My first ‘real’ job was as a dishwasher. The restaurant was called Dip’n Donuts.
I loved that job. Master of my own domain, even if it was the dishwashing station. That is the place I learned to work hard, to do my job and do it with passion and excellence. Cooks and servers wanted to work my schedule.
There were times cooks would trade shifts just to be on with me. Why? Because they trusted me to get clean dishes to them on time, with a good attitude, especially during the lunch or dinner rush. When I reflect on my time as a dishwasher, it is with great pride. I was very good.
As I see it, there is no shame in being a dishwasher, unless you do it poorly. But that goes with any industry, any position, any job. Whether a dishwasher, in finance, CEO, sales or whatever you might be doing; if you do not take pride in the work you do; that is a personal issue. There is no job done well that is demeaning or beneath us.
Throughout history, people have worked hard and sought opportunity. There are many examples of people doing their work well and carrying their work-ethic over to more lucrative, powerful, or positional work.
Roxanne Quimby was a waitress when she approached Burt Shavitz about expanding his bee-keeping business into what is now Burt’s Bees. Former President Andrew Johnson was a tailor before entering politics. A quick google search will reveal others. Whether starting from poverty, middle class, or of more affluence is less relevant. What we do with the opportunities we have is what matters for our future.