9 things the restaurant industry has taught me

9 things the restaurant industry has taught me

the ebb and flow of serving food
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I had a class this semester that required us to write a paper on what culture defined who we are the most? It could have been anything as broad as being an American to something as small as work culture. I thought long and hard about what has influenced me the most and I realized it was certainly work.

The difference between my industry and let’s say another random industry, like insurance, is that only people who want insurance come to you but, everyone needs food. On a daily basis, I have to deal with the good, the bad and the ugly.


What the restaurant industry has taught me:


1. To fake a damn good smile
I list this not because it is the most important was one but because it is the skill that has benefited me the most. Being able to put my feelings and emotions aside to do a job has taught me respect and responsibility. This is the most useful when dealing with rude customers or clueless management and not let it affect my performance.

2. Everything comes out in the wash
Working for a salary that is based on other people's generosity has taught me more than I could have imagined. It has helped me keep my head level when I otherwise shouldn’t. Getting angry over a table that left $5 on a $100 check will do nothing but affect my other tables. What I learned is just because one tabled stiffed me doesn’t mean my night is ruined. Especially knowing that my next table might leave me $20 on an $80 check putting me right back on track. Even if it doesn't all work out that night by the end of the week I am always right where I should be. It’s the yin and yang of serving!

3. Hard work doesn't always pay out
If you ever want to see a great example of inequality in the workplace just look at the different positions in a restaurant. Waiters by far make the most out of any hourly staffed employee and sometimes we do the least amount of work. Not so say this job is easy but it certainly isn’t as hard for what we get paid. There have been multiple times where in two days of work cleared the a full works pay of a back of house cook who worked 40+ that week doing doubles and all I did was ask a family for their order.

4. Talking to strangers isn’t so bad
I distinctly remember the first time I ever spoke to a table as a server. For some reason, I thought it would be this terrifyingly awkward moment where I would not know what to do or say. Every since then I realized how ridiculous that was and that you can meet some pretty awesome people just by talking

5. Some people have no idea what they are doing
I am sure that this can be found in any industry but it amazes how some people can function on a day to day basis. On more than one occasion I had a customer complain to me that they didn’t order the “gratatouille” and I had to explain to them that it says gratuity while another customer asks “y’all serve food?”. This amazement goes way beyond customers. I once had a manager who instead of telling my table that the floor is not a safe place for their child to lay down instead told them that she doesn't know the last time we cleaned our carpets and they should get their child off the floors because it's disgusting...

6. The art of controlling a situation
Learning how to speak to people is hands down the most important skill I learned. Having to deal with rude or obnoxious people on the daily has taught me a lot of things about communication. Most importantly that I must keep my emotions in check at all times and how important wording can be to a guest. People love it when you make them seem like the most important person in the room which has saved me time and time again.

7. Only waiters and drug dealers make cash this quick
There are very few legal jobs where I can walk out the same day with a couple hundred in cash come back the next day and do it again. Being a front of house server can range from making something as low as $20 for the day or my record high of $520 off of a double. What other job ranges this much in hourly wage for little to no labor?

8. Importance of leaving baggage at home

Having worked in several restaurants that range from corporate to fine dining to family-run I can tell you this is a lesson learned time and time again. Not only do some people enjoy telling you about every detail of their life others let it affect how they work. Putting up with rude responses when it comes to picking up tables, anger being taken out on spaghetti squash as it flies across the kitchen hitting a waitress in the face (true story, I swear) to just downright being miserable and taking it out on everything that breathes. I try my best to let my home life stay at home and my last table stay at my last table.


9. It's nearly impossible to leave
This is one of the hardest industries to leave because it is one of the most fulfilling. Of course, every job has its lows. The horrible people, the terrible management and the long hours of being on your feet but at the end of the day some of the good people you meet make it worth it. I have met some of my greatest friends through serving, and plus where else gives me the flexibility hours I want and instant gratification ($$$). This job has helped shape me as a person and I wouldn’t change it if I could (unless I can find a job to put my college degree to good use…..)




Cover Image Credit: Funscrape

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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The Cliche 'Follow Your Heart' Is Probably The Most Important Cliche Of All Time

Our heart or our brain? What should we listen to first?

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In life, we are constantly faced with tough decisions concerning relationships, college, career, marriage … the list of decisions we must make in a lifetime is endless. This means, however, that there are plenty of moments in our life where we will put into question our very own intuition, where we will waste time going back and forth between our mind and our soul. So then we ask ourselves when faced with a decision, what do we listen to? What should we listen to? Our brain or our heart?

Yeah, okay so following your heart is probably the most cliche thing you've ever heard. Our younger selves constantly heard the saying all the time growing up. Did we act on it? Maybe, but not in the ways that we should be acting on it now. Give it a chance and just think about it for a second.

I've realized that as you get older, it becomes harder to just listen to yourself. There are distractions all around you. Some come from the comments of your peers, some come from the devices in your hands, some come from the news headlines you see in bold. With this, you find yourself struggling to find a balance between thinking about something and just doing it. You find yourself unable to decipher what exactly you should listen to. You suddenly become lost within your own little world.

Who would you be if you didn't follow your heart? Would your life be completely different than it is now?

If we think about how we got to the place we're at today, we simultaneously also think about those decisions I mentioned earlier. And those decisions were probably mostly made from our own intuition, not from logistical thinking. The sad part is we don't even realize this, and we don't even realize how important this is.

How did you choose a college? Deciding where you're going to spend the next four years of your life, working towards a career is a big deal. Some will describe their decision as a feeling they got when they stepped on campus. Yes, the tuition was a factor along with retention rates and undergraduate programs and study abroad opportunities, but the one factor that truly mattered was how they felt so at home, while in reality being so far away from their hometown. So, this decision was made from a feeling, this decision was made from the heart.

Relationships. When deciding to tell someone you love them, you're following your heart. When deciding to commit to someone in a relationship or in a friendship or whatever it may be, you're following your heart. You're putting everything on the line because of how you feel. Nothing else matters. Just the two of you, together, happy and in love. And because of that, because of the magnitude of that one feeling, you listen to your heart first and figure out everything else later. Now, being able to have that, being able to experience this type of love, well that's just one of the best feelings in the world.

We can even consider a career. When trying to figure out what you want to do with the rest of your life, you are looking for that feeling, for that career to find you. You are searching for that inevitable inclination telling you, you're meant to do something in this world. You dream big imagining yourself doing this one job that you feel so passionately about, changing the world and inspiring others to do the same. You are motivated by this one field so much that you decide to do it for the rest of your life. If that's not following your heart, then I don't know what is.

It seems so obvious. We hear "follow your heart" all the time. But do we ever actually realize how much impact a heart can have on one's life? No. And that's why it's maybe not so obvious. Because we're told to follow our hearts, but we never actually take the time to comprehend it. And so, we live our lives letting this concept of intuition before cognition become underrated. We let it secretly impact some of our most important life decisions without even ever realizing it.

So realize it. From now on don't just listen. Act. Follow your heart as much as you can and never look back.

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