About Me

I have done a lot of things in my life and have also worked in many different jobs to make a living and to experience life. This blog is just some of my musings, sometimes funny, sometimes inspirational, sometimes sad, sometimes angry, sometimes simple but all the time, it's just me.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Jobs gone past - Job 3: Dishwasher

Yes, I washed dishes.

In my last semester in UWSP, I still needed a job and had moved out of the residence halls. So, like many of us did at that time, I joined the food services.

While racism was not outright, they would not give me a role as a waiter or cashier or any outwardly facing jobs.

So, I was hidden in the hot steamy dishwashing area.

There was a conveyor belt from outside where people would put their trays on. I had to remove the trays, throw the junk away, spray the plates and utensils with steaming hot water and put it back on a conveyor after the huge sinks.

This conveyor than took the dishes through a steamy hot dishwasher, 1st soap, then rinse, then hot air dry and then out of the machine.

I would have to run to the other end, and collect the dishes and put them in their respective trolleys.

It was hot, sweaty and steamy working in a area where the temperatures were like being in a sauna all the time.

It was work that did not require my brain power but work that required a lot of effort, a lot of speed and a lot of patience.

Despite the money I needed, working in this place for 4-6 hours a day was all that I could take and all that I did.

On Friday’s, usually a slow day, I got a shift where dishes did not need to be washed as the restaurant was closed. And the manager was nice enough to let me flip burgers or work in the convenient store.

Apart from money which covered my studio apartment that I had rented, I also got a free meal – I could take or make anything I wanted and take a drink, a snack and a dessert from the convenient store.

I studied hard, and worked harder, many a times, just eating that one free meal a day and making it last until I graduated.

I learned that no matter how small a job it was, I always received some rewards for it.

I got a free meal.

I got to understand the way of grilling things.

I got to learn the mechanics of the dishwasher and the conveyor belt.

I got to be a humble blue collar worker, doing hard work for the first time in my life.

I learned to respect the person on the other end, the end that I was in when I was washing dishes, the person beyond any conveyor belt in any cafeteria in the world.

And I became what I am … my life continues.

Take care and be well.

No comments: