Syracuse father forced to take part-time position after Tim Hortons abruptly closes stores, leaving him jobless
Who is Talivo Salley?
Race / ethnicity (self identify): Black, White, Indian
Resident: South Side of Syracuse, New York
Job Status: Employed
Brief work history: Worked at Tim Hortons for four years; let go when establishments closed in November 2015; hired in December 2015 at Dunkin’ Donuts
Occupation: Works at Dunkin’ Donuts
Hourly wage: $9.75 an hour
Education level: GED (high school equivalency)
Special Talent: Cooking
Number of children: 5
Number of people living in household: 6, including wife and 4 children
A sit down with Talivo Salley
Q: What do you like most about the job you have?
A: Now, the manager is cool, and some of the people are cool, but I really don’t know everybody. That’s going to take time. I don’t know exactly who stands in your corner and who turns their backs on you. I’ve only been there three months, so it’s a process.
Q: How do you get around Syracuse? What do you use for transportation?
A: Centro. They used to have a monthly unlimited (ticket) that was $60. Now you have a 30-ride (ticket) for $55. I’m spending more and not bringing home as much. You’re really hurting my pocket. It’s just a struggle, when there was no problem when they had the monthly.
Q: Right now, what is your biggest challenge you face daily?
A: Being a positive role model to my family. That’s a big challenge compared to my past. I used to get high on drugs and was homeless. So I use them as an inspiration not to fall backwards, but to strive to go forward. I don’t want to go back to that way of life. On the other hand, you have no responsibilities, you have no bills. I was raised to make your own, to support your own family, so it’s a good challenge that I like looking forward to. Every morning, my eyes open up, my challenge starts. I got to go to work. I may not feel like going, I may not want to go, but I have to go. Even dealing with people on a daily basis, that’s a good challenge up there at my job. You come in in a grumpy mood, it’s my challenge to make you smile. Nine times out of ten, I get a smile.
Q: What are your options for job searching in Syracuse?
A: Everything is online; there are no more paper applications. Sometimes, it’s best to have that paper application because you can walk in and you can sell yourself, immediately. What you see on the screen is not what you will see in that person. I think that’s real messed up. I think that takes away a lot from the people who want to work and try to better their selves. Some jobs are close, but a lot of them, that’s talking $11 or $12 is too far out there for me to get to. I would like to make that kind of money. Eventually, I’m going to get there.
Q: What do you want others to know about you as an underemployed person?
A: As far as me, I’m a hard worker. I’m one of the few that believe in being on time. I like to have fun at work. That makes your time go by much quicker. I’m reliable. If I can do what you ask me, I’ll do it. If I can’t do it, I’ll let you know. You come asking me to lift something that’s 600 pounds, I can’t lift that. That’s not fair. A lot of times I think people would look and kind of underestimate exactly the type of person that I am. Some people would look at the outside, instead of the inside, and everything mainly relies on what’s on the inside of a person. You got that heart, you got that strength, you got that courage. You can do it. Some people don’t understand that.
Q: What is a typical weekend like for you?
A: I play my (video) game, I have my Heineken, I pick fights with my kids, and then they turn around and jump me. Sometimes I play with our dog. I stay in the house and be around my family because there is nothing outside these doors that’s going to love me like my family do. That’s one of my main things, that I can have fun with my family.
Q: What is the job you would like to have now?
A: To own my own cooking business, my own restaurant. God gave me that gift, that talent. I have to say that’s my secondary talent, of cooking. (My wife) leaves Sundays to me. Give me a pot roast, a pork shoulder, give me a big piece of meat, and let me work. Sometimes, we tag team things. We come to each other and ask each other things and she’ll suggest you know, do this or do that. It’s best to say that that combination would be an awesome business. It would be an awesome business. I’m the cook, she’s the baker.
If you’ve been following this series by Inspiration for the Nation, it’s now a good time to take stock of your level of financial preparedness, particularly in today’s uncertain business/political climate.