How Working at Dunkin Donuts Will Make Me A Great Health-care Professional



Dunkin Donuts was my first ever job. When I was only 14, I wanted to have a small taste of independence and the ability to earn and save up. Now coming into 21 years of life, as I take orders of grumpy and barely awake customers at 6 a.m., I often wonder what am I really doing with my life. Almost every day, the thought of “am I even good enough for dental school” creeps into my mind, as I brew coffee and make egg-and-cheese sandwiches. I mean, how can it not? I’ve now turned 21, I have more on my resume than 99% of my coworkers, I’m most definitely over-qualified for the job, I know how to draw blood and do a physical assessment on a patient (among other things), I’ve even anesthetized mouths and pulled teeth before! Waking up every morning at 5 am to be on time for a job where I’m getting yelled at every morning by a customer because he or she is speaking too softly or mumbling over the Drive-Thru speakers (something I absolutely have no control over by the way) or by a fellow co-worker who is just as cranky, if not worse, than the customers…. for what?


Of course, if we’re going to the financial details, then yes, I could use this job, considering how much the DAT costs and the $98 I need for every application I send. So naturally, I wake up to earn the money I need to pay for my future. But other than that, why, why, why would I choose to work somewhere where I barely get any respect? It is after all considered a “fast-food” restaurant.


Well, aside from the financial benefits, here are the reasons why I keep coming back during my summer and winter breaks:

  1. Patience is a virtue. And definitely something one can never cease to learn to have enough of.

  2. Everyone has their own personality. Learn how to tend to other people as well as yourself.

  3. Work ethic. (Keeping up good work ethic is a tad bit difficult when you seem to be the only one working your tail off.)

Now, here’s what I learned about life in general, that I decided should be in a whole different category, (and you’ll understand why soon).

  1. Don’t take things personally. Most people act on their own insecurities.

  2. Know your worth. Know your capabilities.

  3. Know when you have had enough.

I’m a Pre-Med student. And I’ve worked at Dunkin Donuts every summer I’ve come home from college. While other Pre-Med students are in research programs, shadowing health-care professionals, working in hospitals, I made coffee. Not to toot my own horn, but please, let’s just take a moment to give me a pat on the back. Because trust me, it’s truly an emotional and mental roller coaster to work at a fast-food restaurant when I could (and probably should) be getting health-care experience. The last lesson mentioned leads me to this: I just handed in my 2-weeks notice. After working at Dunkin Donuts during my whole high school years, and coming back in the summer after each school year in college, I would have worked for Dunkin Donuts throughout the last 7 years. After what I believe to be a significant amount of time, I know that it’s time. It’s time that I stand up for myself and no longer tolerate the indecency that some people have, coworkers and customers alike. Time to time, my ‘faith in humanity’ is restored. When ‘pay it forward’ occasionally occurs, or when a customer is generous in their tipping after seeing young people hard at work, I am reassured that not everyone is rude and inconsiderate. This may sound slightly like an exaggerated attempt at proving that I am way over working for Dunkin Donuts…. but in reality, one can see for themselves with all the ‘Coffee is Life’ or ‘Coffee is Bae’ or ‘But first, Coffee.’ phrases, that when people don’t have their coffee, there’s truly a beast that’s unleashed. There have been moments that I’m not too proud of. Moments that I lost my self-control and let comments and opinions get the best of me, thus causing me to mutter a comeback or two. But it’s these moments that have helped me grow as an individual. It’s these moments that built me some ‘thick skin’. It’s these moments that have led me to just find the good in the simplest things of life; because sometimes, that’s really all that can be done to keep on going. Especially when frustrating and annoying situations arise, when customers and/or coworkers are disrespectful and condescending, I’ve learned that the root is just that people are insecure about themselves. And that’s okay, that’s part of life. But don’t let it affect you. Here is the most valuable lesson I learned: Shrug it off. Don’t let it affect you. 9 times out of 10, it’s not about you. Because of my experiences, when my future patients are rude or pushy or frustratingly naive at times, I’ll be okay. When my professors are unreasonable, I’ll be fine. When my colleagues or fellow classmates are unbearably annoying, I’ll still have joy. When life tries to knock me down, resilience will win. I’ll put on a smile and keep pushing through.


Love,

Cheya

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