Friday, April 22, 2011

Guest blog #18: Catherine Baxter living's normal...

"Today wasn’t so bad...

I woke up a little late so I couldn’t really figure out what I was going to do for breakfast. I didn’t have time to go to the food co-op this weekend, so I was a little worried about my first meal. Luckily for me my roommates left out muffins, so I ate one! Thank god for roommates who bake. I went to class and did some work and then it was time for lunch. I brought a plate, silverware and a cloth napkin with me. I didn’t have time to go home to eat lunch, so I decided to get Subway. I asked them to put the sub on the plate with no paper. They were really confused at first. They didn’t understand why I didn’t want it wrapped, but they agreed to my request and I got my sub without any wrapping. Also, I paid in cash so I didn’t need to sign or receive any receipts. I am not done with the day yet, work is next. But so far this is going well.

When I brought my plate back with my sub on it, my friends laughed. I don’t think that they were laughing at me necessarily, but they were laughing at the fact that I was able to do something so different than them in their normal subway experience. But isn’t that what people normally do? Laugh at things that are unexpected or make them uncomfortable? The men working at subway laughed at my request, my friends laughed at the result. I certainly do not think that they were being spiteful, but I think these are things that I am bound to encounter when doing something that others aren’t used to seeing. Seeing something they don’t see as normal.

What is normal today anyway? We are raised to be an individual. It will suit you best when applying for colleges, looking for internships, and getting jobs. If you are a unique applicant, you will stand out. Except being unique in this sense isn’t looked at in the same way. Why do people look at unique experiences or talents as positive but unique social or political views as strange?
I went to work this afternoon, and my boss, Holly, was really great. She wanted to hear all about what I was trying to do and was giving me all the tips she could think of. She suggested using the giant green reusable gloves instead of the latex disposable ones. She also said that when I was dealing with dirty dishes I didn’t have to use gloves like the other employees. Instead I could just put on the green gloves when I was carrying clean plates and bowls.

Also, since today was my first day of trying to limit my trash, she let me be the card swiper, and I didn’t have to wear gloves at all! I’m really lucky that in a job where this could be nearly impossible, I have a boss who is very understanding. We’ll see how my other boss is tomorrow…"



  1. Waste-free is the way to be :). Keep up the fabulous work! Hopefully soon it won't be so unique.

  2. So proud of you. I know how tough it can be!