One Step

As I type this, my hand hurts. Loads.

I had jammed my finger when I was taking a course in a trade, and it hurts like a dickens still, but of course, that was yesterday.

See, I found a place that was offering for their clients, and in-house staff, forklift training for a literal song.  I signed up the day before the last possible day, thinking that there was no more space.  I was wrong.

I got a 94% on my written exam.  I had a small issue with load and which way do we go with it when going up and down a ramp, but I wasn’t the only one.  That was the one part of the test that everyone who didn’t have previous forklift experience.  One guy got lower than most of the class – 90%.  One got 100%, but he was the ol’ pro who was also mentoring me, and the 30’s something man, during the class. I was the only woman.

It was scary driving the forklift for the first time, even more so than driving a car.  The worst part was that it needed some serious maintenance, but that would be dealt with for the next class.

I got 94% on my practical too.  I am now certified to drive a forklift.  I also have my hazardous materials ticket and my alcohol licensee certificate.  Next on my list of certificates to get: first aid for worksites.

I was wondering why so many things were falling into place for me.  I have ended up with a mentor in the trades programs who is certain that I could get placed in the oil and gas industry if I wanted to apply there.  He was patient, kind, and gave me a pep talk about the forklift before I did my test. He was an ol’ pro of at least 30 years forklift work and was quite happy to see a woman in the trades, that he wanted to make sure I was okay before I got tested on the machine.  I was the last student to test on it.

As I sat there in my abject grief because I thought I had wasted money on the course because there was no way I could pass the test, he came over to me, put his arm around me, and told me that, yes, it was a big scary machine, but that I was a survivor and a fighter, and that it was not going to beat me.  I was going to do it, he said, and his voice slipped into the “whu-whu” sound because my ears were ringing so much, my head hurt. and I was shaking.

Then it was my turn.  I had that baby turning on a dime, and lifted the pallet almost as good as the pro, and definitely as good as the other graduates.  I did one mistake with the positioning of the pallet, but I kept it in control, and balanced, and lined up the best of all the students, save the pro.  Half my mistakes, I’m certain were because the machine needed some serious maintenance.  The seatbelt, for one, wasn’t working, and I panic when I’m in a vehicle that requires a seatbelt and it doesn’t work or isn’t there.

I had expected to fail.

I got 94%.

The instructor says that we should expect to get more training from the supervisors of any job site if we end up working a forklift, and that would be a good thing.  A new forklift operator, especially a woman, would probably be more careful than a young punk with a year or two under their belt, and especially someone with about a decade or more experience.

I was flabbergasted that I had passed. 94%!!!! WOOT!

I came home from the course, and immediately, my adviser from one of the job training groups called me.  She had set up funding so that I could get First Aid from the local St. John’s Ambulance sometime in the next couple of weeks.  I was floored!  I was expecting to have to pay for that myself, but here it is, the funding I need.  She had arranged about two weeks ago for me to take the hazardous materials course, and I passed that one with flying colours too!

She’s trying to make sure I get any and all tickets I could need, and training I could want, in order to better qualify for the workforce.  I’m floored that her job training group is willing to do this.  I plan on taking everything she thinks I need and throws at me.  First aid, food handling, liquor licensee (again!), and anything else she thinks I should have, as well as stuff I want to get.  I’ve been trying to get a first aid ticket for almost 20 years.

I’ve also made arrangements for an assessment by the disabilities job training group to find out if there’s anything they can help me with, including arranging mental health services I, or my children, may need.  After all, I am a survivor of abuse on several levels.

Spoiler warning…

I’m a paedophilia victim.

I had a memory return recently and am rattled by it, and that’s all I will say.

Nor was it just the one time, or only the one predator.  Oh no…

“It’s a sign that you have autism, mine,” Spitfire said when she agreed with an article I sent her about how female autistics are often repeated sexual abuse survivors, especially in childhood.

I sigh, after all, women don’t have autism just like women don’t have heart attacks.  We do, it’s just the signs and symptoms are different than men’s autism and heart attacks.

So, I’m wondering why all these things are falling into place for me, and I go dance through the blogs I follow, and I start to laugh and shake my head at the absurdity.  Once again, faecal matter has turned to flowers, and I really ought to thank them.

I will carry on.  I have a new mentor locally to me, who has an idea for a job training program for people who want to get into trades.  All he needs is a place, equipment, and land to dig a hole into.  It’s a great idea, and he would want me there as the person who keeps track of who does what.  There’s funding for this, I know there is, and it’s a good idea.

The trades here are severely lacking people, and have a huge deficit.  There are all these retirees, or close to retirement, who don’t have people to fill their shoes.  Even someone like me, in their 40’s, is an asset.  A company can get at least 15 years out of me, if not more, and I want to work.  The teens and 20somethings coming up, they can go into trades and fill gaps too, if they want to.  The opportunity needs to present itself.

“Mom, I could have gotten the forklift training you got for free.”

“Why didn’t you?”

My son hems and haws and mumbles his reply then starts talking about the other tickets he could get in the next couple of months.  I tell him to go for every single ticket he can get his hands on, and how some jobs, because of the danger factor, the pay doubles and triples.

He’s going to take my advice.  I hope he can catch the forklift training when it comes through again.

Tomorrow: day 2 of his internship at the metal shop.  Last time, they had him sweeping.  This time?  I hope he remembers where his gear is.

Spitfire is proud of me that I’ve gotten two more tickets since becoming a single mother, and is hoping I pass the St. John’s Ambulance course too. The more tickets and certificates I get, both of us know that more job opportunities will open up for me.

I’m wearing more colours on my avatar.  More specifically, I’m wearing pink of my own choosing.  I still hate the colour, especially if I’m made to wear it head to toe, but I’m more comfortable wearing it.

I have a deviant art page and I’m posting ancient stuff there, as well as stuff I’ve made more recently.  I have a ton of stuff to post.  I will catch up.

The one thing I know for certain: Spitfire is proud of me.

I hope to keep her being proud.  It’s a good feeling.

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