Some of y’all who don’t know me may not know I’ve worked in food service for a while now… I thought I’d pick up some extra college money on my break between semesters so I picked up waitressing again. Well, one day, on my way home from work, I thought about how quickly the day had passed and essentially, how many people I had served and how many individual touches I had on customer’s experiences. And I thought about the typical things people think about waitressing/waitering. Low hourly pay, “customer is always right” mentality, heavy lifting, and late hours. And I realized that being a waitress can have somewhat of a negative stigma, and the job isn’t always easy.
But more often than not, I kinda love it.
You get to meet some pretty cool people. I know a regular guy who does research at a D.C. museum, a woman who’s traveled the world and has a PhD in nutrition, teachers, hard-core business men, bus drivers, and mail guys. But when it comes down to it, they all have one thing in common: great stories, and a desire to relax with some Italian cuisine.
You get to meet even cuter kids. As one with a lot of siblings, I’ve always enjoyed being around for the baby stage (even though it’s annoying at some times). Anytime anyone toddles into the restaurant, I can’t help but melt and want to give them every cookie in the dessert case.
You regularly get to make someone’s day. That sandwich exactly how they like it, a free cookie here, an extra shot of espresso there, a glass of ice exclusively for chewing, or even just a friendly hello. The interaction and the service itself has massive potential to turn someone’s day around 180 degrees.
You witness humans in their most basic form. Humans need food. But they don’t want to cook (well some, anyways. Not counting Gordon Ramsay here). No offense to my fellow homo sapiens, but we all channel our inner “hangry”/lazy mode every now and then. So when you can deliver food that’s delicious and satisfying and see their eyes light up…or sooth the wails of an infant with a bowl of macaroni… idk, it’s oddly satisfying.
You see the good in the world. From people getting lost in conversation to family moments, to genuine smiles back and grace after a mistake or a generous tip… it’s glimpses like these into people’s goodwill that illuminates, even if only for a second or two, that the world isn’t as rotten as it seems.
Any of you guys working? Do you enjoy what you’re doing?