Last year I had an internship at a fancy office during the day, and a food service job at night. One of the ladies at the office told me she needed a part-time job for some extra cash, and I let her know about an opening in my food service job, described what would be expected, all of that.
Guys. She quit after one (1) shift, called me the next day, and ranted, “You never told me it was going to be that hard, is that what you do every night?! I’m not 20 anymore, I’m 50, I can’t believe they only pay you $9.50/hr to do all that work!” [For the record, I had coworkers who were 65+]
She was shocked when I explained that yeah, most food service jobs require you to stock heavy boxes, work the register, and learn to cook/prep food, then clean up before you go home. It never occurred to her that people who “just flip burgers” actually have demanding jobs.
“I’m going to have to be extra nice to those people from now on!” Like yeah, no shit?
I’ve told this story before I’m sure, but when I got my first office job and escaped retail hell, I tended to stay at my desk on my breaks. My manager, well-meaning, passed by and reminded me to make sure I took my breaks and got up and got away from my desk regularly.
I kinda laughed and said “Tanya, I worked retail before this. This entire job is a break, to me. I get to sit down all day. Just let me enjoy that.”
And I still think about it sometimes when I’m in the breakroom in the morning. How I have the unspeakable luxury to take my coffee cup, go to the kitchen, wash the cup out, pour myself a new cup of coffee, chat with coworkers if anyone’s in the breakroom while I’m doing that, and then head back to my desk before I really *start* my day. Without worrying that I’m going to get in trouble or be seen as slacking off. As opposed to the rushed “toss your purse in a locker, clock in, and get out on the floor and start cleaning things/helping customers/fixing signage/etc.” start-of-shift routine from my retail days.