Response to Rose’s “The Working Life of a Waitress” and “Reflective Technique: Electrical Wiring and Construction”

On page 26 (third full paragraph), Rose explains that “the work required that she tolerate rude behavior and insults, smile when hurt or angry. Though she did not see herself as a servant, she was economically beholden of others, and, in some ways- particularity in public display-had to be emotionally subservient.” But in the same paragraph he also offers and abstract commentary or analysis of what he’s describing when he writes: “Yet, although she could certainly feel the sting of insult, my mother saw “meanness” and “ignorance” as part of the work, and that provided for her degree of emotional distance.”

Another example is on page 24 (second full paragraph), he explains that “Attention to detail .. keeping water glasses full, keeping extra stuff on the table, just the little things to make it a more pleasant sensory experience…” But in the same paragraph he also offers and abstract commentary or analysis of what he’s describing when he writes: “Memory, attention, the creation of service, and a waitress’s personal satisfactions are all of a piece in the busy restaurant.” This does make me think of the time when I had to babysit my cousins back in Rockford in the past.

I have to be in my aunt’s massive suburban house with my younger cousin with large TV in the parents’ room for him to watch, plenty of food for me and him to eat, and enough room for us to fit and sit on the bed to enjoy certain shows with him. He would have emotions ranging from anger to confusion to sadness when it comes to not getting his way or wanting to look for his mother. This is a test of patience to see if I can stand being around a younger individual and guide him without being too hard on him or lose patience overall, basically like preparation for being a parent. You have to meet the child’s needs without being too aggressive, give him as much attention as possible, be patient with him in terms of his pleas, watch whatever he wants that’s for his age without any complaints, and give him the type of food that’s good for him. That’s what it means to be a babysitter and you don’t necessarily have to love kids in order to do such a job/responsibility.

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