By Emanuela Balliu
Our day begins with the usual routine of coffee, stairs, work, school, and going home, never taking the time to stop and see the people around us.
I have been in the presence of what anyone can define to be outstanding people, who are the best at their job, by far.
Rickey Rodriguez has been working as a security guard for Century 21 for six years, and for the last five, he has been statistically ranked as the top loss prevention guard of all Century 21 locations.
“It’s a philosophy,” said Jason Neally, a close co-worker of Rodriguez, “he believes he can be great [at his job] and he is. It’s basic.”
Starting from the bottom and climbing to the point where Rodriguez is the number one ranked loss prevention guard began six years ago, when he worked as just another employee with minimum wage.
After becoming a loss prevention guard he became more motivated with his work, realizing that money is not the root of all evil.
There are benefits to working hard and working 12 hour shifts week after week, as Mr. Rodriguez so often does. “It’s an addiction,” he stated. You begin to work hard and then it pays off, always.
What began this impressive drive to work hard came three years ago when Rodriguez’s life took a twist. He found out that his girlfriend was pregnant.
“It motivated me to be better,” Rodriguez proudly said.
A young Rodriguez had to grow up and do what some young men often fail to do— take care of his family. What makes a person outstanding is his ability to take care of his responsibilities.
Upon interviewing, a close co-worker Denzel Cayenne revealed that Rodriguez is not only a driven worker, but a driven prankster.
“One time at a party, he made me drink a whole bottle of Jack Daniel’s. And when he saw I was almost done, he switched it with an almost full one. And then for me to sober up he gave me a water bottle filled with vodka. He’s a great guy. You know, ‘ha-ha funny.’ And he’s like a brother to me,” said Cayenne.
Rodriguez will never fail to express himself. He comes first and he understands that one’s sole purpose in life is to oneself. He is an impressive human being and that fact can be supported by many.
A most impressive human found among my co-workers is Elisea Vazquez. A young woman who began working as a Loss Prevention guard three years ago and has now arrived at a manager position.
Upon her promotion, she believes that the most difficult circumstances were setting boundaries among her co-workers who would now be her employees.
“I have a lot more responsibilities now,” she stated, “but it’s worth it.”
Vazquez’s daughter holds the key to her heart. It is because of her that she is driven to work harder and always keeps her spirits high.
At 18, Vazquez dropped out of school but stepped it up and went back. She wrote that it was for her daughter. “I had to show her that as a single parent I don’t need a man. I can step it up.”
On being held back because of her sex, she said: “As girls we have to work harder because we are already being discriminated against.”
She has always been able to “hustle harder” than most boys whether at work or even on the basketball court.
Vazquez believes that in anything she does she has to “keep pushing.” Nothing comes easy, after all, and nothing will come around by waiting for it.
Vazquez is an ambitious woman who strives to always be better.
She is one of the few that make me proud to call her my friend.
She is a woman who has realized the beauty of life and has dedicated herself to finding happiness not just for herself but for her daughter as well.
Vazquez’s ability to always be cheerful, despite the circumstances arising throughout the day, is by far the most impressive.