Out of my 39 years, I have had the great pleasure of only wearing a tie for 9 months of them.  Those 9 months were when I worked the front desk at the Motel 6 in Dublin, CA.  I wouldn’t call it the worst job that I ever had because I liked the manager too much.  Ok, it was the worst job I ever had.


Photo via www.motelcoupons.org
Photo via http://www.motelcoupons.org

Although I got to wear a tie, I had to deal with drunks on a nightly basis – helping them into their rooms when they couldn’t get the keycard to work.   I also got to clean up their vomit off the pavement and help them when they couldn’t park properly.



Although I got to wear a tie, I also got to be part of the inside shenanigans of adulterers – getting that extra tip for pretending not to see that there were two in the room instead of one.  I’ll never forget walking into a Subway, and making eye contact with a father sitting with his wife and six children and both of us giving a big honest smile and a how-you-doing before we both realized where we knew each other – every Thursday night 5pm, one hour, him and his mistress – and then both of us quickly preceding on our way.


Image by  Nugraha Cliche www.deviantart.net
Image by Nugraha Cliche http://www.deviantart.net

Although I got to wear a tie, I got to be berated by people I didn’t even know on a nightly basis.  “Fifty dollars?!  What the hell?  I thought this was the Motel 6!  Why do they still call it that?”

“Because they pay us six dollars an hour,” was my go to reply.  That seemed to ease the tension a bit.


Photo via www.rockstarwallpapers10.net
Photo via http://www.rockstarwallpapers10.net

You see, when I was a kid, my dream was to be THE GREATEST GUITAR PLAYER IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD.  Hey, I’m from Seattle, home of Jimi Hendrix, with Nirvana and Alice In Chains being the soundtrack of my High School Years.  So wearing a tie, well that was just selling out.

I didn’t mind being a janitor, a house keeper, a night time shelf stocker, and a UPS truck loader, for more than twenty years, because in some way I was still living the dream; still working towards the goal.

And what the hell is a tie anyways?  It’s the most ridiculous piece of apparel that you can think of.  Why on earth would people want to choke themselves all day?  Ok, I can see if you are in a freezing climate you might want to wear a scarf… but a tie.  I just couldn’t do it.

Funny thing though, that tie was the only thing that kept me at the Motel 6 for so long.  Somehow that tie made me feel like I was going somewhere; as if I wasn’t really making minimum wage.  But it couldn’t keep me there in the long run.  I eventually realized that the tie added nothing to my life.

Now of course, I’m a cook in India, which I have to say is the perfect not-selling-out regardless of not living-the-adolescent-dream job you could find.

So, in short all I have to say is, “keep hope alive, for after 20 years of trying you too could find your dream-if-not-your-Dream-job” and, “death to the tie, we’re better than that!”


Here are some pics from our kitchen: 

Photo credit: Sreejit Poole
Photo credit: Sreejit Poole
Photo Credit:  Sreejit Poole
Photo credit: Sreejit Poole
Photo credit:  Sreejit Poole
Photo credit: Sreejit Poole


What was your adolescent dream?  Did you settle?

featured image via http://www.hqwide.com


  1. Love this story, Sreejit. I followed my dream but it was just delayed due to life, for 20 years but I never gave up on it…since I was 12 I wanted to be a counsellor. When I worked in management, I used to say I was wearing my monkey suit…not a tie, but the jacket and skirt or pants…very stifling and unrewarding.


  2. I enjoyed reading this. Glad you happy with what you do. In my parts of the world, it’s not easy to find your dream job if you don’t know anybody high up there. The competition is tough 🙂


  3. I like your story a lot. Just goes to show, a tie is not the answer to life as many think. I am envious in a way. You had a dream. I am not complaining in the slightest about my life but having a dream wasn’t part of it, you see I am a drifter. If drift into this and drift out again (except for the serious stuff in life). It took me a long time to realise that was o.k. as long as I didn’t shirk responsibilities.


  4. I went from busboy (tie), fisherman (no tie), soldier, sailor, gravedigger (definitely no tie) to sales (lots of ties) to community outreach (ties verboten). Each was right for the time and I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up (I’m 68 today).
    Love your blog.


    1. Happy Birthday!!!!

      I haven’t had all the job changes you’ve had but at 65 and looking at the next phase of my life, i.e. if, when, where, and how to retire, I am also aware that I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.


  5. Strange as it may sound, I always wanted to be a housewife and write a book and learn to dance and have a dog and no children. I’m not a housewife, because I’m not married any more, but I’m as close to realizing my dream as I can get. I work flexi-hours, which gives me time to do all the writing and dancing and playing with the pet!


  6. I decided to become a nurse for two reasons. As an adolescent or maybe pre-adolescent I read the Cherry Ames series of books. I don’t remember the content anymore but I imagine it sounded like a romantic profession. The other reason I became a nurse was out of rebellion, I thought my mother wanted me to become a teacher. I have spent pretty much my whole career in nursing teaching…. teaching nursing students, teaching nurses, and now teaching psychotherapy clients. Long ago I had to admit to myself I am a teacher, and nursing has been a good medium for me.

    Hmmmm, maybe I will go buy a Cherry Ames book if they still exist and see what attracted me to nursing in the first place!


  7. Before I took a major class in order to be with a classmate whom I like. But in the end, I enjoy the major and still in contact with her


  8. I want to speak and teach, write books, build a summer programs for kids and leave the mortgage industry for good but haven’t figured out how to make the transition. Work is so overrated. ..lol


  9. Superb post Sreejit…and the kitchen looks sparkling! WOW!

    Just the other day my 8 y/o daughter asked me “Ami what would you like to be when you grow up?” Haha I was tickled that she thought I still had growing up to do 🙂 So anyway I confessed that I would have liked to be a librarian.


  10. I’ve always thought what an amazing life you lead and I really admire you really do! Re ties I hate them I used to choke and your right you’ve highlighted what weird things they are haha.

    I had some news also I had told your mother I really wanted to meet Amma and she told me she comes to London once a year so I’m so excited it’s possible. I had zero balancing today and was talking to jane my teacher and wow she’s met Amma twice I couldn’t believe it and she has one friend working at the same ashram as you what a small world right? Of all the coincidences lol.

    Re growing up wishes I had a totally ridiculous one that I would become famous in a non showy way for creating something that would make a major positive change to people’s lives en masse ie cure to some disease etc Yes I know so far fetched I guess I wanted to feel relevant in the grand scheme of things. My sights are far more humble now x


    1. LOL you make me laugh. I will need to ask the name, she said it whilst I was half here half not, it sounded German not that that is any good for you, hehe.

      Your fabulous anyway sreejit, you just have to cope with a smaller audience right?


  11. Hello 🙂 You have got some really lovely posts up 🙂 and I love this one especially since I myself have been facing an inner turmoil regarding what to do with my life from here on and how i’ve been evading every possibility of a ‘good career’ for the last few years :/ 😛 I haven’t read all your posts, or I wouldn’t have to be asking this I’m sure.. but where in India are you staying? 🙂


    1. 🙂 Kerala is a beautiful beautiful place with all its green and blue-ness! Oh, trust me.. i have been very confused about it. I have wanted to be a writer, a teacher, a mountain guide, a social worker, a painter, a gardener, a photographer, a cafe cum flower shop cum second hand book store owner and work in the field of psychology, (to list some of my grown up wishes :/) a few years ago i was studying to be a Chartered Accountant.. i quit, I enrolled to do masters in Comparative Literature.. i quit.. and now I sit at home or inside book stores reading story books. I know for sure that i wish to learn and grow and contribute positively towards something which has some meaning but i do not know how. and i have become lazy too, which is something i am finding very hard to overcome. :/ i am sorry for ranting! :/


      1. Not yet, but I have heard a lot about the place from a sister who’s visits the place often and I would definitely like to go someday 🙂 When I was young, I traveled to south india with my family. Now i wonder why we skipped this place :O 😛 Have you been to pondicherry? I stayed there for a while near the ashram. was a beautiful experience 🙂 and well, i’m not too sure about how to go about with any of those trinkets of ideas. Maybe it is some fear somewhere in me.. But I’ll keep on trying to find a way or few I suppose, even if only in my head for awhile.


  12. Cheers for your not-a-sell-out job. Dreams can be outrageous and insane in the beginning. But in reality the Job you crawl through is much more disturbing and sad. 🙂
    The place where I am working now – is great as per the work I do. And it is not the dream I have but a step I have to take to reach it. 😛


    1. I am working at Gaatha now.(check gaatha.com or shop.gaatha.com) :)….I think I would end up as an independent new media design consultant. 😀 something worthless in india at present.

      The point about commitment to discontent is so true. …i never noticed it in me or my friends. Thanks for that.


  13. That is an impressive kitchen. When I was 12, I wanted to be an Algebra teacher. I let my guidance counselor and my mother dissuade me from pursuing that dream when I went to college. It might be the reason I have had around ten different majors, and I am still chasing a degree (my version of a tie). I have one more class before I have a degree in Legal Studies and English Literature. It isn’t a teaching degree in Mathematics. I am struggling with the – what next? I am almost 20 years older than you. Your story is very inspiring and full of passion and purpose. Ties are overrated.


    1. Yes, that was the reason. At the time I graduated, there were a flood of teachers, especially in math and science. It was all tied up with the Vietnam war and the draft somehow.

      I considered philosophy as a major, while I was studying Religion. I ended up getting an AA in Religion, and switched my major to Math. Then life interjected itself. My husband got a job transfer, and I didn’t go back to school after the move. Once my kids moved out many year later, I went back to finish my degree. I have forgotten more Math than I remember at this point 🙂


  14. I like to be a retired lottery millionaire. Still working on that one…
    But I also found my wife, which I never thought I’d do, so everything else is just gravy.
    best thing I did was uncoupling who I am from what I do, because they aren’t the same. My job pays the rent and pays for me to do the things I enjoy. And I’m good at my job, so it’s a little easier.


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