I’m not ashamed. | Teen Ink

I’m not ashamed.

October 22, 2007
By Anonymous

I’m not ashamed.

I like my job. I mean, it isn’t my life’s passion, or anything, but somehow I manage to have fun with it. I enjoy meeting people, watching them, and sometimes I am fortunate enough to learn something new and interesting about someone. It may be my psychological nature that draws me to this kind of working atmosphere. I work at Izzy’s Pizza Bar and Buffet.

Today an elderly couple came in for lunch just after 3 pm. The first thing they said was, “Where is Nan?” This is due to the fact that Nan normally opens Monday through Thursday and gets off at 4, but today she asked me to come in an hour early. I agreed to do so because Nan is my mother.

One could say this couple was fairly disappointed in learning that Nan would not be around today, as they enjoyed the gabfest that occurred during the restaurant down time. Then I told them I was her daughter. They were so thrilled to finally meet me, as my mom had always bragged about me to all her regular customers. They asked me about school and my sister. We had a nice conversation, comparable to a granddaughter speaking with her grandparents. These are the people who give me pleasure in doing my job.

Later tonight, I waited on two men. It took some effort to get them to warm up to me. I told them I was waitressing over the summer to make a little extra cash for school. I also mentioned that I was grateful to have been trained by my mom, who also happened to be my coworker, because of her many years of customer service and waitress experience. I am new to serving and the restaurant business, but my mother’s tips and training have helped me tremendously. They were rather taken aback and unimpressed at the concept of me and my mother working at the same restaurant establishment. I was a little confused because I had always received a surprised, but positive response from everyone else I had told.

After every customer had finished eating, I began my closing duties. All alone in the lobby, I worked and used the time to reflect on my day, or rather life. I rushed around to get everything done, thinking about those two men. Why did they get under my skin? I can’t count the many times I have talked about my mom at work and told people to come in for lunch to meet her, but this time was different. This time I was different.

Not too long ago, my mom was a single parent raising two young girls. Although I am legally an adult, I still haven’t really figured out who I am. I often think of where I came from, as I wonder where life will take me. I feel blessed to have a mother that believes in me with all of her being. Belief is really what kept her going all those mornings when she was so exhausted from working three jobs. Belief that things would get better and that good things come to those to work hard.

I believe that what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger. I could have let those men make me feel ashamed, but I didn’t. Why should I be ashamed? I feel overwhelming pride. Tonight I realized something that had never occurred to me. One’s job really doesn’t define them as a person. My mother treats people with respect, regardless of their occupation. I meet about a hundred people in one day of work, and a very select few leave a lasting impression on me. Today I met four people who redefined my outlook on life and left me one step closer to finding my identity. Past, present, and future, I will strive to always have pride in the person I was, am and aspire to be.

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