I Was a Robot Queen

Dayna - Appelgate, Michigan
Entered on February 4, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe that everyone should be placed in an uncomfortable situation once in their life. It is in those moments that you see a person’s true character and motivation. It is a time when you can choose to move past the unfamiliar into a new place in your life. It sometimes is hard to face these situations, like moving to a new neighborhood, going to a new school, starting a new job but it is important to know you can face them and come out a better person.

This summer, I was an intern at a local factory where my father works. Actually working in a factory was uncomfortable enough; I had a nice job before I worked there at a local physical therapy place. It was a nice office setting and the tasks I had to do weren’t too taxing. The advice my dad gave me was, “everyone needs to experience change”. My first duty at the factory was relatively simple; I was part of an assembly process, making parts for a library ladder. It was a month into my job there when I was moved to an area I did not want to work in. The place was full of loud equipment, and welding sparks flashing in every direction. Suddenly I found myself in an uncomfortable situation. I was to the point of tears when a few of the supervisors pulled me into the office and said, “Congrats, you are now part of the robot-welding department.” I was a girl who wasn’t afraid to get dirt under my fingernails, but I never saw myself anywhere near a welding machine. The area was dark, loud and full of welding sparks. Not to mention the pieces that were already welded could burn you easily if you brushed against it. The particular machine I worked on had a safety mat that would stop the whole machine if you stepped on it while the table was turning. So it wasn’t that my personality couldn’t fit the job, it was just rather intimidating working around these machines. I was furious with my dad when he said he didn’t want me working underneath him, painting different areas of the shop with other interns. So I had to be put in the department. It was in that moment when I truly discovered how strong of a person I was. I respect my dad, so I listened to him and got over my anger quickly. When I was able to take the robot controller, and fix the machine with no help and continue on with my duties. It was when I learned to let go completely that I came to terms with the robot machine.

Some people would shy away from the tasks I had to do, or be intimidated by the expensive piece of equipment I had to handle, but I made the best out of what seemed to be an impossible job at the time. My dad now calls me “The Robot Queen” because I was handed a situation, I could have said, ‘you know this isn’t me’ and left my job, but I didn’t want to disappoint him, or myself. I pushed past that uncomfortable feeling and conquered that huge hunk of a machine, which loved to break down every day, and a sense of self-pride knowing I conquered an uncomfortable situation. I was able to operate a large, dangerous machine, and at the end it felt like second nature.

There will be times in a person’s life when you are told to do something you don’t like. My advice is to give something new a try; you could be surprised with the results. You may love that new house, make many new friendships or enjoy that new job. If I could be put in an uncomfortable situation and come out on top, chances are you can to!