“The customers are the best and worst part of the job. It all depended on how they viewed you as a person”.

TIME

xojane

I was 23, jobless and full of Sheetz milkshakes when I made my way past the highway signs promising my destination.

Just a week earlier, I had decided that the stuffy, crowded Washington, DC area was not for me, packed all my belongings into my small SUV, and set my sights on Tennessee. The only premise for my decision to move there was that the people had been exceptionally friendly when I had passed through the year before on my way from Arizona. It was a life-trend I had been participating in since I turned 18 — to pack and move where the wind blew me, whenever it blew.

It was in this fashion that I cruised into Rocky Top — hair in a messy bun, no bra under my worn camisole, a pair of brightly patterned stretch pants hanging from my hips, and a car full of clothes, pictures…

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