Just Another Day at Work

My heart was racing faster than ever before.  My palms were sweating and I could hardly breathe as I frantically scanned the room for any remaining signs of life.  Any chance I had to see any of my struggling coworkers quickly vanished as my watering eyes filled with smoke and clouded my vision. I tried to listen for cries of help but my ears could hear nothing but the roaring fire and the panicked beating of my own heart.  Suddenly, I see a dark figure crumple to the ground a few feet in front of me.  I quickly rush to it and discover that it is my dear friend Mulab.  I shake him a few times and painfully watch as his eyes roll back in his head and he stops breathing.  I just watched one of my oldest and best friends die in my arms.  I can’t even begin to express the pain that I am feeling right now.

I had had an uneasy feeling about this day from the very start.  I awoke to a startling news report on the small television screen in my small apartment in downtown Bangladesh.  The news report was directed at workers in the very garment factory that I work in.  The building had recently been inspected and it was revealed that the conditions of the building were far from safe.  The machinery is old and run down, and the building itself is slowly falling apart.  This report did not stop me from going into work, however, as I need every cent I can get to support my wife and four-month old baby girl.  As I arrived at work, I soon noticed that the caution of the news report had created a tense environment among employees.  I noticed a group of a few of my coworkers in a terse argument with our boss as they begged him to fix up the building and give us a few days off.  Our boss shook off their comments like it was nothing, saying “Oh it’s just bad press.  We need to make clothes and we need to make money and the only thing stopping that right now is you fools!” We hesitantly took our positions along the assembly line and began the day’s work. I became more and more nervous as the warm summer’s day wore on.  The machines began to overheat and the building was almost unbearably hot.  Little did we know, a gasoline fire had started in the walls and would soon overtake the entire factory.  I have never been so terrified in my life, and I hope our boss feels responsible for all the lives that were lost in this terrible tragedy.

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