My Life, My Words: Fernando Rojas — ‘A life getting back on track’
June 27, 2011
"This is what I see myself doing for now. I like my spot, where I'm at working with people. I have been assistant manager here at Subway since January 1. I started in August of last year.
"I'm not going to lie, I love my job. I was a car salesman for six years, but I had to settle with a normal job after my incarceration. When I got here at Subway, I found that I liked it. I know it's making sandwiches, but it's fun. I get regulars and people will come up to me and recognize me when I walk down the street and say, 'Hey, Subway guy.'
"I don't have any family here, but that's what I call Subway. We are really brothers and sisters here. I come in to work and I say, 'I'm not a boss, I'm Fernando.' It doesn't matter where I work, I look at it like that. It is really the people aspect of it. I mean, you work there from 9 (a.m.) to 5 (p.m.), five days a week. During that time, your employees are your family. It is more of a friendly environment than a work environment.
"I'm even here on my days off. There's not much else to do here in Craig, so I'll come here, see if they need anything. Sometimes I will hop on the line or help there in back, helping prep just to keep the store going.
"I ended up staying here in Craig after my incarceration. I moved into my house Monday, but I have been in the (Correctional Alternative Placement Services) program since July 19 of last year. The CAPS program did really good for me — it got me on my feet, gave me two years of sobriety. I've got my house and a really good job. I love the fact that I'm able to do everything I am doing now that I couldn't back then, such as working at a job and being in a sober mode. I was never sober at a job until now. The CAPS program really helped me out a lot. A lot of people say it's a messed up program, but look at where I am. I tell everybody that if you want to succeed in that program, you really have to want it. If you don't want it, you are going to go nowhere. I'm still in CAPS now, taking my classes and what not.
"I just moved into my own house and I'm going to be starting my GED classes in July. I want to be able to say I have my education. I grew up in a family of four — my three sisters and me. My dad told me I would never amount to anything, my three sisters graduated and I didn't. Now, though, I've done a lot of things I have not done in the past. There are still goals I want to do in my life, like having my own place, getting my GED, and now having kids are my next goals that I look at for the future.
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"I love Craig. I'm from Salt Lake City, and it was really snowy there. I had to walk from my job to my home and my walk was about the same distance it is from Walmart to where (Craig) City Park is here, but when I came here to Craig, whenever I walked to Subway from the CAPS program, almost everybody that drove by came to offer me a ride. I even bragged about it to my family. All of these people who don't know me pick me up, even though I'm dirty and they give me a ride to work in their nice cars. It was amazing. Craig's really nice. It's the place where I started my sobriety and it's the place where I want to continue it.
"I play music. I love guitar and drums. I was in a jazz band for four years. My favorite music to play is classic rock. My all-time favorite band is Pink Floyd. I love sitting down and playing their songs, mainly because there is more music than words. My favorite song from them is "Wish You Were Here." It's a fantastic song. It has got to be David Gilmore singing it, though, otherwise it just doesn't stack up."
— Interview by Skyler Leonard, Special to the Craig Daily Press