Take what you can get

People are funny, people are crazy, and people amuse me.

All my life I’ve lived in a weird mood. A true rollercoaster of emotions. I question myself constantly and second-guess myself more than I know I should. It creates this internal conflict I’ve never liked. I’m ridden with guilt, grief, anger, and confusion.

I often stop to think about others and how their lives affect mine. That is part of the reason I’ve managed to stay within customer service for as long as I have. Ten years. Yeah. I began working at the age of sixteen.

Flashback

My junior year had just ended and I wanted to work anywhere. I wanted to experience what many people were griping about. The toils and troubles of waking up, making coffee, and dealing with people. I never thought about having a desk job. At least not applying for one. I applied at a place called Plutos Restaurant.

I called, asked if they needed help or were looking for help and made my way over to pick up an application. It was strange because when I arrived, the place wasn’t open for business. A guy in a white chef coat opened the door and let me in; he then locked the door and told me to follow him to the back office so he could print out the application. It was crazy to see so many Latinos preparing food, cleaning the floors, and setting up food for display and to be later served.

Yes. My people: Latinos.

I say it that way because they were of all nationalities. I got a chance to meet a lot of people from all over Central and South America. Many from Guatemala. I seriously felt super privileged to be a part of it. I still do.The reason was because I knew then that most of them were working to support themselves and their families.

Families. Emphasis on that part. The many I was honored to work with had families not only in the US but back in their home countries as well. You know what sucks the most? Knowing that they had to work twice as hard as I did. I didn’t know their back story; I still might not. They took any and all jobs and did it with happiness in their hearts.

Reminder

Yes, a lot of them struggled to maintain their families. They did what they did because they love their family.

The other day I saw a post that lit a small match under my tushie. I wanted to reply to it but was reminded of how some people don’t really know what it’s like to struggle. They don’t know what it’s like to be months behind payments, on the verge of being evicted from their home. Some think they are above that and certain jobs are beneath them. It’s a matter of dignity for them.

Dignity: bearing, conduct, or speech indicative of self-respect or appreciation of the formality or gravity of an occasion or situation.

I’m sorry but I don’t buy it. I just don’t. Nobody is above anything. A long time ago I read a great speech by Bill Gates and I think it really applies here too. It was on 11 things school doesn’t teach. My favorite is:

Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping they called it Opportunity.

It’s true and many do forget that. I know I sometimes do and I have to remind myself that I’m one of the many that are fortunate enough to have a job. I’m super lucky I have a roof over my head and have the privilege to drive a car. Yes, I forget that sometimes.

So, yes, there may come a time when you really do have to take what you can get. Even if it means having to eat cat food to keep a roof over your head.

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