My first job as a teenager was washing dishes at a local assisted living facility.
It’s like a nursing home with apartment style units for those who live independent lifestyles. The nursing home section is for people who need regular medical assistance and it was separate from the independent living apartments. However, the kitchen where I worked served food for both sections of the large facility. The amount of dishes I had to wash on a daily basis was insane. I’ll never forget the large tubs of dishes that the wait staff would bring in at the end of the evening. Some nights I had little help in the dish room and therefore the dishes would stack into piles, forcing me to work later than anyone else in the kitchen. I don’t look fondly on those memories, mainly because it was a physically and emotionally stressful job. But, it was the foundation for my entrance into the work world, and I’m proud of having the initiative to do that at 15 years of age. Nowadays that facility hasn’t changed much, but I read in the newspaper that they spent a massive sum of cash to upgrade the heating and cooling systems throughout. Not only did they replace the industrial air conditioners and furnaces that keep the facilities themselves climate controlled, they also put new heating and cooling systems in residents’ rooms. It’s about time—those old air conditioners were over 20 years old while I was an employee! I can’t imagine how old they were when the new HVAC systems were installed.