No regrets in occupation choice – pushcart operator
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February 15, 2013
No regrets in occupation choice – pushcart operator

A young self-employed woman is encouraging other persons to put aside their pride and do whatever they need to do to earn an honest living.{{more}}

On any given day, Kingstown is flooded with cart operators competing to take customers’ goods to various destinations. One such cart operator is Anita Gill.

And despite being one of the few female cart operators around, Gill says she has no problem operating in a field that is dominated by men.

SEARCHLIGHT caught up with the 30-year-old Questelles resident last weekend, just after she had delivered a customer’s goods to an omnibus at Little Toyko.

Wiping beads of sweat from her forehead, and with one foot resting on the cart’s wheel, Gill told SEARCHLIGHT her story.

The young woman said in 2009 she had fallen upon hard times, as she was not working and neither was much was going on for her husband, who is a fisherman.

“He wasn’t fishing for some time and my mother had a trolley. I told my husband that I was going to town to see if I could make some money, because no income was coming…,” Gill said.

At first, she said her husband was not sold on the idea, but he agreed she should do something, instead of sitting at home, waiting on handouts.

Gill said a friend gave her a cart of her own and that was when she began her work.

While some may frown on her line of work, Gill will be the first to tell you that she doesn’t regret taking the path she did, in order to carve out a living for herself and her family.

Before taking up the cart, Gill said she earned up to $150 a week, working in stores and supermarkets.

“This here is making more money than I used to make in the supermarket or the stores. So, I really don’t have no regrets or am I ashamed of what I do,” she boldly stated.

Gill explained that on a good day, she makes upwards of $50; sometimes, as much as $100. And on slow days, about $30 to $40 dollars.

Her daily routes include trips to the Grenadines Wharf, the Windward and Leeward Bus Terminals and just about anywhere around Kingstown.

Competing against other cart operators, Gill described her job as being “very hectic” and added that she comes in for quite a tongue lashing from time to time, from the male cart operators.

“I does get word all the time. They does tell me how I wile up and way me na go home and that woman na fo dey ah push cart. Them fo dey home ah do house work and stuff like that,” she said, while laughing.

However, Gill said in the course of her occupation, she has learnt to roll with the punches and make a living.

The mother of four — ages 14, 12, eight and three — added that “life is very rough”, but noted that she is happy that she is able to provide for her home and see her children happy.

“Two of my kids are in secondary school and the other two are in primary school and I am able to provide for them…

“I’m really not ashamed of what I do. Some people have too much pride and are ashamed to do things for themselves, but they go rather sit down and wait on people to give them something. That’s not me… As long as you want something, you have to go and get it. Put away your pride and just do it,” she urged.

Asked if she sees herself doing anything other than operating a cart, Gill gave a resounding “No!”.

“This is my work. Even If I make $20 or $30, I am still thankful to God.

Stating that firmly believes in trusting in God and will continue to work hard for what she wants, Gill said she will not work at a store or supermarket again, just because “it does not make sense right now.”