“My dad was working for Ryanair at the time. He found me a summer job in Ireland. I was supposed to stay for two months so I could continue my studies in Poland. At the time, it sounded like a great adventure, but my circumstances changed drastically during those two months. My mom had a condition that got a lot worse, and my dad had to stop working to be able to look after her. Suddenly, at the age of 18, I was thrown into deep water. I had to take my dad’s role and look after the family and myself from Ireland with no English. I began working in hard labour jobs with other Polish people, so speaking the language wasn’t a requirement. Back then, you were still able to pick up almost unlimited extra hours so I just buried myself in the work for years, but after a while, I felt ashamed that I couldn’t have a proper conversation with my Irish colleagues. That was one of the motivating factors for me to begin studying English and to push out of my comfort zone. I used to rent a bed with two to three others in an overcrowded house and working in odd jobs never gave me much satisfaction. It took me a long time until I was brave enough to start in customer-facing jobs. As I became more confident with my English, the idea of leaving ‘labour-land’ became ever more possible. Once I felt confident enough, my life began to change rapidly.“(
“I met my girlfriend, she is Irish, and we had a baby together. I worked hard enough so we didn’t have to rent anymore. We got a small house and a plot of land in the country, and eventually, I was introduced to Irish Rail through catering. I always thought of it as an Irish company with Irish people working in it, but as Dublin changed, Irish Rail made it their mission to create a more diverse workforce. This is how I got to apply. It was all new to me, and with Irish Rail, I discovered a new side of me. I began to love looking after people and helping them to the best of my abilities. When they hired me, they hired me into a new position that they had just recently opened. It’s called a customer service officer. Something similar to a train conductor but with the main focus on assisting and helping people to make their journey as good as possible. For the first time, I have a job that I really enjoy. I’ve got hundreds of positive interactions with passengers every day and it feels very rewarding. I feel that finally, my life is in order. I worked very hard, and now I have a beautiful family, a home, and a secure job that I love. In my opinion, Ireland is still a country of opportunity for anyone who comes here. People come with very similar hopes and dreams compared to those Irish who go to Canada, the US, or Australia. Ireland is becoming ever more accepting and open to transforming traditional companies, like the Irish Rail, into a multicultural hub where people from all backgrounds can thrive together.”
This post was highlighted by the National Transport Authority, TFI – Transport for Ireland to promote the discussion about diversity and inclusivity in Ireland and to bring awareness to their opposition of racism and discrimination of any kind on public transport.
Find out more at https://www.transportforireland.ie/united-against-racism