So I became a manual labourer…

Vada Voices

This article is about a gay guy that lost his admin office job and had to become a hard-working labourer in a steel fabric.

Okay, so the story is about me.

I was happy with my office job but it wasn’t a dream, by any means. There was never any physical work – mostly I would just sit on my butt all day and chat with my co-workers – but there was always plenty of tiring office politics. It was pretty average, really. But all good things must come to an end, as they say, and I was let go.

I wasn’t prepared for losing my job. It wasn’t easy searching for a new one either – it’s not exactly a good time to be looking for employment in any part of the world right now. But I decided to put aside any preconceptions I had about the jobs I might take, and I applied for jobs far and wide.

Then, finally, I got a call back. I’d got a job. I was so relieved I barely listened as the man on the phone relayed the details. I surprised even myself the next day when I went to work – at a steel factory.

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At first I didn’t want to be one of those people with dirty fingernails, boring overalls and safety shoes. I wondered if I’d fit in. But I soon discovered the fashion sense of overalls – you don’t want to go work in your designer clothes, after all. And, while I often get my hands dirty, soap and water is often enough to scrub my fingernails clean.

My first week on the job was terribly tiring – I didn’t have time to get involved in any of the work politics that had bored me at my previous job! I wasn’t sure if I could keep it, but I kept thinking about my high maintenance lifestyle. I thought about what was at stake. I wouldn’t be able to live alone, and I’d have to move back in with my parents. I know it’s every parent’s dream for their only child to move back in with them – but frankly, it’s every child’s worst nightmare.

After my first few days at the new job, I knew not only my nails but also my hair would be a disaster if I didn’t have the money to have them done. Let’s not forget those spray tans and spa days! So it was something of a catch-22 situation, and I had to keep working. There was no other choice. But at least I could continue to live the lifestyle I was accustomed to as I searched for another job. Preferably some kind of office job. Preferably one without office politics.

But as the time passed, I realised I could do anything I put my mind to. I knew I would be able to make a successes out of my life in any kind of workplace. Working with the guys wasn’t always easy – talking about guy stuff all day long. Working with the girls in an office had been easier – talking about girl stuff all day long. But I got used to it. Besides, I work so hard now I don’t have time to miss the way things were.

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If you’d told me two years ago that I would be working for a steel factory, I would have told you that you were crazy. This queen doesn’t do hard labour! Most of my friends still can’t believe the job that I do. But I’m grateful. Actually, I rather enjoy it.

I don’t quite know how long I’ll stay in this job, but I’ve made peace with it and I’m happy. Hopefully I never have to write an article about me going into the mining sector – that sounds like even harder work. But who knows, maybe my next job will have something to do with the fashion institute?

Francois Fourie

About Vada Voices

Vada Voices showcases the best that our readers have to offer with a range of one-off articles, reactions and comments. To get involved with Vada Voices please email adamlowe@vadamagazine.com.