How Rolling Burritos Gave Me Courage

American Beauty
American Beauty

Six months after graduation I found myself in a new city with my boyfriend and my dog. I had left my decent job as a Sales and Marketing Manager at a beach hotel, my mother’s house where I lived rent free and never paid for food, and my friends to be with my boyfriend as he finished in law school. We were going to make it on love. A month later I had no friends, no real job, and no money. Panic began to set in; I was destined to be poor forever. I started interviewing anywhere and everywhere. I responded to every ad on Craigslist and Indeed that had management in the title. I was hoping for a miracle.

After countless hours searching, I finally landed an interview for a catering manager. How hard could that be? Having gone to school for Event Management and living off of their food in college, I knew I had this job in the bag. And I did. I was offered a job with Moe’s Southwest Grill. I walked in the first day the most chipper I’ve ever been, ready to start this new step. I was paid the highest starting salary this franchise had ever offered, I was going to get free meals every shift, I was going to be running the store and caterings and I was on management. So, why the hell was I stuck rolling burritos?

It turns out that this was not the glamorous life of management I had thought. I worked at least twelve hours shifts daily and rarely had a day off. Being one of the two catering managers, I was required to drive all over my part of the state to deliver caterings. I spent about five hours a day working on caterings and the rest standing on the line. I fried chips, cooked chicken, and assembled burritos. I worked with chauvinistic assholes who did everything they could to make me quit. I was given extra tasks other managers didn’t have to complete, I was constantly being criticized, and was constantly watched on camera. I was never allowed to chat with the other female managers. My car reeked of burritos. My clothing had to be washed separately from everything. I was miserable.

This job sucked the life out of me. I was a happy go lucky kind of girl before I started with Moe’s. My boyfriend and I loved each other beyond belief, I spent time with my family and friends, but while working I lost all that. After six months of endless misery, I couldn’t take it anymore. I had caught the flu from a co-worker. I was so terribly sick my boyfriend had to carry me into the urgent care. I had to call out from work. Like most companies they required a doctor’s note, only they expected it from as soon as I left the doctor. After four days of the worst flu I’ve ever had, I was forced to come back to work where I was “written up” for having the flu and calling out even though I had provided a doctor’s note the day of.

That was the final straw. I had missed the holidays with my family because they refused to give me time off. I had been told everyone hated me because I had a college degree. I had been belittled and overworked for too long. I was done, I needed a change. I worked the rest of my shift that day and left a resignation letter upon closing. I took a leap of faith, something I never did, and quit right there without thinking twice. I followed my heart and I could not be more proud of myself. Because of this one moment of extreme courage, I have found myself working in my dream job.

As luck would have it, the day I was written up a very peculiar couple came through the line. As I rolled their burritos, with a smile on my face, I had a feeling I needed to be extra special to these two. I was extra charming and really had them eating out of the palm of my hand (pun intended). Then I caught a glance of their name badges. They happened to work for a Travel Management company I had submitted my resume to months prior. I knew this was my shot! I name dropped someone I knew in the office and they instantly let their guard down. I walked them down the whole line praying they’d remember me and say something to the Human Resource department.

Turns out, the couple I spoke with, honest to God, were the CEO and his wife. The next day, the girl whose name I dropped sent me a text saying they wanted my resume. Having just quit my job, I knew this was it. I was interviewed a week later and have been working for the most extraordinary company ever since.

In a moment of sheer courage I walked away from one of the worst experiences of my life stronger and happier than ever. I know what I want from life and I have the courage to truly go after it. I speak up in corporate meetings, I train individuals from Fortune 500 companies, and I receive recognition for every decision I make. I have found my passion. My boyfriend is almost done with school and we enjoy each other’s company, I have time to hang out with my friends, I make decent money, and I love my job. What more could a girl want? TC mark

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