Thursday, March 6, 2008

Different Identities and Working

Yesterday, when I was working at Asian Legend, Professor Sarita See came in to eat with her husband. I had her for Asian American Literature last year, and at first, I was really intimidated to go talk to her. What if she doesn't recognize me? I'll be so embarrassed, I thought. Whatever, I'll just bring them their tea and hopes she recognizes me. Well, she did, and she exclaimed, "Oh my gosh! Melissa, how are you?" It was really cool to be able to talk to her one-on-one for an extended period of time on non-academic stuff, and she was the sweetest person ever. 

It's weird. When I first started working, I never imagined the friendships I would make, the people I would interact with, and the conversations I would be engaged in. Being a waitress has pushed me out of my comfort zone, completely, and pushed me out there to be with and interact with people I probably wouldn't have interacted with on my own. Regular customers have now become friends, and they smile and wave at me when they come in, even though I've only seen them once or twice. I get to talk with families, children, exclaim over the cuteness of their babies, and of course, talk with college students! Being a waitress puts me in a position where I'm sort of like a middleman. I can easily relate to the college students who are customers there, but I can also be fun and personable with people I was previously intimidated by, like my professor. No one really looks down on me because of my age, and it's really interesting to have that kind of feeling, because I've never had this kind of experience before. Instead of seeing me as a college kid, customers treat me like I'm an adult, and I have to admit, I like the feeling. It's been fun, challenging, and a good experience in general. I'm nervous though -- apparently, the boss thinks I'm ready to start training a new waitress they hired for Sunday. I hope I don't mess up too much!

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