You want fries with that?

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I’ve always enjoyed – rather, loved - the 21 years I have spent in the classroom, and can honestly say I have, for the most part, felt I have made a difference in the lives of the kids that I have taught. Recently though, I have been getting itching feet, curious to try something outside of education. Having now decided on a path to take upon my return to Australia, I have been busy making inquiries and enrolling in courses which might lead me towards that goal.

But in the here and now of Canada I feel an almost flippant approach to just have a go at completely different things, which is in many ways so out of character for me. Being partially driven by reality though, I was looking for something that will pay reasonably well and waitressing came to mind as a possibility… although the hourly rate is very low, tips here in Canada are around 15% of the sale, so it’s possible to make reasonable money doing it.

After dropping off a couple of resumes, I was offered a position with a restaurant chain called Swiss Chalet. Selling mainly chicken and rib dinners, the Swiss Chalet offers the complete dining experience for those who want to eat in or a very busy ‘take-out’ service for those who don’t. Unfortunately, there are no tips to be made in take-out, and as I worked there each shift alongside the 16 year old students who would help pack and hand out the orders, I soon realised maybe this wasn’t quite what I was after.

I completed my last shift with the Swiss Chalet tonight after only 2 weeks, but feel all the better for it. Any opportunity which allows me an insight into Canadian life is what I believe this exchange program is all about. I start a new position in an English style pub on Thursday, and am very excited and grateful to have a newly found (although temporary) sense of freedom to try new stuff.

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