Everyone Should Wait Tables At Least Once In Their Lives

Everyone Should Wait Tables At Least Once In Their Lives

It’s messy and it may cause you to never want to eat anything with tarter sauce ever again, but it taught me some pretty invaluable skills.
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Do you know how to respond to someone who is yelling at you to get them tarter sauce after you have explained to them for the third time that it’s being made and will be ready shortly?

Or how to time it just right so that your table that ordered drinks gets them as soon as they're made and your other table gets their food fresh from the oven, all while getting napkins for another table and running a credit card for a fourth time?

I do, or at least when everything is running smoothly I know how to approximate that, but anyone who has worked at a restaurant knows that it’s never that easy.

There is always something that slows down the process, that complicates the process. The Blue Moon draught may be out, the kitchen might be out of fried shrimp and the small to-go boxes might be the only size left.

It’s messy, and it may cause you to never want to eat anything with tartar sauce ever again, but it taught me some pretty invaluable skills.

I have been waiting tables on and off for extra cash for nine years. It got me through high school, college and my first experience of being on my own.

It’s a great side gig, and, depending on the place, you can easily make enough money to cover living expenses.

It’s just frustrating. Very frustrating at times. But like any other job you’ll have good days and bad days, then you’ll have some horrible days mixed in.

And by “horrible,” I mean horrific. This line of work will make you question humanity in ways that you’ve only had nightmares about. People treat servers in appalling ways, here are some of my worst customer interactions:

I was covering for the host one day when this elderly man in a straw hat came up to the host stand. He was trying to get into a reservation-only party without a reservation. The more my coworker and I explained why we couldn’t give him a table, the more agitated he became.

Finally, he turned to the two of us and asked, “What’s stopping me from just walking through here and grabbing some food?” He paused, as if we were going to respond with something other than the broken record response of, “Well, you can certainly speak with our manager, if you would like.”

Then, without prompting, he asked, “Do either of you have the education to understand what I just said?” A question that is offensive no matter your background, but he was speaking to my coworker, a young woman with a Master’s Degree and to me, at the time when I was finishing my Bachelor’s Degree.

Another time, it was after Hurricane Irene, a storm that destroyed countless roads, bridges, homes and businesses in Vermont, a place in the hills and mountains where people assume flood insurance is unnecessary because no one could have predicted that a river had the potential to rise high enough and have currents fast enough to wash away people’s livelihoods.

The restaurant I was working at was not structurally damaged, but the grounds surrounding the building were. From the outside deck, you could smell the landfill and see only mud and debris where there used to be fields of grass. One of my tables that had requested to sit outside was complaining loudly about the smell as the table in front of them told me about how friends and family of theirs had to watch as their homes went down the river.

Trust me, I’ve had others. I have been working five tables at the same time and had people walk out without tipping anything and some without paying at all. I've had strangers call me "ma'am", "sweetie", "honey", "that blonde girl over there" and, weirdly, "baby". The list goes on and on, but those instances were by far my most frustrating memories.

Because when it comes down to it I am your server, not your servant. It is my job to bring you food, drink and all the equipment you need to enjoy both of those things. Sure, I will happily give you directions, recommendations, to-go boxes or replacement french fries because the ones I brought you weren't hot enough.

I will laugh at your jokes when I don’t find them particularly funny. I will even restrain myself and say nothing when you shout something racist or sexist. I do these things because I am paid to, but that does not give you permission to speak to me more condescendingly than you would a child or your dog. It does not give you permission to grab me by the arm to ask for a straw.

Nope.

I’m a human and like you I expect to be treated as such.

It’s because of my years living tray-to-table that I have unshakable customer service skills, can think three steps ahead and can carry multiple trays of drinks at a time without spilling. Well, with only spilling a little anyway.

It’s not all bad, or horrific, you’ll have days where all your tables are happy. The food came out right, drinks were on point and you were anticipating customer needs perfectly.

You’ll be tipped 50 and 100 percent.

You’ll feel unstoppable.

You’ll connect with some interesting people and maybe even learn something new about jet skis that you never considered before the guy at table 11 brought it up.

Serving is a balance, and sometimes your worst shifts and your best shifts will be the same shifts. It will be so busy that your feet won’t even hurt anymore because they’re numb, and you know that the second you stop moving the pain will come back with a vengeance.

And it will be so dead that you will be bored enough to form a peace sign out of the salt, pepper and Old Bay shakers.

But it’s never the same, every day there are new challenges and new reasons to love or hate it.

I can promise you that you will come out of the experience with the ability to speak to anyone about anything. You will be able to keep your cool and tackle multiple problems at a time.

More than anything?

You’ll empathize, and the next time you go out to eat you’ll still give Annie a 20 percent tip even though she never brought you your side of ranch.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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Life As A Cam Girl

Living In The Duality Of Being A Sexual Female
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I wish I could say that as a society we have come far regarding female sexuality. I wish I could say that a woman's orgasm was a priority equal to a man's. I wish I could say that women are no longer shunned from their communities for being sexually liberal. I wish I could.

You'd think after thousands of years of fetishizing female sexuality and female bodies that we might eventually evolve to a point in which female sexuality is seen as important or equal to that of a males but that's none of my business.

No, rather we've come so far that while these things still occur, they aren't talked about. No one likes to talk about not prioritizing the female orgasm. In fact it's still considered a myth by many. No one likes to talk about women being slut shamed until they are no longer welcome in their own communities. No one likes to talk about women being blamed for their own rapes. No, rather, like most things in society we like to pretend we've come a long way and ignore the problems inherent.

Racism is dead.

Sexism is dead.

Homophobia is dead.

Transphobia is... well... no, basically everyone is sure that's still a thing.

Sure, the living dead maybe.

I guess if you don't acknowledge it, it doesn't exist, right? Just walk right past those zombified societal issues and pretend they aren't even there. You know, the same way you handle seeing homeless people.

So I can tell you, as a cam girl, that sexism is alive and well. My orgasm isn't a priority, it's fetishized. It's not about me experiencing pleasure, it's about them making me experience pleasure. Fueling their power complex as they commit to dominating my very sexuality.

In come the neckbeards with their "not all men". That's the funny thing, the men who aren't like this will just read these words in horror, only the men who are like this will become offended, because they take it personally because it applies.

The funny thing is, it's not just about dominating my sexuality. You see, you have to be NEW to get any significant attention. Not just new on the site, you have to act new. Let me tell you what "new" looks like.

Confusion: you're staring at the website, your camera, completely unsure of what you're doing or how to do it.

Discomfort: despite how sexually liberal and sex positive you are, you've never done this before and you're not sure how comfortable you are with it. It's a mix. You're excited about the money, it seems so easy, but you're taken aback by the attention of 60-150 horny men barking orders and seeing you naked. You want to do it, you want to be there, but you're also at least mildly uncomfortable with the whole situation.

Submissiveness: no matter how dominate your personality is IRL, you're new to the game and you don't want to mess up on your first day, so you tend to go along with whatever they say. Even if you're uncomfortable. Some take pitty on you and explain the ropes, putting themselves in the position of being your savior, only to later recommend that you let them moderate your room for you. Taking it up as a full time job so they have direct access to you, so you need them. Others will take advantage and make requests without tipping, and you'll do it because you're new.

Most of the people who spend money on these websites are constantly in the new model rooms. Most, but not all. Some of them enjoy ritualistically visiting the top model's rooms, in an effort to garner at least some attention from someone seen as desirable.

What does this mean? Those who are constantly looking at the new models want them to want to be there, but only sort of. They want them to be uncomfortable. They want to be the savior or take advantage of the scared little bunny rabbit who has no idea that they are prey.

Those who are constantly looking at the top models want them to notice them. They want to be seen and wanted by someone who is nearly unanimously deemed to be one of the most desirable.

It's never about the women, though. It's about what the women can do for the men. What the men can make the women do. To dominate by circumstance, with money, or be dominated themselves.

Now, don't get me wrong. I have met a lot of great men while working as a cam girl. They exist. This isn't about them, and they know this isn't about them. They are not offended, because they know this to be the case. They know this to be the environment we work in. They know that it is generally assumed that a model who isn't incredibly popular, and isn't relatively new, is assumed to be using the website to fund a drug addiction. This is how the new model trolls and the big model trolls rationalize their preference so they needn't psychoanalyze themselves and be honest about what they're really doing, because no one wants to believe that they are consuming another person, using another person, unless of course they fetishize that sort of thing. They participate in the problem, telling themselves denial is a river, and perpetuating the problem inherent in all of society.

That a woman's value is also her sin, her sexuality is a commodity, and a sickness.

That she is desirable, but also disgusting.

This has become incredibly obvious over my time spent working as a cam girl.

Now I'm not saying I wont gladly take your money and play the newb.

I am saying that I see through you.

We all see through you.

Cover Image Credit: SlickBlackSatinPhotography

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9 Quick And Easy Summer Jobs For College Students

It's summer, which means it is time to build your resume.
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Summer is upon us, and that means sun, fun, and looking for ways to build your resume. Some of these jobs can be done from the comfort of your home, and others can pay extremely well. None of these are in a particular order.

1. Freelance graphic designer

If you are good with design and know your way around Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, this job might be for you. You can set your own hourly rate, your own hours, and spend time doing something you love, designing. There will always be a need for graphic designers. If you are serious about becoming a freelance graphic designer, there are a few websites you use to look for work! Search on Google "freelance graphic design websites," and a few should pop up.

2. Nanny

If corralling children is something you are good at, being a nanny might be right for you. Busy parents with kids out of school for the summer may be willing to handsomely pay. This job is perfect for students who want to be a teacher, physical therapist, or even doctor, because having experience with children is always a good skill to put on a resume.

3. Waiter

Waiting tables can be tricky, because you will sometimes have to deal with picky and/or rude customers, but the tips can pay really well. A lot of actors started their career journey waiting tables, so who knows, maybe you can be the next Chris Pratt. Another good alternative to this would be bartending!

4. Mow lawns

If you have the equipment and don't mind being out in the heat all day, starting a mowing business can make you a ton of money, and people usually pay in cash too. As far as resume building goes, you can put down that you started your own business. Plus, you can get a sweet tan.

5. Intern

One of the best ways to gain job experiencing is to intern at a real company. Some internships are paid, some aren't, but you will gain valuable experience by interning in a field you would eventually like to work in. Sometimes, the company you intern for will even offer you a job after college!

6. Freelance writer

For students who want to be a journalist or other similar job, being a freelance writer can be a valuable. You will get paid to write articles, which is super cool if you love writing! You'll also learn how to be concise and to edit. Just like freelance graphic design, you can set your own hours.

7. Start an online store or Etsy shop

For creative individuals, making products and selling them is a good way to turn a hobby into a money maker. Are you good at embroidery, jewelry making, calligraphy, or knitting? Selling your products online might be a good thing for you to do. You can set your own hours and are your own boss.

8. Be a brand ambassador

Some brand ambassadors for certain companies make commission on each item they sell with their unique code, and you typically don't have to work at all, other than posting about the brand on social media. This job is perfect for students who don't want a job, but still want money.

9. Camp counselor

Relive your favorite childhood summer memories and become a camp counselor! If you attended a summer camp as a kid, check and see if they are hiring any counselors. Churches might also need people to help with their camps. This is a fun way to make a little extra cash, but it can also be stressful being in charge of a group of kids. Overall, being a camp counselor takes lots of work, but it can be rewarding.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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