One day, I decided to drop the pride of thinking I was too good to look for anything less than an office job. I drove down a major street in Metairie and stopped and applied at every fast food joint on the strip. McDonald’s said no. Hardees said no. Pizza Hut and both Daiquiri Shops said no. My last try was Taco Bell. I told the woman I knew I might appear overqualified on paper, but I was at my lowest and willing to scrub floors and toilets if she’d give me a shot. Thank God, she did. For the next 18 months I would go all out. I went from slanging lettuce out of a drive through window, to quickly being promoted to shift lead and then assistant manager before my transfer to Atlanta. It had been a long road, but things seemed to be turning around.
My wife left Metairie three months before I did to take advantage of a job opportunity that wound up falling through. She decided to stay on her brother’s couch until my transfer was approved and I could reunite with my family. Once the approval came through, the only store that needed an Assistant Manager was in Kennesaw, but my brother in law’s condo was in Buckhead. The daily drive with only one car between the two of us was a pain, but we did what we had to do. By late fall, I was hired to house sit for Steve Harvey’s manager, who my wife had known for a number of years. Basically, I was night security for a beautiful home that was being renovated. It was a hellish schedule. I would go to Taco Bell from 8:00am-6pm and then house sit the unoccupied home from 7:00pm-6am. I operated on minimal sleep and I barely saw my family. But after the first few weeks I had made enough money to get a car. I was also finally able to get my family off of the couch and into our own apartment in Sandy Springs, GA. We couldn’t afford furniture, a television or a ton of groceries; however, we were happy sleeping on the floor in our own space together!
Slowly but surely, the struggle began to wane.