Although my experience within the food industry was only six months long, I definitely learned a lot -- and not only about food, but about people too. Here are 10 things you know to be true if you've been there before.
1. People will complain about anything.
It doesn't matter what it is -- a chair, their food or how hot it is inside -- you get to hear all about it. And sometimes, you even get to call your manager over which they just love.
2. You know what not to get on the menu.
Since you work there, you know exactly how everything is made (even if its not so great) so picking items off the menu is a life or death situation.
3. Your uniform doesn't stop smelling after you wash it.
You can use the most expensive laundry cleaner on your work uniform but that stench will never come out.
4. Neither do you.
And it seems to stay on your skin for days, as well. You could take 30 showers and it wouldn't make a difference.
5. Getting sent home early was basically a miracle.
You prayed that there was even a chance of someone getting to go home after a few hours, and you thanked God when it was you.
6. Working four hour shifts is like having a day off.
You get used to working eight hours at a time, past midnight, and work becoming a second home to you. Four hour shifts were a gift.
7. There is always something more you have to do.
It didn't matter if you completed everything on your checklist, there was something else that had to be done. Your manager just kept listing off tasks until you were falling over.
8. If you didn't have friends working with you, you would have quit a long time ago.
You felt bad leaving your friends all alone at work, so you stuck it out for them. They were the reason work was even tolerable.
9. Not looking at the clock for a half hour takes all your self control.
It took everything you had not to check the clock every five minutes, and when you didn't it felt like an eternity.
10. Your paycheck does not reflect your hard work, at all.
Your tiny, minuscule paycheck didn't seem to add up to all the hours you worked. Even if you worked full time that week, or overtime, it didn't seem at all worth it.
The food industry is rough -- but it's all about paying your dues and learning from it. It's an experience, that's for sure, but you tough it out and come out better on the other side.