Last summer I got my first real job. I had been a baby sitter and did household chores for my family, but nothing where I received an hourly pay before. It was a new, but familiar job.

My Grammie Betsy spent thirty years as a restaurant manager. I spent a lot of time with her at work when I was little. So, when I started my kitchen job last summer, it was comforting. However, it was still challenging.

While working in the kitchen, I had many responsibilities. Like, prepping food, doing dishes, helping on the line, and some cleaning. It can be a little overwhelming at times, but overall I believe the job is rewarding. This job has taught me many lessons. It also blessed me with friends and mentors. All I want to say is thank you.

Thank you for teaching me accountability. I quickly learned that one person can throw the whole kitchen off. If someone shows up late, the entire kitchen can be behind. Also, if one person calls out and there is not a replacement, it can cause people to have to stay later than expected. Therefore, it is important to do your part.

Along with accountability, thank you for teaching me about teamwork. On days someone's prep list is shorter than others, it is nice to help others with their responsibilities. Also, getting through the rush requires everyone.

At our store, it requires at least one person on the hot side and one person on the cold side. However, we also need someone who will put proteins in the oven, and grab things from the walk in. Sometimes our hot side or cold side person gets a little overwhelmed. Therefore, someone often hops on to help out.

If co-workers didn't help each other out ticket times would be extremely long and that person would be completely overwhelmed. Trust me I've been so overwhelmed that I've cried and that was with help. I am so thankful that we always help each other out at my store.

Most of all, thanks for all the fun. Thank you for morning jam sessions while we get ready for the day. Thank you for the sing-a-longs. Thank you for all the laughs on days most of us have worked doubles and are delirious. Thank you for the Quick Trip runs. I gotta have my coffee. Thank you for getting me to try new food. Thank you for making me learn to love cleaning. There is nothing more satisfying than making a dirty kitchen wall clean again.

Thank you for all the friendships and the deep or not so deep conversations. Thank you for giving me people who laugh at my clumsiness, but also appreciate it.

me and my coworkers jamming

Work can be stressful. Seven a.m. alarms can be frustrating, but seeing my co-worker's faces in the morning is worth it. Thank you for giving me a second family. Thank you for giving me another place to call home. My kitchen job is more than just a job. It has taught me many lessons and given me many friends. I wouldn't be the person I am without that experience.