22. Working For The School District of Philadelphia
One day, my boss called me over.
“You should apply for this job,” she said.
School District of Philadelphia Employment Opportunities,
They needed a Bilingual Personnel Trainee for refugees.
The next day I went to that place,
Handed them my application with a straight face.
The very next day they called me,
Come in for a test they had scheduled so quickly.
There were three candidates for the job,
Two Asian Indians and one Vietnamese, me.
The three of us took the multiple-choice exam,
But only me who passed, “Lucky me,” I said.
It looked like they were on a deadline,
They interviewed me on the following day.
Three people interviewed me for half an hour,
Then I was excused to wait outside while they were conferring.
I did not know what they thought of me,
After a while, they called me back into the room.
“We agree to hire you on one condition:
You must pay more attention to your pronunciation.
Sometimes you speak too fast,
You swallow the vowels so it’s hard to understand.
Take your time pronouncing each syllable,
We’ll give you one week to improve.
Being on training for a few weeks,
I often heard I was doing a good job.
Feeling much better already,
I could say my job now looked like a Chinese pork stew pot.
Now I could breathe easier,
Knowing the boss had given me several assignments.
There was one PC on an empty desk collecting dust,
No one knew how the PC could manifest.
For a few months, I often stayed after work,
Tinkering with the PC so no one would be envious.
My boss was impressed with what I learned,
He said everyone should learn to use the PC from now on.
Armed with the knowledge I had acquired,
Everything I’d learned was quickly put into practice.
I taught myself to use software from reading books
PC was becoming my first hobby, I was hooked.
We still used hand graded multiple-choice answer sheets,
But now with a scanner, we had to change the way we worked.
The boss asked me to work on an exam tracking system,
I was delighted to respond with an office automation solution.