The Republican Convention

Good day to all of you.  The Republican convention just finished and I was inspired by a speech that Paul Ryan made.  He said,

Listen to the way we’re spoken to already, as if everyone is stuck in some class or station in life, victims of circumstances beyond our control, with government there to help us cope with our fate.

It’s the exact opposite of everything I learned growing up in Wisconsin, or at college in Ohio. When I was waiting tables, washing dishes, or mowing lawns for money, I never thought of myself as stuck in some station in life. I was on my own path, my own journey, an American journey where I could think for myself, decide for myself, define happiness for myself.

It reminded me of all the wonderful jobs I have had in my life.  As a young boy, I worked at McDonalds as a hamburger flipper and as a cashier.  I not only enjoyed the job, I made the best of it.  I remember once when I even went to the drive through window and sang to some of the customers as they sat bored in their car waiting for their food.

I remember working at Sonic, the drive through burger place, where I would deliver food to people’s cars, including fancy milkshakes and tater tots.

I remember working at an Agip gas station on the highway in Milan, Italy.  I pumped gas from 6 in the morning until late at night.  That was one of the best jobs I ever had.  I had a great friendship with all of my co-workers who were men with families and responsibilities.  I used to get excited by cleaning customer windows for tips.

I remember working at BaskinRobbins as an ice cream server.  I think I was paid something like $3.15 an hour.  I loved making the job more exciting, so when we had a contest to sell the most ice creams across Baskin Robbins stores, I did everything I could to sell as many fancy cones to my customers.  Eventually, I asked for a raise and the manager said she would raise it by 5 cents per hour.  It wasn’t enough though and I moved on to a cafe and bakery in Berkeley, California.

My younger brother was the one that helped me get the job at the bakery and cafe.  My brother and I practically ran the place, since the owner never showed up.  We made espressos, scrambled eggs, sandwiches, and even baked cakes.  My brother was the manager of the cafe and so I followed his lead.  We worked hard to help pay for college and other things.  It was hard work, but I loved all of it.  I even remember creating a special omelette called “The Milano” and another omelette that we named after our dishwasher from Mexico, “The Ricardo”.  I eventually wrote a code in BASIC to do all of the firm’s payroll, including paying taxes and printing the checks.  On Saturday and Sunday, we had lines down the block waiting to taste our delicious breakfast or coffee.  We loved it, but my brother and I continually looked for ways to make the cafe more successful.

Times aren’t always easy, but we must always try to work and live life as the Seven Dwarfs did…whistling while we work.