So it is now 2014! Finally. My recap for my 2013 is as follows. I started the year with the same job working security on a Navy Facility and had just gotten out of a bad relationship, so besides the relationship woes, it was pretty much my standard practice for the past 6ish years. My boss at the time Eric, saw a substantial amount of potential in me, so he decided to give me a promotion as a Fuel Distribution systems operator. Me and Eric share the way in which we view character, so i can understand why he made his decision, and god bless his soul for giving me a shot. Things were going great, i was learning a great deal of new things. Come May, I had met a new girl and was wondering what was going to happen with the upcoming contract negotiations at my job. Crappy part is being the new guy in the union, my tenure on the facility meant nothing regarding my placement on the union seniority list. So there i was 3rd from the bottom. Pretty worried, I discussed with fellow coworkers who had been through the process of a contract negotiation before and tried to get as much insight as possible. The consensus was that its a stressful time, but i had nothing to worry about, we always get hired back. New company invites us all to a work demo/interview in which we all apply for the positions we already held with the old company. The new company also accompanied a interview with a few people from HR, as to which the same questions regarding loss of our jobs were posed, with a very nonchalant answer. Basically what i took from their demeanor, there wasn’t going to be any issues. A week or two goes by and i start hearing that some people started to receive offer letters from the new company. Figured since i was low on the totem pole mine would be a little later. Patiently waiting, that letter never came. The sheet of paper, the phone call from Virginia that solidified my livelihood never came. To be 100% honest with all of you, my last few days at work i just wanted to curl up in a ball and cry. And mind you I wasn’t the only person with this fate, 3 other people were put in the same situation as I. I was shocked, scared, and really didn’t know what to do. I did what i suppose was my best option and applied for unemployment. I absolutely hated it, made me feel like a weak individual, but i really had no other choice. I had learned about a small refinery job in South Gate who was hiring, so i printed out the application and walked it in. Later that day i got called in for a interview as to which i was given the job. During the interview, my now boss Ray had made a comment about him not expecting me to be at his company long, but more on that later. So this is where I stay at the start of 2014. Commence my extreme remodeling .
My parents both raised me to look out for others before looking out for yourself. For people who are still lost that means being selfless. Selfless people are few and far between nowadays. So i try my damnedest to do to others what i hope to be done to me. Im reminded of a quote from the movie We Bought A Zoo: “all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage, and i promise you, something great will come from it.” That courage could be in any form. It could be stopping to help a lady that just dropped her groceries, or buying a coffee for the person behind you at Starbucks, or giving drunk people rides home on holidays. You’re probably sitting there wondering how these items i listed take any courage, or how they can positively effect someone else’s life. Ill take the first example i gave you. A lady is putting groceries in her car and drops a bag all over the floor. About 90% of people wouldn’t beat an eye and walk right past her; mind you my views are from being a californian. That other 10% would take the courage to stop and help her. Why does it take courage to help a woman pick up dropped groceries? Because it takes courage to be different, to not follow the norm. Karma is real whether you believe or not, and it will bite you in the ass if you’re not careful. So why, following the morals of my childhood, had karma served me this dish? Because its seen my potential and knows I’m better than this. How do I know this? Things throughout my life have shown it to me but I’ve never taken the time to look. My old boss Eric, who is probably one of the best people I’ve met, saw it in me to be something better and gave me that opportunity. In the end i got laid off, and i have a feeling that it bothered Eric to some extent considering he got me into the position that lead to that, but in the end i have to thank him from the bottom of my heart for putting me in the position to maximize my potential. My boss now, Ray, told me during my interview that he didn’t expect me to be with his company long, but will hire me for experience. I sat and contemplated the quote from him when I first heard it. First thought that came into my head was that he didn’t intend on keeping me very long. It took me a while to figure it out, but i understand what he was talking about. The man saw potential in me. Potential that superseded any position he could give me. But he still hired me with the understanding that i would search for other work.
I shit you not, searching for work in this economy is the most gruesome experience ever. In 3 months i applied for probably, 80 or so jobs. Anything that peaked my interest, and had decent pay. Its pretty bad now considering most places take online applications. Don’t get me wrong they are extremely convenient, but i think it takes away from the whole “getting your ass up and finding a job” attitude our country was founded on. Sitting on a computer requires no effort whatsoever, and really shows no initiative to get applications out and meet with soon to be employers. If i were going to hire somebody I’d like too see they took the time to print a application, hand fill it out and deliver it. It means they care about what they are doing, it’s not just something they are doing to pass the time. After getting laid off i put feelers out to friends of mine for open positions in there area of business. Of course nothing was really available, but i insisted they keep me informed. A few months later a friend of mine named Mike shot me a message on Facebook with a link. He told me to go there and apply. The company in which he worked for was tesoro.
I submitted my résumé, applied and received a email to take the test. Upon arriving i found out that over 1800 people had applied as to which only 400 received the email. I took the test, and waited. I find out that i passed and was accepted on to the next part. After a barrage of tests i ended up in the last part of the all the steps. So here i sat and waited. If you don’t know tesoro is in charge of making petroleum products, especially gasoline for companies such as Shell, Arco, and Texaco. So a few weeks went by with nothing, i was slightly worried, but really tried to keep it out of my head. On December 24th i received a job offer in my email. My heart hit the floor. Not in a bad way, but i was just flabbergasted. Out of 1800 people, i was one of only 20 that were chosen.
So what does this tell me? It tells me that you can accomplish anything, i was working at a hole in the wall refinery, and now work at the biggest refinery on the west coast. It tells me that karma is real, and that doing good for everyone really does pay off.
The next time you meet someone just stop for a second. Look at who they are, appreciate their struggles, whether you know what they are or not. People tend to forget about what other people go through; our society has become more about me and whats wrong with me. People are absolutely beautiful in every form, as long as you can take the time to find out. Be positive, fight for everything you have. Be the best individual you can be. Be different in every way possible. Next time you meet someone, don’t give em a handshake, give them a hug.
A stupid simple thing such as a hug can uplift a individual. Just as previously said, you have no idea what people are going through, a hug can put a smile on someones face, or be that small measure to make somebody’s day better. I swear to you it will make people happy. Find the energy to get your ass up and help people! its such a beautiful thing. Be happy. Try and find something to focus on if you are feeling down. Motivation can be found anywhere, you just have to open up enough to find it. Be proud of who you are and strive to be better. Appreciate peoples stories, learn from them, be a part of them. Things will get hard, and things may get in your way, but keep your head up and fight. Open your heart to the world and i guarantee you it wont let you down.