A Picture Perfect Profile: Meet Yacouba!
I meet with Yacouba at one of our more complicated and demanding sites. A slight, unassuming man, he smiles easily and is obviously genuine. I ask him how long he has been in Canada, and we start to talk:
Yacouba is from the Ivory Coast (Cote d’Ivoire) came to Canada in August 2015, to Quebec City, which was a natural choice, since one of the official languages of the Ivory Coast is French. He’s quietly intelligent, and speaks three languages: Ashanti, French and now English. In his native country, he trained as a hydraulic engineer, and as most immigrants discover, it is difficult to obtain the equivalent certification in Canada for jobs they held in their home countries.
Having a strong work ethic, Yacouba worked for a meat processor cleaning their equipment with high-pressure hot water, which was challenging and eventually resulted in some joint/tendon injuries, due to the extremely hard grip required to operate the equipment.
Not to be deterred, Yacouba joined a program that allowed him to come to Calgary temporarily to work in July 2016. After he experienced our more laid-back atmosphere, he decided Calgary was the city for him, and moved here permanently.
Working at Value Village, he met Moon, the wife of another one of PPC’s great cleaning partners, Doug. In addition to his day job, he was able to find work cleaning at SAIT in the evenings, which helped supplement his income. During that time, Doug befriended him and started helping him learn more efficient ways to clean. Doug took Yacouba under his wing, and introduced him to Picture Perfect Cleaning, advocating for him to get contracts of his own.
Yacouba’s family still lives in the Ivory Coast: he has a teenage son, a young daughter, and his wife, all of whom he has sponsored to immigrate, hoping they can be here in September of this year! He has a lot to look forward to showing them, as he hasn’t yet himself experienced most of Calgary’s more famous destinations and activities.
Yacouba would like to become a PERFECT cleaner, and believes there is something new to learn every day, and knows it is the little details that make all the difference!! Since he has always been willing to go the extra mile and take on any challenge we can give him, I’m glad to hear it.
Yacouba’s manner is easy and gentle, he likes watching sports and socializing, and spends time on social media instead of watching TV shows when he has free time. His smile is infectious and his seeming shyness disappears as soon as I start to ask him about his hobbies and pastimes, and it is clear to me that he is not only a conscientious cleaner, but is someone who would make a loyal friend. I can’t wait to see Yacouba in a social setting at our summer barbecue, and am very pleased to present him as our Picture Perfect Cleaner for April 2018!!