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I spent the weekend interviewing for “Mama’s helpers” at the teahouse. I did the initial discussion of the job when people walked in off the streets to inquire more about the job posting outside of my teahouse door.

I stressed two important qualities that one must have to succeed in this positions (the two qualities that led to the firing of the other employees).

#1. You must like/respect/work with everyone . That means people who indigenous, mestizo, gay, black, non-believers in God.

#2. Customer service — American style — is a must. Hence, you must smile, give off a positive energy and ask if clients need something.

Some of the applicants were like “Duh! I know this.” But in reality, people don’t. I assumed everyone living in 2016/2017 would understand that respect and hospitality were the cornerstones of any business. But having to fire two young male employees, after giving them direct warnings, was an eye-opener in creating my brand/philosophy.

I have not written a mission statement for my new teahouse. This week I will clarify my vision for my English center. But I do know, I want to have a space that all are welcomed and treated with respect. Something that used to be the idea of the “American Dream.” My country, the USA, is having great turmoil right now; and at the center of this chaos is fear of others and lack of respect of others.

I am not sure how my country’s situation will turn out, but I know there are millions of Americans who are speaking out against this lack of Americanism. Many who are saying, “Hey, that’s not what I stand for and that’s not what I want my country to stand for.”

What will my tea franchise and English center stand for? At the minimum they will be places to feel a sense of community and a place to grow as global citizens who contributes to our world’s advancement.