Another day comes to a close; I solemnly drag my feet down the pavement. The sun is two hours gone and I long for the safe confines of my modest home here in Southern California. The date is August 14th, 2008. The firm yet comforting embrace of my mattress is but a commercial away, I can hear it calling my name into the night. It has been a long day you see, I’ve been searching for a job for quite some time now to no avail. It’s been almost a month since my last job ended with a fuming, high school dropout manager, a floor strewn with frozen burger pucks, and a disturbed costumer yelling “Terrorist”; it’s a pity how a select few can ruin the rest of our reputations. I unlocked the door and let myself in. It seems apparent now that I must change in order to secure a new source of income. Normally I would not consider such an option, but bills need paying and my stomach yearns for more than I can afford. I climb into my bed, savoring the relaxation rushing through me; it’s time that I sleep.
This morning is different from all the rest. I do not dawn my everyday clothes. I style my beard in a straighter fashion, attempting to appear more professional. I notice my wooden comb staring forlornly at me from my nightstand, I have to look away. Opening my closet, I remove the new suit purchased with what little money I have left. Upon finishing my preparations I stare into the mirror above my pearl white sink, this isn’t me. I’m disgusted by the man staring back at me, yet this is the only way that someone such as I can make it in a world such as this. My feet find their place in my finest dress shoes and I’m out the door, ready for my final job interview. It’s at a local phone company, a call center to be specific. Before long I find myself peering through the glass into the lobby of hopefully my future work place.
Upon entering I am greeted by the secretary, who sent me through to the manager’s office. It began with the normal meet and greet, and all appeared to be going smoothly. The manager appeared to be a fastidious person; nothing was out of place in his office. He dressed casually though, a nice shirt and khakis. After an hour of speaking, the manager assured me the job to my great relief. As I was getting up to leave, I felt it necessary to assure myself on one thing; the dress code. The manager merely shrugged, it was a call center. As long as it wasn’t distracting, he assured me I would be fine. With my mind at ease, I left with pride. No more worry, no more struggle, I had finally found another job. In an instant I was redressing into my normal attire, retiring on my green leather couch. I did not move till the following morning.
The morning was quite uneventful as I followed my usual routine. Dressed as normal, I wasted no time getting out the door. Today, I felt safe and secure. It wasn’t long before I had arrived at work; the secretary appeared less friendly today. I approached her, presented my identification, and proceeded to search for my cubicle amongst the sea of boxes before me. As I walked past each and every employee glanced up from his or her work, eyeing me suspiciously. I couldn’t help but wonder, was this how every new employee was treated here? I quickened my pace as work was being abandoned by those who rose from their desks. Balding heads with barely visible eyes followed me from behind thin walls, I was becoming very nervous when I spotted it; my cubicle. I dove in much like a rabbit retreating from a pack of wolves, only to find myself cornered in a pitiful hole. All my feelings of safety and security vanished, I was alone.
Not long after settling into the empty, abysmal hovel the manager arrived at my side. At first he appeared shaken up, but he quickly straightened out. He gave me instructions on the expectations of the days’ work and was on his way. Aside from the morning’s peculiar beginning, the day was quite uneventful. Upon exiting the wolves den I experienced a slightly less enthusiastic response from the other employees. They all glanced in my direction though no one rose from their station. The journey home seemed to drag on, thoughts raced through my mind. Maybe this job wasn’t right for me, the other employees certainly thought so. Was it the way I walked? Could it have been my appearance? I’ve never elicited such an active response from that many people. I suppose tomorrow can’t be any worse, another day couldn’t hurt. Finally, my doorstep; I was asleep within the hour.
Today bears a close resemblance to yesterday, the wolves stood ready as I searched for my cubicle again. I settled down, trying my best to stay calm and orderly. The day once again passed me by till four o’clock. While packing away the days’ work and tidying my area the secretary scuttled down the aisle, stopping outside my tiny home. I was needed in the manager’s office, right away. Not sure what to expect, I cautiously knocked and entered into the supernaturally clean office. The manager was accompanied by what appeared to be the bulkiest employee the manager could muster. He was quick and to the point, I was fired. He was not aware from my appearance during the interview that I was a Sikh, and that my presence frightened the other employees. Stunned, I was led through the cubicles towards the door; relieved faces stared back at me. The walk home was quiet; the effects of what had just occurred were starting to sink in. I was fired for my beliefs.
The door swung inward, my home held no comfort for me now. My stomach growled for food that was not there, my feet longed for the heat I could not afford, my mind begged for the distraction of the television I no longer owned. I found my way into my barren bedroom, retrieving the shoebox from under my bed. I removed the lid to find Smith and Wesson staring back at me, hungrily. I held them close to my heart, feeling the comfort I hoped they would bring. This world has brought me no happiness, no warmth. I have been rejected across the board, discriminated against, mistaken for those who bring the real terror. These beliefs have brought me nothing but pain and hardship, one last sin doesn’t bother me.
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