From bus washer to front office - Working mom pushes way up the JUTC ladder
Jahseca Depass was 20 years old when she started working at the Jamaica Urban Transit Company as a bus washer.
Her purpose, then, was to ensure that the buses were clean and properly maintained.
At the time, she had three children and no examination passes. That did not stop her from striving for better.
She said that for 10 years, she did that type of work and it provided for her family, which was her main concern.
“There were points when it got rough and I contracted sinusitis, because of the dust and fumes that I was around daily. but when I got the job, my friend said to me that ‘half a loaf is better than no loaf’, and that is the mindset that I went in the workplace with,” she said.
One day, an unpleasant encounter jolted her to start making a change in her life. While washing a bus, a manager told her rather gruffly to move and go to another area. The way she was ordered caused her much embarrassment.
“I almost cried, because he was shouting at me and a lot of persons were there. After that, I decided to get myself enrolled in school and try go to some evening classes,” she said.
That was one of the best decisions, Depass said, as she sat three subjects and passed them.
She said that after the encounter, she realised that the manager was more cordial to her.
She said that sometime after the incident, the same manager requested for her to be transferred from washing buses to a clerical job in the accident department.
“I did not answer him on that day, and I could have. I was saying to my mother, ‘what if I had said I was just a cleaner so I could shout back at him’? He wouldn’t be that same person who requested for me to be placed somewhere else,” she said.
After working for five and a half months in the accident department, she was transferred to the marketing department as a revenue agent.
The 40-year-old mother of five said that being humble and positioning yourself for greatness can open doors one does not expect.
Her last promotion was four years ago where she was interviewed for, and subsequently got, the job as senior revenue agent.
“I honestly don’t know how I was selected. I guess it was just humility. While I was a revenue agent, I would act in senior positions for persons who went on leave. so even though it was not official, I was an understudy, learning and observing how the job was done,” she said.
She advises young people to start somewhere and work their way up.
“Start where the position is available and build on that. There is always room for building,” she said.