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  • Writer's pictureHenery X (long)

How I Went From Six Months To Prove Myself An Asset, To Becoming The Employee Of The Year

A Step By Step Means To Be Successful In All Aspects Of Life

Note: All the bold printed areas are what I believe to be of most significance.

In 2012 I was unemployed and just moving through life full of promise and in search of the opportunity, that would change my life for the better.

“Every Moment Has It’s Time”

One sunny summer afternoon in Detroit, Michigan I was on my way downtown and to the River Walk, which was something I did quite often. It was something about being so close to so much water, it made my thinking ever so clear. By means of getting to my destination started out as taking the bus, but seeing that it was such a nice day, and it was less than two miles to arrive at my destination, I decided to walk.

Halfway to my destination, I came across a friend I hadn’t seen in years. He was apart of a work crew that was picking up debris that had been so thoughtlessly disregarded, by inconsiderate individuals. After we got the pleasantries out of the way, I asked him about how he obtained his job. He gave me all the info, along with his phone number, which I quickly placed in my cellphone. We said our goodbyes, he got back to work, and I proceeded to move towards my desired destination, so happy that I decided to walk, instead of catching the bus.

“Sounds Easy Enough”

The next day, I called the number to the place my friend gave me, and that he said was responsible for his employment. I was asked to come to a location that just so happened to be five blocks away from where I was living at the time, I couldn’t believe the convenience of this opportunity. When I arrived at my destination I was asked to sign in and then go sit-in an area, that had eight other guys there. After thirty minutes a casually dressed man came over and asked us to follow him, which we all did. He led us to a room that was equipped with tables, chairs, and a blackboard. After we were all seated he told us his name and then asked us to introduce ourselves, one at a time. After everyone made themselves known, he told us what was expected of us. We had to basically show that we were serious about being employed, long term, and it began by being committed to this portion of the process.

The first step in the eight-day process was being on time. Our instructor made it his business to always stress the importance of time, so much so that he used to say this quote, which would eventually change the way I once moved forever: “To be early, is to be on time. To be on time is to be late. And to be late is unacceptable.” In addition to learning the importance of time, we were also taught: how to create an appealing resume, how to dress for an interview, how to conduct ourselves during an interview, and basic computer skills, amongst other things.

After the eight days were up, we were told that we’d be contacted when job opportunities became available. We all thanked our instructor for the opportunity, as well as for sharing his wisdom. We all exchanged numbers, and then parted ways, all full of hope that we’d be employed sooner than later.

“Walk By Faith, Not By Sight”

Three days the first portion of the process I received a call from the instructor, he asked if I could come to see him, and I told him that I could. Once I made it to his office he informed me that there was a position at a recycling company that needed to be filled. He went on to say that the work wasn’t easy and that it would leave me tired and filthy, each and every day. He also told me that because of the two aforementioned things associated with the job, no one he sent to the company had lasted an entire month. I ensured him that I would be the exception to that rule, and due primarily to show my appreciation for his time invested in me. He gave me all the information, we shook hands and bidding one another a fond farewell.

The next day I showed up at the company, which was forty-five minutes away from where I lived at the time. Before I entered the place in question, I said these words aloud: “I don’t know what it is I’m going to be doing but whatever it is, I’m going to do it to the best of my ability. My primary objective is to become a full-time employee at this company, and I’m not going to do anything that’s going to stop me from accomplishing my goal.”

“So It Begins”

Shortly after I entered the company I was asked to go into the lunchroom area, where a number of other trainees were already present. I acknowledged the presence of everyone present, and then took a seat. Then in walked the overall supervisor of operations, who looked as though he wasn’t about no games, and, he wasn’t, but, I would come to discover he was a fair man. He ran down everything that was expected of us, as well as what we could expect if we didn’t conform. We were issued the necessary safety gear and then were thrown off into the thick of things, unaware of what to expect but well aware that we would only succeed if we conformed to what was expected of us.

I took it upon myself to not only get to know everyone in my presence but to make my presence known to everyone in my presence, as well. I asked a number of my co-workers how they became full-time employees. There were numerous suggestions offered but it was three that stuck out the most and said suggestions would most definitely push me that much closer to being a full-time employee myself. The suggestions in question were: to have good attendance, a better work ethic, and an even better attitude.

“That Time Quote From Earlier Really Came In Handy”

“To be early is to be on time. To be on time is to be late. And to be late is unacceptable.” The second after I heard the aforementioned quote, I knew it would never be forgotten, because it became so easy for me to remember. From day one to the duration of my stay at the company, I was always an hour early, and this was to ensure that I could never late. This act truly impressed my overall supervisor, who loved people who applied themselves. The sacrifice wasn’t a big deal to me, because I would have just been sitting at home watching television or listening to the radio, waiting to go to work.

“How May I Help You?”

Sometimes at the area, I was designated to work in, we had to wait around for trucks to bring us material to sort through and make ready for its next destination throughout the plant. Instead of standing around and engaging in frivolous chatter, I went around asking if I could be of assistance. This act of unselfishness would eventually earn me a number of allies, who would become very instrumental in my future success.

“Always Eager To Listen”

I treated everyone I interacted with like I would want to be treated, it didn’t matter who they were, because I regarded us all as human beings. I quickly became someone the other trainees gravitated towards, they wanted to know why was I so enthusiastic about being at a job that wasn’t easy. I’d always tell them that we were blessed to be employed, that there were so many people who would give a vital organ to be in our shoes. I quickly became known as the guy who always had a kind word to say, and some of his free time to give. Eventually, all my co-workers would approach me in search of solutions to problems, this included crew leaders and supervisors as well.

“Consistency Is The Key”

A hundred and seventy-five days in, everyone literally knew my name, thanks to my overall way of being. I had no idea that certain crew leaders and supervisors were speaking highly of me to people, who were in a position to make dreams a reality.

One day, while helping a co-worker out, I was approached by our primary supervisor, who I had established a good rapport with. He informed me that he was hearing nothing but good things about me and that he was really impressed with my attendance, which he personally kept a close eye on pertaining to all involved. He told me that it was decided that I would be one of the new permanent employees, but, that they didn’t have a position for me to fill at the time. He went on to say that seeing I only had five days left on my six-month trial that if I wasn’t in a position, they’d have to let me go, via the policy of the place responsible for me even being there. He went on to say that they had off-site locations that they could send me to and in doing so, my time would stay as it is, seeing it was only relevant for the location I was at. He said that this move would only be until a position opened up where I was because they really wanted me there, at this moment, I felt honored that they would go through so much trouble for me. So, he asked me was I willing to be transported to and from another city every day, while earning an extra $200. every two weeks. I won’t even waste words with my response.

“It Just Gets Better With Time”

Six months after being off-sight I was called back to the primary company, a permanent position became available. From this point forward my popularity at my place of employment grew with each passing second, seeing that my way of being never faltered. I was still always quick to offer assistance, always had a kind word and time to give, and most importantly, my attendance, work ethic, and attitude all remained impeccable. I would be awarded employee of the month five times, I would earn numerous cash gift cards for suggestions that would improve productivity in various areas throughout the plant, and I would be enlightened on new skills that would enhance my importance, such as learning how to operate the Hilo, which would eventually become my primary duty.

After just over two years of being associated with this company, I was afforded the opportunity to be a crew leader of a brand new work station, which was projected to be the next big thing. I was allowed to handpick my own team from amongst everyone on the floor, excluding other crew leaders and supervisors, and though this was the case, I didn’t select the top employees at any other work station, this was out of respect I had for the other leaders.

Once duties were explained and understood, I and my crew proceeded to exceed the expectations of the powers that be. Without question, it was a team effort, a seven-person crew all working as one. In three months we did so well that a third shift was created specifically for this area, making it possible for other trainees to be hired as full-time employees.

One afternoon the assistance plant manager came to me and informed me that I was unanimously named the employee of the year, quite naturally this reevaluation was exciting, but I maintained my composure, for reasons I’ll explain shortly. Now, this decision to make me the employee of the year involved other crew leaders and supervisors, who themselves had been eligible for the honor. Also, this wasn’t just for employees at this location but for those at all the off-sight locations as well, which were many. So, this was a huge honor.

The reason why I wasn’t more excited about the news of being selected the employee of the year was that after some time, it became a goal of mine. I began to tell my wife that I was going to be the employee of the year, I felt so confident about this because of everything I did since day one, which was everything that’s expected of someone who would be the overall top employee.

During the award ceremony, every employee associated with the company was present, this would be my first time meeting the bulk of them. Seeing all these individuals who were also eligible for the accomplishment I achieved made me realize one thing, which was, I can do anything I set my mind to do. In addition to receiving a copy of the plaque that accompanies this piece I was given a cash gift card and had lunch with the company’s president, who became one of my greatest supporters, long before we officially met.

To achieve any goal we must be willing to go through the process, every situation will have its own requirements but there’s always one formula that will leave us successful if we honor it that is. This formula is made up of all the things that are expected of us: such as a good work ethic, a willingness to help others, and a great attitude, just to name a few.

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