22 May 2010

Bench Store's Grateful Employees

Bench Employee
Clothing and accessory store, Bench, continues its tradition of employing individuals of various disabilities as well as those in their prime years. A dream almost becomes a reality for some while others seize this golden opportunity of being involved with an internationally acclaimed brand.

If one visits a Bench outlet nowadays, they will most probably get a chance to be greeted by a senior fellow, older in age than the typical employee that they have gotten used to. Nor will they be assisted by a charming young girl or boy whose only difference is the way their steps are not as perfect as many individuals.

Known for its charitable efforts and Pinoy pride, Suyen Corporation always finds ways to open its doors to the less fortunate, because not all companies hire disabled and 'prime'-aged individuals. Bench paves the way for those who still have a lot to offer despite age or physical disability.

John Ryan Cruz, a disabled employee at the SM Megamall branch who has been deaf since the age of two, says that it is a happy and fulfilling experience at the end of every day to be given responsibility as part of the sales crew, where he has also learned to fix the store’s visual merchandise. He chooses to work with Bench because he feels that Bench is globally recognized and he loves working with the company. "I am happy to serve the company because I learn a lot of things, and I feel that I'm a much stronger person because all the employees here are giving me importance and trust," he shares.

Licel Galgana, who is also deaf, shares her sentiments on working at Bench: "This is my first time to be employed and given the chance to work. I don't feel different because I am inborn mute and deaf. Bench is a prestigious company to work for and I feel proud working here and very blessed, given an opportunity to work."

She says the customers she assists never tease or discriminate against her at work. Most of all, she is happy knowing that she is able to help her family with their needs by working with Bench. Her dream is to manage her own business and being employed allows her to get close to this aspiration of hers.

Dorothy Jamilarin, or Doray to her officemates, is a janitress at Suyen's head office and has a cleft palate. This speaking disability didn’t hold her back from getting a job even if she was aware that some people might not understand some words she was trying to say. Doray is thankful that even if she has this physical challenge, Suyen hired her and gave her a decent job. "I am very thankful that despite my disability, they gave me an opportunity to work in the company. The job is a big help to support my needs and my family as well."

Belonging to the 'prime' team comes with certain special privileges. Bench enables senior citizens to appreciate their daily lives even more, and some have admitted that their experience has changed their outlook on life.

Dolores Oledan, 52 years old and assigned to Superbench Market! Market!, said that she doesn’t feel different even if most of the people in the store are half her age. She also feels grateful because of the opportunity that Bench has given her. In the 10 years she has been working at Bench, she was able to support her family and put her children through college.