Tell me about a time when you made the best of a negative situation.
During my first spring break as a college student, I was helping one of my friends from high school move to a new place. While I was there for the weekend, I did something that was extremely irresponsible. I received a ticket for racing. I had never before gotten into any major trouble. My drive home to tell my parents what I had done was the longest drive I have ever had to make. After explaining to them what happened and being ordered to perform 250 hours of community service by the court, I felt like burying myself. I did not want to see the light of day. However, instead of feeling down and out, I was determined to repay my debt to the community and rebuild my reputation. For the entire summer, I worked outside in the heat throwing away furniture and odds and ends at a thrift store for six to seven hours a day, six days a week. I not only repaid my debt, but I also lost 45 pounds while working in the heat and working out at the YMCA every day during the summer. Thanks to this experience, I improved myself mentally and physically.
When I was in the third grade my mother decided to start up her own restaurant and bar. The business took up a lot of her time. She would go into work at 8 a.m. and then come home around 2 a.m. the next morning. When my father was transferred to another city, my mother decided to stay behind and take care of the business. The only way my brother and I got to see at least one parent for a significant amount of time was go to the restaurant for periods of time during the day. The business became our second home. Some nights we would sleep in the office until 2 a.m., and some days we would sit in the office all day and help our mother with office work. Some days one of her waitresses, cooks, or bus boys would pick us up from school, and we’d and go stay with our mother for a couple of hours and then be sent home when the dinner rush came. We would go to the bar on Saturday mornings at 9 a.m. after a busy Friday night and help the cleaning crew sweep the beer-soaked peanut shells off the floor. I never thought it was weird or wrong that we spent so much of young lives in a bar. It was a place to see my mother. I learned things about the restaurant business that not many other children get to learn at such an early age. Not even some adults have learned as much as I have much about the restaurant business. I watched and learned from my mother, and I feel today that those years of observation have made me who I am in the workplace. I learned that you have to be nice to people. Even though I rarely saw either of my parents for three years, that absence has forced me to realize that you are not always going to have mommy and daddy take care of you, and eventually you have to be self-sufficient and not depend on anyone because they are not always going to there.