Petro Law - February 2020

February 2020

(205) 327-8311

An Eye-Opening Experience During a Spring Semester as a ‘Scab’ Helping Injured Alabamians Make Great Decisions Regarding Their Legal Issues

During my first couple years in college, I wasn’t a focused student. I spent more time worrying about living the “college life” than how well I was doing in class. Luckily, I had a pretty rough wake-up call that got me to take my studies far more seriously. One year, I had to come home during the spring semester. My father found a job for me at an industrial plant in Birmingham. But, when I started working there, the union was on strike, which made me a“scab.”The union workers who were protesting outside of the building would refer to me as a scab whenever I went to work. I worked as a scab from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday, for four months, and it was an experience I’ll never forget. Every day that I went to work, I would have to cross the picket line where the union workers were standing with signs. They would shake my car as I drove past their line, and being only about 19 at the time, it was pretty scary. Once the strike was over, I continued to work there for the next couple months, which was weird. I’d been driving past these folks who’d been shaking my car for months, and now I was working side by side with them. They came back to work like a big happy family, as though the strike hadn’t happened. I think what hit me the hardest was how unappreciative I had been for having the chance to get a college education. Most of the union workers probably never had the opportunity to get a college education, and that was why they were working

self-esteem dropped significantly, and I grew depressed. Working this hard, labor-intensive job gave me the motivation I needed to get back to school. It wasn’t very long afterward that I headed back to the University of Alabama, and this time, I was determined to do well. I was more focused than I had been before, and it paid off. My grades and in-class participation improved dramatically. I graduated with my bachelor’s and got into law school. It was one of the proudest moments of my life. We all face situations in which we find ourselves unhappy, but it’s crucial to our lives not to stay in those unhappy circumstances. No matter what knocks us down, it’s important for us to get back up on our feet and take that first step toward a better future.

hard labor at an industrial plant. It made me consider the possibilities of what could happen if I didn’t get a college education. Working that job was one of the worst experiences I’ve ever had, even though in the end, it had a positive impact. You may have heard the quote, “The pain of regret is far worse than the pain of discipline.”That quote was definitely true for me at the time. Without having discipline in my life, I was not succeeding, which impacted my happiness and filled me with regret.

During my first couple years of college, I wasn’t accomplishing much of anything. My

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-Mark Petro | 1

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