Tag Archives: work

My biggest adventure yet

20 Sep

My new home?

For those of you who know my affinity for traveling and crazy adventures like volunteering at a migrant shelter in Ciudad Juarez, heading to post-earthquake Haiti, or soaking up the Caribbean sun in Tulum, you will understand all the more profoundly why my latest major life shift has become my biggest adventure yet.  In the past four years since I’ve graduated college, I’ve traveled to over 20 countries, lived in countless cities throughout the world, and had some amazing adventures, yet I also have not stayed at a job for longer then 6 months.  My resume is suffering, and so, for that matter, is my bank account.  So, I decided to do something about it, and I got a real office job in a regular American city.

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Modern Day Servant

23 Jul

The other day, I waited on a table full of professors from our local university, considered by many to be one of the “southern ivies.”  A lot of academics and intellectuals come to eat at our restaurant, but these professors just happened to be discussing US-Mexico policy and the potential implications of the recently passed migration bill in Arizona.  It was all I could do to contain myself and not interject with my opinions as I poured their wine, but I held my tongue and listened to them spout misinformation and misinformed ideas they had probably heard about on Fox news.

I am often frustrated that I am currently forced to work as a waitress, which in my opinion is the equivalent of a modern-day servant, and as much as I tell myself over and over that it’s keeping me humble deep down inside I resent our classist society and long to become a part of the intellectual elite I serve day after day.  “I graduated summa cum laude from a top university!” I want to shout at my customers who ask me for even more lemons to put in their water when I have five other tables who haven’t even ordered yet, three cocktails to make and two more tables that need wine service.  I do not have the time, energy, or desire to bring you more freaking lemons!

Yet I was recently interrupted from my selfish reverie while waiting for my flight at the Boston Logan International Airport.  As I sipped an iced coffee and caught up on emails (yes, how very elitist of me, right? I do recognize that the simple color of my skin guarantees me a certain level of status and camouflages my lower class upbringing).  I witnessed an altercation between the manager of the Au Bon Pain and a young Latino employee.  The employee was walking out of the restaurant with a cart, presumably to go pick up a delivery, and the manager angrily yelled at him to come back and help in the kitchen instead of wandering off.  While I watched the young guy try to communicate that someone was waiting on him to pick up the coffee delivery, the manager became increasingly angry and yelled even louder.  As I watched the employee walk dismally away with a bowed head and a broken spirit, I realized that I am probably not the only person struggling with a demeaning service job in this country.  In fact, I am probably one of only millions of people with advanced degrees who find themselves cleaning toilets or taking out the trash.

At least I can communicate with my customers and my boss, and at least the color of my skin does not automatically subject me to police questioning.  As much as I hate being a waitress, I have to learn to embrace the humility of my current position and to realize that what you do for a living does not define who you are or what you are capable of.  I have also gained a greater appreciation for hardworking janitors, construction workers, and waitresses everywhere.  Just remember that you never know what the person pouring your wine has done with their life, and please, for the love of god, tip them 20%.

Thoughts on food

15 Apr

As I put on my black clothes and prepare myself for another day serving people overpriced plates of fancy food, I can’t help but think back on some of the experiences I’ve had with food in my travels.  We are so privileged to be able to look at menus and choose what kind of food we want to eat.

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Life in America

9 Apr

I’ll give you a twenty second update: Serving food to rich people who tip poorly, going to fancy yoga classes, living out of a suitcase, trying to figure out what to do with my life, technically homeless but have a kind father.

Hopefully I’m off to Haiti in a few weeks and I can kiss waiting tables goodbye forever.  A girl has to wait a lot of tables to have the kind of adventures I have.

Daily Dose of Inspiration

16 Oct

Lagunita-Palofitas-Casa 060

I’ll admit, my job can be extremely stressful.  Trying to organize local business people and combat problems like the massive amounts of garbage that wash up on the beach, the high levels of crime, etc etc … well it all gets to me and keeps me awake at night.  Yet a few days ago I visited this local restaurant up the river to collect information and include them in the website I’m helping to create.  It’s a family-run place and these guys would directly benefit if more people started to come to eat at their Grandma’s place.  So every time I want to give up and hop on the next plane home, I think about people like them and their smiling faces, and I know I can handle one more day in the jungle.

What is your daily inspiration?  What helps you get through the tough days and make it all worthwhile?