Some time ago I started working part-time alongside my studies. I work as a dishwasher at a cafe in the town centre. I was overwhelmed by the homely feeling I get every time I’m there. I get really nice dinners and eat with the cooks and sometimes the owner too. That would never happen in my country.
Illustratie: Henk van Ruitenbeek
Sometimes it can be really busy at work and I have to work really hard. That’s the moment that people around me make me feel better by offering a drink or something nice to eat. Sometimes the waitresses surprise me with an unexpected tip. The Dutch are very friendly and help me with practising my Dutch without making fun of my accent.
In India, I would be looked down upon, working as a dishwasher. Such jobs are low-paid and not respected. An owner will not usually talk to a dishwasher in a friendly way and I have never seen a dishwasher eating at the same table as the owner and sharing his thoughts and experiences. If it is busy or someone didn’t turn up for work , the owner of the restaurant I work in sometimes even washes the dishes, works behind the bar or cooks. That is something that would never happen in my society.
In India, I would probably try to hide a dishwashing job from my parents and family. But when I tell my Dutch friends about my work they really appreciate it. No job is low here. I like this way of thinking and wish my country too would treat people at all levels respectfully.
And the wage rate is nice here too. I recently bought a new MacBook Pro from the money I earned working as a dishwasher. Cool, isn’t it?
Amit Choudhary, MSc student of Management, Economics and Consumer Studies, from India
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