The Hustle Streak

Born in a middle-class family which meant a relatively well to do social status, people often automatically assumed your life was perfect especially where I come from. It meant you had everything you wanted and didn’t go through any form of struggle to fit in to certain societal standards. While this is relatively true, this notion discredits the fact that you still have to put in a reasonable amount of effort to ensure that you maximise the opportunities you supposedly have. Thus, most of us in this category spend a lot of time passionately defending our “hustle” to our peers. In my case I argued that I put in a lot of hours and effort to my work as a cinematographer then and the fact that I didn’t struggle to pay my fees for my education should not be a basis for discrediting my hardwork. That was my hustle spirit as far as I was concerned and no one was allowed to tell me otherwise.

I had decided I needed to get another job and I told several of my friends to inform me of any open opportunities they hear about. Prior to this time, two of my friends who worked in a warehouse had told me to try applying there because it was a busy period and there seemed to be not enough workers. I had gone to the warehouse after classes one evening and met with the owner. She asked me for my availability and I fumbled around for days because I had classes for four out of five days in the week. She then told me she could only give me a job if I had two full free days. She handed me a her business card and told me to give her a call after the semester had ended. After my first semester, I had called the number on the card I was given a couple of times only to be told that the person who was in charge of employing new staff wasn’t available or busy and to call back some other time.

On this particular Sunday, one of my friends who worked at the warehouse walked up to me after church service and told me that the warehouse was recruiting at the time. I mentioned to him that I had called in several times and gotten different not so positive responses. He told me that instead of making calls to find out if there was any vacancy available, I should show up there very early in the morning and state my interest in working for the company.

The next day, a Monday, I woke up very early and prepared to go to the warehouse. The distance from my house to the warehouse was about 1hr 30mins by train and bus. I lived in the western suburbs at the time. I prepared like I would be gone for the whole day just in case I was asked to stay back. I packed a heavy lunch and a bottle of water and set off to Chatswood at about 7.00am. I got off the 270 bus at the Eastern Valley Way stop and walked a few minutes to Evaton PTY Ltd. There was no mistaking that the area was an industrial one. There were several tall buildings fitted with roller shutter doors about two meters from each other. Evaton was one of them. There was a huge quadrangle of parking space infront of the buildings and to the right of Evaton was a child care centre. The time was about 8:35am when I walked into the small office attached to the warehouse.

I met a lady in the office. I introduced myself and why I was there. She asked me for my availability and I told her I was on a semester break for the rest of the month and had all days in a week free. “I can only give you two full days and when you resume school, you can work out your time table to fit to your work schedule”, She said. She then went on to ask when I could start work. I replied “Can I start now?” She looked at the time and asked me to come back in about 45minutes. She suggested I hang out at the cafe down the road. I thanked her and used my free time to familiarise myself with the area. I walked down the Eastern Valley Way a couple of times and made my way back to Evaton a few minutes past 9am.

By now, the warehouse was fully alive. Staff walking around looking through their picking list, some others dragging wailing trolleys behind them. The staff constantly answering ringing phones, “Hello.., Evaton Trophies, Susan speaking.” It was a coordinated chaos that ensured the job gets done. Mariana, the lady in charge that I had spoken to earlier introduced me to the other staff members and proceeded to show me what I was expected to do. I had about 15minutes of training and was told that how well or badly I did on the job that day would be used to determine if I could remain on the job or not. I was officially on probation and I did not disappoint.

At about 12:30pm I had my lunch break. I brought out my meal much to the surprise of the other workers who asked if I had known before coming that I was getting the job. After 30minutes of enjoying lunch, it was back to business as usual. At about 4:30pm, I was told to finish up for the day. I signed out and headed home.

This would be a major part of my weekly routine for the next 1.5years.

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