The Whole Story | Chapter Nine

When I started working for Whole Foods Market again in Orlando, it was just one of those “for now” jobs, but as I’m writing this 3 years later I am still working for the company. Sometimes I can’t believe that I am still working here, but I am working on transitioning away from this job. It was fun while it lasted and was so eye opening and ultimately led me to finding a new way of life. I have been continually evolving over the past few years and it is not a good fit anymore. I feel like it sucks the energy right out of me, that’s how much I don’t want to be here. I stay because I don’t yet have something comfortable to transition to and I am trying like hell to get so many other things started.

This is a happy story, so let me backup to Orlando 2014. I had decided to stay in Florida after my Disney program was over so I began looking for a job. I stalked the Whole Foods website and called every week and was eventually hired to work two days a week to cover the baker’s days off. The position I applied for had been given to someone else and I didn’t have the energy to apply to other places, so I accepted. It was an easy job and I was having fun learning something new. Even though I didn’t have a plan, I was kind of enjoying living life on the fly.

A few months after I started, I turned 26 and was desperate for health insurance. I went without it for a few months, so when a full-time position opened up, the cake decorator role that I had originally applied for, I accepted without hesitation. In truth I was excited to do something different, and something I knew I’d be good at. This transition is when one of my favorite friendships from my time in Florida began.

Max worked as one of the pastry chefs in the bakery kitchen and I had met him a few times when our shifts would overlap. He was from Puerto Rico and always, I mean always, came to work with the most infectious smile. He loved to joke and dance and genuinely enjoyed himself. Our conversations were limited sometimes because as he says, “I speak one and a half languages, one Spanish and half English.” I helped him with his English, and he taught me Spanish. He always shared his lunch with me when I was hungry and too busy to go buy my own. He would make me take videos of him doing ridiculous and hilarious things around the kitchen just so he could watch and laugh at himself. I have never known anyone to be so truly happy and fun.

What I want to say is that working with Max was the highlight of my Whole Foods Orlando experience. He made me laugh until I cried, entertained us with his dancing, and kept things real and fun.

I learned a beautiful lesson while working in Florida for Whole Foods Market from the man I worked across the table from every day - it is more fun to have fun. That probably sounds so ridiculous and obvious, but for someone like me who had forgotten, it was a good lesson to relearn.

Lauren D'Agostino