When it comes to service workers, as a society we completely disregard the manners instilled in us as toddlers.
For seventeen years, I have awoken to those workers, to clinking silverware rolled in cloth and porcelain plates removed from the oven in preparation for breakfast service.
It was there, as a son of immigrants, that I read about a young senator named Barack Obama, the child of an immigrant, aspiring to be the president of the United States.
The life that I saw through their home showed me that an immigrant could succeed in America, too.
At 14, I remember vacuuming each foot of carpet in the massive house and folding pastel shirts fresh out of the dryer. I loved the way the windows soaked the house with light, a sort of bleach against any gloom. My mother and father had come as refugees almost twenty years ago from the country of Moldova.
I loved how I could always find a book or magazine on any flat surface. My mother worked numerous odd jobs, but once I was born she decided she needed to do something different.
Small-business scammers came for a stop at the inn several times.
Guests stained sheets, clogged toilets, locked themselves out of their rooms, and then demanded a discount.
The fifth essay in our package appeared on The New York Times’s new Snapchat Discover, and you can view it at this link by pressing the arrow/play button.
At age 6, I remember the light filled openness of the house, how the whir of my mother’s vacuum floated from room to room.