Most people simply go through the motions every day for the pay cheque at the end of the month so that the mountain of debt they’ve accumulated to survive can be paid, only for the process to restart. It’s a vicious cycle. I really don’t think there are many people that can say that they enjoy their job. I do though.
Importing and exporting wasn’t something I ever saw myself doing, but my very first job required it and my boss at the time, a man called Flip Coetzee, generously paid for my tuition; something I will always be grateful for. He had an incredible influence on my life at a time when I was vulnerable, inexperienced and simply trying to find my way in the world. I was with his company for 12 years before reaching the proverbial ceiling and realizing that a move out of my comfort zone was inevitable.
Following that I had a short stint on a soft fruit farm, but the pressure was just too much. I lasted 18 months before suffering a nervous breakdown and subsequently being diagnosed with depression. I was without work for a further 6 months, when this opportunity came across my path.
I still remember my interview as if it was yesterday. Dressed in an olive green business suit, with my hair tightly pinned in a bun, I nervously entered the building, which officially today, has been my working-home for five years.
The unavoidable “why is there a gap of six months in your work history?” question popped up and I was honest. Had I not got out of the situation at the farm, I would have ended up in an institution and there were no guarantees that I would come out the person I was before I had suffered the breakdown. It could very well have landed me a one-way ticket out the door, but instead, it landed me a return interview, and obviously, the job.
While I’m not involved in the procurement of the business, I do deal with the same handful of clients and their requirements. The work itself is relatively routine – invoicing, liaising with forwarding agents and clients, some accounts functions, reporting…that kind of thing. But it isn’t the work that keeps me here, it’s the people.
In the past five years I’ve shared in joys and heartaches, triumphs and defeats, and all through these events, one common thread has been spun – our dedication to the company and our compassion for one another.
We are a family. A family I’m proud to be a part of.