How it Feels to Work in an Obscure Chinese Restaurant in 2021

I’m not going to lie. This isn’t the life I imagined I’d be living after studying 5 years of design.

I thought I’d be working away in some office, painstakingly moving things around on Illustrator or Photoshop or whichever program my boss wanted to use. Awkwardly drinking office coffee with my would-be co-workers, and making small talk around the water cooler during break.

That imaginary future path dissipated rather quickly. 

Instead, I decided to work for my parents at their restaurant in Scarborough. It’s crammed from floor to ceiling with ingredients, supplies, and equipment. It’s such a tight space that you wouldn’t be able to fit 2 people in any given walkway if they were both north of 180 lbs. Like I said, it’s tight.

There’s fire, grease, and enough food to make over 200 menu items.

And to answer the title of this short piece, it feels weirdly good to be connected with my family and culture this way. Though at times the work is both physically and emotionally draining, I’d forgo office work for the restaurant any day of the week. Even if it’s at an obscure 2000’s Chinese restaurant in 2021.

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