A few months into my first year in college, I realized that I hadn’t prepared for such brokeness. In an attempt to pull myself out of college poverty, I applied for a waitressing job at a local brewpub. Aside from some insignificant retail jobs that lasted maybe a few weeks, I had no relevant work experience. So when it came time for my interview, I did what I seem to do best: I winged it. I spoke about everything that wasn’t relevant—how pretty the detailing on the general manager’s shirt was, how nicely designed the restaurant was (it had a hideous interior), how challenging school was, etc.
Eventually I had to face the music and come clean, admitting to having no experience, but really, really needing money. The general manager was visibly bummed; she genuinely wanted to hire me, but how could she at this point? She looked down at my application and said, “Well, okay, so you have no experience. I can teach you how to juggle tables. I care more about people who know and like food. Can you answer this: What is crème fraîche?” My eyes lit up immediately.