When will I ever get the chance to shine without being judged by others?

Every day the same old things…cleaning behind others. When will they ever start cleaning behind me? Seven years without any promotion or recognition for services rendered. I’m just plain old Sarah Parker, another general worker in a multimillion company looked down on by everybody sitting behind a computer.

Maybe, just maybe, I should apply for the eighteen month management assistant course I saw the other day on the notice board. But for now I should stop day dreaming and start cleaning behind “important people”. Sarah, Sarah…please come here for a moment. Sometimes my friend Mia can be so annoying always making sure I know how she passed matric and got a better position in the company.

At tea time I just couldn’t stop thinking about the advertisement on the notice board. Just before the end of tea time I decided to bring this to my manager’s attention. In his office there is a cold atmosphere hanging all over the room, just like his personality. After informing him why I’m sitting in his office, he just sits there staring at me with a shocked expression on his face.

After, he explained to me that the people for the position have already been selected and how I am lucky to be working here at this company and that I would probably never get another good job like this. I just sat there staring at him in disbelieve and wondered why everybody thinks he is a wonderful person.

Three days passed and I’m still not over the manager’s reaction towards me studying. Why does he always have to look down on people on the ground floor? I have the right to further my education and not only people who passed matric with five or seven distinctions. Two days later I decided to call the people who placed the advertisement. I was told that anyone with matric can apply for the course and no one is going to be selected. Everybody must apply since South Africa is a democratic country.

What was Mr. Manager thinking telling me all those lies? I downloaded my application form from their website the same night and submitted it the next morning. I was determined not to tell anybody that just might try to discourage me. At work, I could see how the “important people” looked at me with that expression on their faces like “Shame! What was she thinking?” Yes, what if I come from a three roomed house from a rural community, raised by only one parent and working as a cleaner in a multimillionaire company? I’m still human and deserve to be respected.

Three days later the college informed me my application was successful. Twelve months without looking back. I passed N4 and N5 very good; only N6 left. Soon, very soon, I’m going to own a special position in that company where everybody looked down on me, Sarah Parker, the cleaner.

Just because someone said you can’t, doesn’t always means that it’s true. You will never know until you try. No one can stop you from getting an education. Only you have the power to do that.