The main reason why I quit working at McDonald’s wasn’t the $3.65 an hour pay, or the abusive, ego-tripping manager. After all, the endless supply of broken apple pies went a long way to make up for the unpleasantry at work.
I’m ashamed to say it, but the main reason why I quit was because I was embarrassed.
I lived in McLean, Virginia, a now upper middle class neighborhood where kids would drive to school in new SUVs their parents bought them. One of my friend’s even had a separate house just for his indoor pool! It was a strange mix of wealth and normality.
As the son of State Department workers, life was very low key. We had a seven year old Toyota Camry and lived in a cozy 3/2 townhouse (picture). I rode my bike or walked to school. My parents provided my sister and I all the opportunities we could ever ask for. I just knew we weren’t rich based on what I saw in comparison.