By Brigitta Claudia, Big Issue vendor
Sales are quite steady on my pitch, but you sometimes have days when the weather is so bad it can really affect business – if it rains all day sometimes I only make £15.
A lot of my friends come in to buy the magazine from me but when the weather’s bad I don’t see many of them! I have quite a few regulars, but sales can depend quite a lot on who is on the cover. I’m glad Street Cat Bob is on there, he always does really well. Colourful covers do well too, and Christmas time is very good for sales of the magazine.
I came to Scotland from Oradea in Romania five years ago. My family came with me, my mum and my dad, my husband and my two kids. My husband has a brother who had moved over earlier and he told us to come to Glasgow because we’d have a better future here than at home, so we decided to give it a try. We all really like living here.
In Romania the problem is finding work. If you can even get a job at all they don’t pay very well. There’s a massive difference in what you can earn.
When we first came over we stayed with my brother-in-law but now we have our own flat. My husband is a kitchen porter, so when I first came here I did that job with him, but that didn’t last. Then a friend told me about the possibility of selling The Big Issue. I looked into it, and I’ve been selling for three years now.
People chat to me and ask how I’m getting on. They are very kind, especially the people who work in the shop where my pitch is, at TJ Hughes [a department store]. There are also two Sisters from a local church who come every Saturday to the pitch who are very nice, they always come and talk to me and ask me how I’m getting on.
In the future, I’d like to get another job. It’s quite hard sometimes though. I was a cashier in a little shop in Romania when I left school, and I’ve tried to get similar work here as I have some qualifications. I have also tried for cleaning jobs but I’ve been told I don’t have any experience, even though I tell them I have everyday experience as I am married and I have two kids! I also tried some of the supermarkets. Just recently I went to one of the big chains and asked for an application form, but when I said I was from Romania they just said no. It’s very hard sometimes but I’ll keep trying.
I have two boys, Darius who’s six and Alex, who’s three. They really like living in Scotland. I love spending time with them – they love going to the park, eating McDonald’s and sport. They both love football, and the older one has even taken up karate. The younger one is bilingual already, it’s amazing!