“Life is never hopeless however great your sorrow
If you’re looking forward to a new tomorrow.”

“Teresa” (Hiring my way)
by Maya

After my arrival in the US (a political refugee from Czechoslovakia, I went through some temporary “employment” such as babysitting while perfecting my English in the meantime, and finally, after few months I have found my first job with a clothing company in NYC as seasonal help.

However, in 2 weeks’ time, I’ve been offered a permanent contract and shortly became head of inventory control. As usual, with lightning speed, I boldly pointed out disorganized office matters and offered to fix it, drawing on my previous experience from the position I held back in my country.
So besides still keeping inventory control under my thumb, I became office manager, handled shipments from China, (the company was one of the first ones dealing with China) delegated daily tasks to others, plus I became the vice-president’s “right hand”.

He was my direct boss N.M. (his real initials). He was middle-aged, a rather overweight man with a good heart though, who gave me a lot of authority and listened to my every suggestion, because my improvements worked really well. Also, we became very good working friends. In season we’ve worked often overtime and he knew he could rely on me. All went very well then, the company was growing, and so were my duties and N. mentioned a few times that I myself could use some assistant.

When I came across this photo, it brought my memories of that time back to me. The photo is showing Teresa, my assistant, and myself in my office.
I always attracted people on my way through life, whom I did help somehow and she was one of them…

So, one evening I worked with my boss taking care of some faxes for China. There was a knocking on our locked door and I went to check who it out. There was a man, looking very humble and rather haggard, acting desperate and speaking very broken English. He said that he is a new immigrant from Poland and he is desperately looking for some work for his wife. Anything would be OK, sweeping floors, anything. He had already found something for himself and was about to start his work, but with very low pay. They had 2 small children.
I told him to come with his wife tomorrow at 8 am.

N.: asked me: “Who was it?”
I said: “N., I just hired my assistant.”
N.: “What?”
I: “But N., you constantly saying that I should get one.”
N.: “But I thought you would conduct some interviews?”
I: “Yes, she will be here tomorrow morning.
And by the way, she doesn’t speak any English, yet…”
N.: “What?”
I: “Don’t worry, dear, I speak Polish.”

So this is how Teresa got her job as my “right hand” and became devoted to me and also became my very good friend. I took care that regardless of her lack of English she was respected as my assistant. You can see in the picture how she is posing herself with me, that small stuffed animal on the corner of my desk is from her. She was always trying to bring me coffee. I had to translate for her in front of N. who said: “Maya never asks anyone to bring her coffee from our kitchen, so you do it.” I said again to ” N. “I get it myself because I also need some movement, I have to sit the whole day.”

Anyway, the agreement was that Teresa would take care of all filling (which was job plenty enough) and be my assistant in all I might need. Other bosses were informed if they need something from her, they would simply tell me. Otherwise, nobody else had a right to her.

She turned out to be an excellent worker, all was always in order, she was efficient and accomplished.
N. liked to say: “ You did train her well.” But I told him that what I did is to show her how. If it were not in person already, it would never bring forth what is not there. I was very satisfied with her, also by a chance question I discovered that she was a very talented swimmer, winning several medals in competitions for Poland. I guessed she was a swimmer, having strong, wide shoulders and she was very pleased. She always brought some small goodies for me, which I tried to forbid, but with no success. We had a lot of work but also good times together.
She eventually, some years later returned with her family back to Poland, not exact info. because after 5 yrs with the company received a very good offer elsewhere.
So this is one small episode from the beginnings of my life in the US and as I mentioned, the picture somehow caused me to reminiscence…

Thank you for reading…you know, even small looking back at those times means a lot to me…
All the best, always,
Maya

On a really personal note:

Dear Teresa,
I know you most likely never come across this page (your children now are grown and you live now most likely in your native country…) Still, I always remember you and many others starting in the USA, at the beginning very difficult, but FREE lives. So here is my gift to you as a memory.
All the love, M.

My Friends – Pets…

Zanna Bichevskaja
Tjazolyj put – “Difficult Path”
Transl. by Maya


“Heavy path”

The hard way in life leads us,
The harsh law rules this world,
Only the strongest their way to the end will pass
And the weak on the road dies
Only the strongest their way to the end will pass
And the weak on the road die.

The autumn changes summers every year,
Cold wind flocks of birds knocking down,
Far away the birds preparing for their flights
But the weak and helpless are abandoned.

When the soul is tired of adversity,
And the heart as a steel spring pulls,
I look with longing at the blue sky,
I remember the birds left in a foreign land.

To the south in the sky, the wedge leader conducts,
To the homeland of the birds, tiredly trying
In distant birds, a flight is sent,
Powerless in a foreign land leaving behind

When in the night from the bitter tears I can not sleep,
I often reflect with sadness and anxiety,
Those people too, like big birds,
From life to eternity, they make their flight
Those people too, like big birds,
From life to eternity, they make their flight

And our spirit aspires to the sky,
To the native land flies a flock of people,
It’s time for me and the ground to say goodbye,
But wings do not rise to the sky.
It’s time for me and the ground to say goodbye,
But wings do not rise to the sky.

The hard way in life leads us,
The harsh law rules this world,
Only the strongest their way to the end will pass
And the weak on the road die.
Only the strongest their way to the end will pass
And the weak on the road die.

Pls. note, the video gets black later on…sorry…

Thank you for visit…always value your freedom

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