For the month of September, we bring you stories from workers across Indiana, what they do and how they find meaning in their work. This week Justin Hicks of Indiana Public Broadcasting introduces Ciin Mang. She is a refugee from Myanmar and was recently promoted to Production Line Manager at Master Spas in Fort Wayne.
“We do not have [many] jobs in Myanmar for us to work and earn money. But we want to work, we are not lazy, ”Ciin Mang said. “Before coming to America, we already have in our hearts, [hope that] when we get to America we’ll have our own job, our own home, our own car. You know, we already imagine [all of this].
“We build hot tubs to make life easier, for health, for pleasure and for relaxation,” she said above the roar of the factory. “It’s incredible.”
“We first come to Malaysia. In Malaysia, I was a waitress [for] five years. Then I arrived in America on February 22, 2012. As soon as the plane touched down, I checked the time. It was one hour and 27 minutes.
“That day, you know, you were reborn. You wake up from your nightmare and then you start, you know [saying] ‘Wow!’ It was only a dream. I will never forget this moment. It was unbelievable. I love America.
“You can have the impression [there’s a] different smell, but we are used to it. We don’t feel any different smells, that’s normal for us, ”said Mang, explaining the smell of acrylic – one of the ingredients in spas – that permeates the air in the plant. “And some people start to itch, but we don’t feel any itching.
“I’m so proud to have a job and now I’ve been promoted. Like, I never dreamed of it – I mean, you know, supervisor! I never dreamed of that.
“As soon as I get here, I start checking everything: the people, the quality, whatever,” she said as she walked around the factory. “The first thing is safety, then productivity.”
“This is a really new job for me so I still feel, I’m Ciin who is just a walker and a very fast worker. I still just dream, I don’t [woken] until now. If you have been promoted to the immediate superior of refugee life, you will feel the same as what I am feeling right now.
“As long as you are a trustworthy person, as long as you are honest, loyal, hardworking, you will someday be very successful.
“In America, they don’t know how lucky they are. But I know how lucky they are. I don’t know why people don’t like, you know, and aren’t happy to. what they have. God made us the same, but God lets us lead very different lives. I don’t know why. But I enjoy my life. “
Ciin Ming shared his story with staff reporter Justin Hicks. Contact Justin at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter at @Hicks_JustinM.