First Day In the Office

Gabriel YakubBlog


It’s been years since I’ve walked into Exodus Youth Worx (EYW) on a Friday morning, the last time I did had been when EYW was based in Ramsgate.

As I stumbled onto the second floor of the Rockdale office, I was greeted by 5 staff members who were manning a desk: Sharon, Miriam, Christina, Abs, and Deb.

“You came!” Christina yelled. She explained that she was surprised because, “I usually wake Gabs up with my phone-calls at eleven”. It was ten when I walked in and I had been guzzling coffee for the past hour.  As a full time student my mornings have usually been -uh- non existent.

That being the case, I was just awake enough to feel excited when I was shown my desk (which was a pleasant surprise). The desk sits bellow a large cloth that has a Biblical verse from the book of Jeremiah printed on it. For those unfamiliar, it reads:

           ‘ “For I know the plans I have for you” declares the LORD. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to dive you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11’

There were few quotes and icons on the walls, because for the most part the office was filled with calendars, folders, documents and whiteboards with dates and action plans scribbled on them. I got the vibe that this place meant business. Needless to say I wanted to put my best foot forward on my first day.

I had been hired on a casual basis to document the history of EYW and to essentially be a fly on the wall, because any historical document is never a finished book (so we’ll be getting to know each other for the next few months 🙂 )

After getting some work done I decided to roam the premises. I wondered down to the gym/billiards room where I caught up with two young guys who were ‘shooting some pool’.

The boys told me they were here on a daily basis, so I asked them if thats because they work at Exodus, they said yes and as they explained their roles in a very decisive and articulate manner, Angus, the project manager, walked right in and asked the boys if they were planning to log the game into their time sheets. The timing was hilarious.

What prompted my moseying was a visit from a Federal MP who popped in for a tour. I found out this wasn’t a common occurrence. I also learned that in an office environment one tends to pick up on small details of people who walk through the door. When Peter Kamper came up to the second floor to say hi, we noticed a few things about him, the first was his height (he was REALLY tall), the second was, as Sharon pointed out, his agreeable handshake: not too firm, not too limp – just right.

It turns out that Mr. Kamper had requested a visit to the organisation, and regardless of his political intentions, it seems that as an NGO (non-profit organisation) it’s pretty important for EYW to be on a Federal MP’s radar. This is because  the more familiar EYW is to the wider community the more likely they’ll find opportunities for support, which can aid the growth of the organisation, that will hopefully allow EYW to do their job a lot more effectively.