As you know I am currently living at home and anticipating my next move in life. But in the meantime I need some cash moneys, so I’m waiting tables at a local “casual” dining restaurant. It’s not my ideal job but sometimes I love it. Let me be more specific:
1. I get to work with my peers. Last year when I graduated from college and went to work in a high school in Spain I kind of got a shock to the system. I went from being surrounded by college kids to having coworkers who were mostly 40+. Don’t get me wrong–many of them were amazing people who taught me a lot. But where did my generation go? I was new in a city and I needed friends! Well, they can almost always be found in the bars and restaurants as customers or employees. I like being around people my own age–they just get it, okay!
2. It’s never boring. Some nights might be bad, but never boring. There’s always someone making drama or singing in the kitchen, or some table who wants to tell you their life story, or four tables who want different things at the same time. And it might suck, but it’s not boring.
3. You can make a lot of money. You make tips, so if you go in ready for and willing to work you can make a lot of money. (I use the term ‘a lot’ loosely. For example, if you have $300 in your bank account, $80 would be a lot of money. Also, if you make $80 in five hours, that is well over minimum wage, so that’s a lot.) But the point is, waiting tables is not the same as other wage jobs. You don’t have to work more hours to make more money, you just have to take care of more tables.
4. You walk with cash. Every shift that you work you get to leave with whatever you made, so that’s pretty nice.
5. It’s good for travelers. You don’t have to be on the regular schedule in order to work. You can walk in any day and ‘pick up’ a shift. So when you show up in town, broke from traveling adventures, you can just walk in and pick up. Thankfully you don’t need to wait for the money to show up in your bank account (yeah, I know that’s how broke you are).
6. It’s a transferable skill. I mean this in two senses. First, it’s a skill that will serve you in any city you go. Servers are needed in every city of the world and having experience will help you get another serving job in a new city. Second, the fact that you’ve waited tables means that you are a nice and socially functioning human being (in theory at least).
7. It’s just fun(ny?). Some nights the restuarant is understaffed* and the guests are getting annoyed and they leave bad tips and the servers are getting pissed and the kitchen is getting pissed and the food is taking forever to make and dishes are piling up so the servers are washing the dishes and the hosts are serving tables and you have about twelve things to do and all your tables are mad at you and it seems like everything is going down in flames. But then you realize that really there’s nothing you can do about it. And everyone will be fine. And actually it’s kind of hilarious how bad it all is. Haha. It’s really funny.
*I am not endorsing the understaff-ment of restaurants. I’m just trying to tell a story here.