“Since I was little I am used to surgery”says Alejandro Sabater to TN. His humble origins, his childhood, which he classifies as “pretty screwed up” and eating cooked mate and bread for dinner every night meant that he didn’t drop his rings to work at whatever. At 16 he dropped out of high school to work with his aunt in a junkyard because “the money came in handy” and from that moment on he did not stop.
For almost 15 years, she walked through different factories to help her mother support the family, made up of four siblings, her and her grandfather, who -according to his account- “did not work, but cooked”. The sequence in the different jobs was the same: they took it and after three months they showed him the exit door. Childhood was hard and he defines it with a single sentence: “There was no time in which we have not been bad. We survived”.
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When he established himself in a food company, he was introduced to the world of programming through a co-worker. “I always liked computers. I never had one, but when I had my money I went to the cyber ”, Alejandro tells of his childhood. Without thinking too much, although with some hesitation, He started studying programming. Since he couldn’t register for the race yet, every day for at least an hour he watched YouTube videos on the subject.
“When I saw the first video I was passionate. I saw that I could work on something that I like without putting my body into it. To think that my future could be working in that and being able to earn more than with the factory was totally unthinkable. at that time”, says Sabater in reference to that promising time.
However, everything fell apart in March of last year: labor disputes and discussions with their bosses over a health issue led to a sudden dismissal and was left with nothing. Far from getting discouraged and having completed the web developer course, he put plan B into action: “The idea was to do that until I got a part-time job. And take advantage of that time to accompany my baby to the garden that had to do the adaptation period. But that didn’t work.”
With the noose around his neck, he had to opt for the last alternative, call his brother and propose go out to collect cardboard together overnight. The first month and a half was not easy, that’s how he lived it: “I kept collecting cardboard and didn’t sell a single web page. I was very down and it occurred to me to upload videos to TikTok telling what I was doing.
Alejandro went from being a cardboard maker to being a programmer in less than a year. (Photo: kindness Alejandro Sabater).
“I have to study, I need a part-time job that doesn’t come and collecting cardboard is a job. Follow me and let’s walk this new path together, ”he wrote in his first post on his TikTok account known as “The Cardboard”.
Soon after, the video exploded with visits. -Today it has more than 160 thousand– and comments. There were as many messages of support as criticism. “I received comments about being lazy, like asking for plans. And there I told that in addition to collecting cardboard I was studying. Because maybe people thought that I went out to collect cardboard to upload tiktoks and I wanted to have an economic support to study and be with my family, ”explained Alejandro.
The following videos also had a great impact: between 40 thousand and 120 thousand views each. “I tried to record the videos when they couldn’t see me, because I was embarrassed. He did it secretly, that’s why many videos are improvised. I asked my brother to film me and he didn’t do it, ”he says about behind the scenes of the videos.
The fanaticism for his videos as cartoneros gave him the chance to show what it was like to work as a programmer and what he was studying. And in less than four months -from April to July- The possibility of working in a company related to his studies arose. “The company where I am today was able to see my portfolio that was dedicated to web development and today I work between 6 and 8 hours a day,” he explained.
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“When they took me on that job, I said that being paid 40,000 pesos was a lot because I worked from home. I would never have imagined that in a period of a year I would be able to go from collecting cardboard to this. The new job solved all the problems”, says Alejandro.
Today, Sabater vindicates the work of cardboard with each person with whom he speaks: “Being on the street and seeing many people who were collecting cardboard with me I saw the camaraderie that there was. There is a lot of criticism of the fart ”.
And in his videos, criticism turned into praise: “People who watch my videos receive them quite well. They congratulate me, they are all beautiful messages. Anyone who wants to study programming consults me. I try to help everyone who writes to me, even those who ask me where they can go out to collect cardboard”.
“You have to try everything in life. Do not stop trying, all the possibilities are there. I always wanted to work on a computer and be calm, not do the physical effort that I did when I was little. And I had never tried that side. And I like. Anyone who has the chance to try it should do it because effort is always rewarded.”hill.
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