Originally from Croatia, Petar lived in Serbia for five years during the war in his country and was eventually relocated to Utica. He was badly injured in the war and can’t perform a great deal of physical work. He has a strong background in hotel restaurant management from his home country, but due to the language barrier, he had difficulty finding a place to work. He came to the United States when he was 51, and laughs when he mentions that that’s a little late in life to be learning English. To this day he studies, reads, and sharpens his language skills. When he couldn’t afford to buy the newspaper, he made sure to ask friends to keep them after they read them so that he could get in some good practice.
He was referred to HTC and placed in logistics in the warehouse, where although he had never touched a computer before, it’s now second nature to him. He is in charge of shipping confirmation for a vast majority of items that come through the warehouse. Being at the company surrounded by a lot of other people has helped him learn the language better and now he communicates very well.
He sees other people with disabilities at HTC and is amazed at their drive to want to work. “In my country, disabled people don’t want to have skills or to work. I like seeing here that they WANT to.”
A quiet, intriguing man, Petar brings up the word “satisfied” numerous times. Escaping from unspeakable conditions and finding a place to call home in a new country is very satisfying for him. He is satisfied with his job and believes that the company is very satisfied with the work he does here. “They are nice to me. All of the time. Everybody.”