights in Canada, the rise of the stupidly selfish & inevitable hardships of a lower-middle-class income. The point is I have to balance my negatives & positives. It is the only sensible way to live in my writing.
That means today I am going to celebrate the success of a job I worked at for 2 months but went very well. For those reading my blog, this was not the first job I have had that I have enjoyed. It is just I have a lot of job experience where I faced limitations due to transportation, my disability & school. The success I am celebrating currently is my time at Hawkin’s Cheezies.
Why did this job go well for me? There was a work-life balance, the living situation stayed in good standing & my colleagues were friendly. What I have described are a lot of the barriers I have faced in retaining employment. For this time of two months, I was able to focus on going to work, ensuring my survival & as importantly enjoy my survival.
For this to work as well as it did for me my conditions were, I was in a home where I could count on staying in for this time. I had a schedule that ran Monday to Thursday 10 hours per shift & I had to do rehabilitative yoga exercises to ensure my body was not too stiff as to hinder physical coordination. Factory work can be very demanding work, fast-paced & hot. There was actually a day where I was too hot on the factory floor & I vomited. I did not go home, unlike a call center where I believe being sick hindered my performance too much. At the factory since I could successfully just change jackets, gloves, hairnet & hydrate then recover & still be able to work.
(The day I vomited at a factory I was attended to by a trained CPR professional & everything was instantly cleaned + at the code level for food handlers.) The attention to detail is part of what I loved about this factory job. They had a regulatory compliant culture, with socially responsible people & a work-oriented culture. This kind of competence is what made the job so attractive.
Why I loved working for Hawkins Cheezies specifically? I loved working for Hawkin’s cheezies because they had a culture where I could fit in. The Human Resources department used terms like “family time” in describing weekends & I was working with ambitious college students or graduates who were just between their education and career. We were able to have interesting conversations at lunchtime with smart people both in the workplace culture & the college students + graduates who brought their own interesting knowledge. The spirited lunchtime discussions I would have with my friend like Glessie for example definitely helped in enriching my experiences for the factory.
The colleague I befriended beyond the job. I am still friends with Glessie. I think since we resigned at the same time for the same purpose of going back to school we became friends in commonalities related to that. Also since Hawkin’s Cheezies had a culture of Family time on weekends, it opened an opportunity to go to events in Town with Glessie & our college Steph. We actually went into town & saw a drag show. It was awful… However, that event still creates something you can bond over with your comrades at work.
Why I wanted to write this article? I wanted to write this piece why I loved working at Hawkin’s Cheezies is because I am talking about work how it really was. I am someone who struggles to keep a job with conflicting forces related to personal health, shelter & circumstance. I wanted to talk about this full-time job for what it really was, a life worth briefly having. I loved working at this factory, it is great management, great colleagues & a work-oriented atmosphere. I wish I could say more great things, unfortunately, the reality of the situation is as a full-time minimum wage job it still puts a lot of people in risky economic situations however I still think the workplace culture of this company deserves to be applauded. Working 40 hours a week Monday to Thursday was a positive life experience which gives me hope.