It was 2016 and I had just started my welding job at Manchester Tank. I hadn’t made many friends. I was young, a woman, and the only millennial that wasn’t glued to their phone during break time. The only thing do was stare idly. I was very quiet, but I decided to take a chance and started talking to an older man known as Raymond Spoon or Ray as we called him.
He was an older white man, with large amounts of facial hair and always had his head covered. He was grandfather-like but not too innocent. He listened to me when I was feeling down, made me laugh, and had regular conversations when everyone else was burried in their devices or ignored me. He may have been only a co-worker, but he made me feel like a human being again, instead of just human labor.
He described his displeasure for Donald Trump, and it was on!
He would tease me about my support for him by describing how stupid his policies were, I would tease him about it, by wearing my “Make America Great Again” hat right in front of him at lunch. Of course all he did was laugh and said, “I dare you to wear that in North Packaging!” Realizing he was right and that I would probably create a harder work environment for myself, knowing that sooner or later I would have to work in North Packaging I took the hat off. Beat red, I never wore the hat back knowing that not everyone are as cool with opposing political opinions as he and I.
As time went by, the work got slower and people were placed on different lines to compensate for the lack of work on our own line.
When tragedy struck.
One of my co-workers came to me and told me Ray had been taken out by Ambulance. Unfortunately, I had no other choice but to keep working. It wasn’t until later that we found out that he had been working all this time on a defective heart valve. He had had a heart attack.
And to this day just thinking about it brings me to tears, tears I’ve had for no other family or friend near their time of possible death. I didn’t cry when my own grandpa fell down the steps broke his neck and died and I knew him nearly all my life. I knew this man for less than nine months and the thought of losing him breaks my heart.
And even though Ray is alive and well, it is ironic that I feel so deeply for someone who supposedly was supposed to be deemed a political opponent in 2016.
My advice to the world is to put down your phones, and talk to people, you may not agree with Donald Trump, but you may find that you love each other more than you hate each other.