Photo: DeSean McClinton-Holland
Samantha Williams (pictured above)
Civil engineer, South Harlem
Is this your lunch break?
Yes. I work nearby, and we just started coming into the office. I like Dig Inn — they season those vegetables.
So you’re an engineer?
Yes, though most people don’t pin me as one. Because, well, I hate to say it, but when you hear engineer, you imagine someone a bit nerdier. I’m used to being the only person that looks like me in a room. There weren’t a lot of females at my college, Polytechnic University. And it wasn’t very diverse. Which is what led me to my husband. We were the two Black people
What was your first date?
We didn’t have one. We’d study together; we were friends. Then it changed — and everyone knew. They were like, “We all knew Sam’s googly-eyed over Tyree.” Even our professors were involved. If we were having a tiff, they’d be like, “Well, you have to do a group project together, so get over it.”
Law student, Lower East Side
COVID results coordinator, Harlem
Luxury-retail manager, Greenpoint
Financial sales representative, Financial District
College aide, Woodhaven
AI salesman, Jersey City, New Jersey
So you’re an AI salesman?
Yes, we sell a chatbot to companies around the country. It’s named Amelia. If you call into a customer-service center for a Fortune 500 company, there’s a good chance you’ll get Amelia on the line. She speaks 13 different dialects of Spanish. And she has a British accent sometimes.
Diversity-and-inclusion manager, Fort Greene
Finance manager, Bedford-Stuyvesant
Are you back in the office?
Yes. And unlike before the pandemic, my desk is right next to the CFO’s office. And his walls are clear. So now I can’t be, like, scrolling through Reddit at three in the afternoon. Also, we’re still doing Zoom meetings with remote people, so everyone is sitting at their desk Zooming alone. Honestly, I’d rather just Zoom at home.
Web developer, Financial District
Start-up founder, East Village
Brokerage-firm assistant, Jersey City, New Jersey
Why Dig Inn?
One of my co-workers was feeling appreciative toward a group of us and wanted to buy lunch. I suggested Dig Inn — I used to live in Italy, and it was one of the first places I tried in New York. Lunches in America are much heavier. When I first moved here, one lunch would last me two days. It’s hard — even these salad places add all these sauces and dressings I never asked for. I’m like, “No, just olive oil, please.”
NYPD detective, Warwick
Christina M. Das
Attorney, Windsor Terrace
Interior designer, Gowanus
Human-resources associate, Crown Heights
Landscape architect, Park Slope
Jeff De Angelis
Social-media strategist, Financial District
Thank you. I’m still working from home, and that gives me a lot of flexibility on what I can wear. So I’m buying a lot of new jerseys.
Tech salesman, Amherst, Massachusetts
Photographs by DeSean McClinton-Holland