She may not be able to speak, but she has a voice

Winner name: 

Gurleen Cheema

Award date: 

November, 2016

Contest: 

She typed away at her computer, finishing up the last few words of her data report.

The clock struck 5, signaling the end of another long work day.

Her boss entered the room and stacked a large pile of papers on her desk.

She didn’t miss the devious smirk on his face. He signed instructions to her and left the room.

Grateful for this new job opportunity, she reluctantly stayed behind to tend to her boss’s tedious tasks.

Drip, drop, drip.

The sound of the creamer pouring in to her mug echoed in her mind as she made a cup of coffee.

The only thing that will get her through the long night.

The day after, a similar ordeal follows.

A pattern has been established.

She was grateful for this opportunity.

Grateful that they hired someone like her

Job insecurity plagued her mind as she worked overtime, day in and day out.

Overworking her body until her body can’t keep up.

Drip, drop, drip.

The sound of the creamer pouring in to her mug echoed in her mind as she made a cup of coffee.

Her colleague and confidant enters the staff room.

“You don’t have to do this, you know,” he signs.

It’s all been said to her before.

How would he know? He can’t relate.

She was grateful for this opportunity.

Grateful that they hired someone like her.

He hands her a card.

“Talk to the union,” he signs.

Two months later, she sits at her dining table. D

evouring her plate as if she had never seen food before.

She was grateful that she was in the comfort of her own home

At 5 pm on a weekday.

NUPGE component: