MONROVIA – Meet the ever energized and hardworking Janet Arthur, one of six female heavy-duty drivers operating the gigantic Articulated Dump Truck (ADT) for ArcelorMittal Liberia at the mines.
The daughter of an unemployed mechanic and a local market woman in Camp-4 everyday market, Janet did not have the opportunity to enter the university because both parents cannot afford the high cost of a university education.
Nevertheless, she did allow that situation to hold down but endeavoured to undergo a three-year training in Mechanics and Driving.
Upon completion, she sought employment with ArcelorMittal Liberia many times but was not very fortunate.
Persevering to see what life has for her, she took advantage of another vacancy that was posted for a driver and sent in her application.
She was then invited for a test during which she passed the theory, but for the practice that involved operating a truck, Janet saw it as a serious challenge because she was not used to truck driving.
As a person devoted to worshipping God, Janet explained, “I told God in my heart that I can’t go without this despite the challenge.
I will try to see what happens because sometimes ‘violence takes it by force.’ So, I am challenging God, who I think cannot fail me. I need a job and cannot forgo this.”
Having been disappointed in the past for not having five years of experience in driving, Janet says she got on the truck with confidence.
“I don’t know how it happened, but I operated the truck well to my own disbelief and that’s how I was contracted for three months to drive the FMS truck.”
As she sat down with others without a job, Jallah Selmah, Assistant Mines Manager, intervened and they were called for employment. During her time driving the FMS truck, Janet was the only person to haul materials from the mines during the wet season when the road has become deplorable to drive a heavy-duty truck as such.
Seeing her in this challenging environment, she said Mr. Selmah was moved to recommend she learn how to operate the ADT.
“When I saw this truck, fear gripped me because the face makes me imagine a cobra. But I saw my friend operating it and that’s how I gained the courage to undergo the training. In three weeks, I completed the training and was able to operate this huge and fearful truck perfectly,” Janet recalled.
While operating the ADT is an advantage for her in her driving career among peers, Janet is especially happy that her lost self-esteem is now regained and the respect that she deserves from others restored because of being employed with ArcelorMittal Liberia.
“I passed through so many situations that I thought I could not even enter ArcelorMittal. I must thank God that today, I Janet Arthur can be employed with ArcelorMittal Liberia after many years of struggle.”
She added, “My being with ArcelorMittal is a great help for me and my family. Today, I can give my mother a bag of rice, and money for soup, and those who did not care to store my number in their phones can now call to say, I just call to say hi to you.”
Janet does not take her job and her career for granted. She believes that since others including Jallah Selmah and former Human Resource officer Daniel Cephus were able to recognize her worth to get her on the job after undergoing a series of tests, the rest of the challenges on the job will be addressed one day.
She prefers to prove her best to her employer through which she believes other opportunities can come. She, therefore, called on other females to have courage in whatever they face and to persevere for what they want rather than give up.
“I tried many times and people in my neighbourhood and those who knew me from elsewhere felt I was nothing, but I continued to press on till God answered my prayer to be where I am,” Janet expressed.