Humans of GLISS Blog
Paul’s story, written in his own words.
I was working managing a smoke shop working 12 hours a day, 7 days a week with no breaks or days off for 6 months for a salary of $2000.00 a month. The days were long, but my paychecks weren’t and that really hindered me. Although I am disabled, I really try to not let anything stop me. Because of these conditions, I began to feel like I was being taken advantage of. I wasn’t appreciated for my work performance; on top of that, my paychecks started not lining up. I could see this company crumbing, before my eye, and the workplace became hostile. I was caught between the decision of leaving my job to save myself or staying here because it was providing some income (even if it wasn’t a lot).
I was living in fear of being homeless at 50 years old with a disability and not knowing how to survive the streets. I lived in the back of the smoke shop where I was working, which added a whole new layer of chaos to this situation. I tried to express my concerns about this company, to the boss and it blew up in my face. The accusations before, doubled right before my eyes and the decision to leave a paycheck in hopes of finding other employment was becoming the more obvious choice. This job had control of my life and it wasn’t a good feeling.
The easy path in life normally isn’t the right one – so, I decided to leave my job.
I chose to leave a steady paycheck but regain my self-respect. I heard about GLISS giving second opportunities, so I decided to give them a chance. Tina was the first to greet me and immediately I felt an appreciation and welcoming energy from her. Tina showed that she cared, and she told me to have patience and that she would send me to work - and she did just that.
I was introduced to new types of work and at one job I was able to meet different people whom I found so fascinating and inspiring. I have a place I call home renting a room at a sober living house that Tina connected me to. I feel loved and appreciated and I enjoy showing up to work and seeing the smile on everyone’s face as they are glad to see me. I have two different employers I work through with GLISS, and they have both talked about hiring me when the time is right. This job has given me HOPE, and a sense of direction in my life that I didn’t know I was missing before.
Looking back, leaving that job seemed scary. It was a steady income, but a whole lot of chaos. Had I never taken the leap of faith that I did, I wouldn’t be living the life I am now – that’s a crazy thought.
If anyone is going through a situation like mine, I want to leave you with this: “making changes is difficult but don’t be afraid.” Also, “Don’t allow people to treat you with disrespect. There are plenty of options out there. GLISS showed me that they CARE, and even more so, RESPECT who I am and where I came from.”