The mop and bucket. These are but two of the many tools familiar to the newly minted residents of America giving their all to thrive in an unknown land. They were familiar to my dad, who found them at the heart of his first job here.
In the summer of ‘92, my dad received notification that he was accepted as a permanent resident by the U.S. State Department through lottery, one of 50,000 people who would be granted a green card that year. At the tender age of 28, he would fly from Dublin, Ireland over to America with his brother--who was already residing in the States for some time, but would eventually return home--to go forth and begin a new life. Back home it was hard to find employment, and whenever there was work it was menial and monotonous. His sister had already moved to the America two years before he had been accepted as a resident, to the neighborhood of Woodside in Queens.
In a local Irish Newspaper, there was an advertisement for a company offering janitorial positions in a office building in Midtown. Polishing and mopping floors; vacuuming carpets; clearing out cubicles and meeting areas; this was the kind of work my dad was expected to do. And he would do so for a time, his coworkers didn’t give him any trouble and were… manageable... for the most part. It was his first job, and it was only one of many that my dad would take over the nearly 24 years here to make ends meet.
– Theoren Hyland