Sunday, January 08, 2006


I was fortunate to have worked an extraordinary variety of jobs in my youth. I have worked in various restaurant jobs, from kitchen, to sandwich lines, to waitressing. There are few harder or more demanding jobs. I worked around horse farms, I sold ice-cream from a truck. I worked in those deli places in groceries. Boy scooping ice-cream is hard! Mopping is one of my least favorite activities. I also worked at a cash register at a little grocery. This was before scan-tron was invented. You had to be able to recognize the difference between cabbage and iceburg lettuce. I couldn't.

That is HARD work! Sometimes, I think I have put in a hard day's work, and then I think of the folks I have known who rose before daybreak to do for their family, and then went to a factory job or a farm or manual labor job for 10 or more hours, and then went home to more housework. Now THAT'S a hard day's work! Boy, do I have a lot of respect for the folks who do that stuff day in and day out -- it wears on the legs and the back. It wears on the soul. If you know that this is your whole career path, man, it is not good. The women I worked with at the grocery thought I had died and gone to heaven when I got a job as a secretary! Man, this gives you some perspective on how lucky we are. I was a really lousy secretary, too! I was the queen of white-out. To this day, multi-line phones make me nervous.

All along the way, these people, who had so little, and so little hope, were kind to me. They taught me the ropes, they were family to me, when I had none. They had no expectation of any payback from me. And, indeed, never got any. By the time I was in any position to help them, most of them were dead and gone. So, the best I can hope for is to pay it forward.

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