Tuesday, May 31, 2011


At a certain point, it struck me:  I need to make money in order to be able to be independent from my wonderfully supportive family and to move to my own place, potentially chicago.  So, what did I do?  I puttered around on Craig's List for a while sending my CV to potentials, to no avail.  I have yet to ever hear back from a job listing on Craig's list.  I did just about nothing else.  So, I was banking on getting a position at the restaurant my dear flatmate worked at, Paragon.  I had dropped off my CV and filled out an application, and once my school schedule opened up, I had my interview and started training the next week.  I was excited.  I had specifically taken 3 of 5 of my classes as online ones in order to have an open schedule for work.  Yay paychecks.

It was fun at the beginning.  I was excited to learn, to meet people, and completely fascinated by the "Rhode Island typical person."  I probably sound a bit offensive or dim, but I really hadn't spent much time with the typical American female, or male for that matter.  The ones I am talking about are the "majority statistics,"  the average, the norm.  New Yorkers and the average Fairfield County, CT resident is NOT the typical.  I also soon realized that I had a really hard time clicking with them.  Where I had been brought up to see the world as a place full of possibilities, where I could go anywhere I wanted, do anything I wanted, and achieve anything if I just put my mind to it, they had the mentality of "yah, I just want to leave here, or at least travel, but here are a million excuses why I won't," or "Yah, I have dreams, but I don't ACTUALLY think they can be accomplished," OR "I wish I was passionate about my passions, but it's not going to matter anyway, I'll let commercial, consumerist America distract me....."Ok, that last one was a bit harsh.  These traits do exist in many, but I haven't before encountered such a concentration of it until I worked at Paragon, and met more and more natives to the area.

There were, of course, some who did not fit this mold that I am so stereotypically fitting them into, like the professional ballerina who was figuring out what to do now that she hurt her hip and can't dance anymore, or the sharp minded, quick witted waitress who has been saving to get her masters.  Then there are those who have great minds, wonderful intentions, and kind hearts who believed that they would not get better than what they saw so they settled, or fell into the stereotype because it is all they knew.  I admit, rather shamefaced, that I did not really try very hard to connect with the waitresses (there was only one waiter and we rarely had the same shift).  They did not seem too keen to include me in their community, or so I perceived, and I was not in my social element.

The job was easy.  Simple waitressing, American style, American menu, drop the check before they ask, stuff like that.  I didn't make much money simply because I was newer and had an open schedule so I got the worst shifts.  In the end, after making just enough to allow me to pay one months rent and a ticket o Chicago, I decided that my dread of going in to work didn't need to occupy my mind when I should be enjoying the first sunshine of spring with friends I was coming to love.  I may sound like someone averse to working or to different environments, but I don't believe that of myself.  I just found that the job culture, social culture, and reasons behind my working there were making for a heap of negatives and contradictions to what I believed, so I let something unnecessary go and I felt wonderful afterwards :)

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