Free Essay

Washing Dishes

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By kathiessen
Words 469
Pages 2
I worked at Panera for a little over a year, as a waiter (what they called a food runner/dining room server), cashier, line worker (I made sandwiches), and dishwasher. For some odd reason though, I found dishwashing therapeutic in an odd sort of way. There is a certain rhythm that I followed whenever I worked as a dishwasher. It was the same rhythm, no matter how tired, or bored I was. This helped to make the shifts go by faster, and gave me more time to think about my life. I would listen to my classical music in the back of the house and just think.
The dishwasher, with its rhythmic cycles, swirling water and dish detergent around the dishes, cleansing them of grime, just as it did my thoughts. I, unfortunately, have clinical depression and anxiety. I may not seem like it on the outside, but I have a lot going on in this big head of mine. Self-demoting thoughts like, “you’re not good enough”, “you will never make it”, and “why do you even try? Just stay as a dishwasher” would swallow my mind in a wave of dark feelings during the day. Walking through the day, let alone the week, was rough. I would arrive at work feeling as if I wouldn’t even make it through my shift. I would walk to the back drudgingly, wanting to just fall on my face. Alas, I would put on my apron, and walk to my dishwasher. Radio, fork antenna and all, set to 101.1 WRR, I would get to work.
Around the time I was working at Panera, my home life was very unsteady. A lot of the time, I would look forward to those days and nights that I had work. Not because I hate my parents like the stereotypical teenager, but because I love them. I wanted to work to change, to make it easier for them to accept me. I would work that ludicrous job as a dishwasher because they told me to find a job. They said it would “improve our relationship”. In the year that I worked there, I found it never did.
Here’s the ironic thing about all of it. I learned to deal with it. All that thinking I was doing at my dishwasher was doing the opposite of making me depressed, it was making me happy. It was helping me. Helping me work through the problems that I have, teaching me to not get caught up in it. Like the dishes in the bus-tables, constantly covered in trash, I was getting cleaned. Cleansed of worries that aren’t mine to worry about. Cleansed of worries that ARE mine to worry about, but cannot do anything to change. I was the patient, and my dishwasher my therapist.…...

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