“I had a job, but I got fired. I was making windows and replacement doors. It was quite an intense job. I did that for like 14 years, but alcohol got the better of me and I got fired … fair enough.
I’ve been here about … can’t think … probably 11/12 weeks maybe. It was well before Christmas, yeah, just towards the tail end of the summer, I think. I wouldn’t know what to do with myself if I didn’t come here.
It’s helping me to learn or re-learn how to be sociable. Usually, I get home … the outside world is full of weirdos. It’s an alien nation to me so I like to try and coop myself up indoors and hermitize myself like a recluse. So, this is really helpful for my mental state. It’s testing, but that’s good. It’s almost like a home away from home. It doesn’t feel like a job, where you’re expected to do something because we’re paying you. I come here because I want to come here. I feel this place is a great place to learn how to better yourself, not to sound too army like, to be who you can be, and I like that.
I like the fact that I can be left alone and focus on getting things right, especially doing the woodwork. Because it’s going off to the shop to be sold, it has to … I strive for perfection and I’m really anal about detail…
I feel welcomed here. Feel appreciated. So yeah. It’s nice and relaxed. There’s no immediate pressure by people, the people who actually work here, you know, the employees … they don’t say do this, do this quicker, do that … just do it at your own pace but try and get it right, but don’t burn yourself out doing it because there’s no pressure, it’s just take your time, it just needs doing.
For me, it’s the opposite. The only pressure I’ve got is myself. Like after lunch, people like to sit around and drink coffee and eat biscuits and have a chat, I’m just … I want to get back to work, it’s just what I’m used to because where I used to work it was half an hour for lunch and then you were back to work and it was just pick up the pace, let’s get back to it. That’s how I’ve always worked. If it needs doing, it needs doing and do it right.
I like being in the workshop. I really like doing the workshop and the fact that I’ve got my own little project on the go in the workshop. I like working with wood, I really do and working with the people in the workshop they’re all … Graham’s just … I get on fine with him. He’s brilliant. Just having … just generally the people who pop into the workshop or if they’re hanging around outside, like Steve, it’s always just nice to see nice cheery people instead of everyone sullen and … whatever. It’s a happy positive place, but it is a positive place and that vibe, I kind of soak it in. I don’t want to lose it. It just goes around and around and around. I don’t specifically know what I like about the workshop apart from the fact that … I enjoy the challenge of different things and actually rectifying problems or coming up with ideas and doing it right. I like that challenge.
I’m hoping to remain here as long as I’m needed and get this court thing out the way before I really consider committing to anything else, like an actual job somewhere, but I’m hoping to learn some skills here so I might broaden my employment horizons and see what’s out there. I’m not going to think about signing up for something just in case the court case goes bad, but as long as I can stay here for as long as I’m wanted or needed, I can live with that.
Talking to Ellie is great. I’ve been talking to Becca. I think in the future that’s going to be helpful. It’s nice to have a lot of support here. There is a lot of support and it’s good support. As I said before, there’s no judgemental looks or opinionated … you should do this, why have you done that? There’s none of that here. They don’t focus on your past. It’s just what you do with your future, which is just what’s needed here, I think, for a lot of people, certainly for me, because you don’t want to be dragging around those chains that bind. You’re free here, free to just forget about the past, at least for a time. It’s nice to have … especially with Becca, an unbiased person to talk to.
I’ve heard … kind of being British I don’t take positive comments well … no, I don’t want to hear that, I don’t want to hear it. But I have heard people say that they’ve noticed a change from when I first came here and I was just kind of wary, very wary. I’m just a wary person. It’s just something that I do … take a back seat emotionally and just observe so I know where things are. But they have noticed me opening up a bit more, which I’m still getting used to. If I wasn’t coming here, God knows what I’d be like. I’d be the miserable son of a bitch I’ve always been, but this place has changed me for the better.”
One thought on “Shadar Haran says: “This place has changed me for the better””
Hi Ishmael, what stunning work, I love it, especially the apple boards. So beautifully finished and presented. Good luck with the court business.