• Marny Heit

She Works Hard for (Very Little) Money

As I alluded to in my last post, I got a job! And, since I've gone about two weeks without getting fired or horribly embarrassing myself to the extent I had to quit in shame, I figure it's safe to talk about it. So here's what happened...

I'd been sending resumes and cover letters out to a variety of places. My lack of French proficiency combined with my one-track resume likely wasn't winning over any hiring departments. So, on a whim, I sent a blind email to a company I found on the interwebs called Chef en Vous that offers cooking classes, catered events, and various other food-related activities offering to work for them in pretty much any English-speaking capacity. Since I love cooking and food and whatnot, I figured it could be kind of fun. The manager responded fairly quickly asking me to come meet her. In talking to her, I learned that they also run a cafe where they serve breakfast and lunch (all food made on site), and that she could use someone to work there. I openly admitted a total lack of experience in food service as well as my language limitations, but she loved the story of Chris's and my picking up and moving and leaving my law practice to start over, and basically said, "You're incredibly overqualified. How can I not hire you?" And that was that.

So, I've been getting up each weekday morning, hopping on the Metro, putting on an apron, and making coffee and selling pastries and sandwiches and drinks, etc. to the masses. The people I work with are all incredibly nice, and extremely patient with my broken French (most of them speak excellent English). Most importantly though, the job has been super-helpful in improving my French. I've been able to have successful French transactions with most of the customers, and they're all pretty willing to switch to English when I start to flounder. At this point, my French food vocabulary is pretty strong. Plus I've gotten pretty good at quickly identifying the different Canadian coins.

I have to say, being on my feet for 8 hours isn't the easiest, and I'm definitely beat when we lock the door at the end of lunch service, but there's something really nice about knowing that when I leave work for the day, it's over. I'm not going to be receiving calls and emails from clients at all hours, or waking up in the middle of the night stressed about the next day's hearing. I don't miss that stuff at all. And I still feel the challenges that go along with being a bit of a stranger in a strange land, so it doesn't have the feeling of drudgery that could easily exist in this kind of job. It pays virtually nothing, but that really isn't the point. For now, it's the right thing.

Poor Natasha does not like when I leave for work in the morning.

About me

After almost 20 years living in Atlanta, Georgia, my husband and I decided it was time to make a change. We packed up our lives, grabbed our beloved cat, and ventured North to re-make our lives in Montreal, Canada.  Did I mention we don't speak French yet?


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