Me and the Meatball Sub Container | Teen Ink

Me and the Meatball Sub Container MAG

December 23, 2015
By maurtian GOLD, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
maurtian GOLD, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
13 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
"We are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams"

-We Are the Music Makers, Arthur William Edgar O’Shaugnessy

A few days after my sophomore year ended, I showed up for my first day of my first summer job at the snack stand at my local wave pool. The day was extremely hot and we were swamped. Experienced crewmembers tried to teach me a few tasks to do, but the sweltering heat and immense crowds made it difficult to learn more than the basics. In a panic, they stuck me on dish duty for most of the day.

The summer continued on, L became settled in at the job, and made many friends who showed me the ropes. Yet, after working there that summer and the next, dishes were my forte, this time by choice. To my coworkers, dishes were a major pain and one of the worst jobs. I, on the other hand, enjoyed doing dishes, especially the ones that were a challenge. My favorite was the meatball sandwich bowl.

For one of our specials, we offered a three-meatball sub topped with mozzarella cheese for the low price of $5.50.  The meatballs were cooked in a large black pot each morning and topped with creamy Ragú spaghetti sauce. The pan was set out on a warming table and the sauce bubbled in the summer heat. On especially hot days, the sauce dried and caked to the sides, forming a half-inch interior layer that required much more than a quick scrub to clean. 
Each night, after we sold our last meatball sub for the day, I carried the large meatball bowl over to the sink and began my choice task. After soaking the container in hot water, I began to scrub as hard as I could to get all the waste off. Many days, the hardened Ragú refused to budge off the bowl and I would have to use multiple sponges, a plethora of soap, and so much water that, by the time I was done, my shirt was soaked. I washed harder and harder until the bowl finally returned from red to the original black and every last speck of sauce had been removed. I saw it as a game- the bowl against me. I never let the marinara win.  The satisfaction I felt was my prize.

I try to approach all tasks with the same dedication and completeness that I do the meatball bowl. I believe in working hard to complete my goals, and I apply this kind of work ethic not just to my summer job, but also to my schoolwork, my sports, my blog, and other activities. While this dedication has brought me awards and external recognition, it has, more importantly, given me an internal sense of accomplishment within myself. Whenever I finish a project, or finish scrubbing the meatball bowl for the day, I smile and sigh, for hard work leaves me feeling incredible.

With this kind of attitude, I have the capability to achieve great things. Life has its fair share of challenges, no matter how big or small, but if you give me the tools, like the sink and some dish soap, do not expect anything less than success. A college education is my tool, and I intend to use it to the fullest possible extent. This time, the prize will not only be internal satisfaction, but knowledge, personal growth, as well as a range of jobs and countless opportunities too. From there, I know anything is possible.

The author's comments:

I tried to write something lighthearted on my experience working at the wave pool. Enjoy!

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