I had a friend that was going to North Carolina and when he got there, he kept contacting me to tell him to come join him. I said maybe, but that I was fine where I was because I liked my job. However, the business started making some changes that I didn’t like. They added more people in each sales zone and they gave some of my clients to other people and my salary went down and I started to get discouraged. It seemed that I would keep making less and less if I stayed. I didn’t want that and my friend that had moved to the states kept talking to me about the opportunities to make a decent living and not struggle from day to day. By that time, he was in Wisconsin and I decided to go for it. One of my brothers was also in the states and gave me a lot of encouragement and excitement to go.
That friend that had moved to Wisconsin helped find someone to bring me here and it took me 8 days to get here. When I got here, I thought everything was beautiful, everything was green. I was also thinking, “I don’t speak English, how am I going to figure everything out, how am I going to get to work?” Back then, there were not many people that spoke Spanish and I didn’t know how I was going to learn English or have anyone understand me.
My friend worked on a farm and I asked him what he does there and he said he milks cows and I said okay, let’s try this. At first, I didn’t like it at all, I was not used to the smell and how dirty everything was. My friend said, “Go back to Mexico, this work isn’t for you. If you don’t want to do this, there is no work for you here. I’ll lend you five hundred bucks and you can go back home” That put a fire under me and I said I am not going home. I got a job with another farm. I started working and I didn’t know how to milk, but I learned. The first week, I got a check for three hundred some dollars and that was more than double what I made on my best week of sales in Mexico. I thought: Wow, that’s so good! I worked at that farm for three months.
Then, I had a friend working at Ashley Furniture and I applied. I started working a lot there and making friends and I liked the work there. I worked there for four years and I started learning more about the states. From there, I went back to Mexico for 5 months to see my family. When I came back, I started working on different farms again and I didn’t find a permanent job; I was just covering for other people. So, I went back to apply at Ashley, but they did not hire me. Instead, I found a job on a farm in Alma. The owner was great and I worked for him for 6 years until he closed the farm. He was so nice and after he stopped milking cows, he even said I could keep living in the house until I found another job and said I could eat pizza, burritos, pop, whatever I needed until I found work. Such nice people. By luck, I found a job at another farm close by within 3 days. I am still at that farm, four years later. The owners are so nice, they invite us over to eat at their house and they bring us refreshments.
Thank goodness, every boss that I ever had has treated me so well. One boss was so nice to me that she brought me a loaf of bread almost every day and offered to help me buy a car. Not one farmer that has treated me badly. If a boss ever yelled at me, I would say thank you for the job and move on. Getting along with others is important to me so I would tell him I just need a half an hour to move my things out and I will be on my way.