I think there was a mixed group of friends and family (about 50 adults with a zillion kiddos) that attended and I was meandering around introducing myself to a few folks I did not know, when I happened to speak to a chick bringing out another cheese platter. I said, “Hello! I don’t think I’ve met you yet, I’m Susan.” I was baffled by her response when she refused to tell me her name and simply reply, “Oh no, I’m just here to work.”
I shrugged my shoulders while she walked off seemingly worried about not mixing business with pleasure.
I couldn’t help shake that feeling that perhaps she had been told not to mix with the guests (which I don’t think my friend would ever d0) or perhaps she felt inferior on her own accord. I wondered how many of the folks that work in the everyday places we visit (restaurants, dry cleaners, Starbucks) feel that they are inferior because we’ve created this illusion as a society. Yet, without these workers who would deliver our pizza’s at 10:00 at night?
I have a sister that went to college and earned a degree (many moons ago) and found out she didn’t like that profession after all and she makes more money as part of a serving staff at a local restaurant back home in Alabama. She actually makes really.good.money. Yet, people back home still treat her differently because she’s a “waitress” and she’s been doing it for almost 20 years.
What causes us to snub our noses at the so-called “working class?” These are the people that support our local businesses and US! What causes them to feel inferior? They’re bringing home the bacon and frying it up in the pan. They should be proud of that!
Back to my story
I try helping out wherever I am in cleaning up after myself and I did so all that night. At the end of the night I sat down on the pier to watch the fireworks and I saw the gal mentioned above come out to grab a peek and I offered her my chair. I told her to take a load off, drink a glass of wine and enjoy. After all, she had been working all night. She seemed pleasantly surprised that I would do that for her.
It reminded me that it’s much better to give than to receive. And it kind of made me feel better to give her my seat and see the smile on her face, than to sit comfortably in my own chair while she waited on me.
Photo Credit: AmericanProgress.org