The blade specialist|Angel Buchkov
It is a cold Thursday morning at the end of April. It is raining outside but I am headed to the local factory where I am going to meet Angel Buchkov. A 43-year-old guy I have met many times on the streets of my neighborhood in Gabrovo.
We meet in front of Ceratizit-the factory where he works, and we enter. We walk through all the different departments where people are doing their everyday tasks. There are constant sounds of grinding of hard metals which are piercing through my ears. Now I understand why everyone is wearing headphones while working. All of the workers are looking at me funny wondering why I am there. Am I the new guy who is going to work there or am I some guy from an institution coming to check on the quality of work conditions?
We finally reach the machine where he works where he automatically starts doing what he does every day. He is specialized in making these small circular blades which are made for cutting wood.”Even though it looks monotonous and boring it is quite interesting, to be honest. Every day it is something different. We all help each other all the time. It is not like I only do whatever I have to, if something has fewer things to do today, he will go and help the other boys. You can not just stay on the side and watch your friends work,” he says while he carefully grinds the teeth of the blade to make them sharp.
“This is my job for today,” he says while pointing to a big pile of unfinished blades that lay on the table beside him. There are three main steps in the process. He first has to sharpen the teeth carefully by grinding their edges at a special angle. After that, the excess material should be ground and the blade has to be carefully polished, so everything looks good, and it is safe to touch. Finally, you must carefully clean the blades by spraying them with air and then put them in the boxes.
“We are known for providing high-quality products, so the customers expect everything to be perfect,” he says while carefully cleaning his machine and the space around it because it is time for a break. Angel believes that keeping your space clean shows your attitude towards your job and the people around you. Even if you are a hard worker, no one is going to respect you if you leave a mess behind.
People may think his job is boring, but he enjoys every day doing it because of his difficult past. “As you know many boys in this area choose easy money when they are young and engage in criminal activity. 15 years ago, I was one of those people and I ended up in jail for 2 years. Initially, I had to serve 4 years there, but I worked very hard and never got into any trouble, so I got out faster. In a way, I learned my lesson there and it worked for me. I learned what is really important for me in life and why we should appreciate it,” Angel says.
His time in jail definitely left its mark on his life. This is why he is really thankful to his boss that he believed in him and hired him when he got out. Because no one wants to employ a criminal if he does not know you personally. So, for many people, it is a lot easier to go back to their bad habits instead of finding a real job.
“Everyone deserves a second chance because it is the only way to show people the good side of life. If people do not make an effort to integrate people coming out of jail it is very likely that they will be back there after a while.”
I am a student at American University in Bulgaria who is majoring in Business Administration and is passionate about sports and politics. I chose the subject as I was briefly presented with his story because I met him and I felt like it will be interesting to write about it. Writing this piece made me get out of my comfort zone and feel more confident.