One Summer

The summer between my junior and senior year in high school, I got a temp job in downtown Paterson, NJ at Meyer Brothers. The job was to keep sweaters — it was ‘back to school time’ — neatly folded and stacked. Our supervisor was mean.

Most of the girls were from Paterson Eastside. That school had a 98% acceptance rate at Ivy League and Seven Sisters at the time. It was a public school.

I made friends. The work was not hard, but we were expected to be right on top of anything that had been unfolded. We were folders, and counters.

It wasn’t a bad job. really. But it didn’t pay well either. It was a thing you did to be able to afford college. You put your earnings in your college account.

I made friends. I earned a little bit of money. It wasn’t a bad job for a kid. It taught me something.

Be on time. Do your work. Smile. Always smile.

What did a smile matter?