Eric Thompson-Bey

It’s always good to be around good people. When I first started this job I knew that I’d be working with guys that I didn’t know. I knew that they were from Jamaica. What I didn’t know is how I would fit in with them.

My first week at work, there were only three of us. Patrick, Presley and me. Patrick knows how to do it all. When we’re working on something and it’s my first time, he’ll come and show me how it’s done. He’s soft-spoken and polite – the crew leader.

I really didn’t think that Presley and I would get along. When I first started, I thought that he talked to me too aggressively. He barked orders like, “Hey Eric come here!!” “Go over there!!” One thing that I remembered that my boss talked to me about is getting along with your coworkers. I remembered it from one of our conversations, So. when he would ask me to do something, I would do it. It wasn’t about him telling me, it was how aggressively he would say it and the tone of his voice.

Then there’s Byron, who was away in Jamaica visiting his mother during my first week. He is the oldest of us. Our boss calls him Uncle B. When he’s not driving the tractor he’s working out on the farm with us. When he speaks, it seems to always be wisdom and truth. I consider him to have a lot of knowledge.

I work with these guys every day and that’s the best part of the day for me. Everything that I’ve learned here on the farm I learned from one of them. Even Presley has shown me how to do different things.

Everything’s going just fine and I’m learning every day. I’ve learned everything from thinning trees to how to clean the fruit and veggies after they’re picked. It was all taught to me by these guys. I also learned that farm work is not all easy, but I would take it over pushing wheelbarrows and carrying cinder block right now.

I have built a different relationship with each of the guys. Patrick and I have more of a relationship on the job. Me and Byron talk sometimes, always about positive things and about doing different things around the farm. Presley and I eat together just about every night. Sometimes he cooks curry chicken. Sometimes I fry chicken or fish.

I’ve got some new friends here. I’m going into my fourth week on the job and I have so much to share, so much that I’ve learned. It’s good to be around good people.