Life in New York wasn’t all it was cracked up to be – those were my thoughts as I wiped down tables during a quiet moment at my job in a soda fountain. After about 4 weeks in New York, I got a casual job waitressing at a vintage ice cream parlor and soda fountain.
I worked only a couple of shifts before abruptly resigning, much to the chagrin of the soda fountain owner who hired me. After 4 weeks of job hunting, it was safe to say I was sufficiently worn out by the New York City/US job hunting process, but I wasn’t ready to give up on my American adventure just yet. I’d pledged to myself to stick it out for the year at least, and I was in no way ready to give up and go home. However, the working environment in the soda fountain, which was at times quiet, and at some times, crazy, with lower wages than I was used to, and shorter breaks, proved to be intolerable for an Australian who’d worked in the services industry in Australia (where a livable income, not dependent on tips, is the norm). I felt spoiled and idle for my choice in resigning, but I didn’t see the sense in working a menial job, when I could be spending more time productively elsewhere.
And with that thought process, I resigned, saying to myself I’d focus my energies on another job where I’d get paid more, and be happier. However, a lot of the time, I felt naive and foolish for not listening to my parents, who’d cautioned me against the uncertainty of quitting my job in Sydney to move to New York.
Aside from shortcomings in my work life, other things were keeping me busy, and content. I was very happy with my dating life in New York, and the opportunities that were available to meet someone new every day of the week. The move to New York facilitated my need for variety and spontaneity in a way that dating in Sydney had nearly never been able to.