Monday, May 16, 2011

Shame on me

It was a regular, everyday moment that shook a little perspective into me. I haven't exactly been shy with my pregnancy whining. Well shame on me.

Today was my final day in the city until I return from maternity leave. Of course I had to make the standard trip to Noah's Bagels to get my fix. Sesame bagel with cream cheese and a large decaf coffee. Yum. I prepared my coffee as I waited for my order to be called. I heard my name and walked to the counter to retrieve my breakfast. I was handed my bagel by a friendly woman with an apron tied tightly across her swollen belly. She looked to be about eight or nine months along, just like me.

I felt suddenly sheepish as I tucked my bagel into my ergonomically designed backpack and left the restaurant. I had been feeling sorry for myself, having forgotten my umbrella and needing to walk a half mile to the office in a cold drizzle. I started to think about how my server's day must have started out. The morning shift. She probably had to start work at 6am, meaning getting her tired aching body out of bed at an ungodly hour. Likely she had some sort of bus/train/walk commute, only to arrive at Noah's where she would spend an eight hour shift on her feet, preparing other people's food.

So what do I have to complain about?

Exactly. Shame on me.


  1. When I lived in Manhattan, I had dinner at a cute yuppie cafe in Alphabet City, and my waitress was at least in her 8th month, bringing overpaid, overdressed 20-somethings their salads with dressing on the side. She was maneuvering in between tables (it was a sidewalk cafe) with a smile on her face. It was easily 7 or 8 years ago, and I'll never forget it.

  2. Well, hopefully today was her last day too!

    I am often reminded of how lucky I was when I had my kids. 8 weeks off for the c-sections, 12 weeks unpaid, that we could afford, for the family leave. I've seen my nieces return to work in four weeks as degreed professionals working for big companies and been grateful many a time.

  3. I remember whining about my pregnancy... while I was "uncomfortable" at our hotel. And the maid, smiling and happy and obviously ready to give birth any second, continued up and down the hall - scrubbing toilets and changing linens. A wake up call, indeed!