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Hard Work and a Hard Earned Dollar
LESSONS LEARNED FROM SUMMER JOBS
It doesn’t take a special job to learn about working hard and the value of money. Throughout high school and college, I made extra money working in the food industry as a busboy, a dishwasher, a short-order cook, a waiter, and a bar back. I worked every summer, and I often worked nights during the school year. The work might not have been glamorous, but I’m thankful for everything I learned. “It doesn’t matter if you’re a dishwasher or a lawyer — learning the value of a hard earned dollar and a hard day’s work are lessons that transcend professions.” During high school, I worked at a Greek restaurant called George and Steve’s in Suffolk. They had a great Greek hamburger I often ate on my lunch breaks. The owners and managers at George and Steve’s were all Greek, and I learned a lot about Greek culture, albeit in some strange ways. I remember once they decided to play a joke on me by sending me to get something from the walk-in freezer. When I walked in, I saw what looked like a skinned dog, and I freaked out. It was actually a skinned lamb, and that’s how I learned about one of the main dishes for Greek Easter.
Banque and Honky Tonk Haven. I opened and closed the restaurant and worked as a bartender, busboy, and short-order cook there. If seeing a skinned lamb helped me learn about Greek culture, working at the Honky Tonk Haven dumped me right into the deep end of backcountry culture, full of cowboy hats and country bands. One of the managers there embodied all of those things. His name was Bill, and he had a big, bushy beard and wore a black cowboy hat. The Honky Tonk Haven closed at around 2 a.m., and I would stay until around 4 a.m. cleaning up while Bill counted money in the back room. Once we had both finished, Bill would grab his shotgun, kick open the front door SWAT team style, and make sure there wasn’t anyone waiting around to rob us outside. There was never anyone there. Word probably got around that anyone who tried to rob the Honky Tonk Haven would have to go through a cowboy with a shotgun. my most valuable summer job lessons were about the value of money and the importance of working hard. My employers always said they liked me because I was a hard worker. I think some of that is missing in more recent generations, the desire to work hard because it’s the right thing to do. It doesn’t matter if you’re a dishwasher or a lawyer — learning the value of a hard earned dollar and a hard day’s work are lessons that transcend professions. You’ll take that mindset with you wherever you work. While Greek Easter and making Long Island Iced Teas aren’t bad things to learn, I think
SHOUTING OUT ONE OF OUR OWN To finish I want to voice our support for Tanya Lewis’ son, who played in the Bay Youth Symphony Orchestra back in May. We were a proud sponsor of this concert and our entire office was in attendance to show our support for his hard work, and the orchestra was incredible.
– Daniel J. Miller
In college, I did about every job imaginable at a big bar in Norfolk called the Fifth National
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