When James Adams walked into Waffle House in 2009 and requested a job application, the manager asked if he’d been sacked because of the meltdown.
“Yeah,” Adams said. “Firms like mine caused it.”
The manager gave him a sympathetic look. She said he could start Monday as long as he had a pair of black pants and vowed not to steal anything. He took the job.
Adams went from pulling in six figures a year as a hedge fund vice president to serving bacon and grits for $2.13 an hour (plus tips).
The job came with a side of “humble pie,” especially when he was put on the graveyard shift with mostly ex-cons as coworkers. His wife thought he was nuts. But he felt he needed to do “deep soul searching.”
“I’m willing to admit I played a role in the most horrific financial drama in the last 70 years,” says Adams.