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Originally this was going to be a daylog, but I thought it deserved its own home.

Today was my first day back at work since Saturday. It felt good to unofficially take Monday off, but I always feel bad when I do return. Being that I have never really mentioned my job on E2 I will take a moment here to indulge in a description. For the last year and a half I have found myself a part of the processing unit at my local Macy*s. As a processor, my duties are supposed to consist of putting security tags on clothes and preparing them for the selling floor, but I usually wind up cleaning, lugging around boxes and empty wooden pallets, and other such tasks. So, generally I spend my mornings from 6:30 to 12 (when I go to school) as a slave to the whims of my superiors. The working conditions there are not the best- excessive dust, cramped working spaces, falling boxes weighing up to 50lbs, and the usual razor slices make for an unpleasant time. Add to the mix the fact that, in winter, the poorly insulated walls force you to wear a heavy jacket in addition to layers of shirts and you get a pretty decent portrait of what my job is like.

I have often wondered why it is that I have stayed there so long. With the bad pay, lack of benefits and the mix of subtle and not so subtle abuses the only reasons that have prevented me from leaving are my co-workers. As unusual as it may sound, I love allt of them and count myself lucky for having met them. Most of the people I work with are older, immigrant ladies. Several are from the Philippines, one is Russian, and another is from Jamaica. All are uniformly sweet and we have managed to break the language barrier to communicate rather well. A few have even confided deeply personal stories from their lives to me, and there have been many moments of silent comfort and tears. These special glimpses into such vastly different experiences than mine have given me a deeper respect not only for the multitudes of differences to be found in others, but for the similarities one may not notice at a surface glance. My discussions with these wonderful people have also opened me up to different views of American culture. However, I think the most important gift that I have gained from this place is perspective. Compared to the problems and difficulties some of these people face, my worries become miniscule and unimportant. Suddenly I realize how lucky I am to have been adopted by a middle class Long Island family. That, however, is a node for another time. Ultimately, when I do leave Macy*s for greener pastures I wish to never forget the lessons I have learned and the company I have cherished.

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