What I Do: Suki Simpson 

Waitress, The Dairy Bar and Golden Corral

The best thing about my job is I deal with people — all kinds of people. People making me cheer up, you know, making me happy, you know. I am presented to wait on customers. They are king to me. When they leaving town, they say, "It was good to see you, you know, you the best waitress we ever had" — all kinds of stuff. So this waitress job is just my style, you know?

I married over there [in Korea]. I have been here for over 10 years, close to 20. I came here and I live in the South Side. I was first working as a babysitter and a housekeeper for a little while and I never learned the people. [But] I like to see what is America, you know? How is America? Learn the culture, you know. That's why I became a waitress.

I was very shy. When I was first a waitress, I went into the bathroom and cry and stuff. But now [laughing] like beginning now, after over 10 years, I am just wild, you know. And that's why they say, Suki, look at you, wild and a good waitress, you know. I can work without sleep 24 hours if I want to. I did it twice for 48 hours without sleep both jobs. I did once 72 hours, but I don't think I will do it anymore.

God is keeping me going. I go to church seven days, every morning, 6:30, before I come job, and then Saturday only 6. My life is right now church and work. That's it. That's all. Every time I have a chance I go to church. Whatever I earn 10 percent give to church and I just keep going to church.

Sometimes it's hard to deal with people. I try more harder, more nice, more, and sometimes making friend. Sometimes it don't matter what you do. Nobody can change heart, mind, unless God into you. That's what made me change. I used to be more hyper, more, you know, like that. I used to be hot-tempered, but God changed and got into my heart. I am very straight. I don't smoke, I won't drink. And nobody believe me 'cause I never sit.

This is the first time I sit here. You can ask — I never sit down, never. Unless I go home or eat, but I just keep going, you know. When you stop going you get tired and don't want to get up. So I just keep going all day long. Keeping going, that's my style, and I have a lot of things to do. If you are working for somebody, you working for what you deserve. I try, I am just going to work.

[A customer calls Suki's name and she runs over to help for a moment.]

I like to help the children, you know, charity. I was best winner, too. I win many time employee of the month. It's all keeping me going. I win contest for United States waitress. [Shows awards.] First of all, you gotta be a good person. I went to all the United States and other countries, and they say, "Suki, I never seen a fast worker like you. You are a great waitress, but you are mostly a good person."

— As told to Sarah Williams. Photographed by Scott


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