My First Job in America: Dishwasher

Three days after landing in America, I started washing dishes. $5.75 an hour, 20 to 40 hours a week, in a very hot dish room. I was grateful though. It was an opportunity to save money for upcoming college semesters. I arrived from South Africa with limited resources and knew I would need to work while studying in order to get through college. 

Dishwashing was sweaty business, but fun. The dishwashing crew would often have water fights with the cooks. One time things got out of hand and one of our team members broke his arm from slipping on the wet floor.

After washing tons of dishes and dirty pots, I moved into food prep, then into cooking and managing the kitchen on weekends.

I wouldn't want a different first-job-in-America experience.

One proud dishwasher,


P.S. What was your first job?