Essay #1 Personal Narrative
ENC1101 – Section #6111 Word Count: 601
I have never been one to shy away the chance to work for pay. For the past few years I looked for a job that would hire me, none would. It was not that I was under-qualified, I was just too young. During the summer of 2016, the opportunity for me to work came. The principal of my private school, Dr. Maglio, offered me a job to work as a landscaper for the summer.
I thought that the jobs would be simple ones and most of them were. The simple jobs included cutting down and trimming bushes, cleaning up a few trees, and shaving down palms. They sound simple enough from a reader’s standpoint, but when you are actually doing the work it is backbreaking. The tools that we used to trim the trees and shave the palms were long and unbalanced. The cutters used for the bushes were not the sharpest and required you to bend down in painful positions. The intense Florida heat made matters much worse, turning hour long duties into whole day tasks.
Of course with simple jobs come hard ones. There were three big tasks that I remember struggling through. The first was cleaning and painting the wooden, playground equipment. There are two playgrounds, one for the younger children and one for the older ones. They both had accumulated mold and some planks had rotted out. I was given a prepared bottle of chemicals for use to clean the wood. The mysterious liquid had gotten on my fingertips and burned for a week. After tediously cleaning the playgrounds I then then had to stain them with red paint. This project took a total time of about a week and a half.
While still challenging and exhausting, the other hard chore was not as long. The second project was more physical than the first. A very large, overgrown root system had managed its way around some fragile, water pipes. Dr. Maglio and I had to use mattocks, tools similar to a pickaxe but with an axe head attached and dulled blade, to chop out the roots. Unfortunately, some of the pipes were hit. We had to call in a piping business to repair and replace the broken pipe. This ended up costing much more and taking up around four and a half days or work.
Dr. Maglio had taught me how to use new tools that I have never seen before and what they were used for. We used mattocks to saws to change the look of the school. I learned how to repair appliances such as fans and ceiling lights. I killed weeds, trimmed branches off of all types of trees, and helped maintain multiple gardens. I spent hours outside in the blistering heat while cutting down bushes, placing poison ant piles, and digging and replanting grass to help make it grow.
However, what I learned most from my experience working as a landscaper was to appreciate all of the time and effort I put into my work. Usually at the end of my working day I would go home exhausted, even though the work day itself was only three hours long. I still look at the work that I have done and what I could have improved upon and wishing I had more time.
Overall, during the summer I feel that I harnessed my skills while being able to push through harsh conditions to be able to appreciate and enjoy my own hard work. The work may have been hard and grueling but it taught me lessons that I will keep for my entire life.