For the month of September, we're bringing you stories of workers across Indiana, about what they do and how they find meaning in their jobs. This week, Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Justin Hicks profiles Ciin Mang. She’s a refugee from Myanmar and was recently promoted to production line manager at Master Spas in Fort Wayne.
"We don’t have [many] jobs in Myanmar to let us work and let us make money. But we want to work, we are not lazy," Ciin Mang said. "Before we come to America we already have in our hearts, [hope that] when we get to America we’re going to have our own job, our own home, our own car. You know, we already imagine [all of this].
"We are building spas for easier life, for health, and for enjoyment, and for relaxation," she said over the roar of the factory. "It’s amazing."
“We come to Malaysia first. In Malaysia, I was a waitress [for] five years. Then I came to America, February 22, 2012. As soon as the plane touched the ground, I checked the time. It was one o’clock and 27 minutes.
“That day was, you know like, you’re reborn. You wake up from your nightmare and then you start, you know, [saying] 'Wow!' It was just a dream. I will never forget that moment. It was amazing. I love America.
“You may feel like [there’s a] different smell, but we’re used to it. We don’t feel any different smell, it’s normal for us,” Mang said, explaining the smell of acrylic – one of the ingredients in the spas – that permeates the factory air. "And some people start itching, but we don’t feel any itch.
"I’m so proud to have a job and now I got promoted. Like, I never dreamed about – I mean, you know, line manager! I never dreamed about that.
"As soon as I get here, I start checking everything: the people, the quality, whatsoever," she said, giving a tour of the factory. "The first thing is the safety, and then productivity."
"This is a really new position for me so I still feel, I’m Ciin who is just walking around and a very fast worker. I'm still just dreaming, I haven't [woken] up yet. If you got promoted as a line manager, from refugee life, you’re going to feel the same way as what I feel right now.
"As long as you’re a trusted person, as long as you’re honest, loyal, hard-working, that will make you one day very successful.
"In America, they don’t know how lucky they are. But I know how lucky they are. I don’t know why people don't appreciate, you know, and be happy with what they got. God created us the same, but God let us lead very different lives. I don’t know why. But I appreciate my life."