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What I learned after moving to America and getting a job at Chipotle (part4)

Field Research: Day 135

In March of 2016, I traveled to China for two weeks to officiate a friend’s wedding. Upon my return, the restaurant manager waved me over and greeted me. She was sitting with one of the middle-managers. She said, “We are getting all new furniture for the restaurant. Chairs and tables.”

“That sounds good,” I said—which is what I always say when I don’t really know what people are talking about—“When are they being delivered?”

“Oh, we’ve actually had them for a while. They were delivered—” she paused, “last week, I guess.”

She continued talking about the furniture, but I did not understand what she was trying to say. They kept looking at each other awkwardly—beating around the bush. Then they just came out and said it, “The furniture isn’t assembled.” They looked at me, waiting for my reaction, then continued, “It is kind of like IKEA.”

I froze.

“We thought maybe you could help us assemble it.”


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