The Spaces Between Your Fingers

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                  I interviewed my uncle Alexander Centeno via video call during the evening. He was wearing a navy-blue button-up shirt with his black hair combed to the side. He expressed how his experience washing dishes in the Inn taught him a lot about self-discipline. It prepared him for a lot of what would come which was not always enjoying what needed to be accomplished. Overall, I learned that the job taught him to always push himself harder, so he did not have to be stuck with a life that he did not enjoy.

                  The leaves were starting to fall from the trees and Alexander would watch as the world became more barren while sitting on his porch every day before school. He was fourteen at the time and living in Shillington, Pennsylvania. He lived only a block away from his school, allowing him the leisure of relaxation before he began his day each morning. For him, this was his only chance for peace from his hectic life. He lived with both his parents and two siblings. He was three years older than his younger brother, and his sister was a year older than him. He was small compared to other kids in his school but was stronger than most. Immediately after school ended, Alexander would zip up his jacket and march to the Windsor inn in his town. Here is where he would spend his evenings washing dishes.

                  It was tedious work to him. The owner would leave a small tin cup by the sink and being the smallest person there, Alexander would crawl beneath the sink. Once there he would empty out the grease trap bit by bit with the tin. He despised every moment spent underneath the pipes of the dark crowded space beneath the sink. The smell was horrid, and he knew bits of grease would get on his clothes, remaining there for the entire evening. The rest of his nights at the Windsor Inn were spent in the brightly lit kitchen, where he would feel the water splash on his clothes time and time again as he washed dishes. He was never given an apron and did not want to buy his own. He only worked alongside one other person named Hector, who repulsed him immensely. He was a stocky guy, bigger than Alexander was. Hector was never necessarily rude to him, but his actions were not the best. Alexander would watch as he would eat pieces of leftover food off the unclean plates, without ever knowing who may have touched them. Despite his hunger, Alexander never even imagined doing anything like that. He despised seeing these disgusting actions but was unable to acquire a new job for over a year. He could not afford to quit because he needed the money to help his parents out since they were caring for two other children. This caused him to help the owner of the Inn shovel snow for their restaurant and a few other local restaurants to get a few extra bucks for the week. Alexander would suffer through this tedious work for some time until he finally could move on to get a new job and pursue a future in his education. 

First Job

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Winter of 1996
Windsor Inn

I interviewed my uncle Alexander Centeno via video call during the evening. He was wearing a navy-blue button-up shirt with his black hair combed to the side. He expressed how his experience washing dishes in the Inn taught him a lot about self-discipline. It prepared him for a lot of what would come which was not always enjoying what needed to be accomplished. Overall, I learned that the job taught him to always push himself harder, so he did not have to be stuck with a life that he did not enjoy.

Decade: 1990s
Rating:
Recorded by Jay Centeno on November 22, 2020
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